Helicopter pad dedication likely to fall to county commission

By Thomas Wilson

STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   A helicopter pad to be constructed on county-owned flood property in the Roan Mountain area could be named for a former constable.
   The Carter County Planning Commission discussed a request that the pad be named in memory of former constable, the late G.W. Odom.
   The 40' X 40' pad site is expected to be constructed behind the Roan Mountain Post Office.
   Commissioner R.L. Miller said the Odom family had offered to provide the labor to build the helicopter pad.
   "There is a lot of labor involved in this," stated Miller, who said a preliminary estimate of $3,000 in labor had been discussed to construct the pad.
   Miller said the protocol for dedicating the site in Odom's name had been worked out with family members.
   Commissioner Ralph Watson said donations had been received to fund the labor end of the project.
   Located on land purchased by the county as part of the flood bailout purchase, the helicopter pad would serve as an access point for Wings or other air rescue helicopters in the event of an emergency situation in the Roan Mountain area.
   "It will serve everything from Whitehead Hill to the North Carolina state line," said Christ Schuettler, director of the County Planning Department.
   The commission voted 8-0 on a motion from Jack Pearman and second from Lynn Tipton to bring the family's request to the county commission when the body convenes next Monday.
   In other business, the commission voted unanimously to approve a variance request submitted by Bill Miller.
   The request sought a variance on a home in the Old Sunrise Estates subdivision. Original front yard set back requirements for the property were 15 feet, said Schuettler.
   He explained that when Miller sought to refinance the home, a property survey found a front set back was only 13.5 feet at one corner of the residence.
   The commission also voted 8-0 to grant preliminary approval of Deer Ridge Development near the Doe River Gorge Christian Camp.
   The 25.16 acre mountain subdivision development would create 16 lots for log cabin homes on Doe River Gorge Road.