LAKEWOOD - Residents who have been near Richard O. Hartley Park, at the end of Chautauqua Avenue in Lakewood, and witnessed a helicopter landing nearby, weren't seeing things.
On July 23, Lakewood residents that live around East Lake Street attended a Village Board meeting to raise their concern with a helicopter owner who is landing and taking off his aircraft from his property, near other people's houses.
Walt Anderson, Lakewood resident, said the helicopter is causing problems with excessive noise. Also, the helicopter is causing problems with boats docked on the water. Anderson said the wind created by the aircraft is causing boat covers to become unsnapped which leads to water getting inside boats when it rains.
Pictured above is the helicopter that sits next to East Lake Street near Richard O. Hartley Park that has Lakewood residents concern with public safety.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
Residents said they are concerned with public safety when it comes to children possibly being curious about the helicopter and getting too close to where a catastrophic accident may occur. Village residents said the helicopter's owner has been landing and taking off the aircraft for the past two weeks.
David Wordelmann, Lakewood mayor, said because there is nothing in the village's zoning laws, officials cannot regulate the use of the helicopter from private property. The mayor said even if the village would pass a law now, the owner of the helicopter would be grandfathered in because they have established use of the aircraft.
''We have no jurisdiction to do anything,'' Wordelmann said.
Edward Wright, Lakewood attorney, said residents could file a civil lawsuit against the helicopter's owner for being a private nuisance with the noise from the helicopter and the potential danger that could come from the machine being operated near other people's property. Wright said the residents would have a good chance of winning the case in court.
Village officials decided they would write a letter to the owner, whose name was never given during the meeting, detailing that residents are concern with the helicopter. Also, village officials plan to contact the Federal Aviation Administration to see what they can do to regulate the aircraft.