CEDAR PARK

Cedar Park Council considers ordinance prohibiting drones over events

Special exemptions could be allowed for the use of drones by law enforcement officials

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The Cedar Park City Council is considering an ordinance prohibiting the flying of unmanned aircraft, frequently called drones, over special events in the city. A first public hearing on the ordinance was held Thursday.

Cedar Park Prosecutor Lauren Marfin told the council the Texas Legislature has authorized limited local ordinances prohibiting the flying of unmanned aircraft over special events in Texas towns and cities.

Marfin said, if approved by the council, violations of the ordinance would be punishable by a $500 fine.

"Special exemptions could be allowed for the use of drones by law enforcement officials," Marfin said.

The Cedar Park Council and the Cedar Park Police Department have received complaints from citizens about the use of drones over events, however, no one appeared Thursday before the council to speak for or against the ordinance. A second public hearing and a vote is scheduled for Aug. 10th.

During the public comments portion of the Thursday council meeting, several citizens appeared to urge the city to take action to resolve a significant drainage problem in the Cougar Avenue area.

Cathy Cook, who lives on Cougar Avenue near the fire station, said thunderstorms and heavy rains cause flooding that swamps homes in the area. She showed the city council pictures of flooding with water covering yards and driveways and rising up the sides of homes.

"It has happened at night, it has happened when I was out of town and my son was home alone," Cook said. "We must keep people's families, homes and pets safe during times of flooding."

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