Plans for a helicopter landing facility on Pritchard Hill near Lake Hennessey have been dropped.
Developer and San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos and his son-in-law, Ronald Berberian, had proposed the controversial helipad. It was scheduled for a public hearing before the Napa County Planning Commission on Wednesday, but earlier this month, Berberian withdrew the application for a use permit.
In a letter to the planning department Berberian withdrew the application, but listed five factors that were considered reasons for approval:
* The property on which the heliport was proposed is 42 acres;
* The elevation is 1,275 feet, well above most nearby homes;
* An average of only four trips a month was described as "minimal";
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* Take-off and landing time is approximately five minutes;
* Wind direction is conducive to noise dissipation.
Berberian wrote, despite those factors, "a few of our neighbors have voiced concerns regarding the proposed action due to a perceived change in their quality of life."
Attorney Joe Peatman sent a lengthy letter on behalf of neighbors Diane and Robert Winokur protesting the helipad plan. Several other nearby residents expressed disdain for the proposal.
Berberian added they had received letters of support from neighbors as well, but "our family values being a respected member of the community," thus the application was withdrawn.
Spanos and Berberian purchased Bell Wine Cellars near Yountville in 2004. The Pritchard Hill property is also the site of a home remodeling and vineyard.