Navy's New 'Crash Zones' Concern Coronado Officials

Up To 200 New Homes Included In Navy's New Report

Coronado city officials are questioning a new report by the Navy that changes accident potential zones and now includes up to 200 homes.

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While Navy aircraft crashes are rare, they have happened in the recent past.

On April 6, 2012, a fighter jet crashed into a Virginia Beach apartment complex. In 2008, few can forget the F/A-18 crash that killed four people in University City.

The report, called the Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ), shows new accident potential zones for Naval Air Station North Island and the airfield in Imperial Beach. The zones show where a crash would most likely occur. (To view the Navy's complete report, including maps that detail the "crash zones," click here)

Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka said the report could have costly impacts.

"My first reaction was frustration," Tanaka said.

The previous document, created in 1984, included just a couple homes in the accident potential zone, but mostly the Pacific Ocean.

"The Navy has chosen to redraw its lines," Tanaka said.

The city of Coronado is now looking for answers.

According to the new study, oceanfront property is now in the middle of a crash area. City officials believe the Navy's new study could potentially lead to zoning law changes, changes to building codes and a possible increase in insurance rates.

Tanaka said the new zone includes homes from Sunset Park to the Hotel Del Coronado, between Ocean Boulevard and 10th Street.

Navy officials argue the document is to help the city.

"It's in the best interest of the health, welfare and safety of their citizens and it helps maintain the viability of the airfield," said Capt. Yancy Lindsey, the Commanding Officer for Naval Base Coronado.

Lindsey could not go into specifics about why the zone expanded.

"Our document is advisory. It makes recommendations only," Lindsey said.

Angelic Dolan, public affairs officer with Naval Base Coronado, released this statement to 10News:

"It was changed because there was a change in operation, there are new aircraft and that's going to dictate the accident potential zones."

However, the state requires Coronado to follow Navy recommendations.

"This is classic bureaucracy," Tanaka said. "The county didn't require the Navy to produce this document, the Navy didn't require California to make these adjustments and the person who is really stuck in the middle is Coronado."

Some residents told 10News they did not see why the zone needed to change.

"I personally am not concerned about an accident of that magnitude that would impact homes," said resident John Collins.

The military has a long history in Coronado and both sides hope it stays that way.

"The Navy is not always going to see eye to eye with the city and vice versa, but we live so close together that if we don't get along and continue the dialogue, we're going to have real issues," Lindsey said.

According to the report, there have been seven collisions since 1979 on NAS North Island. All have been on base property.

The Navy told 10News community forums about the AICUZ report are planned for next month.

To read the complete report, click here.

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