Life in the Vicinity of Luke Air Force Base

Once upon a time there were two Air Force bases in the Phoenix metro area – Williams AFB on the east side near Higley (an area, which best I can tell, has been swallowed whole) and Luke AFB on the west side adjacent to Glendale. These two bases seemed untouchable, at least until two decades ago when the Air Force eliminated several bases across America, including Willy.

Base closures can be devastating for the local community from the loss of jobs to the loss of residents and the ancillary business that goes with the base. Encroachment from residential development ultimately doomed Willy and so the state legislature, led by the late Ned King, pushed not only to protect some land around the base but also to tighten disclosure requirements about the existence of the base.

In theory, if someone signed a piece of paper that said they were told about the base, they wouldn’t be able to complain about the base later. (Not that this strategy has worked; new residents to the West Valley ask why someone would place an Air Force base in a residential neighborhood, conveniently ignoring that a base in use during World War II easily outdates most everything else in this area.)

This is the Luke Air Force Base disclosure map (click on the map to view a larger version):

If you’re just about anywhere in the Northwest Valley you’re going to hear the jets. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re technically in the disclosure area, which is represented by the purple rectangle. Westbrook Village, for instance, has some overflights but because of the altitude of the planes and the comparatively lower noise levels, it’s just outside the notification area.

So what’s a buyer to do? Ask your agent if you’re inside the notification zone, if they haven’t told you about the presence of the base already. And, if all else fails, look to the skies when you here the engines roar.

About Jonathan

Jonathan Dalton is a 30-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.