Entertainment drone ordinance gets delayed
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
Residents of the valley showed up to the Rancho Mirage City Council meeting this afternoon expecting to talk about military drone use in the city, but when they got there they found out it wasn't quite what they had in mind.
This is a first- of- it's- kind ordinance that would put restrictions on toy flying machines or entertainment drones as some call them.
Most of the folks at the meeting wanted the ordinance to go one step further.
Steven Finger’s concern is that of drones used to help enforce the National Defense Authorization Act.
"My thought was that this was about the allowance of military type drones into the city of Rancho Mirage,” says Finger
But when he got there, he found out it was a proposal on recreational drones.
"Technology has come a long way. There are now high quality, low cost drones or remote control flying vehicles that allow to video tape and we want to make sure that people aren’t invading the property of citizens backyards,” says Mayor of Ranch Mirage Scott Hines.
Hines says he's more worried about the local effects of entertainment drones.
"Our goal is to make sure we are in charge of our jurisdiction. It's not our intent to infringe upon state or federal law enforcement rights,” says Hines.
He says the proposal has been delayed in order to make the language more clear.
"We definitely had some constituents that had an issue with one of these things being flown over their back yard by some people who meant no harm by it,” says Hines.
One aspect city council wants to make clear is how they define the word drone. They don't want to conjure up ideas of military action.
"That is one of the directions we gave to our city attorneys -- to come back with a definition that meets the intent of our council,” adds Hines.
A definition, Finger hopes will encompass all drones.
"This council and all the councils across the nation should adopt strong language prohibiting the use of drones by the military and by law enforcement,” says Finger.
The Mayor hopes the revised ordinance will allow residents to fly drones over their own property or in agreed upon community areas. The ordinance will go to the council May 2nd.