A Wilkins Road resident asked the Erie Regional Airport Authority on Wednesday to settle a lawsuit brought by a local developer.
The airport agreed last year to sell a 20.6-acre property on Wilkins Road in Millcreek to NLA IV Real Estate Holdings, which planned to build six duplexes and 116 six-unit townhouses on the land. The sale did not go through, and the NLA filed a lawsuit in Erie County Court of Public Appeals on May 26 asking a judge to order the airport authority to proceed with the sale or, alternately, pay more than $50,000 already spent on engineering, permit fees and other development costs, Plus the costs are still being incurred.
Developer sues Airport Authority:for failing to sell the Wilkins Road property as agreed
Annette Mossberg, a Wilkins Road resident who opposes the planned development, said paying the developer would ensure the project was not built.
“Pay the guy the $50,000 he got and put this behind us. We’ve dealt with this for two years,” said Mossberg, who addressed the airport authority on behalf of Wilkins Road area residents. “Remove the property from the market and keep it as property at the airport.”
The airport offered the Wilkins Road property for sale in Spring 2020 and agreed to sell it to the NLA for $400,000 in May 2021.
In November:The court may determine whether Wilkins Road will be built near the airport
Wilkins Road residents contacted the Federal Aviation Administration, whose 2014 guidelines for properties stated that it “must not be used for residential purposes.”
Millcreek Neighborhood asks FAA assistance:To stop the proposed multi-family development near Erie Airport
The Federal Aviation Administration notified the Airports Authority in July 2021 that the residential development of the property was “unacceptable.” The authority subsequently notified the developer that it could not proceed with the sale of the property.
Mossberg said the struggle against the planned development had been a two-year burden on Wilkins Road’s neighbors, in emotional stress, research, meeting time and energy.
“I am asking you to pass a resolution that this will not happen again,” Mossberg told members of the authority during their monthly business meeting on Wednesday.
Millcreek Planning Committee:Rezoning of Wilkins Road is not recommended for cottages
The FAA spent $1 million in 2001 to remove a mobile home park from the Wilkins Road property, which was then located in the airport’s noise reduction area. The federal grant to relocate residents was also paid out.
Rick Harner, director of the FAA’s Airports District Office in Harrisburg, said in his July notification to the Airport Authority.
“…since the FAA has already funded the acquisition of this land for noise compliance purposes, we find the possibility that the ERAA will once again have to displace a residential community on this site to be contrary to the original intent of the Federal Grant, and therefore unacceptable.”