County officials taking another look at helicopter ride noise

Schulz said he believes building plans for the attraction, passed by staff of the Horry County Planning and Zoning Department, may have been zoned improperly.
Schulz said he believes building plans for the attraction, passed by staff of the Horry County Planning and Zoning Department, may have been zoned improperly.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) Horry County Officials are scheduled to take another look at the noise some say is created by a newly opened helicopter ride attraction.

Horry County Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chair Brent Schulz told WMBF News Tuesday he has been flooded with emails and calls from residents living near the Helicopter Adventures company on 21st Avenue in Myrtle Beach, complaining about noise from the attraction.

"The response has been extremely negative," Schulz said.  "There are a lot of people that are very upset right now."

Schulz said he believes building plans for the attraction, passed by staff of the Horry County Planning and Zoning Department, may have been zoned improperly.

"The [Helicopter Adventures] property is zoned as amusement park commercial," Schulz said.  "That would be all the uses you would find in an amusement park, and might include a tavern, a bar, a pier, a deck; a lot uses that, in my opinion are not compatible with a heliport."

Helicopter Adventures Owner Freddie Rick said he is caught between a rock and hard place, having done everything he was instructed to by the Horry County Planning and Zoning Department.

"We've just done everything we possibly know how to do to make sure we dotted the Is and crossed the Ts," Rick said.

During a phone call Tuesday, Horry County Planning and Zoning Director Janet Carter said she has reviewed the process by which Helicopter Adventures was approved within her department, and believes the process was carried out correctly.  Carter also said she hopes Thursday's Public Safety Committee Meeting will be an opportunity for all parties involved to voice their grievances and try to brainstorm solutions.

Ashley Gentry, a homeowner in the Plantation Lake neighborhood near Helicopter Adventures, said she believes the attraction is a nuisance and worries it could lower property values in the area.  Gentry said plans to take legal action if Thursday's Public Safety Meeting does not yield the result she is hoping for.

"I've already talked to a lawyer," Gentry said. "My next step is to file an injunction, I mean it's just crazy they're allowed to do this so close to a residential area."

Thursday's Horry County Public Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to take place at noon at the Horry County Government and Justice Center in Conway.

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