On Dec. 10, there was a public zoning board meeting for those living within 500 feet of Jackson North.
The meeting was about the relocation and expansion of the helipad at that site almost 200 feet away from its current location. The one that is there is located in a dangerous location. Jackson would like to not only move it, but to land larger helicopters as a part of an upgrade to a Level Two trauma center. That is great, however there is only one small problem they overlooked, the residents that live close to the new site.
You see, by moving the helipad and bringing in larger helicopters that will be landing them closer to our homes will cause many problems. Chief among them are more noise at any given time day or night, possible damages to our homes from the forces of larger helicopters, dirt and dust fling over cloths hanging outside and through the windows of homes, chances of bad weather causing dangerous crashes, declining home values and a lower quality of life.
It was said there would only be one landing per day. Where have we heard something like this before? Let me think. Oh yeah! Dolphin Stadium! They said that it would only be for Dolphin home games. Then it became UM home games and bowl games, the Marlins home games, and any other special events that came along.
If that helipad is allowed to be moved and expanded to allow larger helicopters, believe me that it would make its way up to as many landings as it can handle. It will turn into and airport.
One board member said that “if a helipad was already there before we moved there then it has be no problem.” That’s like saying my neighbor had a home stereo when you moved next to him. He then goes out and has a 3000-watt sound system install two feet from the property line and points it at your home and blasts it all times of day. That should be no problem because you knew he had a stereo when you moved next to him.
One board member said he lives within the flight path of Opa-locka Airport. Really? Really? Last time I checked, the airport was around five or six miles from North Miami Beach city limits. That’s not counting the distance from city hall or his home and Opa-locka doesn’t land planes outside his windows.
Don’t get us wrong. We all think that Jackson should have a world-class trauma network and don’t want to stop progress. Who knows, one of us may even need to use that trauma network. However, we like anyone else, didn’t want larger helicopters landing right outside our doors.
Be a good neighbor Jackson, and come up with a better plan that we all can live with.
Bennie T. Ross, Miami