Thornton considering major restrictions on drones

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THORNTON, Colo. -- The Thornton City Council is considering beefing up restrictions for drones within city limits.

It's exploring three options -- of of which would make it illegal to take off from any public street or sidewalk.

A citation could include a fine of up to $2,600.

Legally, only the Federal Aviation Administration dictates where drones can fly as soon as they take off, but cities can regulate the launch spots.

The three options would make it illegal to launch a drone from a publicly owned street, highway, sidewalk, trail, stream or ditch.

The first option that the staff recommends the council to pass would block drones from parks, open spaces and reservoirs except in designated places.

Businesses that use drones to inspect roofs or get real estate video of homes would be prohibited under the proposed policy.

The city council discussed the matter at a meeting this week but decided to table it until March to do more research.

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