THE INITIATIVE CONSISTS OF TWO PARTS:
1) This initiative will prevent proliferation, noise, pollution and accidents as well as the establishment of helicopter taxi services as in other communities.Private use helicopter landings and take offs to and from residences would increasingly impact the Napa valley quality of life as it has in other most desirable parts of the country and the world.
While we value our property rights we must respect those of our neighbors who are entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of their properties. Such relations are those we have come to treasure in the Napa valley. An environment free of neighborhood helicopter nuisance will continue to keep our county desirable and protect our property values.
As a recent private heliport application has shown, this one use permit has taken up 20% of the Planning Commission’s annual hearings and over 1,100 hours of county staff work. The entire neighborhood spent over 3,000 hours preparing and attending these hearings and has spent thousands of dollars in reviewing documents.
Residents who can afford a helicopter may use our two public use airports at both ends of the valley in Napa and Angwin. This is why they are there.
2) Helicopter landings and take offs at vineyards for “direct agricultural production such as aerial spraying and frost protection” are currently permitted by this language in the Code. While the Code permits landings for aerial operations, it has been abused by many wineries by transporting consultants, executives and investors who by definition are only indirectly involved with agricultural production.
It has also been abused by transporting visitors, which is specifically prohibited, but impossible to independently monitor and enforce.
This initiative continues to protect landings and take offs at vineyards for aerial operations but only if they are “unavoidable”. Equipment and supplies for such aerial operations may be picked up at our two public use airports.