LAGUNA BEACH — Drone operators will no longer be allowed to fly their remote-controlled aircraft over city parks near beaches or over city government buildings, beginning July 13.
Laguna Beach City Council members on Tuesday, May 23, unanimously approved an ordinance that they say strikes a balance between the rights of drone operators and the rights of the community to privacy and safety.
The ordinance prohibits the operation of a drone in a way that harasses or intimidates people whether they are on private or public property.
“This is a good start,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd. He, with Laguna Beach police Chief Laura Farinella, was part of a sub-committee to look into the ordinance. “We may need to make adjustments. The more people are doing it (flying drones), the worse it will get.”
In the new ordinance, drones cannot be operated over Heisler Park, Main Beach Park, the Irvine Bowl, Treasure Island Park, Crescent Bay Park or Bluebird Park during the summer concert series.
They also cannot be flown over City Hall, the lifeguard headquarters or over the police or fire department stations. They can also not hover over the city’s maintenance yard.
Drones are forbidden to interfere with emergency responders or impede a parade or motorcade, the ordinance states. Real estate agents and media photographers will be required to get permits before they can fly them, according to the ordinance.