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Jacksonville EAAers Clear Another Hurdle

Members More Confident Anti-Homebuilding Ordinance Will Be Repealed

September 13, 2007 — EAA members in the Jacksonville, Florida, area are cautiously optimistic that their efforts to repeal a city ordinance that prohibits people from working on aircraft at home will pay off after receiving unanimous support from the Jacksonville Planning Commission Thursday afternoon. The commission voted to support city bill 955, which would repeal the city ordinance enacted in June 2006 that prohibits parking, storing, repairing, and operating flying craft and airboats in residential districts.

Milford Shirley, president of Jacksonville EAA Chapter 193, was present Thursday and reported that the meeting "could not have gone better."

After city planning department staff appeared and voiced its recommendation to keep the ordinance on the books, at least a dozen EAAers spoke to point out the inherent unfairness of the ordinance because it singles out aviation. Councilwoman Glorious Johnson, who sides with the EAA members, also appeared and distributed a folder full of e-mails she received calling for the ordinance to be repealed.

After hearing both sides, a motion passed unanimously to recommend adoption of the bill to repeal the anti-homebuilding ordinance.

The next hurdle comes Tuesday, September 19, when the city land use and zoning committee (LUZ) considers the matter based on recommendations from the volunteer planning commission and the city planning staff. The following Tuesday (September 25) the full council meets to make the final decision. "If we get support next Tuesday like we did today, let's just say we really like our chances," Shirley said. "I'm telling everyone, 'We've got two more Tuesdays to go, so let's finish the job.'

"We thought it was over one other time and it wasn't, but we're feeling pretty good about it right now." Shirley calls on EAAers and aviation enthusiasts to attend both meetings is a show of support.

The pending legislation - which EAAers back - would permit outside storage, parking, repairing, testing, operating, constructing, modifying, and altering of flying craft and airboats on zoned properties.

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