In June the voters of Napa County, having been given the choice, will decide whether they wish to prevent the future proliferation of private heliports while they still can, or wish to follow the fate of the Hamptons, Long Island, Santa Barbara, Hollywood Hills, Torrance, Aspen - the list grows by the month - including planned helicopter services by Uber in Texas and in other states.
These communities have failed to act while they could and now appeal to Congress for legislation to regulate private air traffic in their skies. To no avail.
Because Sen. Dodd has chosen to lead the opposition to Measure D, it is important to set the record straight on his argument against the Measure as it will appear on the ballot.
His argument states that Measure D will impair air medical services and prevent PG&E from replacing power poles and power lines, a narrative initially put forward by the 9111 Report even though it ultimately concluded that these services would "survive."
Nevertheless, Sen. Dodd still insists the sick and injured will remain unattended, power poles and power lines dilapidated.
Here are the common sense facts:
Measure D will stop Napa County from issuing new use permits for "Personal use airports and heliports" which the Code defines as ones "limited to the noncommercial activities of an individual owner or family and occasional invited guests." To argue that this definition fits PG&E's commercial activities is laughable.
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The fact is that contractors engaged in emergency services or installing and maintaining the PG&E, Cable or AT&T infrastructure do not each time run to the county to obtain use permits and there is a good reason for it. They are exempt and entitled to do so "by right" in Napa County Code Section 18.120.010 / A 4 and A 5. The only way Measure D would impact them is if they were to use their helicopters for personal uses. Last time I checked, this is not what they do.
Neither are they the "individual owners" of the real estate on which power poles, power and communication lines are located.
So, these providers are engaging in commercial rather than "noncommercial activities", they do not transport "the individual or their families' property owners", or their "occasional invited guests" and they are entitled by right to deliver the services they provide.
Negatively impacted by Measure D prohibiting future personal use heliports?
It is time to stop misleading the public.