Conoy Township, Lancaster County is the first municipality to pass a law restricting the use of drones.
In a unanimous vote Thursday, the township’s board of supervisors voted to enact a law that states operators of remote-controlled aircraft must get permission if they will be flying them over others’ property.
“We’re not restricting the people from doing it, we’re telling them if you do it, we want to know about it and we want to make sure you have permission,” said supervisor Stephen Mohr.
Mohr suggested the board act after coming across a drone in his neighborhood. He was alarmed by the possibilities.
“I can see them being used to fly over school areas, if nothing else to startle the kids,” he said.
Craig Peck joined other members of the Lancaster County Radio Control Club to see what the township was going to do.
“We’re not renegades that violate people’s rights,” Peck said.
For Peck, it’s more than a hobby. He uses remote-controlled helicopters in his business, Flying Media.
He said he’s fine with the new law, which is much less restrictive than he thought it would be.
“There’s nothing unreasonable with what they asked, I guess it would be another story,” Peck said. “But as you heard the solicitor, he said no foul, photography, we’re not talking about it, we’re just talking about basic privacy rights.”
Mohr said hobbyist weren’t the only ones watching the vote closely.
“There’s actually one board of county commissioners in Central Pennsylvania that is interested to see how this goes tonight because they’re thinking of enacting one countywide,” Mohr said.
Violators could face a fine of up to $300.
The new restriction on drones was a part of a larger law prohibiting public nuisances.