Purcellville, Va. man who wants to build helipad, fly helicopter to work upsets neighbors

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (WJLA) – A battle is brewing in a Loudoun County neighborhood over a heliport; one man wants it on his property, but some of his neighbors are saying, “Not so fast.”

Chuck Kuhn reportedly wants a helipad to cut down on his commute from Purcellville to his business in Gaithersburg, Md.—and beyond. But ABC 7 News spoke with nearby homeowners, who are concerned about what the helicopter noise would do to their neighborhood.

Some Loudoun County residents say they welcomed longer commutes to live a life in the country. Now, they’re worried that a man trying to cut down his drive time will negatively impact the many reasons people choose to settle down in a place that runs on a much slower pace.

Western Loudoun County is the kind of place rocking chairs were made for—a place where you can watch deer graze and stumble upon a horse farm at the end of every gravel road.

To Dr. Ken Rothschild, his 10 acres in Purcellville are an escape. But the quiet of his country life may soon be cut down by the whirr of a helicopter over his house.

“We were looking for a break from the city, where we still had access to the madness, but we could live in relative peace and harmony,” Dr. Rothschild said. “It’s going to depend largely on what the decibels are when that thing comes over, and how close they are to our rooftops.”

This concern is over a flight pattern that comes courtesy of Chuck Kuhn, a local businessman who wants to build a heliport among the hundreds of acres he owns, so he can fly in and out.

“Wouldn’t be too disturbing, but I would probably ask the neighbors’ opinions first before they decide to build it,” said neighbor Garrett Caldwell.

Area residents like Caldwell aren’t the only ones weighing in. As the plan for the heliport is considered, people are commenting online. While most say the noise of a helicopter would disturb their rural setting and the area’s horses, supporters say Kuhn should be able to do what he wants with his property.

In the end, county zoning will have the final say if the plan takes off.

“I’m hoping our neighbor is going to be considerate when it’s flown, if it’s approved,” Dr. Rothschild said.

Kuhn already has approval from the FAA to build the heliport, which is slated for construction on a cement pad on his property, along with a hangar that will be built around an existing barn.

Also, it is not as if Kuhn will be taking off and landing in his neighbors’ yards; he owns more than 500 acres of property.