Frightening Blanket Drone Ban In Poway, California Passed 4-to-1

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Frightening Blanket Drone Ban In Poway, California Passed 4-to-1

In Poway, California, a community in Southern California, a frightening, 45-interim ordinance banning drone flights was approved. According to this ordinance, 75% of Poway is now officially a no-fly zone for drone pilots. What started as a proposed ordinance focused on penalizing drone operators interfering with first responders, quickly snowballed into almost a city-wide blanket ban.

In a 4-to-1 vote Tuesday night, the Poway City Council approved a 45-day interim ordinance, banning the flight of drones over 75 percent of land in Poway.

Originally, a proposed ordinance brought on by Poway Mayor Steve Vaus was meant to prohibit the flying of drones over local emergencies. He voiced concern that drones would interfere with first responders and in turn put the community at risk by delaying their efforts.

On Aug. 18, Vaus detailed his proposal before the Poway City Council and the city attorney. He wanted to ban drones from flying within two miles of emergencies. Consequences for those caught included a $1,000 fine and the confiscation of the drone.

The Poway City Attorney was given two weeks to write the ordinance ahead of Tuesday night’s city council meeting. The verbiage had been revised to include the banning of the operation of drones over Poway’s urban wildfire interface area, which makes up 75 percent of the city.

Poway bans drone flights

Let’s hope this is an isolated incident, as opposed to an indicator of what lies ahead in the near future.

Poway Sign, Chris Lee March 22, 2008

Poway Sign

About Poway, California

Poway is a city in San Diego County, California. Originally an unincorporated community in San Diego County, Poway officially became a city on December 1, 1980. Even though Poway lies geographically in the middle of San Diego County, it is considered by most as being located in north San Diego county. Poway’s rural roots gave rise to its slogan “The City in the Country.” As of the 2010 census the city had a population of 47,811. The ZIP code is 92064.

Poway is located at 32°58′12″N 117°2′19″W (32.969895, −117.038479). which lies north of the city of San Diego and south of the city of Escondido. Some nearby communities of San Diego include Rancho Bernardo, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, and in the county to the east, the community of Ramona. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.3 square miles (102 km2). 39.2 square miles (102 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.25%) is water.

By | 2017-08-31T15:24:32+00:00 September 9th, 2015|Drone Law, Drones, First Responder, Opinion|Comments Off on Frightening Blanket Drone Ban In Poway, California Passed 4-to-1

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Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at