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City of Jacksonville Repeals Anti-Homebuilding Ordinance

September 27, 2007 — "Absolutely happy!"

Milford Shirley, president of EAA Chapter 193, could hardly contain his enthusiasm Wednesday when he informed EAA that the Jacksonville City Council voted unanimously to repeal a city ordinance that prohibited working on or storing airplanes in residential areas.

The council voted 15-0 in favor of City Bill 955, which repeals the so-called Everett Ordinance prohibiting parking, storing, repairing, and operating flying craft and airboats in residential districts. The vote was originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but prolonged budget discussions forced the council to adjourn and reconvene Wednesday afternoon to finish its agenda.

"Fifteen of 19 council members were present and all voted with us," an elated Shirley said. "It was well worth the wait." Close to a dozen EAAers were on hand Tuesday night, and most showed up again Wednesday for the vote.

An 11th-hour opponent provided some added drama to the proceedings, as a community planning advisory council voiced support the existing ordinance. But Shirley, speaking on behalf of aviation enthusiasts, effectively refuted the opposition and secured the unanimous vote.

"The only caveat we have is that the council will do a zoning rewrite at some point that will include aviation as well as other recreation and hobbies," he said. "We will do our best to stay vigilant to participate in the discussion."

Shirley thanked council member Glorious Johnson, who sided with the EAAers and was very helpful in repealing the ordinance. He also thanked all the local EAA members and chapters for getting involved and showing fantastic unity throughout the long process, as well as EAA itself for publicizing the issue.

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