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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:

from avpress.com on September 29, 2007
Website: http://www.avpress.com/n/25/0925_s10.hts
View comments about this article!

Commission Revokes Ham Radio Operator's Permits:

See the full story here:

LINK

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by SSB on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
This looks like a good example of a ham that thinks he can put up anything on his property because he has a FCC license and nobody can stop him. It appears he's going to be on the short end.

Hams don't understand that making your property as attractive as possible for the neighborhood works better than the arrogant way. Even if there are no CCR's, put up reasonable size antennas and make them look as nice as possible. It works better.


Alex.....
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W9PMZ on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
SSB - did you and I read the same article?

From the article it appears the the ham had the proper zoning permits; and subsuquently people complained.

There is no mention of the size of the installation either. For all we know from the article it could be 30 feet tall. From my read of the article the ham in question lawyers believe that the installation is within his rights as a reasonable accomodation.

Now after it's installed you have a bunch of cry babies. The people who complained of interference probably are complaining about immaginary interfernce that the tower just has to be eminating; because don't all towers interfere?

SSB are you one of the 68? If so please go away.

no 73 for you....

de W9PMZ
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N4CQR on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
More comments can be found here:

http://www.eham.net/articles/17401

Craig
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KB9RQZ on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
frankly looks like the town is asking for serrious trouble regardless of how good or bad the hams stuff is they grans the permits

they are no responible for the alleged mess too
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N0MLR on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I use to have a neighbor like the ones he is dealing with. I had a mower shop in my basement at home. The guys house faced south on the other street. My shop faced north on my street. He complained to the city about a 5 small signs on the fence out side facing my street. They sent the Building Inspector/Health Inspector?Fire Cheif up to have me take them down. I told him no problem.... I did take them down and Mounted them to the side of my trailer which I then took up and parked Right By His Yard where he would have to look at them every day. There was nothing he could do about that.
Later he wanted a 6 foot wood privacy fence built between us. He offered to pay for the materials if I would do the labor. I told him No Problem sure. Well when I put the fence up he was at work. He came home and as we were about 2/3 done and told me I was putting it up the wrong way. I told him nope you can put it up either way and kept nailing boards up. He went in and called his wife on the phone. Then he came out and asked me to take it down and do it the other way. I told him nope it would destroy the material. He said he would pay for the materials. I told him I was busy and had to get it done today. He ask me to talk to his wife on the cordless phone. I said Nope she ain't my wife you talk to her. Now keep in mind that when I got the building permit I did not say which way the smooth side of the fence would go. There was nothing he could do but look at the back side of that fence when he came out in the yard.
You see when in that situation you have to be clever and as they say "don't get mad get even". Just keep your cool and think!
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N4CQR on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Good story. Unfortunately not only does he have to look at the shitty side, so does every else. Even those that drive by and laugh.

Code here is town (Berea KY) is that the smooth side is away from the propety on which it is installed and installed far enough inside the property line so as to provied room for maintenance without encroaching adjoining property.

--
There was nothing he could do but look at the back side of that fence when he came out in the yard.
--
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6NKN on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think the city of Palmdale has heard the end of this case.

Rick N6NKN
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K1CJS on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
It sounds like WB6X has been a little less co-operative than he should have been toward his neighbors. If he would have worked with them a little more, maybe he would have gotten some of them on his side. Instead, he kept on insisting the interference was their problem since his equipment was within the guidelines set down by the FCC.

Even though we have PRB-1 to lean on, if we don't show some sort of co-operation with our neighbors, when something like this comes up it could be us on the receiving end of the neighborhood wrath.

Reminds me of the old story about a lady who claimed a ham was generating interference she was getting on her TV. He was at her house talking to her when the interference came on the TV--right in front of them both. It turned out the ladys cat was playing with the antenna wire and causing it--tightening a loose connection on the TV solved it.
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K6RJC on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Tower Grief

One of the things I would do, is to put the antenna up and let it sit for a week or two. The connector end in plain view. After dealing with complaints, then hook up the system, and make sure there were no issues.

If push came to shove, haul a (141T series) spectrum analyzer to the neighbors house, and have a look-see at what was going on, and work at a solution. Even if the problem wasn't mine. Minimum power, happy neighbors, no bureaucratic (expensive) city grief.

I like N0MLR's approach, reminds me of the time my neighbors were playing music (?) at 3:30 in the morning. A lovely time of day to mow the yard ... you're already up.

Good luck.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N4JTE on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Wow! 68 interferance complaints, sounds like the "condo commander" type really got themselves organized at the early bird dinner convention.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W7ETA on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"A staff report on the matter noted that Zubarau's antenna exceeded city restrictions, was too close to neighboring properties and violated zoning regulations if it was generating reception interference."

Yup.
If there are interference complaints, it proves he violated zoning regulations.

AND, of Course! If someone complains about interference, they are actually getting interference, and because its interference, it has to be from one person.

Maybe all of his neighbors are CBers?

Bob
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by WA6ITF on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I have a feeling this one far from over. The attorney noted in the article as representing WB6X is Fred Hopengarten. His call is K1VR and he resides in Lincoln MA. If you do a bit of research, you will find that he is the nations expert in this area of law. If he came across country to represent a client in California, you can be pretty certain he has an ace in his pocket. I suggest you all stay tuned. I have a strong beliefthat its not over yet.

de
WA6ITF
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K8YZK on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well the story in my opinion was actually more onesided then the other, and it sided with the neighbors. First the city issues a permit and takes it back after the antenna/tower is installed.

I wonder how many moved into the neighborhood after the tower and antenna was put up. Like people who buy houses near an airport then complain about the noise.

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by AB5Q on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Look closely at the picture of his shack on QRZ. Note the appliance on the left hand side of his desk. He could have probably avoided the whole situation if he hadn't purchased the darn thing. Common sense while operating in an urban area is paramount. His neighbors probably wouldn't have cared about the tower if they weren't provoked by sustained RFI.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K1CJS on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Yes, so there is an RF amp there. How do you know the thing is in constant use--quite a few hams I know have 'em, but use them once in a blue moon--if needed.

You're jumping to a conclusion here. Maybe it is a valid conclusion, but a conclusion none the less.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KB3MMX on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
""""RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked: Reply
by AB5Q on September 29, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Look closely at the picture of his shack on QRZ. Note the appliance on the left hand side of his desk. He could have probably avoided the whole situation if he hadn't purchased the darn thing. Common sense while operating in an urban area is paramount. His neighbors probably wouldn't have cared about the tower if they weren't provoked by sustained RFI. """""
==================================================
==================================================

Are we forgetting that we are the licensed users and NOT part 15 operators.
Alec has the license to use the Ameritron Amlifier and it meets FCC requirements.
I was rolling with laughter when the city said because he has added antennas he must surely be exceeding FCC power requirements. Who is the official from the city that is supposedly the professional to determine this!!!!????
>>Sure it is good to be a civil neighbor but just because the don't like the way your house looks is a Pi** poor excuse to make you alter YOUR property. I wonder how many of the complaintess know their rights(or lack of) regarding their FCC PART-15 devices?

I would look at the zoning requirements real close and build exactly in compliance. The city has no control of the emissions of his personal, NON-COMMERCIAL Amateur station.


***I wonder if the attorney will get the FCC part 15 regs involved for the interference compliantees!?!?
The neigbors own the PART-15 devices and they are RESPONSIBLE for any interference they RECIEVE or MAKE.




FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT, Don't give up Alec !!





KB3MMX---Chuck

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
So any antenna, no matter how big, any instillation, no matter how out of character with the neighborhood is OK by you?

Everyone on a city lot (50x 100), surrounded by other similar lots and homes has the right to put up a 50 foot tower with a full sized StepperIR 4 element with a 36 foot boom and 32 foot elements that's the ticket?

We're "licensed" hams, so what we say is the way it is. The heck with the neighbors.

OK fine.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by WA4DOU on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I found, after reading the article, there is nothing I can know about this situation with certainty. The writer's objectivity and skill in fereting out the facts and presenting them can't possibly be known to any of us. Without an objective investigation and analysis of interference complaints, there can be no way to argue successfully that amateur equipment meets and is being operated within FCC regulations.

I live in the country on .94 acres. My yard is about 104 feet wide and 360 feet deep. I would have loved to erect a 70 ft. tower but I chose a 52 ft. tower in order to be able to argue that my tower could not fall across the property line in an absolutely worst case scenario. It's a guyed tower and they almost always collapse within 29-30% of their height. My neighbors homes on either side are about 125 ft. from my tower. Satellite and cable are routinely used for tv signal delivery in the neighborhood. I'm a contester and dx'er but I wouldn't dream of using an amplifier above 500-600 watts here and even then, only on an occasional basis. I've had no reports of interference to the neighbors but if I did, I'd have to approach it objectively on a case by case basis and I'd expect to have to help resolve it even if my equipment was sqeaky clean. As amateurs, we cannot operate with impunity when we live on top of our neighbors, even if we have legal harmonic levels. Strong rf fields frequently do interfere with consumer electronics. The FCC expects us to assist in the resolution of interference complaints and will even impose "quiet hours" if we are clean but the interference continues. We are not islands unto ourselves nor should we expect to be.

It will be interesting to follow this case and learn more facts.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Compromise, try to be a good neighbor by careful operating practices, parish the thought.

Look at the where this QTH is using Google Earth and figure it out for yourself.

34°35'46.27"N

118°10'54.11"W
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KI4QMR on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Really, before you comment in this thread, you should take a look at the original one linked in the third post. The City is typically out of their element here and very obviously just blindly going with what it feels is the path of least resistance.

I totally agree that we have to do our best to be good neighbors, maybe heading a lot of this stuff off, but when the idiots declare war, it's time to choose your weapons.

This one will be interesting for sure.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If I have seen the antenna in situ, in person, just about every day count?

As Paul Harvey used to say, there's "The Rest of the Story". Much of that rest of the story has been mooted in the above comments and this may not be the best of cases for amateurs upset about antenna restrictions to get all hot and bothered by.

It was a very big antenna in a pretty small lot.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by NN4RH on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
From the satellite image it looks like a town-house commuity. Small lots all surrounded by fences. Houses partically on top of each other. Few if any trees to screen views.

On the edge of town so I'd guess probably relatively new. But if that is the case I wonder why there isn't an HOA involved? Or maybe there is but it wasn't mentioned in the article. W6CRR, can you comment on that since your address seems to be in the same neighborhood about a block or two away?

Can't see the tower itself on the images but frankly if it's much more than say a 30 foot tower with anything bigger than a 10m monobander on it, it's probably sticks out like a sore thumb in that neighborhood and no wonder everyone is peeved about it.

Not an ideal place to try to run QRO with a big tower & beams. Legal, yes, but neighborly, not really.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"On the edge of town so I'd guess probably relatively new. But if that is the case I wonder why there isn't an HOA involved?"

Five years old, no HOA and no trees to speak of. The myth of every new housing track built everywhere has a HOA is just that, a myth.

If you look about 2 miles away to North and slightly East, there was a guy who had a home in an older part of town with a pair of 100+ foot towers on a double lot, the second lot was his antenna farm. This house recently sold and the antennas came down.

The city of Palmdale has not been anti-antenna in the past, perhaps that is changing, but there's always, "The rest of the story" helping to change that attitude.

And no I did not sign the petition.
 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K5MO on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
I don't see that he did anything wrong (other than to live in the Peoples Republic). He's got a permit for a tower, a license, and ostensibly operating gear in compliance with the terms of his license.

If he's got an attorney and some money he'll win.

Ever check EVERY piece of consumer electronics gear, for that little piece of paper that says "this unit must accept any interference....."

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W6EM on September 30, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Not an ideal place to try to run QRO with a big tower & beams. Legal, yes, but neighborly, not really."

Not much cover in Palmdale. Mostly rocks and sand from the Mojave Desert. So, a tower would stick out like a sore thumb.

It always amazes me how guys can put up a 65 foot tower on an 80X80 foot lot near the rear property line and guy it correctly so that it isn't a hazard. Maybe someone could explain how that could be done without attaching guys to anchors on neighboring properties.

Oh, I think I get it. Its "self-supporting." Well then, it will flatten the pitch of whichever roof it creases when it comes over. Hopefully, with no one on it or under it.

Does this fellow's insurance agent know about the tower? I sure hope he has at least four or five million worth of public liability insurance.

 
WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KB9RQZ on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
amazing that Palmdale has revoked its own permit

the ham shuld presumed to inocent till at least accused or investagated by the proper authority

this isn't about PRB-1 I suspect it will come down the fact those that get permits are entitled to rely on them being and staying valid

to dare over tuurn their own action on the evidence present is insane for Palmdale and I suspect they are in for paying one hell of a price for that arrogant act
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by NN4RH on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
For what it's worth, here is the Palmdale Zoning Ordinance as it concerns antennas, from http://www.cityofpalmdale.org/departments/planning/zoning/index.html


CHAPTER 1 ARTICLE 16 DEFINITIONS

Antenna, Vertical, shall mean a device for transmitting or receiving radio, television, or any other transmitted signal.

CHAPTER 9 ARTICLE 95 COMMUNICATIONS AND UTILITIES Adopted by City Council 9-125 12/14/94

Section 95.03 Vertical Antennae

A. Purpose and intent
It is the purpose of these regulations to provide standards for residential vertical television or amateur radio antennae that will ensure that such antennae are compatible with the surrounding neighborhood by preventing adverse visual, health, safety, and other impacts on the surrounding properties and/or the community.
B. Development standards for residential zones

The installation of residential single-pole or tower, roof or ground mounted, television or amateur radio antennae may be permitted in all agricultural and residential zones in accordance with the following:

1. Height. Maximum height of the antennae shall not exceed seventy-five (75) feet measured from the grade to the highest point of the antenna. Maximum height of the active element of the antenna array shall be thirty (30) feet or less except as otherwise regulated by FAA or FCC.

2. Setbacks. The following setbacks shall be required measured from the closest point of the structure to the property line:
a. Minimum rear yard setback shall be ten (10) feet;
b. Minimum interior side yard setback shall be ten (10) feet;
c. Minimum street side yard setback shall be fifteen (15) feet;
d. No vertical antenna shall be located within the front yard.

3. Interferences. The operation of the antenna shall not cause interference with any electrical equipment in the surrounding neighborhoods (e.g. television, radio, telephone, computer, etc.), unless exempted by Federal regulation.

C. Review process
Vertical antennae shall be subject to administrative approval in accordance with Article 26.

Article 26 which gives the review and approval procedures is much too long to post here, but can be found at the link I provided at the top.

Important to note it says antenna "MAY be permitted", not "SHALL be permitted". The height language is a little confusing - seems to be OK to have a 75 foot antenna as long as the "active element" is only 30 feet up? Doesn't make much sense.

Also note the ordinance that it "shall not cause intererence unless excempted by Federal regulation". I think federal regulation DOES say that all those TVs, radios, telephones etc have to accept any inteference received.

In the "approval" section of the zoning ordinance the city reserves the right to revoke anything they do at any time.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by WI7B on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

Yes, I think that the ordinance is clear both about set-back and height, and probably fulfill the FCC PRB-1 requirement of allowability.

The interference requirement of the ordinance also gives exception to Federal regulations. In his appeal, WB6X should show he is within both FCC power requirements and RF environmental requirments. ARRL should help there.

Since WB6X is a recent immigrant from Belarus (where he was a ham) I would hate to think that some neighborhood animosity might be generated from his ethnicity. Do you think they treated him predujdicial in a way a native American would not been treated? That would be a horrbile and illegal action on their part.

73,

---* Ken
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KB3MMX on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Really, before you comment in this thread, you should take a look at the original one linked in the third post. The City is typically out of their element here and very obviously just blindly going with what it feels is the path of least resistance.

I totally agree that we have to do our best to be good neighbors, maybe heading a lot of this stuff off, but when the idiots declare war, it's time to choose your weapons.

This one will be interesting for sure. "




-----AMEN!!!
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W2RDD on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Oh please, anti-Balarus? I cannot think of any hobby whose practioners are more arrogant than we amateurs. Until we get over this privledged class attitude, we will continue to experience negative publicity.

This is the 21st century and as the population increases, pea-patch plots of land for our homes will become the norm. We are going have to darn well adapt...or practice birth-control. And conservative hams, the majority, will have none of that.

My only comment.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KF7CG on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If the previous thread on this same topic is read, one learns that this Ham was not arrogant and followed through according to the RFI Handbook.

When he was informed of the possibility of interference by the neighbor that is pushing the actions, he sent his wife over to observe while he operated at full power on each band and there was no interference to correct. Further he was visiting their house when he was shown a signal loss on the TV and told that it was his station interfering.

Against that kind of ignorance there is no reason or defense.

I am willing to wager that many of the interference complaints are based on the "known fact" that Ham and CB antennas cause interence by their mere presence in a neighborhood.

Antennas capture and send signals; therefore the antennas in question are capturing the singnals needed for the satellite TV so that they aren't available for the satellite dish. These antennas are also sending all the signal that they capture and are not used out to interfere. I have actually been told that by a "well educated" neighbor. That is why things don't interfere when the antenna is in use; the antenna is too busy handling the its main signals.

You wouldn't believe what the public "knows" about Ham radio.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by AB5Q on October 1, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Excerpts from the article -

"Earlier this year, 68 neighbors signed a petition filed with the city claiming they suffered electronic interference because of Zubarau's radio operations."

Yep, the amplifier was just sitting there collecting dust. Note to self, if I’m ever involved in a similar situation, what is the worst think to say to those sixty-eight angry neighbors.

“If interference were a problem, it would be up to those neighbors to find, acquire and install interference-eliminating equipment, said Fred Hopengarten, Zubarau's attorney.”

Give me a break…...
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KC8VWM on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The fact is that he was allowed the tower permit "until" the station started causing interference with neighbors.

Interference caused by a licensed station is a matter of federal jurisdiction. The city simply has no authority in the matter as it relates to interference. The city can only cite "violations" as they pertain to the installation of the tower.

Interference caused by the transmitter is not their area of concern. The city pulled his tower permit illegally and without any legal authority.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KF7CG on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Before complaining of the actions of the Ham involved, look at this forum article, particularly, the response from the Amateur involved.

http://www.eham.net/articles/17401

From the response it can be seen that he did indeed try to be a good neighbor, but that wasn't sufficient. He was even accused of interference when he was present in the home of the accuser and couldn't possibly have been operating. Also a slightly larger number of neighbors in that community are on his side; they don't scream as loudly though.

The new "law" of interference for Hams is that we are guilty of interence until proven innocent beyond all doubt or until a higher power intervenes. Also among a large portion of the populace an Amateur Radio especially its antenna causes interference by its mere presence.

Another rule of this new order is that any devices owned by the Ham don't count in determining interference and neither do the opinions and measurements of other Hams.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Charles,

What do you base your statement; "Interference caused by the transmitter is not their area of concern. The city pulled his tower permit illegally and without any legal authority."

Are you a lawyer, do you work in land use and the authority of cities to regulate acceptable use? You speak so authoritatively, I might just want to consult you in the future given your vast knowledge of this topic area.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by K5MO on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!

"Yep, the amplifier was just sitting there collecting dust."

Your point is? Is there some reason he should NOT be using something he's licensed to use, and which is apparently installed correctly?

“If interference were a problem, it would be up to those neighbors to find, acquire and install interference-eliminating equipment, said Fred Hopengarten, Zubarau's attorney.”

Absolutely true. It's a quote from the FCC regulations, for heavens sake.

What do you think he should do? Go off the air? Move back to Belarus?
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KC8VWM on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
You do not have to be a lawyer to figure out the simple fact that the people working in city planning and zoning department at city hall are not in any way associated with the Federal Communication Commission's enforcement bureau.

This is not an "authoritative" statement. It's plain common sense.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Charles,

Glad you cleared that up, thought you might actually know what you were talking about.

Cites have the right to set all sorts of rules for people who's homes are in them. Sorry you don't like that, but that's the way it is.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6NKN on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Cities can write all kinds of rules. They just better not violate PRB-1.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Key word in PRB-1..."Reasonable".

When cites go nuts and are not "Reasonable" they loose, when someone tries to push beyond "Reasonable" on an antenna, they may loose.

Sounds like a good system to me.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6NKN on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That is for the courts to decide. Not you or I.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Absolutely true!

A process is in motion, and an appeal to the city council will be made I assume. If they reject the appeal, take it to court, win or not win, hard to say, but it will cost money. Oh by the way, the city has John Q Publics money to fight you in court.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KC8VWM on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
There should be nothing for the courts to figure out...

#1 The FCC has authority over radio interference complaints.

True or False?

#2 The city has authority over the engineered physical installation, structural design and mechanical integrity requirements of the antenna towers they permit.

True or False?

In this particular case the city "acted on radio interference complaints" and revoked the tower permit solely based on that information.

True or False?

Comment:

What "radio interference complaints" has to do with meeting any engineered physical structural design and/or mechanical integrity requirements involving the certification of a tower installation is beyond my comprehension.

Perhaps we should ignore any scope of authority and jurisdiction and start allowing city dogcatchers to issue citizens traffic citations?

...Or should we just leave it up to the court system to decide that too?

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by AB5Q on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Your point is? Is there some reason he should NOT be using something he's licensed to use, and which is apparently installed correctly?"

If a person has a valid drivers license and his car meets DOT standards is he in the wrong if he decides to drive the car down a crowded sidewalk? He has a license, and the car meets DOT standards so he should do as he pleases...right? By your logic people on the sidewalk should protect themselves by jumping out of the way.

As Amateur Radio Operators we have ultimate control over our stations and electromagnetic emissions. It is up to us to assess our situation and determine if it makes sense to operate at the legal power limit with a directional antenna in a crowded urban area.

The city had no other choice but to revoke his tower permit and shut him down. That's all they could do in the best interest of their citizens.

I've been down the RFI road and it took almost a decade to regain peace in my neighborhood. Trust me it wasn't worth the "big gun" signal reports.

Use common sense folks that's the message that I'm trying to convey.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KC8VWM on October 2, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
The city had no other choice but to revoke his tower permit and shut him down. That's all they could do in the best interest of their citizens.

----------

Please forgive me for my apparent forgetfulness but did the city even bother to call the FCC to investigate the matter in the "best interests" of serving it's own citizens?

Oh that's right, the FCC was never involved and kangaroo justice was served.

After all we don't want the FCC stepping in to give the station a clean bill of health or anything like that.

73 de Charles - KC8VWM
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KF7CG on October 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
If I can trust the report from the previous thread.

Here are the salient points as reported by the Amateur.

1. A check at the home of the cheif complainant while the Amateur was operating full power showed no interference. This makes the owning or use of an amplifier moot.

2. The Amateur was accused of causing interference while he was in the house of the person starting the interference petitions. Kind of eliminates his operations as being the source.

3. The Amateurs observation of the interference pointed to satellite signal loss and indeed the neighbor was using satellite TV. Kind of difficult for an Amateur to prevent satellite signal loss by their operation.

Just as an observation. If we allow our Amateur operations to be governed by the actions of a mob of uninformed people that by their electronics with no concern or knowledge of its limitations; WE SHALL SOON FIND OURSELVES LIMITED TO OPERATING IN THE WEE HOURS OF THE MORNING FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE NEW MEXICO DESERT.

That might be preferable to many towns and subdivisions but it is just slightly difficult to earn a living or raise a family in such conditions.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W3LK on October 3, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
AB5Q:

Your anti-amp bias is showing. :)

I lived in a heavily populated residential area of inner-city Baltimore for 10 years running 750 to 1000w on a fairly regular basis with no RFI complaints from anyone.

Your statements are based on nothing but your own conjecture.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Naugatuck, Connecticut
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W6EM on October 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"Key word in PRB-1..."Reasonable".

When cites go nuts and are not "Reasonable" they loose, when someone tries to push beyond "Reasonable" on an antenna, they may loose.

Sounds like a good system to me."

Let me see if I understand. Reasonable is defined as ?

If it takes a court of law (Federal) to decide what is reasonable, does the amateur win, even if he prevails?

Ask the ham down in Texas who spent $30,000 of his own money to win a tower fight in federal court. And, guess what? The judge didn't even award legal fees and court costs to him.

And, folks, that's what you have to do to prevail with PRB-1.

Tell me that's FAIR.

Does PRB-1 really have the force of law? In some states, like Florida, it is codified into law. But, don't waste your breath saying that a county or state attorney would bring the violation of law to court on your complaint without you having to hire your own attorney to try to enforce a state or federal regulation.

So, the fairness is all about how much money you want to spend to obtain FAIR. Most can't afford justice, even if they're entitled to it.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4

Oh, by the way, the ARRL's list of attorneys doesn't mean that they're willing to do it for free. Don't kid yourself.

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6CRR on October 5, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Well Gee Lee

You said:

"Key word in PRB-1..."Reasonable".

Let me see if I understand. Reasonable is defined as ?

If it takes a court of law (Federal) to decide what is reasonable, does the amateur win, even if he prevails?

Ask the ham down in Texas who spent $30,000 of his own money to win a tower fight in federal court. And, guess what? The judge didn't even award legal fees and court costs to him.

Tell me that's FAIR."

So what would be fair in your book then Lee?

Any turkey who wants to put up any antenna anywhere gets to to it because he muttered the magic incarnation PRB-1? How about if that antenna extends over the neighbors yard, you OK with that?

Any fool who has the money can go buy the biggest darn amplifier and run "full legal limit" all the time, at any time that fool decides to, no matter what it does to the next door neighbors electronics gear, because the amateur is licensed? Hey, what's a 100V/meter E field among neighbors?

This is a case of the rights to enjoy a hobby balanced off against other peoples property rights and property values.

Who should decide these issues in you view Lee?


 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W6EM on October 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This is a case of the rights to enjoy a hobby balanced off against other peoples property rights and property values.

Who should decide these issues in you view Lee?"

You missed my point. Reasonable Accommodation, in ARRL's "vision" is not at all reasonable. In their opinion, a tower of stratospheric height and three full size Yagis atop is a reasonable accommodation. Certainly not reasonable in a subdivision with a typical 100X100 foot parcel.

Fairness was questioned with respect to the fact that if something is indeed LAW, individuals should not have to spend their money to retain an attorney to enforce/prosecute a law, no matter who is in violation of the law. Be it a city or county, it makes no difference. They are run by people, and people have interests, occasionally, that are contrary to law.

The government is supposed to enforce laws, including the cost of county, state and federal government law enforcement persons and prosecuting attorneys to do just that. Even upon itself or its staffs. And, it clearly isn't.

That is what is unfair. If PRB-1 has the status of a law or regulation, the government should enforce it. In various states, it has been promulgated into law. Then, in those states, the attorneys-general or their representatives, should enforce the regulation allowing a reasonable antenna, depending on circumstances. If a government entity says no antenna at all, that's clearly a violation, and a ham should be able to ask the respective prosecuting attorney to file a complaint.

I'm no attorney, but there is a process by which a government agency can be required by a court to enforce a law or regulation. Since there have been several cases brought in federal court by individuals to enforce PRB-1 themselves, perhaps its time for an entity, like our ARRL, to go to court once again and ask for the court's assistance in getting a certain federal agency to enforce violations of PRB-1 as a regulation, as it should, as a regulator.

I suspect, though, that PRB-1 is just an opinion, not a regulation and therein lies the problem.

Of course, ARRL is too busy doing other worthwhile things like libelling a Division Director candidate.

73,

Lee
W6EM/4









 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N4JRZ on October 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"This is a case of the rights to enjoy a hobby balanced off against other peoples property rights and property values."

Fortunatly the FCC has stated in their 1999 PRB-1 clairfication " Given this express Commission language, it is clear that a "balancing of interests" approach is not appropriate in this context."


Obviously the local planners can limit some things such as protruding over the property line, unsafe structures, etc.. but they can not have an all out prohibition against amateur radio towers and antennas. The FCC has already done the balancing and it has sided with the amateur radio operator. The planners also must make sure that the regulations will not impinge on the needs of amateur operators to engage in amateur communications. This is addressed in PRB-1(1999).

PRB-1(1985) states in relevant part "...Upon weighing these interests, we believe a limited preemption policy is warranted. State and local regulations that operate to preclude amateur communications in their communities are in direct conflict with federal objectives and must be preempted...."

It also does not matter if you do not see the need for the antenna installation that another amateur desires, it is on a case by case basis. If one ham desires international communication and another ham is satified with local communication they would have entirely differently antenna systems. The FCC addressed this in PRB-1(1985). "...Some amateur antenna configurations require more substantial installations than others if they are to provide the amateur operator with the communications that he/she desires to engage in..."

It is unfortunate that in this great country I can take you to court for pretty much anything and you are required to answer those charges that I bring against you, whether you spend your own money and hire an attorney or not. Not fair, but that is the way it is.

Also if the city or county violates the law and that requires you to hire an attorney to fight them, that sucks, but that is the way it is.

Of course, if the city has or should have a full understanding of PRB-1 and what it requires, and decides to ignore it, they may be found liable for someone's costs and fees.

And to clairify any misunderstanding as to whether or not PRB-1 is law, indeed it is. It is codified in the Federal Regulations in part 97 and carrys the full force of a federal statue. Some states have their own statue which endorses PRB-1, but a federal statue or regulation preempts state and local law when it conflicts with it. It does not need a state statue to be considered. The Supremacy Clause, provides that the constitution and the laws of the United States shall supersede any state law to the contrary.

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N6NKN on October 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the info Todd,

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W6EM on October 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"It is unfortunate that in this great country I can take you to court for pretty much anything and you are required to answer those charges that I bring against you, whether you spend your own money and hire an attorney or not. Not fair, but that is the way it is."

Not quite. The courts have thrown many a frivolous suit out the door, with prejudice. And, you are mixing apples and oranges.

A violation of 47CFR97.15(b) (It is codified there) is not a civil breach, but a criminal violation. Criminal violations are supposed to be enforced and prosecuted by the federal government.


"Also if the city or county violates the law and that requires you to hire an attorney to fight them, that sucks, but that is the way it is."

Not quite. Ever hear of the FCC sanctioning or suing local and state governments before? I sure have.
Its a routine matter for the federal government to bring suit against state or local governments for violations of federal law. Federal agencies do it all the time.


"Of course, if the city has or should have a full understanding of PRB-1 and what it requires, and decides to ignore it, they may be found liable for someone's costs and fees."

May is an important distinction. In the example of the Texas ham's prevailing in his federal suit, the judge did not award him court costs (to be paid by the nunicipality) as the judge felt sympathetic of the poor local commission/government that violated the federal regulation.

"And to clairify any misunderstanding as to whether or not PRB-1 is law, indeed it is. It is codified in the Code of Federal Regulations in Title 47, Part 97 and carrys the full force of a federal statue."

Since its codified at 47CFR97.15(b), it is a mere misdemeanor as are most every violation of anything in Title 47, Code of Federal Regulations. Something like a $500 fine, if I recall correctly. But, just the same, you are correct, it is a regulation. (and I didn't look through Part 97 the first time)

So, its the FCC's duty to enforce that regulation. It would make an interesing Writ of Mandamus claim to ask the federal court to order the FCC to enforce that provision of its regulations. Might be less expensive than going through the motions with one's own attorney.

73.

 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by N4JRZ on October 6, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
W6EM,

"Not quite. The courts have thrown many a frivolous suit out the door, with prejudice. And, you are mixing apples and oranges."

I understand that it is not on point, but your response is exactly my point, you would have to answer the charges against you in order for a Judge to dismiss them with or without prejudice. If you did not answer them, you may have a default judgement against you.

"Not quite. Ever hear of the FCC sanctioning or suing local and state governments before? I sure have."

The FCC addressed this in PRB-1. It states in relevant part "... Obviously, we do not have the staff or financial resources to review all state and local laws that affect amateur operations. We are confident, however, that state and local governments will endeavor to legislate in a manner that affords appropriate recognition to the important federal interest at stake here and thereby avoid unnecessary conflict with federal policy, as well as time-consuming and expensive litigation in this area..."

"May is an important distinction. In the example of the Texas ham's prevailing in his federal suit, the judge did not award him court costs (to be paid by the nunicipality) as the judge felt sympathetic of the poor local commission/government that violated the federal regulation."

The case that you are refering to is Snook v. Missouri City, TX. You may want to read Bodony v. Sands Point, NY, $60,000 in legal fees to ham on §1983 claim because town was seeking ways to deny his rights (soliciting opinion of counsel on how to deny, without regard to merits).

Here in Florida we have a state statue that reads:

57.105 Attorney's fee; sanctions for raising unsupported claims or defenses; service of motions; damages for delay of litigation.--

(1) Upon the court's initiative or motion of any party, the court shall award a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid to the prevailing party in equal amounts by the losing party and the losing party's attorney on any claim or defense at any time during a civil proceeding or action in which the court finds that the losing party or the losing party's attorney knew or should have known that a claim or defense when initially presented to the court or at any time before trial:

(a) Was not supported by the material facts necessary to establish the claim or defense; or

(b) Would not be supported by the application of then-existing law to those material facts.


Obviously you would have to convince the Judge that the planners violated this. I am quite sure that other states have drafted similar statues.

I would love for the federal government to go after state, counties, and cities that violate PRB-1, but I don't think it will ever happen. They basicly said that in PRB-1(1985).


 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W6EM on October 7, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
"The FCC addressed this in PRB-1. It states in relevant part "... Obviously, we do not have the staff or financial resources to review all state and local laws that affect amateur operations. We are confident, however, that state and local governments will endeavor to legislate in a manner that affords appropriate recognition to the important federal interest at stake here and thereby avoid unnecessary conflict with federal policy, as well as time-consuming and expensive litigation in this area...""

This sounds to me like something to address a wholesale research project to identify and ferret out individual laws and regulations. Certainly, such a tact by the Commission would be enormously costly.

The FCC has processes, even prior to court filings, that are declaratory in nature, and would be useful, such as the Petition for Declaratory Ruling. This procedure is in place to determine if actions taken by homeowner associations (with respect to satellite or TV antennas) are contrary to 47CFR1.4000, the Over The Air Receiving Device (OTARD) regulation.

The DR process could be used to investigate and sanction, if necessary, actions by local governments that are contrary to 47CFR97.15(b). From my recollection, an affirmitive DR can be taken to federal court and enforced upon the respondent, in a rather straightforward manner.

"Upon the court's initiative or motion of any party, the court shall award a reasonable attorney's fee to be paid to the prevailing party in equal amounts by the losing party and the losing party's attorney on any claim or defense at any time during a civil proceeding or action..."

But, violations of 97.15(b) aren't civil, they're criminal.

You also have two Florida Statutes that I'm sure you're aware of that codify PRB-1 into state law.

FWIW, while I lived in FL, two small fiefdom island communities just south of Tampa had height limitations of 32 feet. And, one specifically further limited antennas. Both in clear violation of the Florida statutes. The ARRL wasn't interested. The city attorneys weren't interested, so, until a hapless ham decides to take them on, the bogus ordinances still will stand.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by W3WN on October 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
What most concerns me in this case is this:

Under the laws of the State of California, and of the City of Palmdale itself, what reasons if any are legally required for a conditional use permit to be revoked?

If it can be for any reason or no reason, then it doesn't matter if WB5X was or was not the cause of the alleged interference that the neighbors complained about (and considering that interference happened to a neighbor's TV while he was standing there in the neighbor's house watching it... and that his wife stood in a neighbor's house while he was operating and no interference was observed...).

If the City has reserved itself the right to revoke that permit at any time for any or no reason, then I can see a Judge agreeing that yes, he wasn't the actual cause of the interference, and no, he didn't violate the terms of the permit -- but, since they don't need a reason to revoke the permit and did so within the letter of the law, too bad.

It doesn't matter how good or bad a neighbor he is. It doesn't matter whether or not his antenna(s) were too high or too plentiful. It doesn't matter whether or not his antenna system is aesthetically pleasing. And it doesn't matter that he does not appear to actually be the cause of the alleged interference. It just takes one person who has his or her mind made up to make enough of a fuss that some bureaucrat revokes the permit just to get the complaint off their backs, and then make getting the permit restored someone elses problem.

I hope that's not the case.

73
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KF7CG on October 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Even if a Judge were to find that the town of Palmdale had acted legally by their own laws, the would then be on the hook for the California and US PRB-1 type regulations. A win is surely possible, but at what cost?

I see this as a total no-win for the Amateur involved. Even if he wins back his legal costs he will pay out some of what he won back in increased taxes.

Then add in the loss of harmony in the township and this becomes a problem.
 
RE: WB6X's Tower and Antenna Permits Revoked:  
by KF7CG on October 9, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Even if a Judge were to find that the town of Palmdale had acted legally by their own laws, the would then be on the hook for the California and US PRB-1 type regulations. A win is surely possible, but at what cost?

I see this as a total no-win for the Amateur involved. Even if he wins back his legal costs he will pay out some of what he won back in increased taxes.

Then add in the loss of harmony in the township and this becomes a problem.
 
Aesthetically pleasing?  
by N6CRR on October 11, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
That's a darn good question.

So would a StepIR with a 36 foot boom and 4 32 foot elements on a 47 foot tower be aesthetically pleasing on a 50 x 100 lot along with a 2800 foot two story home surrounded by other homes of similar size and similar lot size be aesthetically pleasing?

Could a neighbors make up comments about interference when instead they are really unpleased about aesthetics of living next door to a station like this?

 
RE: Aesthetically pleasing?  
by KF7CG on October 12, 2007 Mail this to a friend!
Forget the antenna! The mere thought of rows of 2800 square foot two story houses on 50X100 lots is disgusting! Castles on postage stamps. Unless you get a pain in the neck from looking up too hard, who is going to see the antenna for all the brick and mortar.
 
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