Editorial: Residents Speak Out: Helicopter Issue Decided By Council

By / Editorials / الأربعاء, 11 كانون2/يناير 2017 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The January 10th, Carolina Beach Town Council meeting was standing-room only with many citizens hoping the Council would finally vote to prohibit helicopter operations in Town. (See report on page 1-A...)
A large crowd of people attended the meeting to voice their opinion on whether or not to prohibit commercial helicopter operations in any zoning district and to allow helicopter operations in the (HB) Highway Business District only with an approved special event permit.
The issue began in 2015 when High Tide Helicopters of Oak Island, NC, offered tours over Pleasure Island during the Memorial Day weekend. That generated a large number of complaints from area residents.
In May of 2016, Jessica Ward of High Tide Helicopters, spoke to the Council about the benefit of bringing helicopter tours to the Town and it's positive impacts on the tourism based economy.
The residents spoke out against that idea in May. Then the Planning Commission was tasked to consider permitting commercial aircraft operations off Dow Road.
They voted against that proposal. Then Council tasked the Planning Commission with considering the same issue again with the addition of a new ordinance allowing limited helicopter landings in commercial areas. They voted against that idea.
Which brings us to Tuesday  night. Finally, after many months of controversy, the Council voted to prohibit helicopter operations.
Regardless of which side you're on, at least the issue is settled... for now. Residents organized, made their voices heard and the Council listened.

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