OGDEN -- The Weber County Commission approved the first heliport in the Ogden Valley during its weekly Tuesday morning meeting.
The commissioners approval came after real estate developer Tom Charlwood appealed a six-month probationary period imposed by the Ogden Valley Planning Commission for a heliport sought for Green Hill Country Estates.
The commission heard complaints from residents and a report from the planning commission, but decided that Charlwood had followed the ordinance guidelines.
"He has met the requirements the ordinance has set for this," Commissioner Jan Zogmaister said, "so why are we holding him up?"
On Jan. 3, the Weber County Commission approved an ordinance adjusting zoning laws to allow heliports off of the valley floor in destination and resort zones and forest-40 zones.
That same day Charlwood submitted an application for a conditional-use permit to put a heliport on a 78-acre parcel of land at 1600 N. Maple St., near Huntsville.
The application asked to use the property as a pick-up and drop-off point for heli-skiing operations.
The permit allowed the site to be used three days a week, during daylight hours, with no more than 10 flights a day.
By allowing the heliport, Charlwood hoped interested buyers would be introduced to available lots on the property.
The Ogden Valley Planning Commission first examined the application Jan. 24 and again Feb. 28, looking at the heliport's impact on safety, noise, dust and wildlife.
Noise was a major issue for opponents of the heliport.
The commissioners said they originally did not set up decibel guidelines in the ordinance because problematic noise levels can be subjective.
"A problem is, we have a condition that is an opinion of whoever is hearing it," Commissioner Craig Dearden said.
After testimony from the planning commission, Charlwood and opposing residents, the commissioners decided to approve the application, citing the fact that Charlwood had followed all of the ordinance's guidelines.
"That is actually the main reason it was approved when we looked at it," Commissioner Kerry Gibson said. "It met all of the requirements."
In the future, heli-skiing operations can pick up and drop off interested parties from December through April from the heliport.