The use of drones by owners and residents of units in HOA and condominium communities has created concerns across the country over potential privacy and safety issues for community association managers and their boards of directors. Sales of drones to consumers in the U.S. are expected to grow from 2.5 million in 2016 to 7 million in 2020, according to a report from the FAA. As the popularity of drones continues to soar, associations will need to come to terms with how they wish to address their use within their communities.
At the FishHawk Ranch community in the Tampa area, the use of drones by a homeowner has created such an uproar that it drew the attention of local TV news. The area’s CBS affiliate recently chronicled the battle that is brewing in the community over homeowner Frank Bragg and his collection of a half-dozen drones.
Bragg demonstrated his drones and the images that they capture to the station’s reporter, but the HOA president says those images are proof of the problem. He says that Bragg has been flying the drones over the community pool, and there have been Facebook posts raising privacy concerns and calling the homeowner out for “hovering over the kids’ area with half-naked children.”
Bragg contends he was practicing flying the drone while his daughter played in the pool, and he notes that drones are not restricted by the current HOA rules.
Police were called once when Bragg was told to stop flying the drones and refused to comply, but they did not take any action because he had left before they arrived. The latest move from the HOA was to revoke Bragg’s privileges to use the community’s amenities.