County approves helicopter landing site near Frankford

Sussex County Council this week approved a conditional use for a private helicopter landing site near Frankford, for use of the property’s owner, who said he would use the helicopter to visit local sites.

The conditional use permits the helicopter landing site on 8.45 acres in an AR-1 agriculture residential district zone north of Omar Road, east of Road 354 (Dukes Road) and west of Road 382 (Armory Road), near Frankford, with conditions.

According to the application for the conditional use, the pad is for the personal use of the owner of Herker Engineering, a regional property maintenance company based in Chadds Ford, Pa., with a satellite office/warehouse near Frankford, so that he can conveniently visit local sites using his own helicopter.

County Councilwoman Joan Deaver voted against approving the conditional use, citing what she said was the inappropriateness of such a site within a residential area and calling it “a nuisance.” Council President Vance Phillips likewise voted against the approval, adding that the council might have “opened up a can of worms” with an approval.

But the rest of the council appeared to disagree, voting 3-2 in favor of approval. Councilman Michael Vincent cited a lack of opposition to the application during the Planning and Zoning Commission and council meetings. Councilman George Cole labeled the use “accessory” to an existing conditional use and emphasized the need for management of a regional business to visit sites. Councilman Sam Wilson also voted in favor of the application’s approval.