North Myrtle Beach residents speak against new helicopter busine - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

North Myrtle Beach residents speak against new helicopter business

NMB residents speak out during public input NMB residents speak out during public input
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The public has been heard after many North Myrtle Beach residents spoke against a proposed helicopter business. A unanimous vote to disapprove the business was met by the city's Board of Zoning Appeals.

The North Myrtle Beach City Hall was a packed house Thursday evening. No one in the room, from the public, showed favor for the Florida-based helicopter business, despite the business claiming the helicopters would be less noise than normal traffic on Kings Highway.

The area the new helicopter business aimed for is off of Highway 17, near the Barefoot Resort and next to the Horry County State Bank. 

Though the vote was unanimous to turn down the new helicopter tour business, those behind it say they still feel there is no better place for it to take flight. It was standing room only during the meeting. A sign Steve Powell, President of Venture Engineering, knew would lead to an uphill battle. 

"When I arrived and saw there was a large group of people, and the issues came and they didn't leave, I figured they were here to oppose ours. And in a situation like that, it's difficult to ask any board, commission, council, to vote in your favor," Powell explained. 

Powell represents the man behind the helicopter business out of Orlando, Florida, Carroll Rogers. Powell says the business is very successful, but Thursday night's crowd seemed to have one mindset. 

"We just don't want it, it will be noisy, a mess, the people right behind it, surely do not want the noise. It would make life miserable. So that's what I have to say: no way!" one woman said. 

Powell tried to respond to each concern, and explained the helicopters wouldn't be any louder than the daily traffic on Highway 17, but many brought up other concerns, including how close helicopters would take off from the bank next door, and how close they would be to cars on the road.

"Being distracted by sudden noises, winds, and so forth, it's...you know, I can see a kid yelling out the window, 'Look Dad!' and you look and the next thing you know you have an accident, we have too many accidents now, it's just, it's just not worth it," Linda Morrison said. 

Board members agreed the helicopter business would not be appropriate and feared property values would go down, but Powell has faith the helicopter tours bring something unique to the area: pre-destined hour-long tours, and he isn't convinced his client will give up just yet.

"We'll continue to work, and see if we can make that happen," Powell said.

Before they pursue this again, Powell says they will be working to answer each of tonight's concerns more directly, and figure out what they need to do to get the okay from the aeronautical commission.

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