Inglewood, CA – December 1, 2005 – After several months of mediation with attorneys from Inglewood and four other jurisdictions that filed a lawsuit against the LAX Master Plan, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced the proposed settlement agreement, joined by Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn and elected officials and officers from each petitioning agency. Though the proposed settlement is subject to review by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and approval by each jurisdiction, the agreement provides great benefits for Inglewood residents impacted by airplane noise and includes provisions to award the City’s residential sound insulation program with several million dollars to continue its aggressive efforts to mitigate airplane noise on eligible Inglewood homes.
The proposed settlement agreement earmarks $240 million for Petitioners in the lawsuit through the year 2015 to enhance and accelerate their existing sound insulation programs. Slightly more than $7 million is slated to be immediately released for Inglewood’s program since the funds, though approved almost a year ago, were held due to the lawsuit. Inglewood residents’ most troubling concern for receiving LAWA funds for sound insulation was a requirement to sign an avigation easement, an agreement to grant LAWA the right to impact and over-fly their property in exchange for sound insulation. The proposed settlement eliminates the easement requirement, except in instances where State law requires an easement.
In the LAX Master Plan review process, Inglewood residents and community leaders voiced a number of concerns about LAX providing training opportunities for unemployed and underemployed individuals, as well as internships for young people at the local high schools. The proposed settlement addresses both concerns, with $500,000 allocated over five years for job training, and a commitment to allow Inglewood students to participate in the LAX Gateway student internship program.
Most significantly, the settlement agreement re-instates a historical Memorandum of Understanding that the City of Inglewood signed with LAWA in February 2001 that included a number of provisions to study, design and implement further mitigating measures within the City.
“The funds proposed as part of the settlement are based on performance, meaning the ability of the agency to utilize the funds to insulate homes,” said Mayor Dorn. “I appreciate this requirement because I know the City of Inglewood has one of the most advanced Residential Sound Insulation Programs in the country and we are staffed and trained to initiate sound insulation construction at an aggressive pace if we have proper funding.”
Of the approximately 39,000 housing units in the City of Inglewood, 25 percent or almost 10,000 homes fall within the most heavily noise impacted areas, average noise of 65db and above. It has been determined that 8,700 of these homes are eligible for sound insulation grant funds provided by LAWA and FAA. Since 1998, when the City established its Residential Sound Insulation Division, more than 1,750 homes have been sound insulated, and the City has received $56 million in sound insulation funds from 1998 – 2004. An additional 2,000 homes are presently in the design or pre-construction stage, leaving approximately 4900 eligible homeowners to be invited to participate in the program.
On average, each home sound insulated receives almost $33,000 in improvements. Sound insulation construction modifications include replacement of existing windows and exterior doors with acoustic grade window and door products; installation of a central air conditioning system; addition of attic insulation plus a number of other measures that help to reduce the transmission of aircraft noise into the home.