Plans for helicopter pad anger neighbors

Plans for helicopter pad anger neighbors

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Residents of a West Austin neighborhood are angry that there will be no meeting on a proposed helicopter landing pad near their homes on F1 race weekend.

The proposed helicopter pad on a garage near MoPac and Bee Caves would be one of several that will take hundreds of race fans to the track east of town.

Several residents in the area are not thrilled about the possibility of loud noise lasting all weekend.

"That could definitely get annoying yes especially with the amount of sound coming through here," said Barton Hills resident Harry Mills.

It is up to the city of Austin Aviation Department to decide if the helipad receives city approval. Currently the agency's director can approve a temporary permit without having to go through a public city council meeting.

The fact that none of the residents will get a chance to voice their opinion of the proposed helipad is something that upset City Council member Laura Morrison.

"What we need to look at after this is, going in and changing the code and having there be a transparent process," Morrison said.

"The neighbors who are really affected by this are really not included in the process," added John Luther of the Barton Hills Neighborhood Association.

Luther called the helicopters noise pollution. He added that while the community is used to loud events such as ACL Fest, other events approached the community and made agreements with them.

"It's just not practical to the neighborhood to withstand this kind of abuse frankly of our goodwill," Luther said.

However, not all residents are totally opposed to the idea. Despite his concerns, Harry Miller told FOX 7 he might be willing to accept the noisy helicopters because of the positive effect the race may have on the local economy.

"I don't mind sacrificing for a weekend for that," Miller said.

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