I read in the newspaper some guy who has his own helicopter wants to keep it at his vineyard/home in the mountains east of Napa. What a marvelous idea.

Who, if he were a boater, wouldn’t want to keep his boat docked behind his house? Or if he were a golfer wouldn’t want to live near Silverado with a golf course in his backyard? If this guy has a suitable place to keep it and has met all the government and FAA regulations and licenses I say more power to him.

But his neighbors lodged complaints about noise and safety with Napa County and he had to have an EIR prepared. The report said the noise would be less than significant and frankly those neighbors are about as likely to get hit by a meteor as they are to have his helicopter fall on their heads.

But that didn’t stop them, they are still complaining.

Basically, they have moved into Napa Valley and are enjoying what they want to do here and now they don’t want this guy to enjoy what he wants to do. I marvel at all the different ways people enjoy themselves here, including the airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons.

To hear these complaining neighbors, if they don’t want to do it then they don’t want you to be able to do it.

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Well, I don’t have a bicycle so should I protest to the county  to close all the bike lanes? I don’t hike so should we close all the hiking trails? And I don’t drink wine, so should we close all the tasting rooms? Of course not.

A healthy, diverse community needs lots of different people with lots of different interests. And all these things, including private helicopters, add to the fabric of our community. I personally would love to live next door to someone who had a boat docked behind his house, or who lived next to a golf course, or who had a private heliport in his backyard.

Now, to try to tie the county supervisors' hands so they can’t approve this guy’s request for a private heliport some other guy in Calistoga started Measure D to prohibit all airports and all heliports anywhere in the county, even out where you don’t have any neighbors. This is definitely over-restrictive.

Let’s not let a few vocal complainers take away the wonderfully diverse and vibrant quality of life we all enjoy here.

Michael Harms


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