As technology continues to move forward, many online companies – amazon at the forefront – are toying with the idea of using unmanned drones to deliver packages to customers. If you’re not familiar with drones, they’re essentially small, highly maneuverable helicopters that can be controlled remotely.
In theory, drone delivery has multiple advantages. One is that you wouldn’t have to send out gas-guzzling UPS trucks to make the deliveries any more. Another is that, because drones travel as the bird flies, deliveries could be made within hours of ordering – and in some cases, minutes.
But there are potential drawbacks when it comes to delivering to properties that HOAs are in charge of, and there are plenty of common rules and regulations that might defeat the idea entirely.
For example, a drone can’t be allowed to land in any common areas. Not only would it be disruptive to residents, there’s the potential for injury. A designated drone landing area is a possibility, but only for complexes that have the space.
There’s also the issue of noise. Some drones are relatively quiet, but drones that will need the power to lift potentially heavy packages will need to be larger, and therefore louder, which will undoubtedly disturb neighbors.
And then there’s the factor of time. If a drone delivers a package at noon, it’s not as likely to be disruptive as a package delivery at 3 in the morning. And since online companies are open 24 hours a day, late-night (or early-morning) deliveries could be a legitimate concern.
Since it’s pretty much a given that drone deliveries will be happening at some point in the future, it’s not a bad idea for an HOA to start making preparations now by adding by-laws that govern them. If drones are allowed on the property at all, the new rules should designate where they can land and when, and specify that the HOA is not liable for any eventualities tied to drone delivery.
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