COLUMBIA — NASCAR driver Carl Edwards received permission Thursday night to build a private airstrip on his property on Turner Farm Road, 2 1/2 miles east of Columbia.
The Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission approved the airstrip by a 5-1 vote. The 506 acres of land on which the airstrip construction is planned is owned by Dubas LLC, which is owned by Edwards. Dubas LLC requested what is known as a conditional use permit, which is required to build the strip in an agricultural area.
The permit allows the development of an unlit airstrip with a maximum length of 2,850 feet. The airstrip could be used three days each week with no more than 10 operations per day.
Edwards said he plans to develop a grass airstrip to use for his small jet and said the use would be “infrequent.”
Issues discussed included the general welfare of neighbors and potential interference with their lives; the effect on property values, traffic and nearby facilities; and adherence to current zoning regulations.
Edwards joked that the airstrip would keep him off the road and “would actually be safer for the flow of traffic.”
Five neighboring landowners spoke in favor of the airstrip. One neighbor not present at the hearing voiced opposition in a letter because of a lack of communication. Edwards said company representatives spoke with all neighbors Wednesday night, after that letter was sent.