Arizona Home Buyers Sue Developer Over Lack of Disclosure on Airport Noise

MAY 1999

Twenty-seven homeowners who live four miles from the end of the Williams Gateway Airport runway, near Phoenix, Arizona, are suing Pulte Homes for failing to tell them how busy the former Air Force Base would be. The suit accuses Pulte of fraud, consumer fraud, negligence and misrepresentation and seeks unspecified compensation for diminished property value.

Residents allege in their suit that in literature about the development, Pulte simply said the airport was closed. Pulte's disclosure reports to the Arizona Department of Real Estate say: "The Williams Air Force Base has been closed as an armed forces facility. The flight paths were over the subdivision when the base was open, but are not now."

"Pulte was well aware of the airport and knew it was going to affect the value of the property, and potentially the health of those residents -- and didn't disclose that," said Richard Mack.

The former air base was closed in 1991 and reopened as Williams Gateway Airport in 1994. The former base now houses the Arizona State University-East campus, a flight school operated by the University of North Dakota, and numerous aviation activities, including repeated "touch-and-go" training flights. Williams Gateway officials estimate the airport currently hosts nearly 200,000 annual operations and is expected to increase that traffic count to 300,000 by 2005.

Source: California Pilots Association Newsletter