Bad public policy is rooted in knee-jerk reactions and discriminatory practices. In Jacksonville, Florida, the city doesn't allow people to build and repair airplanes at their homes. This came about because of a 2006 zoning change, stemming from a dispute involving one person. Yet other hobbyists are allowed to work on boats, cars, and motorcycles without the needless restrictions. The law also restricts residents from parking or storing aircraft on residential property other than in completely enclosed buildings. "Builders of these aircraft are responsible, law-abiding citizens from all walks of life who share a love for aviation," wrote Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs, in a letter to the city. "Since the days of the Wright brothers, amateur aircraft builders have been an integral part of aviation in America." AOPA is urging the city to put an end to the discrimination against aviation by changing the zoning law. Members are encouraged to show their support for the zoning change by attending a city council meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, at Jacksonville City Hall. For more information on the law, see the Web site.
July 20, 2007