LAS Opposes Lemoore City Expansion

3/11/2008 Fresno Developers want to put homes, schools and businesses west of HWY 41. It's open land but under the flight paths of the more than two hundred fighter jets at Lemoore Naval Air Station.

The Navy doesn't like it. "NAS Lemoore is without a doubt one of the most vital and critical parts of our national defense. One that we take extremely seriously with the encroachment we've experienced in other places," said Admiral Len Hering with the U.S. Navy.

The Navy said such development so close to the base would hamper its operations.

But one property owner criticized the Navy's position. "This land was annexed in 1997. At that time where was the Navy? I mean there were no complaints, " said property owner Craig Peterson.

And one business owner questioned the Navy bases value to the economy. "Never heard of the base interested in bringing civil service industry into town. Never heard the base in bringing highly skilled workers into town," said business owner Brian Custodio.

But, for the most part those in the audience supported the Navy's position. "I adamantly, adamantly oppose any development, residential development west of highway 41 period," said Lemoore resident Mary Catherine Lewis.

The Navy said development could limit its ability to use the base. They also worry, people living under the flight path will complain about noise. The planning commission put off making a decision for two weeks. The Lemoore City Council has final say over the plans.

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