Helicopter Adventures gets set back from zoning board ruling

In a 4-3 vote Monday, the Horry County Board of Zoning Appeals ruled in favor of residents who argued a helicopter tour company was given the wrong zoning category when the business applied for its permit with the county.

In the board's ruling, it overturned the zoning administrator's decision to classify Helicopter Adventures as a sight-seeing depot, because it believed the category was not consistent with the uses allowed in an amusement commercial zoning district.

The helicopter tour company, that flies its clients around parts of Myrtle Beach, was previously given a license to operate under amusement commercial zoning.

Board members Pam Creech, Bo Ives, Pat Lebiedz and Pat Keelan voted in the majority, while Chairman Chris Hanna, Ace Parker and Allen Beverly voted against the appeal.

Helicopter Adventures has 30 days to appeal the board's ruling.

Since the business opened in May, residents in the nearby Palmetto Plantation subdivision have complained about the noise created by the helicopters.

In a June report, Helicopter Adventure owner, Freddie Rick, said his company was doing nothing wrong, and he's operating under the law.

"We're as a company in compliance with all state, local, city, county ordinances," said Rick during an Horry County council meeting in June.

In a statement from his attorney, Ben Baroody, the company will appeal the board's decision, said Rick.

Rick told Horry County Council he would lose $3 million if he's forced to shut down.