Homebuilding Ban Reconsidered

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Jacksonville, Fla.ís city ordinance against building or repairing aircraft on residential property will either be repealed or substantially rewritten thanks to a successful lobby campaign by local pilots and EAA. At a meeting last week, the sponsor of the controversial law, council member Lake Ray, is reported by EAA to have admitted the law was flawed. "It could not have gone any better," said Milford Shirley, who organized the opposition to the law. "Our strategy was to show the inequity of restricting aircraft homebuilding as opposed to other hobby-type pursuits that aren't as regulated, and it worked." The ordinance singled out aircraft construction and repair as being illegal while allowing processes similar to those used on aircraft to continue in other hobby activities. For instance, building furniture out of wood was legal but building wing spars from wood was not. Similarly fiberglass, metal, engine and other construction and repair activities were legal as long as they didnít involve a flying machine. The EAA lobby apparently convinced the council that any ordinance against those types of activities should apply across the board, not just to aircraft.