Waterloo talks drones, parking


The Waterloo City Council amended ordinances dealing with drones and the parking of recreational vehicles, trailers and construction equipment on Monday night.

The council also learned that Waterloo’s population increased by more than 1,000 residents as a result of a recently completed special census.

Public works director Tim Birk announced that the city picked up an additional 1,068 residents in the census, bringing Waterloo’s new population to 10,879.

Waterloo has just 11 more residents than its neighbor to the north. Columbia’s special census amounted to 1,161 additional residents for an updated population total of 10,868.

The increase in population means Waterloo will see additional federal and state revenue to help fund public services such as street maintenance, police and emergency medical services.

Areas counted as part of the special census include neighborhoods in and around the following subdivisions: Northwinds, Rose Meadows, Dannehold Farms Estates, Sterritt’s Run, Stoney Creek, Country Club Hills, Remington Ridge, Quail Ridge, Remlok, Bradford Estates, Ridge Road, Shady Springs, Westview Acres, Creekside Estates, Sunset Acres, Lakeview Estates, The Meadows and Silvercreek Crossing.

Due to the increased popularity of unmanned aircraft technology, commonly known as drones, used to capture aerial photos, the council amended a city ordinance on trespassing.

The ordinance now states that a person is liable for trespass to property if they knowingly attempt to capture any type of visual image, recording or other physical impression of another engaging in private, personal or familial activity “in a place in which the person observed has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Drones used for law enforcement, government, or private commercial purposes are exempt from this ordinance, which goes into effect immediately.

“It’s for the protection of homeowners,” alderman Steve Notheisen said. “They need their own privacy.”

With one dissenting vote, the council also addressed parking issues involving work trailers, campers and other recreational vehicles in town.

“We were getting complaints of people parking work trailers on the street and leaving them near other homes, sometimes for months at a time,” Mayor Tom Smith explained.

The amended ordinance, which goes into effect in 90 days, states that no person shall park or leave standing on any public street or alley in a residential district any commercial vehicle registered as a Class C motor vehicle and above unless it is at or near an address where business is being conducted. The same goes for construction equipment that is not being used during construction in conjunction with a valid building permit.

It will also be unlawful to park a recreational vehicle (camping trailer, motor home, travel trailer, truck camper, van camper, boat, jet ski, off-highway vehicle) upon any public street or alley within the city limits.

It will be unlawful to park any trailer not included in the definition of “recreational vehicle” that is not attached to a motor vehicle on any public street or alley. When attached to a motor vehicle, a trailer (other than a recreational vehicle) may be parked on a public street except between sundown and sunrise, according to the amended ordinance.

Alderman Kyle Buettner cast the lone dissenting vote.

Mayor Smith also announced at the meeting the city will be receiving a Governors Hometown Award on Nov. 8 for its involvement with the House of Neighborly Service. The city pays for the organization’s help line, 939-8680, and also allows the House of Neighborly Service to use the former fire station on North Main Street.

The city will also be recognized for its community service in relation to House of Neighborly Service during an East-West Gateway Council of Governments banquet on Nov. 17.

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