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Yanks Air Museum still flying

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 5th, 2008

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Monterey County Board of Supervisors granted a four-year extension to Charles Nichols and the Yanks Air Museum. The Yanks museum has been in the planning since 1994 since Nichols submitted the application for a Combined Development Permit (CDP). In 1988 Nichols purchased the 440 acres that the museum will set on.

The project, which will be completed in phases, has been delayed as Nichols has pursued permits and project study reports. On the 28th the project would have been placed in limbo if the Board of Supervisors had voted not to extend the project.

Without the support of nearly 20 residents, business leaders and city officials, including Mayor John Huerta, Yolanda Teneyuque, Paul Mugan, Don Chapin, Christina Kemp and many others who spoke out to the Board of Supervisors, the board may have voted against it. But with Supervisor Simon Salinas' motion for the extension, and the second it received, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to grant the extension to start construction.

The Board of Supervisors also decided not to have Nichols place a $1 million bond on the property, but there was a modification to that plans to include a 200-foot buffer between parking and the Ag land owned by Franscioni-Griva Corp., which is located south of the project.

The Yanks Air Museum will be home to over 160 aircraft when completed and is being compared to the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a draw for tourist and as Mayor Huerta stated is an essential part of the cities efforts grow. The project when completed with employ between 300 and 400 jobs.

Included in the project are a hotel with 150 rooms and spa, an 80-space RV park, it's own airport and aircraft storage, a winery with tasting room, gas station and retail facilities, restaurant, and an amphitheater.

The Yanks Air Museum is located in Chino at this time but will be relocated to Greenfield.

Now, after 10 years, the door remains open for Nichols to secure the permits he needs with Caltrans. With the sewage and water already in place for the project they will be able to start production in the next couple years.

Though it is years away, Greenfield will have vintage airplanes patrolling the skies. For a peek at concept photos, go to http://www.yanksair.com/future-2.htm

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