A Final Resolution of The Heliport Issue Should Be NearGuest Post by Lee Schussman, Eden
On Tuesday, November 22, 2011, the Ogden Valley Planning Commission (OVPC) met and voted unanimously on a number of changes in the Weber County zoning ordinances. These changes will have a dramatic, positive effect in helping to maintain the life style that we enjoy in the Ogden Valley while at the same time providing for the proper siting of commercial heliports in the Valley.
The OVPC voted unanimously to:
1- Remove “heliport” from the CV-2 zoning areas. (All CV-2 areas are on the Valley floor.)
2- Place “heliport” in the zoning ordinances in F-40 (40 acre “forest” areas) and DRR-1 (ski resort) zones.
3- Stipulate that, in those F-40 and DRR zones, all heliports must be located above 6200 feet elevation.
3- Establish setback and building conditions to help mitigate the noise and dust problems and to improve safety issues when CUPs are granted for commercial heliports in those F-40 and DRR-1 zones.
These changes will remove all commercial heliports from the Ogden Valley floor, place them in the most appropriate places (forest or resort areas), and do what is reasonably possible to mitigate the negative effects of their use on the surrounding areas.
The processes for these zoning changes began over 18 months ago. There were, at first, contentious, emotional, and even angry public comments and debates. These were followed by many months of hard work on the part of our OVPC, Mr. Sean Wilkinson, Planner in the Weber County Planning Office, and Ogden Valley residents. This work resulted in a number of well-thought-out compromises and policies.
Ogden Valley residents owe our OVPC (Commissioner Kevin Parson, Chair; Commissioners Laura Warburton, John Howell, Penton Hollist, Dennis Montgomery, Ann Miller, Greg Graves-–all of whom serve voluntarily) and Mr. Sean Wilkinson of the Planning Office our sincere thanks and appreciation for tackling and solving this very complicated issue.
In the near future, the Weber County Commissioners will need to consider, hopefully accept, and then vote these changes into the zoning laws. When they do, it will complete a process that will allow the legitimate use of commercial heliports while balancing that use with the good of the community.