EL adopts aircraft ordinance

Emmitt B. Feldner of The Review staff

ELKHART LAKE – There won’t be any helicopters flying over the village anytime soon, but the Village Board did adopt an ordinance regulating aircraft Monday.

Village President Alan Rudnick conceded that the ordinance was spurred in part by a controversial proposal last year for a helicopter charter service in the village – a proposal since withdrawn.

“But this goes beyond the helicopter issue,” Rudnick stated. “This deals with all manned and unmanned flights.”

Rudnick admitted that most regulation of flights over the village is beyond the village’s jurisdiction, but said the ordinance would prohibit helicopters, airplanes and other flying craft from landing and taking off in the village without prior permission from the board.

He emphasized that the prohibition would not apply to Flight for Life, military, police and emerby gency helicopters and airplanes.

It was also noted that the ordinance would not prohibit flying of model airplanes, model rockets or the like.

The board also amended the zoning ordinance to eliminate heliports and bus depots as permissible conditional uses.

Trustee Michael Wolf questioned why those particular uses were being targeted, noting that among other permissible uses, saw mills still would remain on the list.

“I just feel we’re treading on thin ice when, within a year (of a permit request), we turn around and pull it out of the zoning ordinance,” Wolf stated.

“You address problems when they come up,” Trustee Richard Baumann answered. Rudnick added that the uses could be reinstated if there was a request and the board approved.

The change passed by a vote of 3-2, with Wolf and Steve Kapellen voting no and Trustees Richard Sadiq and Lynn Shovan absent.

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