Billy Joel’s Neighbors Want to Ban His Helicopter
Some of Billy Joel’s neighbors on an exclusive Long Island community want to ban him and others from using helicopters to fly to and from their homes - even though it seems he's not the one bothering the other homeowners.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Mayor Lawrence Schmidlapp had received complaints from residents of Center Island in Oyster Bay, New York, that Joel and others were disrupting the location’s peace and beauty. The singer is thought to use his helicopter just a few times a month. Flying reduces the journey time from Oyster Bay to Manhattan from around two hours to about 15 minutes.
However, most of the neighbors’ anger was directed at hedge fund manager Clive Holmes, who was accused of flying twice a day and offering joyrides for friends. “He has speakers and lights and helicopter makes a heck of a lot of noise,” Schmidlapp said. “The people on this island deserve some peace and quiet.”
The mayor has proposed an alternative to an all-out ban, suggesting that helipads be restricted to being used 15 times a month, and that helipads are dismantled when a property is sold. A ban on new bases being built was imposed two years ago.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Joel was in favor of “common-sense regulation” but added that he’d “like to keep his helipad for occasional use.” The new proposals will go to a vote after a public hearing on May 8.
Last year Joel bought a ranch in Florida for $3.5 million while also cutting the price of his Palm Beach estate to $16.9 million, after it was originally listed in 2015 for $20 million.