Judge rules in favor of Helicopter Adventures to stay open

Published: Jan. 31, 2013 at 4:46 AM EST
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) An Horry County judge has ruled in favor of continuing to allow a Broadway at the Beach attraction to continue operating, but neighbors who live near the attraction aren't happy.

From its first flight in 2012, people who live in the Plantation Point neighborhood have made complaints about the Helicopter Adventures attraction that sits off 21st Avenue North in Myrtle Beach.

First a zoning board sided with the people and stated the facility isn't an allowed use in the zoning district. But, Helicopter Adventures appealed that decision and on January 16th, a judge ruled in favor of Helicopter Adventures. In a court document obtained by WMBF News, the judge stated the board made an error of law in interpreting Section 712 of the Horry County Zoning Ordinance to exclude a helicopter sight-seeing tour facility as a permitted use within the Amusement Commercial District.

Now Plantation Point residents said they've already taken the next step in legal action.

"There's actually a motion before the judge right now to reconsider and if the judge doesn't reconsider this and rule in our favor our choices are to go on to the appellate court," Plantation Point Resident Rick Hinde said.

Hinde said Helicopter Adventures has been more than simply a nuisance since it started operating.

"It's an ongoing fatigue that just doesn't go away. It would be like your neighbor starting up his Harley ever two minutes and you had a zero lot line and revving up his motor from eight o'clock in the morning to eleven o'clock in the summertime," Hinde said.

Other Plantation Point homeowners said they'll argue that the business is a heliport and that aviation interests are not mentioned as approved uses in the zoning code. Hinde said the attraction also brings property values down during a time that's already hard to sell a home.

"I think there's a lot of people that aren't gonna be able to live with this," Hinde said.

Helicopter Adventures Owner Freddie Rick said he's happy with the judge's decision.

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