Helicopter tour biz denied zoning exception for Windy Hill location

June 11, 2015 (North Myrtle Beach, SC) — North Myrtle Beach’s Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously voted to deny a  zoning exception requested by a helicopter tour business. The business wanted to have several helicopters taking off and landing at a site near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Windy Hill Road. The Sun News reports that “About a hundred residents attended the Thursday night meeting at city hall, with several speaking against the business’ request.”

The Board is allowed to grant exceptions for rides in harmony with the surrounding area. Nearby residents cited noise and potential for distracted drivers on U.S. 17 as reason enough to conclude that the business would not be in harmony with the area. The S.C. Aeronautics Commission, in a letter to a North Myrtle Beach senior city planner, characterized the proposed land use as incompatible with Grand Strand Airport and concluded the helicopter business would pose “an unreasonable or unacceptable risk to aviation safety or to persons and property on the ground.” The letter cited interference with an airport runway, lack of FAA paperwork, and incompatible line of sight with Grand Strand Airport’s air traffic control tower as reasons to deny the exception

Ref: Claire Byun (The Sun News), “North Myrtle Beach votes against helicopter tour business near Windy Hill community, residents applaud“, Myrtle Beach Online, June 11, 2015

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