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South Bay Digest

R.H. Estates : Model Plane Ban Studied

February 13, 1986

The City Council this week postponed action on an ordinance that would prohibit the flying of motorized model aircraft in the city.

After hearing testimony from members of a local model helicopter flying club, who filled council chambers, the council agreed to further research the ordinance and include a provision allowing use of the craft at parks on a permit basis.

A discussion of the revised ordinance was set for the April 8 meeting.

Members of the Southern California Organization of Radio Controlled Helicopters testified that their group is the principal aircraft user at Highridge Park at Whitley Collins Drive and Highridge Road. Park terrain is not conducive to other model craft uses, the council was told. The council ordered the ordinance drafted two weeks ago after Community Services Director Sam Wise reported that residents near the park had complained of noise.

Richard Elliott, a Rolling Hills Estates resident and a model aircraft enthusiast, told the council Tuesday that the decibel reading of a single helicopter 50 feet away is equivalent to the normal volume of a radio in a room.

"They're less noisy than street noise from cars," he said.

Dave Weldon, president of the helicopter hobbyists, said Highridge Park is the only location in the South Bay practical for model helicopter flights and appealed to the council not to ban an activity of interest to adults and teen-agers.

Members of the group expressed pleasure with the council's decision to require permits rather than ban the craft.

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