Conditional Use Permit for the Red Moose Lodge Heliport

The following status report by Sean Wilkinson, Weber County Planning Dept. was submitted to the Ogden Valley Planning Commission at their April 26 meeting:


On February 23, 2010, a conditional use application for a heliport at the Red Moose Lodge was tabled for 60 days to allow the applicant time to address the following four issues:


1. Refueling operations from the public road.
2. Input from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) regarding wildlife impacts.
3. Evaluation of flight paths for safety, noise, and wildlife concerns.
4. The effects of regular (week long) flight operations instead of occasional (once or twice per week) flight
operations.


Staff has worked with the applicant over the past 60 days to address these issues, but staff has not received all of the
necessary information to place this application back on the Planning Commission agenda for a decision. The following
is a list of what has been addressed and what information is still needed:


1. The refueling operations no longer take place from the public road. All refueling is now conducted on private
property. Appropriate safety regulations are required for refueling operations.


2. Staff has sent appropriate application information to the State Resource Development Coordinating
Committee (RDCC). The RDCC passes the information to various state agencies (including the DWR) for
review and response. Any responses are then sent from the RDCC back to staff. No responses have been
received yet, but the time period in which agencies can respond is still open.


3. Staff has discussed alternate flight paths with the applicant, but nothing has been officially proposed. The
applicant must address this issue for the application to be placed back on the Planning Commission agenda.
In addition to alternate flight paths, the applicant has discussed other locations for a heliport in the Ogden
Valley.


4. This item has not yet been addressed by the applicant.


In addition to working on these items, staff has continued to research heliport regulations and other operations around the state, including attending a meeting between Summit County Planning Staff and helicopter operators regarding some of the same issues associated with this application. Staff has received confirmation from Lewis Olson of the FAA that the heliport is not subject to Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR) Part 157, which requires a Notice of Landing AreaProposal to be submitted.


Since the February 23rd Planning Commission meeting staff has received several phone calls and letters from Ogden
Valley property owners addressing this application. The letters are attached. Several of the letters address a situation
where the helicopter was observed flying until nearly 8:00 PM on a Saturday. The applicant explained to staff that
there were some fatigued skiers who required emergency attention and this was the reason for the late flights on that
evening.


Staff recommends that this application remain tabled until the four issues can be adequately addressed. If the
Planning Commission desires a work session in the mean time to further discuss these issues, or other issues related to the application, staff is happy to accommodate this request. The work session can be held on Tuesday June 8th. The
work session will also include a summary of information that Commissioner Siegel learned in speaking with
representatives from the National Helicopter Association at the American Planning Association conference in New
Orleans.


For your information, the temporary exception for the heliport operation that was approved by the County
Commission expires on May 16th.


Sincerely,
Sean Wilkinson
Planner, Weber County Planning Division
swilkinson@co.weber.ut.us
801-399-8765

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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