Chapter 8.60


8.60.010    Purpose and intent.

8.60.020    Definitions.

8.60.030    Prohibition.

8.60.040    Exemptions.

8.60.050    Enforcement.

8.60.010 Purpose and intent.

This chapter is intended to promote public safety and protect people engaging in large venue events. In consideration of these concerns, the City is mandating a “no-fly” restriction at all times by unmanned aircraft systems within one-half mile around and over Levi’s® Stadium, over Santa Clara University sports facilities when they are in use, and over large venue special events in public parks and public facilities that will attract large groups of people. All drones are subject to weight and design restrictions. All restrictions are intended to protect persons gathered in groups where a drone incident would cause greater harm and risk of injury due to a greater number of people gathered in a close proximity. It is not intended to restrict legitimate hobbyists operating drones in compliance with FAA rules and any applicable laws, and outside of the prohibited areas. This chapter is not intended to preempt FAA rules, but to operate in conjunction with those rules to promote public safety while recognizing the limitations in the FAA’s enforcement capabilities. (Ord. 1942 § 1, 8-18-15).

8.60.020 Definitions.

(a) “Drone” shall mean an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that can fly under the control of a remote pilot or by a global positioning system (GPS) guided autopilot mechanism.

(b) “Large venue special events” shall mean any event held in a public park or open-air facility that is open to the public and intended to attract people. (Ord. 1942 § 1, 8-18-15).

8.60.030 Prohibition.

(a) Unless otherwise exempt under this chapter, drones or UASs are prohibited from being deployed, launched or flown in any airspace within or over any sporting and/or large venue special event, including but not limited to over and within one-half mile of Levi’s® Stadium, over Santa Clara University sports facilities when they are in use, and over public parks and public facilities during large venue special events.

(b) In all other areas of the City, the following restrictions shall apply:

(1) Drones may not be larger than five pounds including any attachments, and may not be equipped with detachable cargo, releasable payload, or any device equipped to carry a weapon. Any modifications to a drone must be pursuant to FAA approval.

(2) Drones over five pounds may be operated only by a registered member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), if the operator is subject to and compliant with AMA rules. Notwithstanding the weight limit, all other provisions of this chapter shall apply. (Ord. 1942 § 1, 8-18-15).

8.60.040 Exemptions.

This chapter shall not prohibit the use of drones or UASs by any law enforcement agency for lawful purposes and in a lawful manner. (Ord. 1942 § 1, 8-18-15).

8.60.050 Enforcement.

Pursuant to SCCC 1.05.070 and Chapter 8.45 SCCC, the City, in its prosecutorial discretion, may enforce violation(s) of the provisions of this chapter as a criminal, civil, and/or administrative action. Violators may be guilty of a misdemeanor. Equipment flown in violation of this chapter may be confiscated. (Ord. 1942 § 1, 8-18-15).