Spokane Co. sues man over use of private helipad

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Ryanb, Feb 20, 2020.

  1. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  2. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep, local ordinances and the state control helipads and their use.
     
  3. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    People need to mind their own dang business and let him use his own property how he sees fit.
     
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  4. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    As long as they don't seriously affect the neighbors' ability to enjoy their own property, of course.
     
  5. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    The owner needed to have consulted state law and local ordinances, first.
     
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  6. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Remember that when a company proposes a landfill near your house.
     
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  7. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Talk about apples to bananas.
     
  8. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    It's not. Land fill is just one example. What if your neighbor decides to erect a steel building in his back yard and start a manufacturing facility? Should you "just mind your own business"?

    Most people never consult local ordinances about LZ's. While some municipalities are silent on this, others have explicit laws. Also, there are lots of laws on the books that discuss "quiet enjoyment of property" rights.

    Bottom line, if someone wants a helipad in the backyard, it pays to do the research first.
     
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  9. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    It is, you are talking about starting a business on a residential property versus flying your own helicopter from your back yard in what appears to be a wooded area.
     
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  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    Doesn't matter. If the laws or zoning prevent the use, it's the same thing. Then you have that "quiet enjoyment of property".
     
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  11. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    So are you going to file a complaint if someone has a gas lawnmower? I would argue that's significantly more annoying than the occasional helicopter departing or arriving.
     
  12. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a helipad in my backyard a few years ago. I lived on 5 acres, and my pad ingress and egress was over a cattle pasture to my back. I consulted the local and state laws, which did not prevent me from having what is technically called a "heli stop". As long as it was used infrequent I was OK. But I also went to my next door neighbor and got his permission, as well as the owner of the cattle pasture. The rest of my property was surrounded by pine forest and thousands of feet from another owner.

    Putting a heliport in a residential area without consulting local laws as well as state laws, or getting permission from surrounding owners is just stupid, and invites what the OP story contains.
     
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  13. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    Where I grew up Lenard Tose (Philadelphia Eagles Owner) use to land his helicopter in his backyard... He did it one night and ****ed of Hope Scott (Scott Paper) while she was relaxing... the battle ensued and Tose lost the battle... Guess the Scott's had more money...

    Some real first world problems right there...
     
  14. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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  15. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Kind of depends on what the local ordinances actually state, and how they may try to apply them to a situation not specifically covered. Nothing like applying a statute like "quiet enjoyment of property" to restrict any loud noise for any period of time. Willing to ban the 8-10 minutes of helicopter noise for a departure a few times per week, but allowing a revving muscle car engine or noisy pool party. In many instances, it's the application of a statute not directly related to the offense, and trying to make apply as all-encompassing for any time someone is unhappy with another person's behavior.
     
  16. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    When you are in the helicopter business, the first thing you learn is not everyone likes helicopters. Another facet of owning/operating helicopters is realizing that just because you can land almost anywhere, you can't if the law or public doesn't want it.

    As a homeowner who has a place in his backyard to land his helicopter, and he decides to do this with disregard to ordinances or law, and disregard to his neighbors, and then gets popped by the local government, all I can say is good luck fighting it.
     
  17. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    This is the kind of baloney Washington decides to spend its money on? Nevermind the pedantics of a neighbor a few miles away in a wooded area who doesn't like helicopters (hello, can two people not settle things on their own anymore?), but states have bigger issues than this.. massive homeless populations, drug abuse, rising housing costs, etc.

    It's crazy.
     
  18. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Cleared for Takeoff

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    So should the state just tell the complainant to buzz off, helicopters are cool?

    Again, there's more to this than a short article is telling.
     
  19. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    First of all, this is a county not a state that filed.
    Second, the homeowner violated local ordinances.
    Third, the homeowner was told no by the FAA.

    So, the government should just ignore all of that?

    Tim
     
  20. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I live very close to a major hospital with a heliport. Give me a pool party or revving engine until midnight, over the random excursions of the helicopter at any and all hours.
     
  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Trying to avoid politics, and these things happen in my state / county - probably everywhere. But people shooting up drugs in the street is also illegal, and a bigger harm to the public health and safety overall than a noisy helicopter. If the county/state/whatever has a limited pool of resources, wouldn't it make sense to prioritize what they're going after. The dude with the helicopter coming and going from his home takes a lower tier of priority (I would think) then more pressing public safety issues. The resources to correct and prosecute all illegal actions is limited
     
  22. Skyrys62

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    Meet the Fokkers
    Depends on which side of the fence you're on.

    Story below from a real estate seminar..I have no proof if it's real, just passing along because I could see it happening and it illustrates another point... as does @Kenny Phillips post.

    Man builds a new apartment complex, and is having great business.
    City decides they are putting in an airport right next to it. He complains, they say suck eggs.
    A few months later, he's broke and trying to sell an empty property.

    So, you cannot decide to invade someone else's enjoyment of their property (which is subjective), while trying to enjoy yours, but the 'authorities' can invade everyone's because they decide to do so.

    It's really a catch 22, simply because we all like/want different things in a lot of respects.

    Anyhoo...
    to put a happy ending to the story (except for the seller, but in the end, he still he sold it).... another guy swoops in, buys the apartment complex at a major discount, adds some modifications, and now it's fully rented creating somewhat of a community for the hearing impaired, who could care less about the noise.

    Moral of the story: find a way to make your neighbors deaf if you want a heliport ;)

    But the real story is, there isn't enough room for everyone to have everything they want.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2020
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I'm sure there is, so a grain of salt is due

    I mean, maybe not so dismissively, but I mean... yeah kind of?
     
  24. G-Man

    G-Man Line Up and Wait

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    Using this article and situation as a harbinger - how will these issues play out in the not-too-distant future when the rumored predicted dozens of Urban Air Mobility electric autonomous VTOL taxis are landing and taking off in every suburban, near-urban, and urban neighborhood, with the frequency of today's cars going to work, school, grocery store and restaurants? How will people react?
     
  25. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Not well.
     
  26. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Tell the guy to buy the house next to you. I would be complaining if some idiot was operating a helicopter out of his back yard due to the noise.
     
  27. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

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    Guy 2 houses down has a Harley. It's a loud mf'er..especially the way he drives it.
    Totally legal even though the neighbors don't like it.

    Is there a major difference...other than the helicopter would be less frequent (supposedly).

    Also, major highway expansion going in at Henderson. Right through some properties. Gonna be loud as hell all day everyday.
    Personally, I'd take the private heliport over that any day.

    We're running out of room!
     
  28. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I would have absolutely no problem with it. Not like he is flying it 24/7. Certainly no worse than living in a neighborhood in the summer time to the constant drone of mower blades.
     
  29. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    If the yard were large enough that he could operate it safely, I'd use that as my initial bargaining position and settle for him operating it with my silence guaranteed by free helicopter rides :)
     
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  30. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    To be fair, a helicopter is just a tad bit noisier than a lawn mower, so it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but I get what you’re saying.
     
  31. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    To be fair, the amount of time when continuous noise was being produced by a helicopter is probably less than half of the time when a mower is being operated.
     
  32. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Interesting. Looking at online zoning maps for Spokane Valley, it appears his house is outside the planning zone. Or at lease, the city does not designate his property with a planning zone and it is certainly outside the city limits.
     
  33. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    My dream is to live at an air park surrounded by 50 airplanes, so no a single helicopter coming or going a few times a day at most would not in the least be a bother. Rides would be required though.
     
  34. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

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    I work with ordinances all of the time. Either follow the ordinance or change the ordinance. If he's outside the zoning, they can politely remove themselves from the situation. If his zoning doesn't allow it, request a variance.
     
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  35. Bell206

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    Funny thing is there are a number of localities that prohibit the use of gas powered lawnmowers and equipment between the certain hours. Not really a big stretch to exclude helicopters. While not exactly relevant, just look at the issues Bruce Willis ran into when he tried to build his "private runway" in Idaho. And he was out in the boonies.
     
  36. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Ah, there it is. It's on the county map as a Low Density Residential. Yeah, sorry guy, but your property is not zoned for a private heliport. It has to be one of the Resource Land Zones, LTA (Large Track Agricultural), STA (Small Track Agricultural), or F (Forest). And then only one helicopter is allowed.

    http://cp.spokanecounty.org/scout/map/?PID=44035.0306
     
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  37. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Cleared for Takeoff

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    Had a guy in our neighborhood doing the same thing... Couple next to us had twins and was expecting their third... every Saturday and Sunday he would roar it down the road and it wake them up from their naps... it was enough one day and she marched down to their house and complained.. we never heard that bike again...

    Some, not all, Harley people can be real jerks sometimes...
     
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  38. benyflyguy

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    I find it more interesting that he is listed as a student pilot according to the report.
     
  39. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    According to the airmen database, he is.
     
  40. benyflyguy

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    I imagine that will garner more curiosity from the FAA.