Alachua County Airboat Curfew (November 2010)
This measure was approved
- YES 38,473 (56.17%)
- NO 30,016 (43.83%)
This measure was approved for the November ballot because the group had collected the needed amount of signatures. If approved, a curfew between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. would be in place with fines of $250 for the first violation and $500 thereafter also being enacted.
The county commission formally approved this measure for the November election on July 14. It was just a formality because the group had collected enough signatures to force the vote, but the council could have put it into law immediately is a super majority of the council agreed. But council members agreed they wanted instead for the people to decide on the issue. The United Sportsman and Airboat Alliance stated that it had a large amount of money and plans to campaign against this measure immediately.
Residents who live on the lakes in the county, Orange and Newnan mostly, created a committee to get a vote on the November ballot about setting a curfew for airboats between 7pm and 7am. Residents who lived on the lake continued to complain about the noise keeping them awake. They needed 10,831 signatures in order to get this measure on to the ballot by August 1. In November of 2009 a curfew proposal went to the county council, but it did not pass. Airboaters did their best, they said, to protest this curfew. They did not see it as fair and believe a few rogue boaters are to blame for noise. They also stated that if laws already in place about alcohol and boating were enforced there would not be a noise issue.
Residents had attempted to get the charter review committee to put this issue on the ballot, it would have saved them the trouble of collecting all the needed signatures, but the county commission did not feel that this issue belonged in a revised charter. The signature gathering though was still ongoing and proponents hoped to meet the August deadline, and did.
- Alachua County Elections, November Election Results
- The Gainseville Sun, "Airboat curfew on Nov. ballot," May 25, 2010
- The Gainesville Sun, "Airboat curfew makes the ballot," July 15, 2010
- The Gainesville Sun, "Group will seek airboat curfew on Nov. ballot," December 17, 2009
- The Gainesville Sun, "Airboats, superintendent won't be charter ballot issues," March 27, 2010