Several County Residents have reported county drone surveillance for land use code compliance already taking place over their backyards. This has led to strong concerns regarding citizens’ basic right to privacy. These instances of county drone surveillance have reportedly been for minor alleged violations of the existing 2021 Land Use Code, and not for serious concerns related to human health or safety. The current 2021 Land Use Code does not allow for or provide provisions for drones.
Note that the new draft of the County Planning Department Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) currently under review does currently include and allow drone usage.
Responding to these concerns brought forward by the DCC, the County has now stated emphatically and asked the DCC to share the following information:
- The county does not authorize or use drones for Land Use related matters, period.
- The county has not and will not condone or authorize county use of drones for Land Use related matters.
- County employees and contractors are not and will not be authorized to use personal or other drones in relation to county business or county land use matters.
- County drones are only used over county gravel pit and county landfill and for search and rescue
- These policies and assurances to the public regarding drones will be reflected in writing in the upcoming LUC revision and not just in office notes and office procedures
The DCC will be working with the county to ensure that this stated prohibition on county drone surveillance for Land Use related matters is upheld and included in writing, codified in the Land Use Code update, and written resolutions. The DCC will provide updates as they become available along with opportunities for the public to support and thank the County Commissioners in putting this important policy prohibiting county drone surveillance in writing in the upcoming 2023 Land Use Code Revision.