Heliport going back to court

Parish Council had cleared the project despite opposition

Although 29th District Court Judge Timothy Marcel ruled against Tim Mayeaux’s proposed heliport on Judge Edward Dufresne Parkway, the Luling resident said he is appealing the decision.

“I feel I didn’t get justice and it’s political,” Mayeaux maintained of the ruling that came despite him saying he met all legal requirements necessary to build the heliport and building.

The site is next to Lamar Contractors and about 1,500 feet from the St. Charles public school system’s Satellite Center and R. K. Smith Middle  School. It is across Interstate 310 from Ashton Plantation subdivision.

Mayeaux, who has operated MYU Helicopters from his Luling home for more than 20 years, planned on buying the land and building the heliport.

Marcel’s May 11 ruling states 310 Investments LLC plans for the lot in Esperanza Business Park, operated by Esperanza Land LLC that owns several lots in the park, did not meet building restrictions or standards outlined for the park’s use. Mayeaux maintained the project was a permissible use and that the restrictions were arbitrarily applied to prohibit the heliport.

According to the ruling, 310 Investments persistently submitted heliport plans despite Esperanza rejecting each proposal.

“310 contends Esperanza was unreasonable in exercise of its authority and acted in bad faith in denying its site plan submittals,” state the ruling. “It is uncontroverted that 310 commenced work on Lot 3 without prior approval from Esperanza.”

Marcel found this work in violation of the park covenants, and that 310’s contention that Esperanza rejecting its plans as “arbitrary and capricious” to be without merit.

Mayeaux is appealing on the grounds his facility would have served more as an office and warehouse than a heliport, which is a permissible use, and that his business fell within the allowable scope of light industrial operations.

He also maintained the covenants don’t prohibit a heliport facility in the park, as well as are no longer enforceable because he maintained they were not applied to earlier structures, including the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office headquarters, St. Charles Parish Community Center, St. Charles Parish Animal Shelter and SCP property building.Marcel agreed with the office use, but maintained the building was a hangar, not a warehouse.

He further ruled that light industrial operations must solely occur within the building, which did not occur with a heliport. He also upheld the covenants, ruled they had been applied and that they prohibit such a structure.

In February 2014, following a lengthy discussion, the St. Charles Parish Council approved the zoning change that allowed the heliport on the parkway, close to two schools and Ashton Plantation subdivision. The council rezoned the property from M-1 light commercial industrial to AV-1 aviation.

The change, along with a special use permit, allowed the helicopter transport business on the four-acre lot. Pintail Contracting Services requested the change for 310 Investments LLC.

Mayeaux maintained he jumped through every hoop required yet “I’m being still being held from building my building.”Opponents raised concerns about safety and noise, and that the heliport should not be located so close to schools, parks and residential areas.

Last year despite objections of dozens of residents and nearby business owners, who said the rezoning threatened their investment and quality of life, the Parish Council voted 6-3 to uphold the Planning and Zoning Board’s recommendation, according to media reports.

Councilwoman Traci Fletcher said the School Board was not opposed to the plan and thought Mayeaux had done his due diligence in answering concerns about his flight patterns. Mayeaux said he would not fly over the subdivision and would work with residents and neighbors.

Supporters on the council and in the crowd that packed the council chamber, said Mayeaux has a good safety record. Nellie Robert said she lives about 600 feet from Mayeaux’s current business and has never had a problem with noise.    

About Anna Thibodeaux 1967 Articles
Managing Editor

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