Airstrip approved for personal use in Howard
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – The Village Board approved a conditional use permit last month for a single-plane, grass landing airstrip on John Faikel’s farm property at 1509 Greenfield Ave.
The permit was recommended 4-1 a week earlier by the Howard Plan Commission.
Conditions include no seasonal storage on the property of planes not owned by Faikel, and no new buildings may be constructed near the landing strip closer than existing buildings.
Village President Burt McIntyre, who chairs the commission, said the latter requirement takes into account an existing parcel Faikel would like to develop on the northwest corner of the property.
Community Development Director Dave Wiese said a permit was required based on how an airport is defined in the village’s zoning code as having one or more planes.
“This isn’t a commercial operation,” he said. “It’s just basically a single owner, single user, single landing strip.”
Wiese said the airstrip will be 1,000 feet long and 35 feet wide, with the airstrip only used during daylight hours for a single-engine propeller airplane.
Faikel said he has held a pilot’s license for about 40 years.
He said he wants to fly his Piper Cub off the property, with his son, Spencer, also flying occasionally after receiving his pilot’s license.
“If (the weather is) nice out, like it’s been the past couple of months, we probably would take it out maybe – who knows – three times a week, if that,” he said.
Faikel provided the village with a petition signed by 16 neighbors in support of the permit.
“We’ve had positive and no negative response (from the neighbors),” he said.
Faikel said he would take off or land due north or due south, where there are no homes.
“Being a Piper Cub, being a tail-dragger, you only need 350 feet, roughly, to take off,” he said. “We have plenty of runway to catch air to get lift (for takeoff).”
Faikel said a Piper Cub could land with less than 300 lineal feet.
“It’s very safe,” he said of the airstrip. “Nobody would be flying into this. It’s a private airport… It’s specific for this type of airplane.”
Village Center parcels
In other action, the board approved a certified survey map for phase two of the Village Center project for five parcels.
The village is involved in a residential development in the Village Center known as the Howard Townhomes, for which the board previously backed buying approximately 20 acres of land for $2 million and making public improvements estimated around $2 million.
The board agreed to include the land purchases in future bonding for the Village Center and use remaining relief funds the village received from the American Rescue Plan Act toward the public improvements.
Any remaining public improvement costs would be included in future bonding.
This summer, the board entered into a development agreement with Dan Schmidt of Green Viper LLC for a mixed-use development with 12 single-family homes and 52-54 condominium-style units in the Village Center.
The agreement calls for Green Viper to pay the village $30,000 per single-family lot and $7,500 per condominium unit at the time those units are sold.
In the agreement, Green Viper guaranteed it will create more than $20 million in new tax increment over the next six years.
Wiese said road dedication and parcel creation are required to keep the project on track.
“Obviously, this will come back in the future when we look at the in-depth development of how layout for the future lots will go…,” he said. “This first step is just basically a certified survey map creating lots in order to get the remaining connecting roads dedicated.”
After meeting in closed session, the board approved the sale of a .76-acre, single-family lot near the Village Green Golf Course for $55,000.
Village Administrator Paul Evert said two other single-family lots near the course, both with .654 acres, remain for sale by the village.