Peace and quiet: Amusement complaints flood local leaders' desks

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Complaints against a local helicopter tour company are flooding the desks of some Horry County Council members, and now one is demanding the resignation of a top official.

The complaint, from a Myrtle Beach resident who wishes to stay anonymous, alleges Horry County Planning Director Janet Carter "did not exercise the ability to know when to consult her resources. It is because of her poor judgment and lack of 'outside the box' thinking that we believe [she] should be relieved of her duties as director of planning."

It was just one of more than 200 emails received since late May by Horry County Councilman Brent Schulz and other county councilmen.

"They want to know what the county is doing because they can't sleep at night," Schulz explained. "They can't have a quiet meal for dinner. Their whole life has been turned upside down."

Schulz says some county officials are considering the idea of a noise study to validate the dozens of complaints involving Helicopter Adventures. Right now, Schulz says he's waiting to hear what hiring an independent consultant would entail and how much money would have to front for the project.

"I think an independent study would be a good thing, because [the county] isn't doing it, the helicopter company's not doing it... it's done independently so we can use it. They will go all around the site."

While the county eyes up a possible noise study, people living in the area may have to wait for answers involving a zoning appeal filed with the county. Carter told WMBF News by phone on Tuesday a lawyer representing Helicopter Adventures has filed a deferral.

The appeal and complaints were expected to be discussed at a meeting next month.

The owner of Helicopter Adventures tells WMBF News he has done everything to try to improve the situation.

"I'm here as a good neighbor - willing to do anything I possibly can to assist in trying to identify what we can to better facilitate the next door neighbors," Freddie Rick previously told WMBF News.

A spokeswoman for Horry County says "There are no zoning requirements with regard to hours of operation or flights per day. Therefore, no information pertaining to those was submitted."

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