Doylestown Township: Establish Hot Air Balloon Prohibitive Zone
  • Petitioned E. Thomas Scarborough, Jr.

This petition was delivered to:

Doylestown Township Supervisors, Vice Chairman
E. Thomas Scarborough, Jr.
Doylestown Township Manager
Stephanie Mason
Doylestown Township Supervisors, Chairman
Barbara N. Lyons
Doylestown Township Supervisor
Ryan Manion
Doylestown Township Supervisor
Shawn Touhill
Doylestown Township Supervisor
Richard F. Colello

Doylestown Township: Establish Hot Air Balloon Prohibitive Zone

    1. Jennifer Mertens
    2. Petition by

      Jennifer Mertens

      Doylestown, PA

On October 26, 2012 around 5:30 pm a hot air balloon operated by "The United States Hot Air Balloon Team" flew extremely low over residential homes while approaching its landing in Doylestown Township, brushing the tops of trees and scaring pets and people. Two dogs escaped through their fences out into the street to flee the oncoming balloon, one of those dogs was struck and killed by a car.

The area is congested with very little open space for balloon landings and they should not be allowed. By prohibiting them from landing in the township, they will not be allowed to fly under 1,000 feet in altitude according to FAA regulations. Prohibited Zones are commonly used around the country by landowners and municipalities to prevent injury, property damage and fatalities.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Success

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      It has been several months, but am finally updating this petition and closing it. Several community members along with some balloon representatives had a lively and sometimes heated discussion with the Doylestown Township Planning Commission last summer. While we were not successful in getting some sort of legal provision in place, we did raise a lot of awareness and got agreement for a letter to be sent to all balloonists that operate in the area that are members of the Great Eastern Balloon Association to make them aware of the incident and of areas that should be avoided for low flights and landings.

    2. Township Planning Commission to Discuss Petition

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      On the June 4, 2013 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board discussed the petition and accompanying letter and attachments that we sent. They recommended that it be sent over to the Township Planning Commission for review. The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday, June 24th at 7pm at 425 Wells Road, Doylestown, PA. This is a PUBLIC meeting and we would like for anyone local to the area to join us at this meeting.

    3. Reached 100 signatures
    4. Life on the Leash Owner Blog

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      Victoria Schade of the great local Doylestown pet shop, 'Life on the Leash,' has published a blog telling her story of how her dogs have been terrified by low flying balloons and shared my story. Check out the blog at: http://www.petside.com/article/hot-air-balloons-and-dogs

    5. Balloon Club Contacts Me

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      Robin of the Great Easter Balloon Association contacted me last week. She is on the committee for landowner relations. She expressed genuine concerned and offered to have me speak with some of their pilots. She also indicated that she has been calling their balloon pilot members to tell them about this incident and would request their cooperation in avoiding low flights and landings in this neighborhood. She will be following up with something in writing.

    6. The United States Balloon Team Contacts Us

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      A couple weeks ago I received an unexpected phone call from Stan Hess, the operator of The United States Balloon Team. We spoke for about 30 minutes. He had just learned of this incident the week prior and expressed sorrow. I asked him a lot of questions about ballooning practices and what he knew of the pilot and the particular incident. He essentially confirmed what we already had determined, the balloon and crew were not in any trouble, they had considered landing a 1/2 East of us, but carried on at low altitude until landing West of us. He said he would be speaking with his pilots about this incident and I'm sure we will be speaking again...

    7. Letter Published in Bucks County Herald

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      This story was published in the January 3rd issue of The Bucks County Herald on page A10, Letters to the Editor. Pick up a free copy at a local shop or view the digital version here: http://buckscountyherald.com/index.html

      The Bucks County Herald

      The Bucks County Herald, founded in 2002, is a free community newspaper serving the growing Central and Upper Bucks County regions of Pennsylvania. The Herald prints between 25,000 and 29,000 copies weekly and distributes to more than 350 locations.

    8. Reached 50 signatures
    9. "Loss of Teddy" video

      Jennifer Mertens
      Petition Organizer

      Here is a video that tells the full story: http://youtu.be/Sbgi-pgsLmE

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Denise Drudy MILLERSVILLE, PA
      • about 1 year ago

      Same thing happened to me with my dog. My dog survived but was hit by a car. She's scared to death of hot air balloons.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • suzanne ciamaichela DOYLESTOWN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      My Saint Bernard was also scared by a low flying hot air balloon several years ago. She jumped the fence. No injuries came to her but she was very scared.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mary Brownsberger DOYLESTOWN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      We love to see balloons flying over - but we have dog as well - and are concerned for safety. I know hot air balloons are difficult to control like an airplane, but more effort needs to be expended to keep everyone safe in their own yards and neighborhoods.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • laurie funes KATY, TX
      • over 1 year ago

      This was a.totally preventable death and never should have happened. Balloons do not.belong flying over neighborhoods.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lisa Mergen DOYLESTOWN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      I live in Doylestown and love my dog

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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