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Land use issues linger for Sisters Airport, homeowners


The Sisters Eagle Air Airport has been under some scrutiny lately after the removal of part of the runway.

At the end of the runway, an extension was put in to allow for more room for planes to land.

That extension, though, was not permitted to be built, and was built on the Eagle Air Estates Homeowners Association’s ‘open use’ land, an HOA official said Monday.

According to the HOA president, Todd Newman, the extension caused flooding problems for houses closest to the runway during the spring, when snow melts off.

Newman said they decided rather than fight about the extension removal payment in court, the HOA would just pay for the removal of it so they could move forward.

“The problem with it was, there was never an agreement, there was never a discussion as to why and to coordinate between the HOA and the airport, and so subsequently it turned into a mess,” Newman said Monday.

Newman said the problem first occurred in 2013, and it took this long for the HOA and the airport to come to some sort of an agreement.

Calls to the airport administration on Monday were not returned.

The Deschutes County Planning Commission is now involved in making sure everything at the airport is up to code.

County Senior Planner Peter Russell said Monday they are looking at another taxiway for planes.

The existing one was put in when the subdivision was built nearly 30 years ago.

Russell said the HOA and airport will have to go through the county land use approval process to make sure the access is permitted.

“It’s been there for 30 years. It doesn’t appear on the plat for the subdivision,” Russell said. “And we got a code enforcement complaint on it, so the county, under its procedures, has to investigate every code enforcement complaint that we have. We notified the property owners of the complaint, and that’s what led to the code enforcement hearing next month.”

Eagle Air Estates Homeowners Association officials said they are hoping they will be able to work with the airport and the county to keep the road in place.

“This is a flying community — most everybody in here are retired pilots of some kind,” Newman said. “And there are no original owners, homeowners in here. And everyone has since moved here, and this has always been assumed that this is and was an acceptable and approved taxiway.”

The HOA official said they want to make sure the land is being used properly while not affecting the already existing and relied upon infrastructure of the neighborhood.

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