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Thornton weighs drone restrictions, including ban on launching from public streets and sidewalks

City Council says it needs more time
Posted at 10:16 PM, Dec 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-19 00:38:20-05

THORNTON, Colo. – Proposed restrictions for drones could make it extremely difficult to operate an unmanned aircraft in Thornton. City Council members weighed three options Tuesday night but ultimately decided they need more information and more time.

“It’s just something else that’s unknown to people and unknown scares people,” said Vic Moss, the owner of Drone U.

Moss and other drone pilots asked the council to reconsider what they perceived as a virtual ban on operating drones. One man said he used drones to survey roof damage for insurance companies after a recent hail storm. He worried that would not be allowed under the current proposals.

Three options were presented to the council. All of them would ban launching, landing or controlling drones from publicly owned highways, streets, sidewalks and trails. Operators would also be prohibited from using the devices at reservoirs.

The first option would only allow drones in designated areas. The second option would ban drones at city events like the 4th of July fireworks celebration. The third option would have allowed drones in parks and open space.

Council ultimately decided to hold off on making any decisions while they continue to study the impact of drones and meet with stakeholders.