Otero County, NM
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County 1-29-1974 by Ord. No. 74-01. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Airport Zoning Board — See Ch. 7, Art. I.
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Municipal Airport Zoning Law — See NMSA 1978, §§ 3-39-16 through 3-39-26.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Alamogordo Municipal Airport Hazards Zoning Ordinance."
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AIRPORT
The Alamogordo Municipal Airport Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico.
AIRPORT ELEVATION
The established elevation of the highest point on the usable landing area, which is 4,197 feet, MSL.
AIRPORT HAZARD
Any structure or object of natural growth located on or in the vicinity of the airport, or any use of land near the airport, which obstructs the air space required for the flight of aircraft in landing or takeoff at such airport or is otherwise hazardous to such landing or takeoff of aircraft.
BOARD OF APPEALS
The Otero County-Alamogordo Airport Zoning Board established by Ordinance No. 508 adopted by the governing body of the City of Alamogordo on the 13th day of November, 1973, and by Ordinance No. 73-1 adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County on the 29th day of November, 1973,[1] as provided in NMSA 1953, § 14-40-20B.[2]
HEIGHT
For the purpose of determining the height limits in all zones set forth in this chapter and shown on the Zoning Map[3], the datum shall be mean sea level elevation unless otherwise specified.
NONCONFORMING USE
Any structure, tree, or use of land which is lawfully in existence at the time the regulation is prescribed in this chapter or an amendment thereto becomes effective, and which is inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter or an amendment thereto.
NONPRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing air navigation facilities with only horizontal guidance, or area type navigation equipment, for which a straight-in nonprecision instrument approach procedure has been approved or planned, and for which no precision approach facilities are planned or indicated on an FAA planning document or military service's military airport planning document.
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, or governmental entity. It includes the trustee, receiver, assignee, or similar representative of any of them.
PRECISION INSTRUMENT RUNWAY
A runway having an existing instrument approach procedure utilizing an instrument landing system (ILS) or a precision approach radar (PAR). It also means a runway for which a precision approach system is planned and is so indicated on an FAA approved airport layout plan; a military service's approved military airport layout plan; any other FAA planning document, or military service's military airport planning document.
PRIMARY SURFACE
A surface longitudinally centered on a runway. When the runway has a specially prepared hard surface, the primary surface extends 200 feet beyond each end of that runway; but when the runway has no specially prepared hard surface, or planned hard surface, the primary surface ends at each end of that runway. The width of the primary surface of a runway will be that width prescribed in Part 77 of the Federal Aviation regulations for the most precise approach existing or planned for either end of that runway. The elevation of any point on the primary surface is the same as the elevation of the nearest point on the runway center line.
RUNWAY
The defined area on the airport prepared for landing and takeoff of aircraft along its length.
STRUCTURE
An object constructed or installed by man, including, but not limited to, building, towers, smokestacks, earth formations and overhead transmission lines.
TREE
Any object of natural growth.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 7, Art. I, Airport Zoning Board.
[2]
Editor's Note: See now NMSA 1978, § 3-39-22B.
[3]
Editor's Note: The Airport Zoning Map is on file in the City of Alamogordo offices.
In order to carry out the provisions of this chapter, there is hereby created and established certain zones which include all of the land lying within the precision instrument runway approach to the zone, transition zones, horizontal zone and conical zone. Such areas and zones are shown on the Alamogordo Municipal Airport Zoning Map, consisting of one sheet, prepared by Quinton Daniel, the City Engineer, Alamogordo, New Mexico, and dated December 1, 1972, which is hereby made a part hereof.[1] The various zones are hereby established and defined as follows:
A. 
Runway larger than utility with a visibility minimum as low as 3/4 mile nonprecision instrument approach zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 1,000 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 4,000 feet at a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet from the primary surface, its center line being the continuation of the center line of the runway.
B. 
Precision instrument runway approach zone. The inner edge of this approach zone coincides with the width of the primary surface and is 1,000 feet wide. The approach zone expands outward uniformly to a width of 16,000 feet at a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet, 50,000 feet from the primary surface, its center line being the continuation of the center line of the runway.
C. 
Transition zones. Transition zones are hereby established adjacent to each nonprecision instrument runway and precision instrument runway and approach zone as indicated on the Zoning Map. Transition zones symmetrically located on either side of runways have variable width as shown on the Zoning Map. Transition zones extend outward from a line 500 feet (nonprecision instrument) and 500 feet (precision instrument) on either side of the center line of the nonprecision or precision instrument runway for the length of such runway plus 200 feet on each end, and are parallel and level with such runway center lines. The transition zones along such runways slope upward and outward one foot vertically for each seven feet horizontally to the point where they intersect the surface of the horizontal zone. Further, transition zones are established adjacent to noninstrument approach zones for the entire length of the approach zone. These transition zones have variable widths as shown on the Zoning Map. Such transition zones flare symmetrically with either side of the runway approach zone from the base of such zone, and slope upward and outward at the rate of one foot vertically for each seven feet horizontally to the point where they intersect the surface of the horizontal and conical zones. Transition zones for those portions of the precision instrument approach zones which project through and beyond the limits of the conical surface, extend a distance of 5,000 feet measured horizontally from the edge of the approach zones and at 90° angles to the extended runway center line.
D. 
Horizontal zone. A horizontal zone is hereby established by swinging arcs of ten-thousand-foot radii from the center of each end of the primary surface of each runway, and connecting the adjacent arcs by drawing a line tangent to those arcs. The horizontal zone does not include the approach and transition zones.
E. 
Conical zone. A conical zone is hereby established as the area that commences at the periphery of the horizontal zone and extends outward and upward therefrom at a slope of 20:1 a distance of 4,000 feet. The conical zone does not include the precision instrument approach zone and the transition zone.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Airport Zoning Map is on file in the City of Alamogordo offices.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no structure or tree shall be erected, altered, allowed to grow, or be maintained in any zone created by this chapter to a height in excess of the applicable height limit herein established for such zone. Such applicable height limitations are hereby established for each of the zones in question as follows:
A. 
Runway larger than utility with a visibility minimum as low as 3/4 mile nonprecision instrument approach zone: slopes upward 34 feet horizontally for each foot vertically beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
B. 
Precision instrument runway approach zone: slopes upward 50 feet horizontally for each foot vertically, beginning at the end of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and extending to a horizontal distance of 10,000 feet along the extended runway center line; thence slopes upward 40 feet horizontally for each foot vertically to an additional horizontal distance of 40,000 feet along the extended runway center line.
C. 
Transition zones:
(1) 
Slope upward and outward seven feet horizontally for each foot vertically beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the primary surface and the approach zones, and extending to a height of 150 feet above the airport elevation, which is 4,197 feet above mean sea level.
(2) 
In addition to the foregoing, there are established height limits sloping upward and outward seven feet horizontally for each foot vertically beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as the approach zones and extending to where they intersect the conical surface. Where the precision instrument runway approach zone projects beyond the conical zone, height limits sloping upward and outward seven feet horizontally for each foot vertically shall be maintained beginning at the sides of and at the same elevation as precision instrument runway approach surface, and extending to a horizontal distance of 5,000 feet measured at 90° angles to the extended runway center line.
D. 
Horizontal zone: 150 feet above the airport elevation or a height of 4,347 feet above mean sea level.
E. 
Conical zone: slopes upward and outward 20 feet horizontally for each foot vertically beginning at the periphery of the horizontal zone and at 150 feet above the airport elevation and extending to a height of 350 feet above the airport elevation.
F. 
Excepted height limitations. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting the growth, construction, or maintenance of any tree or structure to a height up to 50 feet above the surface of the land.
G. 
Conflicting height limitations. Where an area is covered by more than one height limitation, the more restrictive limitation shall prevail.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, no use may be made of land within any zone established by this chapter in such a manner as to create electrical interference with navigational signals or radio communication between the airport and the aircraft, make it difficult for pilots to distinguish between airport lights and others, result in glare in the eyes of pilots using the airport, impair visibility in the vicinity of the airport or otherwise in any way create a hazard or endanger the landing, takeoff, or maneuvering of aircraft intending to use the airport.
A. 
Regulations not retroactive. The regulations prescribed in this chapter shall not be construed to require the removal, lowering, or other changes or alterations of any structure or tree not conforming to the regulations as of the effective date of this chapter, or otherwise interfere with the continuance of a nonconforming use. Nothing contained herein shall require any change in the construction, alteration, or intended use of any structure, the construction or alteration of which was begun prior to the effective date of this chapter, and is diligently prosecuted.
B. 
Marking and lighting. Notwithstanding the preceding provision of this section, the owner of any nonconforming structure or tree is hereby required to permit the installation, operation and maintenance thereon of such markers and lights as shall be deemed necessary by the administrative agency to indicate to the operators of aircraft in the vicinity of the airport the presence of such airport hazards. Such markers and lights shall be installed, operated, and maintained at the expense of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico.
A. 
Future uses.
(1) 
Except as specifically provided in Subsection A(1)(a), (b) and (c) hereunder, no material change shall be made in the use of the land, and no structure or tree shall be erected, altered, planted or otherwise established in any zone hereby created unless a permit therefor shall have been applied for and granted. Each application for a permit shall indicate the purposes for which the permit is desired, with sufficient particularity to permit it to be determined whether the resulting use, structure or tree would conform to the regulations herein prescribed. If such determination is in the affirmative, the permit shall be granted.
(a) 
In the area lying within the limits of the horizontal zone and the conical zone, but not within the limits of a precision instrument or nonprecision approach zone or transition zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 150 feet of vertical height above the airport elevation, except when, because of terrain, land contour or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limits prescribed for such zones.
(b) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the nonprecision instrument approach zone, but at a horizontal distance of not less than 2,500 feet from each end of the runways, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the established airport elevation, except when, because of terrain, land contour or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limits prescribed for such zones.
(c) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the precision instrument approach zone, but at a horizontal distance of not less than 3,750 feet from each end of the runways, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the established airport elevation, except when, because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features, such tree or structure would extend above the height limits prescribed for such zone.
(d) 
In the areas lying within the limits of the transition zones beyond the perimeter of the horizontal zone, no permit shall be required for any tree or structure less than 75 feet of vertical height above the ground, except when such tree or structure because of terrain, land contour, or topographic features would extend above the height limit prescribed for such transition zones.
(2) 
Nothing contained in any of the foregoing exceptions shall be construed as permitting or intending to permit any construction, alteration, or growth of any structure or tree in excess of any of the height limits established by this chapter except as set forth in § 100-4.
B. 
Existing uses. No permit shall be granted that would allow the establishment or creation of an airport hazard or permit a nonconforming use, structure or tree to become a greater hazard to air navigation than it was on the effective date of this chapter or any amendments thereto, or than it was when the application for a permit is made. Except as indicated, all applications for such a permit shall be granted.
C. 
Nonconforming uses abandoned or destroyed. Whenever the administrative agency determines that a nonconforming tree or structure has been abandoned or more than 80% torn down, physically deteriorated, or decayed, no permit shall be granted that would allow such structure or tree to extend the applicable height limit or otherwise deviate from the zoning regulations.
D. 
Variances. Any person desiring to erect or increase the height of any structure, or permit the growth of any tree, or use his property not in accordance with the regulations prescribed in this chapter, may apply to the Board of Appeals for a variance from such regulations. Such variances shall be allowed where it is duly found that a literal application or enforcement of the regulations would result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and relief granted would not be contrary to the public interests, but will do substantial justice and be in accordance with the spirit of this chapter.
E. 
Hazard marking and lighting. Any permit or variance granted may, if such action is deemed advisable to effectuate the purpose of this chapter and be reasonable in the circumstances, be so conditioned as to require the owner of the structure or tree in question to permit the City of Alamogordo, at its own expense, to install, operate and maintain thereon, such markers and lights as may be necessary to indicate to pilots the presence of an airport hazard.
The governing body of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, is hereby designated the administrative agency or administrative officer. It shall be the duty of the administrative agency or officer to administer or enforce the regulations prescribed herein. Applications for permits shall be made to the administrative agency upon a form furnished by it. Applications required by this chapter to be submitted to the administrative agency shall be promptly considered and granted or denied by it. Applications for action by the Board of Appeals shall be forthwith transmitted by the administrative agency.
A. 
There is hereby created a Board of Appeals to exercise the following powers:
(1) 
To hear and decide appeals from any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the administrative agency or officer in the enforcement of this chapter.
(2) 
To hear and decide special exceptions to the terms of this chapter upon which such Board of Appeals under such regulations may be required to pass.
(3) 
To hear and decide specific variances. The Alamogordo-Otero County Airport Zoning Board is hereby designated and appointed the Board of Appeals.
B. 
The Board of Appeals shall adopt rules for its governance and procedure in harmony with the provisions of this chapter. Meetings of the Board shall be held at the call of the Chairman and at such other times as the Board of Appeals may determine. The Chairman, or in his absence, the acting Chairman, may administer oaths and compel the attendance of witnesses. All hearings of the Board shall be published. The Board shall keep minutes of its proceedings showing the vote of each member upon each question, or his absence or failure to vote, indicating such fact, and shall keep records of its examinations and other official actions, all of which shall immediately be filed in the office of the administrative agency and shall be a public record.
C. 
The Board of Appeals shall make written findings of fact and conclusions of law giving the facts upon which it acted and its legal conclusion from such fact in reversing, affirming, or modifying any order, requirement, decision, or determination which comes before it under the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
The concurring vote of a majority of the members of the Board shall be sufficient to reverse an order, requirement, decision or determination of the administrative agency or decide in favor of the applicant upon any matter in which it is required to pass under this chapter or to effect any variation in this chapter.
A. 
Any person aggrieved, or any taxpayer affected, by any decision of the administrative agency made in its administration of this chapter may appeal to the Board of Appeals.
B. 
All appeals hereunder must be taken within a reasonable time as provided by the rules of the Board of Appeals, by filing with the administrative agency a notice of appeal specifying the grounds thereof. The administrative agency shall forthwith transmit to the Board of Appeals all the papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.
C. 
An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the administrative agency certifies to the Board, after the notice of appeal has been filed with it, that by reason of the fact stated in the certificate a stay would, in its opinion, cause imminent peril to life or property. In such case, proceedings shall not be stayed except by order of the Board on notice to the agency from which the appeal is taken and on due cause shown.
D. 
The Board of Appeals shall fix a reasonable time for hearing appeals, give public notice and due notice to the parties in interest, and decide the same within a reasonable time. Upon the hearing, any party may appear in person or by an agent or by an attorney.
E. 
The Board of Appeals may, in conformity with the provisions of this chapter, reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or modify the order, requirement, decision or determination appealed from, and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
Any person aggrieved, or any taxpayer affected by any decision of the Board of Appeals, may appeal to the District Court as provided in NMSA 1953, § 14-40-21.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now NMSA 1978, § 3-39-23.
Each violation of this chapter or of any regulation, order, or ruling promulgated hereunder shall constitute a misdemeanor and be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment, and each day a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense as provided by NMSA 1953, § 14-40-22.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now NMSA 1978, § 3-39-24.
Where there exists a conflict between any one of the regulations or limitations described in this chapter, and any other regulations applicable to the same area, whether the conflict be with respect to the height of the structure or trees, the use of land, or any other matter, the more stringent limitation or requirement shall govern and prevail.