Local Regulation

There has been a proliferation of legislative proposals to regulate the domestic use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) at the county and municipal levels. Many of the proposals have been drafted specifically to address privacy concerns regarding the use of UAS by public employees, and most of the proposals regulate UAS altitudes and proximity to airports in the regulated locality. Cities large and small, from New York, New York and Los Angeles, California to St. Bonifacius, Minnesota and Grand Forks, North Dakota have passed resolutions regulating the use of UAS. Comparing and contrasting localized UAS prescriptions sheds light on regional concerns and future trends.

Read the National League of Cities (NLC) Cities and Drones report, which provides cities with insight on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules relating to drone operation. The report also provides suggestions for how local governments can craft their own drone ordinances to encourage innovation while also protecting their cities.

Arizona


Paradise Valley, Arizona

Paradise Valley, Arizona  AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF PARADISE VALLEY, ARIZONA AMMENDING THE PARADISE VALLEY TOWN CODE, CHAPTER 10, BY ADDING ARTICLE 10-12, REGULATIONS RELATED TO THE OPERATION OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES; AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY:

*Passed 12/03/2015

Ordinance 691

California


Barstow, California
Ordinance 942-2015:

“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BARSTOW,
CALIFORNIA, ADDING A NEW CHAPTER 9.66 (UNMANNED
AIRCRAFT) OF TITLE 9 (PEACE, MORALS AND SAFETY) OF THE
BARSTOW MUNICIPAL CODE”

Ordinance 942-2015
Berkeley, California
PROCLAIM BERKELEY A NO DRONE ZONE AND ENACT AN ORDINANCE TO THAT EFFECT: “NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Berkeley that the City of Berkeley, with this Resolution and by Proclamation proclaims Berkeley a No Drone Zone, and instructs the City Attorney to perform the necessary legal tasks to transform this declaration of a No Drone Zone into an Ordinance for the City of Berkeley wherein drones are hereby banned from airspace over the City of Berkeley, including drones in transit. Under that Ordinance, flying of a drone within the airspace of the City of Berkeley shall be considered a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Each offense that is more than one offense of flying a drone within said airspace will be considered to be an additional misdemeanor, with jail time and fines based on the number of violations.” Submitted by: George Lippman, Chairperson, Peace and Justice Commission

PROCLAIM BERKELEY A NO DRONE ZONE AND ENACT AN ORDINANCE TO THAT EFFECT
Daly City, California
Daly City Code 12.36.050:

“No person, group or organization in any park or recreational area shall . . . P. Use unmanned aircraft systems (drones) of any size.”

Daly City Code 12.36.050
Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles Drone Ordinance:

“AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTION 56.31 TO ARTICLE 6 OF CHAPTER V OF THE LOS ANGELES MUNICIPAL CODE TO IMPOSE COMMUNITY-BASED SAFETY REQUIREMENTS ON THE OPERATION OF MODEL AIRCRAFT AND TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS CONSISTENT WITH CERTAIN FEDERAL AVIATION RULES ON THE OPERATION OF BOTH MODEL AIRCRAFT AND CIVIL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS (UASs), COMMONLY KNOWN AS DRONES”

Status: December 2, 2015–Ordinance became effective

LA Ordinance
Manhattan Beach, California
Manhattan Beach Municipal Code has not yet been updated to show the drone ordinance. In the meantime, this article explains the ordinance. When the code is updated, it will be referenced here. Status: February 2, 2016–Return for Final Adoption

Track Legislation on Agenda
Rancho Mirage, California

Drone Prohibition Ordinance:

“AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO MIRAGE AMENDING DIVISION III “OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC PEACE” OF TITLE 9 “PUBLIC PEACE, MORALS AND WELFARE” OF THE RANCHO MIRAGE MUNICIPAL CODE TO PROHIBIT THE FLYING OF DRONES IN RESIDENTIALLY ZONED AREAS OF THE CITY”

Status: April 4, 2013–Submitted to Mayor and City Council

Rancho Mirage Ordinance

Colorado


Cherry Hills Village, Colorado
Cherry Hills Village Code Article 7, Section 7:

“The purpose of this Article is to establish a registration system for hobby operators and regulations pertaining to any unmanned aircraft system operating within the jurisdictional borders of the City. It is the intent of this Article to be interpreted in conformance with any existing or future federal or state laws or regulations that address the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.”

Cherry Hills Village Art. 7, Sec. 7
Deer Trail, Colorado

“An ordinance to defend the sovereign airspace of the Town of Deer Trail, Colorado, and that of its citizens, their homes, businesses, related properties and interests, from unwanted incursions by small unmanned aerial vehicles (popularly referred to as ‘drones’).”

Drafted by: Phillip Steel

*Scheduled to go before the town council 08/06/2013

Deer Trail Ordinance

Florida


Bonita Springs, Florida
Bonita Springs Code 28-41:

“Any person who obtains a special event permit may use a drone to photograph
their special event in the park during the course of the event. For hobby or recreational use, unmanned remote control non-occupied planes and drones may only be flown at Community Park, unless there is a concessionaire agreement. Use of unmanned aircraft may only occur when the fields are unoccupied . . . .”

Bonita Springs 28-41
Miami, Florida

Miami City Code Section 37-12

“This section is intended to promote public safety and protect people attending large venue public events from the flying of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) in and over such large public events. The city commission wishes to regulate the use of UAS within a half-mile radius around stadiums and sport facilities when these devices are in use, and over other large venue special events in public parks, public facilities, streets, plazas, open spaces and the like that will attract large groups of people. All restrictions are intended to protect persons gathered in groups where a UAS incident would cause greater harm and risk of injury due to a greater number of people gathered in a close proximity. It is not intended to restrict legitimate hobbyists operating UAS in compliance with FAA rules and any other applicable laws, and outside of the prohibited areas. This Section is not intended to preempt FAA rules, but rather to operate in conjunction with those rules to promote public safety while recognizing the limitation in the FAA’s enforcement capabilities.”

Miami City Code Section 37-12

Georgia


Augusta, Georgia

“To place regulations on the launching and operations of unmanned aircraft systems…”

Augusta Ordinance
Cherokee County, Georgia

Cherokee County, GA Ordinance Sec. 42-55

“It shall be unlawful for any person to start, fly or use any fuel-powered engine, jet-type or electric powered model aircraft, boat or rocket or like powered toy or unmanned aerial system, except at those areas designated by the county for such use…”

Section 42-55

Illinois


Chicago, Illinois

Chicago Drone Ordinance SO2015-5419                                     

Amendment of Municipal Code Title 9 by adding new Chapter 9-121 to regulate use of small unmanned aircraft in City airspace

Chicago Drone Ordinance
Evanston, Illinois

Resolution 27-R-13:

“Authorizing the City of Evanston to Establish a Moratorium on the Use of Unregulated Drone Technology”

Resolution 27-R-13
Manhattan, Illinois

Manhattan Drone Ordinance:

“AN ORDINANCE REGULATING UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS IN THE VILLAGE OF MANHATTAN, WILL COUNTY, ILLINOIS”

Manhattan Drone Ordinance Ordinance Summary
Schaumburg, Illinois
Schaumburg City Code Chapter 109A:

Chapter 109A

Iowa


Iowa City, Iowa

ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 9, ENTITLED “MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC:

“ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 9, ENTITLED “MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC,” OF THE CITY CODE BY ADOPTING AN ORDINANCE SIMILAR IN SUBSTANCE TO THE PROPOSED INITIATIVE ON TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT CAMERAS AND DRONES, AUTOMATIC LICENSE PLATE RECOGNITION SYSTEMS AND OTHER KINDS OF TRAFFIC SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS, AND BY REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 12-4466 THAT ENABLED AUTOMATIC TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT.”

ORDINANCE AMENDING TITLE 9, ENTITLED “MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC

Kansas


Wichita, Kansas
Ordinance 9.35.210:

Regarding the “[o]peration of gliders, glider towing, remote control, and other aeronautical devices.”

Ordinance 9.35.210

Massachusetts


Barnstable, Massachusetts

Drones Banned on Barnstable’s Public Beaches:

A public hearing on changes to the rules and regulations for Barnstable’s bathing beaches was held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Town Hall. The change is an addition under section 401A-6(C) Prohibited Activities: “Using, launching, landing or operating an unmanned aircraft from, or on, land or waters associated with any of the Town of Barnstable bathing beaches is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Town Manager.” The term “unmanned aircraft” includes devices like model airplanes, quadrocopters, and drones that are used for any purposes including recreation or commerce. After reviewing the public comment and explanation from staff on the safety issues involved, I took the matter under advisement. Based on further information received from the FAA and our legal staff regarding the regulation of “airspace”, I have amended the regulations to take out the word “above” and restrict the regulation to the launching and landing of drones on a public beach. This regulation will be reviewed at the end of the summer season to see if it has been effective or needs further amending.

*Town of Barnstable Code §401A-6: Prohibited Activities

Northampton, Massachusetts

Resolution on Drone Aircraft:

“BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Northampton calls on the U.S. government to immediately end its  practice of extrajudicial killing by armed drone aircraft . . . that the City of Northampton affirms that, within the city limits, the navigable airspace for drone aircraft s hall not be expanded below the long – established airspace  for  manned aircraft . . . that the City of Northampton affirms that within the city limits, landowners subject to state laws and local ordinances have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of  the airspace and that no drone aircraft  shall have the ‘public right of transit’ through this private property.”

Northampton Drone Ordinance

*Adopted 07/11/2013

Minnesota


St. Bonifacius, Minnesota

Resolution 2013-8:

“A RESOLUTION RESTRICTING THE USE OF DRONES IN THE CITY OF ST. BONIFACIUS AIR SPACE”

Resolution 2013-8

*Adopted 02/20/2013

New Jersey


Bernards Township, New Jersey
Ordinance #2328:

“(j) The flying and/or launching of unmanned aircraft by the public, including model or remote control airplanes, helicopters, recreational drones and rockets, is prohibited. This shall not prohibit any federal, state, county or municipal agency, law enforcement agency or emergency services organization from the use of drones and unmanned aircraft for any lawful and authorized purpose pursuant to applicable regulation. ”

Ordinance #2328
Chatham, New Jersey

Ordinance 2016-16:

“WHEREAS, drone technology includes “drones,” which are unmanned aircraft that can
fly under the control of a remote pilot or via a geographic positions system guided autopilot
mode, can fly at altitudes below the navigable airspace (generally 400’), and are equipped with
surveillance technologies (e.g., high definition cameras, night vision cameras, and infrared-seethrough
scopes) . . . unmanned aircraft are prohibited from operating or flying in any airspace below 400 feet within the airspace over any government or public buildings, property, or parks within the Township.”

Ordinance 2015-16

New York


New York, New York

File No. 614:

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the registration and insurance of unmanned aerial vehicles

No. 614
Orchard Park, New York

“Operation of unmanned aircraft/unmanned aircraft system.

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system upon or in the airspace within one mile of an open-air event in the Town of Orchard Park wherein more than 200 individuals could gather for an organized event, including, but not limited to, parades, concerts, street dances, festivals, art shows, sporting events and recreational events.

(2)
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system upon or in the airspace within three miles of the Ralph Wilson Stadium Complex on the day of any event held at the Ralph Wilson Stadium Complex or four hours prior to and two hours after any event held at the Ralph Wilson Stadium Complex.
Ordinance 99-3

Syracuse, New York

“BE IT RESOLVED, that this Resolution declares that no agency of the City of Syracuse, nor any agents under contract with the City, will operate Drones in the airspace over the City of Syracuse until federal and state laws, rules and regulations regarding the use of Drones are adopted that adequately protects the privacy of the population as guaranteed by the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution;”

Resolution

North Carolina


Kannapolis, North Carolina
Kannapolis Code Section 12-31:

Section 12-31

North Dakota


Grand Forks, North Dakota
Ordinance 9-0202:

Regarding “[l]anding and take off of aircraft at unauthorized airports, helipads, or other unauthorized
locations prohibited . . .”

Ordinance 9-0202

Ohio


Celina, Ohio

Ordinance 57-15-O:

“AN ORDINANCE RESTRICTING THE USE OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES (ALSO KNOWN AS “DRONES”) BY INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES OVER THE AIRSPACE ABOVE ANY CITY-OWNED PROPERTY , ABOVE ANY CITY RIGHT-OF-WAY, AND ABOVE ANY EASEMENT GRANTED IN FAVOR OF THE CITY; EXEMPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS THEREOF; AND DECLARING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.”

Draft of Ordinance 52-15-O

Status–Pending

Cleveland, Ohio

“Legislation has been passed permits authorities to assist the Federal Aviation Administration in regulating aerial drones.”

*Cleveland has not updated regulation on its website yet, but the official can be found here when it is available.

Pennsylvania


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

File 2015-2053:

Ordinance amending and supplementing the City of Pittsburgh Code, Title Four (“Public Places and Property”), Article XI (“Parks and Playgrounds”) by amending Chapter 473 with respect to the operation of drones and other activities involving airborne objects or persons located within, above or in the vicinity of City parks and playgrounds.”

No. 2053

South Dakota


Aberdeen, South Dakota

“AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER IO — AVIATION OF THE ABERDEEN CITY CODE REGARDING DRONES”

Ordinance 15-12-04

Virginia


Charlottesville, Virginia

Anti-drone Resolution:

“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of Charlottesville, Virginia, calls on the United States Congress and the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, to adopt legislation prohibiting the use of drones for surveillance, and prohibiting information obtained from the domestic use of drones from being introduced into a Federal or State court, and precluding the domestic use of drones equipped with anti-personnel devices, meaning any projectile, chemical, electrical, directed-energy (visible or invisible), or other device designed to harm, incapacitate, or otherwise negatively impact a human being.”

Submitted by: David Swanson

Anti-drone Resolution

*Passed 02/04/2013

Washington


Pierce County, Washington

Proposed Ordinance No. 2013-28:

Full Title: An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Adopting a New Chapter 1.30 of the Pierce County Code, “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance”

Sponsors: Councilmembers Dan Roach, Stan Flemming

Status: June 18, 2013–Referred to the Public Safety and Human Services Committee

Follow 2013-28’s Progress
Seattle, Washington

Council Bill Number 117707:

“AN ORDINANCE relating to the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems operated by the Seattle Police Department; adopting City policies regarding the acquisition and operation of unmanned aircraft systems; and establishing a new Chapter 14.18 in the Seattle Municipal Code.”

Sponsor: HARRELL; CO-SPONSOR CLARK

Council Bill Number 117707

*Proposal Died after Mayor Cancelled Police Drone Program

Wisconsin


Antigo, Wisconsin
Resolution 090-15:

“Whereas, USI is willing and able to grant additional assurances including: UAV operation will comply with all applicable legal requirements at all times, including but not limited to FAA Regulatory requirements. UAV will not be equipped with surveillance equipment and surveillance operations will not be conducted. The cameras on the UAV have a fixed lens that only streams real time video to allow the pilot to operate the aircraft. The imagery from these cameras provide about the same view that an individual would see if actually in the aircraft during flight . . . .”

Resoultion 090-15
Chetek, Wisconsin
Chetek City Code Section 118-89:

Section 118-89
Green Bay, Wisconsin

Ordinance 27.310 DRONE USE AT SPECIAL EVENTS:

Section 27.310
Outagamie County, Wisconsin

Outagamie County, WI Ordinance Sec. 10.195

Ordinance 10.195

Outagamie County, WI Ordinance Sec. 10.35

Ordinance 10.35