--OVPC Appears to be Near Completion of Its Work
Tuesday evening October 4th (in a work session limited by lack of a quorum) the Ogden Valley Planning Commission (OVPC) continued its work toward establishing a rational policy for the permitting of helicopter landing sites in the Ogden Valley. Since a quorum was not present, no official decisions (nor even “official” discussions) could occur; however, Mr. Robert Scott (Director of Planning), three OVPC commissioners, Mr. Sean Wilkinson (County Planner), Mr. Cobalt Stromberg (Director of Planning for Snow Basin), and valley citizens Dave Holmstrom, Steve Clark, and Lee Schussman had a productive, informal discussion of some of the important aspects of the heliport issue.
Official discussions and decisions will have to wait until the next OVPC meeting later this month. However, these are some of the key items that were discussed by the above individuals and about which there seemed to be consensus:
1. Heliport designation should be removed from CV-2 zoning.
2. Heliports should not be placed in any locations on the valley floor. It was initially proposed that establishing a minimal elevation of 6200 feet could accomplish this, but it was then discussed that 6300 feet would likely be a better minimum elevation.
3. The Weber County Commissioners are not able to set or enforce limits on either helicopter flight paths or numbers of flights. However, Weber County is responsible for and is authorized to issue CUPs so as to carefully and wisely site heliports.
4. In order to mitigate safety and noise issues, all heliports should be located away from dwellings and other sensitive areas. Toward this end, helicopter landing sites should likely be limited to F-40 or RDD-1 zones.
We have come a long way in the last 18 months. (Please see previous articles on this web site re the helicopter issue.) All valley citizens should be aware of and appreciative of the large amounts of work that have been put in by the OVPC and by the Weber County Planning Office (especially Mr. Sean Wilkinson).
The OVPC is now very close to recommending to the Weber County Commissioners a rational, well thought-out policy. That policy appears to be one that would allow CUPs for helicopter landings and take offs in select sites only in F-40 or RDD-1 zones above 6300 feet. Hopefully that policy will be finalized at the next OVPC later this month.