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No more private helipads for Wasatch County

The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.
Rob Winder
The Wasatch County administration building in Heber City.

Private helipads will no longer be permitted in Wasatch County.

The Wasatch County Council voted unanimously against allowing the future construction of helicopter landing pads on private property during its meeting Wednesday, April 18.

The county adopted rules about helipads for private use about 15 years ago, and according to county planners, only a couple of applications have been submitted since. Until now, residents have had to apply for conditional use permits to have landing pads.

But the issue came to a head last year, when Trevor Milton, a local billionaire famous for defrauding investors in his electric semi-truck company, applied for a helipad permit after neighbors complained about his unauthorized flying.

That application was denied, and the county council asked the planning commission to reconsider whether helipads should be allowed at all.

At Wednesday’s hearing, county planner Doug Smith said helicopters affect all the neighbors in the area.

“The noise of a helicopter flight path impacts not only the immediate surrounding neighbors, but everyone along the typical flight path,” he said.

Councilmember Erik Rowland noted that if helipads are banned, the county could respond to noise complaints if flights continue.

“This helicopter owner could still be landing on his property, he just won’t have a helipad,” he said. “And then this is now an issue of noise complaints that we could enforce.”

Under the county’s new rule, existing helipads can still be used. All other helicopters will need to land at the airport.

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