Seaplane Business Faces Noise Complaints

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A seaplane business in Sausalito, California, in operation since 1945, has been growing since new owners took over in 2012, and that’s starting to cause some problems with the neighbors, who have requested a hearing with the County Planning Commission, set for next Monday, Aug. 28. “What began decades ago as a small tourism business with one four-seater airplane now has turned into a huge business with three planes, including larger eight-seater planes which make a horrendous noise,” Kathryn Esquivel wrote in a comment on a story about the Seaplane Adventures business at the Seaplane Magazine website. Richardson Bay is very small and is already packed with houseboats, paddle boarders, kayaks and wildlife, Esquivel said. Seaplane Magazine has taken up the cause on the operator’s side, and has asked readers to send letters of support for the business to local officials.

“Experience shows that such hearings are often rude and unfair,” the magazine said. A Facebook post from Aaron Singer, owner of Seaplane Adventures, also asks supporters to come to the hearing and send letters and emails. Singer says the business “has been a dream come true for me and … the lifeblood of my family.” The county officials could impose a daily limit on the number of flights, or even ban seaplane operations from the bay entirely, according to Seaplane Magazine.

Comments (3)

I was raised in Sausalito, CA many years ago and the idea of putting a cap on a small business it ridiculous. Let them go! There is so much beauty to be seen in the Bay Area that it would be a shame to shut the planes down.
Terry Cummings
former TWA pilot for 34 1/2 years and 4th generation resident of Sausalito

Posted by: terry cummings | August 25, 2017 4:59 PM    Report this comment

And now, the other side. I've lived in San Francisco and bicycled that area for decades. It's a quiet community and area, and the owners should have, if they didn't, done their due diligence before it got to this level. As I student pilot, I have no trouble imagining the "horrendous noise" the new 8-seaters are making. I feel for the small company trying to make it work. However, the houses and neighbors were there first. I hope a compromise can be made so that all are (relatively) happy with the outcome.

Posted by: Philip Vardara | August 27, 2017 4:23 PM    Report this comment

Let me say I have not been to the area, but looking at a satellite image from Google Earth, I would offer the following. I can see where taking off and landing near the Seaplane Adventures pier could be problematic, given its location so close to what looks like a nice residential area. Would it be possible for the owners to increase their taxi distance, taxiing the planes out about a mile and a half to the more open space of Richardson Bay? Inconvenient? Yes, but not as bad as getting shut down.

Posted by: Kenneth Sabel | August 28, 2017 11:57 AM    Report this comment

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