I live in Spanish Valley south of Moab. My property is adjacent to the “Sky Ranch” airstrip. When I purchased my property 10 years ago, the airstrip was platted for six homes with the intention that these homes would be sold to private pilots. The strip was dirt and rarely used. I bought my land, as I am sure many others did, in good faith that this was the plan for Sky Ranch. In November, everything changed. All of a sudden there was massive activity and renovation on the runway: trucks and tractors all day long moving dirt, paving, realignment of the runway and the hint of major changes to come in our neighborhood. We got wind of a new Sky Ranch plat map that suggested many, many more houses than originally planned, hangars and storage for all types of toys (from ATVs to planes) and even possible overnight rentals.
Shortly after, as if to foreshadow things to come, I saw a crash landing on the old abandoned Moab airport runway. The pilot approached from the north, touched down on the north end of the runway and continued to fly across the county road (East Allen Street) which divides the runway in two. The plane nearly hit a car driving on East Allen! As it crossed the road, the plane’s wings hit fence posts and dragged the fence, along with the fence wire, approximately 200 feet, where it skidded to a stop in the field east of the airstrip. This was a huge wakeup call to what the future could bring if Sky Ranch becomes an airport in our residential area! This area used to be farmland and open space but now neighborhoods surround this airstrip. Airports are not compatible with residential areas for many reasons – safety and noise being the obvious reasons. As we saw in November, accidents happen! If this were to have happened at a developed Sky Ranch, it is unimaginable what the extent of the damage and or even loss of life could be. I feel that the development window for an airport at Sky Ranch has long passed.