An ordinance designed to protect the public from the spying eyes of drones will be introduced at the Anchorage Assembly Monday night.


Sponsor Patrick Flynn said the ordinance is meant to discourage some very specific behavior.


“This is the neighbor bugging you while you are trying to enjoy the privacy of your back yard or your deck,” Flynn explained.


The Alaska constitution already gives Alaskans a right to privacy, but Flynn said in Anchorage, there has never been a way to enforce that when it comes to drones.


Flynn’s ordinance would ban flying a drone closer than 50 vertical feet above the roofline of a private home or business without permission. Flynn said the ordinance would not ban flying next to a private structure as long as the drone didn’t cross over the property line. He proposed a range of fines, depending on the number of previous offenses. A first-time offense would incur a fine of $50 to $300, with each additional offense increasing in price up to a maximum of $600 per offense, according to the proposal.


Flynn said he’s gotten some pushback from commercial drone operators who worry the restrictions would impact their business, but the Assemblyman said that was not his intent. He also said he’s heard from people who have had close encounters with drones.


“I’ve been surprised by the number of emails I’ve already received from people who say, ‘my neighbor’s been spying on me,’ ‘I had to swerve out of the roadway because this drone was coming at me,'” he said. “There’s just some very interesting feedback I’ve already received.”


Public comment will not be held Tuesday night for the measure. After it is introduced, the public will have an opportunity to weigh-in on the ordinance at a later date.


KTVA 11’s Lauren Maxwell can be reached via email or on Twitter.


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