Horry County is walking away from a legal battle between a local helicopter business and the residents of a Myrtle Beach area neighborhood.
The County Council met in executive session at the end of Tuesday’s meeting and passed a motion afterward that instructed County Administrator Chris Eldridge to pursue no further legal action regarding Helicopter Adventures and the Plantation Point community.
That motion passed on a 7-3 vote.
In February, Judge Larry Hyman denied a resident’s request to reconsider his Jan. 16 ruling in favor of Helicopter Adventures, which opened in May with a launching pad off 21st Avenue North behind NASCAR SpeedPark.
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Residents in Plantation Point say they want the helicopter launching pad to move away from their houses, saying it makes too much noise and creates safety issues.
Councilman Brent Schulz said he couldn’t support the motion ahead of Tuesday’s vote and asked his fellow council members to do the same. Only Al Allen and Paul Prince joined with him in opposition to the move.
County attorney Arrigo Carotti said both the county and Plantation Point homeowner Richard Hinde, who filed the case, had the right to appeal the court’s February ruling. County officials recommended not pursuing the matter further, Carotti added, and the council ultimately sided with that recommendation.
Messages left for Hinde were not returned before press time on Wednesday.
Noise complaints haven’t been the only issue in this case, but also whether the helicopter tour company, which opened in May 2012, is a permitted use in the county’s amusement-commercial zoning.
Last fall, the Horry County Zoning Board of Appeals overturned Zoning Administrator Rendel Mincey’s November 2011 decision to allow the company to open based on that zoning.
Hyman ruled in January that Helicopter Adventures is allowed in that zoning.
Helicopter Adventures, which offers seven flight tours ranging from $20 to $179.99 a person, has continued to operate amid the legal battle.