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Plano City Council Approves Drone Delivery Hubs

The ordinance focused on zoning regulations while addressing community concerns
Photo: Andy Dean Photography / Shutterstock

During the Feb. 26 meeting, the Plano City Council has greenlit an ordinance to pave the way for commercial drone delivery hubs within city limits. 

As per the official meeting agenda, the ordinance passed with a vote of 6-2, focuses primarily on zoning regulations. It acknowledges the Federal Aviation Administration's authority over flight rules while addressing local concerns about drone operations.

At the meeting, Jordan Rockerbe, Plano's planning supervisor, emphasized the ordinance's dual purpose: facilitating the gradual adoption of new technologies while mitigating potential disruptions to nearby properties. According to the official documentation, small-scale drone delivery hubs using aircraft weighing under 55 pounds will be permitted in regional commercial and retail zones under the new rules.

However, larger hubs, employing heavier aircraft will require specific-use permits. Additionally, outdoor storage areas within these hubs will need screening, subject to review by the planning and zoning commission.

Christina Day, director of planning, underscored the need for nuanced considerations regarding screening requirements, recognizing the diverse operational contexts of different drone enterprises. Councilman Horne echoed calls for thorough scrutiny of the regulatory framework, emphasizing its importance.

As previously reported by Local Profile, this decision follows deliberations in October and November, during which the council deferred final rulings on proposed ordinances. 

City officials plan to conduct periodic assessments of drone operations under the ordinance to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness.

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