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Author Topic: Politics - CC&Rs (Covenants) - Antennas - ARRL  (Read 987 times)
N0UA
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Posts: 22




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« on: August 19, 2003, 03:14:11 PM »

Politics - CC&Rs (Covenants) - Antennas - ARRL

Politics: How many Hams have supported the various HR bills etc. regarding covenants, antennas etc. I have an ongoing e-mail dialogue with House Representative Tom Tancredo on the issue. He believes that local control is the way to go on the CC&Rs antenna issue subject. I have pointed to the value of emergency communications for the community that amateurs have provided, etc.

Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell can't seem to get the message correct. He thinks we should "pay for it ourselves" - a note from his last letter in response to my letter on CC&Rs and amateur antennas- he missed the point completely. I will continue to sent letters and let them know my feelings. Will these letters and e-mail correspondence do any good? Yes, a mere grain of sand on the beach - more is better. See my ARRL section.

Unfortunately, many of our associates are either uninterested in the issue, do not consider the long-term effects of these CC&Rs, or hide under the false idea of  "it won't get me" - I moved (or will move) out to the prairie or old neighborhood. But it will get you! It will! Our ranks are not swelling and sooner or later, one way or another it will affect you! Not all hams or prospective hams have the luxury to pick their address irrespective to family, work, school, medical, and other services. Young people have no choice in location at all! Fortunate for me my family supported my ambitions as a young amateur and managed to get permission for several antennas to be erected on top of a three-story apartment building in Brooklyn, NY (1955) or I might not be a ham today. Are young people finding the fight for an antenna overwhelming and therefore not pursing the hobby? For this and other reasons, it is important that we all voice an opinion on at least equal consideration and hopefully more.

The FCC did force the small dish issue for Mr. Consumer (and also roof top TV antennas - see the entire ruling). However, the FCC did not give us Hams equal consideration. How about the same consideration in square inches for radiated surfaces, or some other minimum measure of visual pollution (?), etc? Wire antennas? How about permitting 2-meter beams that are no larger than some TV antennas. A satellite dish for AO-40 that is the same size as the small satellite TV dish? Yes these are starters and no they should not be our long-term goals. Nevertheless, these small inroads could go a long way towards saving our hobby. Our hobby is being attacked from many quarters and all amateurs need to be on high alert and proactive on these issues.

CC&Rs: Regarding finding homes or building lots in Colorado.  Are there any plots of ground or available homes within reasonable driving time in the Denver, CO area that will allow amateur antennas? 99.9 % no. And when you figure in my family's requirements that figure goes to zilch. My family and I, like many aging hams, have need to be near medical, social, educational, and other facilities. EVERY platted community in Colorado has adopted covenants that preclude amateur antennas (OK, OK you may find a one or two that allow them - the point is that this is an epidemic). Unlike the Northeast section of the country (I was raised in NYC and also in an area that we fondly called "upstate") outside of platted developments that all have CC&Rs there are very, very limited home building sites available. In many areas our land development consumed pasture and farms (600 acres or more) and transformed them directly to platted communities. Division of land is controlled very closely due to water rights and other issues (minimum building site size in many mountain communities is 20 acres). Yes, one could purchase an older home (30 years or so) in one of the older communities. However, that comes with it's own set of problems, considerations and life style issues. Drilling a well, in a rural community, can present a real challenge here. A close friend recently drilled a domestic well 1000-foot deep to get to usable water flow (this in an area just west of the Denver metro area and in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains).

Antennas: So what to do? We searched and could find nothing that would be a compromise with amateur radio antennas being permitted. Finally, my wife and I purchased a lot (.9 acres) in a covenant-controlled community within 35 minutes driving time of both her and my place of employment. As an aside this community once allowed C band dishes  - now relegated to only small dishes - my C band dish is grandfathered  - a long story. We built a good size home and transplanted 35, 12 foot tall (now 20 feet) pine trees that serve as landscaping and 6 serve as a shield for the infamous C band dish and its surrounding berm (all required by arch committee). The berm and trees for the C band dish now also serve as stealth supports for loop antennas (20, 15, 10 meters). Further, when we built the house, I specified a clear-framed room over the garage. This semi-finished room serves as an antenna room (it houses a loop for 17 meters, 2 meter beam with rotator, and 2 meter vertical). I also have 2 meter and 70 cm eggbeaters in the main attic. The indoor antennas all support some level of communication. None performs exceptionally well.

Is my situation a workable solution for my amateur hobby? Yes, mildly so. I do miss a quad antenna at 40 feet as I once had. Do I enjoy the hobby? Yes, but I do not expect to win any contests from this location. I have worked many European, Asian, Far East, and Australian stations with mostly 100 watts (1500 on occasion) with the outside antennas. Am I legal with the community CC&Rs? No. However, the antennas have been there for 5 years and so far only one complaint that was brushed off easily (holiday lights - yes we have the holiday light police).

My current desire is to deploy a small dish for AO-40. The only place that might support this without discovery is very close to my C band dish. This ought to be very interesting given that my C band dish and protective berm with trees are all still very visible from the adjacent road. Oh yes, the roof on my home is concrete tile so that the antenna room won't work for AO-40. The tile is not a good conductor of 2.4 GHz signals. Recently, I did make one FO-29 CW contact with antennas in the antenna "room" and attic. My current concern is will the CC&Rs get me when I set out the AO-40 antenna (it is painted green like the C band dish - yes the architectural committee did require that I paint the C band dish green)?

ARRL: Finally, I am a life member and support the ARRL. Better to be inside the teepee as they say. However, the ARRL could take a lead from some highly motivated lobbying groups. Multiple mailings with preprinted postcards containing our petition for equal consideration (and other mailings re. BPL) along with a list of all Congresspersons and Representatives - for the purpose of easy mailing - requiring only the ham's signature - would go a long way towards getting more correspondence into the hands of our politicians. Yes, I would contribute to the cost of the mailings. Should we stop there? No - more action on this issue is desperately needed. How many hams have responded to the FCC's request for BPL comments?
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2003, 05:00:52 PM »

Wow, that was more like an article than a question...

...but I just contacted Jennifer O'Brien in the Denver Real Estate council and requested detailed information on all neighborhoods within a 30 minute commuting distance of Denver and specifically having no CC&Rs, at all.  I specified three to five bedrooms, three or more bathrooms, 2 or 3-car garage and some other qualifiers, and said I'd have a boat and a trailer I need to park lawfully (I don't, but this made it more interesting).  She responded there are several, and she would e-mail me some references and listings, which I am now awaiting.

It will be interesting to see what she digs up.  From what you say, she will dig up virtually *nothing*, so my e-mail box should remain empty.  '

I'll let you know.

WB2WIK/6
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KD5YDY
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2003, 12:35:58 AM »

I live in a subdivision that doesn't have an association (no dues) so I guess no covenents that are enforceable. So I look into city regulations about antennas in residential zones and found NOTHING about antennas.  Instead the zoning law reads "No equipment or process shall be used in any home occupation that creates visual or audible electrical interference in any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in line voltage off the premises."

So I guess I don't even have to worry about my neighbors wireless phone, the baby monitor, or any other device--just radio and tv receivers.  So guess even cable TV is not covered by this zoning law. Televisions that run off cable company and satellite dishes don't use the "receiver" part of the TV. Of course, the FCC requires that I not interfere with other devices but the city has the weakest law I've ever seen on RFI.

KD5YDY

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KG4RUL
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« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2003, 01:02:47 PM »

KD5YDY

I just wonder what the HOA would do if you fired up an arc welder in the garage.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2003, 02:05:47 PM »

I have a belated follow-up to the original post specifically regarding lack of availability of any "non-CC&R" homes in the Denver area:

I followed this up a little bit (maybe one hour of work) and found several homes from very old to brand-new in the Denver metro area that are currently listed for sale and have *zero* covenants, conditions or restrictions attached to their titles:

521 Jordan Way, Brighton, CO $349,900: 4BR, 3BA, 2774SF, large lot (4.6 acres)

12560 N Walden, Commerce City, CO $345,000: 4BR, 3BA, 3560SF, 2.12 acres

724 Deter Dr, Broomfield, CO $285,000: 6BR, 3BA, 2848SF

1320 W 12th Ave, Broomfield, CO $349,900: 4BR, 4BA, 3758SF

1015 E 14th Ave, Broomfield, CO $379,900: 4BR, 3BA, 2716SF

1128 Ridgeview Cr, Broomfield, CO $479,900: 4BR, 3BA, 2648SF "incredible, spectacular 180 degree views" (sounds good for ham radio!)

1222 Clubhouse Dr, Broomfield, CO $499,900: 4BR, 4BA, 2417SF "beautiful views from large deck"

1189 Sunset Dr, Broomfield, CO $499,900: 4BR, 4BA, 2790SF

11783 Bear Creek Dr, Franktown, CO $424,900: 4BR, 3BA 2667SF 2.84 acres "4 car oversized garage with loft above..." (sounds like a good potential hamshack!)

4240 Perry St, Denver, CO $324,900: 5BR, 2BA, 2563SF "oversized 2-car garage with workshop"

2149 Federal Blvd, Denver, CO $399,950: 4BR, 4BA, 3152SF "all new 1886 Victorian 3-story, everything 100% new including kitchen, bathrooms, all plumbing, new electric wiring, 3-car garage + workshop, T-1 computer data lines..."

3356 W 46th Ave, Denver, CO $435,000: 5BR, 4BA, 3187SF

2963 Gates St, Denver, CO $444,900: 5BR, 3BA, 3588SF "oversized garage and workshop"

10046 Allison Ct, Westminster, CO $425,000: 4BR, 3BA, 2492SF, "large lot (.77 acres)"

3965 E. 134th Pl, Thornton, CO $255,000: 4BR, 4BA, 2646SF "large, park-like yard"

2001 E. 129th Dr, Thornton, CO $332,000: 4BR, 3BA, 2479SF 1/3 acre, 3-car garage/shed "estate neighborhood"

14048 Downing St., Brighton, CO $399,900: 6BR, 4BA, 2887SF 3.75 acres

9032 Utica St, Westminster, CO $329,900: 4BR, 4BA, 2419SF, enclosed sunroom, in-ground pool, flagstone covered patio with brick BBQ...

6621 N. Raleigh Ct, Arvada, CO $489,900: 4BR, 4BA, 3340SF, "wonderful views," 4-car garage "NO COVENANTS" specifically stated in listing...

I have quite a list.  According to the title companies I requested search these properties, none have any covenants or restrictions.

I think the bottom line is, if you're a ham and seriously looking for a non-restricted property to buy, make that the top priority and look *only* at homes that are covenant-free, rather than looking at everything on the market and hoping that some might be.

I've followed that tactic closely and have never been disappointed, anywhere.

WB2WIK/6





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KG4RUL
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2003, 05:25:37 PM »

And the cheapest one goes for a quarter of a million dollars?  That's what I like, availability but not affordability!

Dennis - KG4RUL
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N2CTZ
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2003, 07:31:31 PM »

lets get a lobby to make us important-that we provide public service after 911-especially after the blackout!

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alan
N3ZKP
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2003, 09:05:21 AM »

Dennis,

Maybe South Carolina has 'cheap' housing, but you obviously haven't priced homes in Metro Baltimore / Washington DC area and North. Smiley

Around here a quarter million will get you about 1600 sq ft on a 20k sq ft lot (if you are lucky).

Lon
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2003, 11:48:22 AM »

Of course housing markets vary.  I think I selected a reasonable cross-section of homes for the Denver metro area, and I'll bet many of the prices listed are negotiable downwards, since it's a buyer's market in Denver at present...


...unlike the market here in Los Angeles, which is a seller's market, with housing costs increasing an average of 3% monthly for the past 18-20 months.  And possibly like the DC metro area, for $250K here you can almost get a 2-car garage, without the house.

So, everything's relative.

The point is simply: If you're an active ham or would like to be and you're thinking of moving to new living quarters, place "no covenants" as #1 on your list of important parameters during a market search.  You will find in *every* area of the United States that there are, indeed, available houses with no CC&Rs, and if you look only at those and not everything on the market, your search will be focused rather than haphazard.  The problem with most who complain about "nothing available without CC&Rs" is that they looked at available real estate in general before they restricted their search.  If you work the other way around (restrict the search from the start), you'll find lots of places free of restrictions.

WB2WIK/6
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N0UA
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2003, 07:20:39 PM »

Folks,

Things are not always as they look from afar. Lets take a detailed and closer look at some of these properties. First on the list was:

521 Jordan Way, Broomfield CO  80603

46 miles from 80127 (my wife's previous employer) and estimated to be 1 hour in driving time from the map services. More like 1.5 hours at rush time given that the drive is through the worst of Denver's traffic. Take a look at the maps available on-line and see if you would consider this area.

It is way out in the rural areas - flat & no trees - no hills and few services. This area could be appealing to you. The selection of a property is very personal so I won't comment about the property itself.

Schools? Medical?

However, the main point of my posting was lost. Regardless, I will provide more information about the properties on this list.

Vince
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2003, 02:38:51 PM »

N0UA, that listing's in Brighton, not Broomfield, but in any case when I contacted my agent in Denver, I simply requested the location be within a 30 minute commute of DIA (Denver International Airport) under normal traffic conditions, and I think the Brighton location qualifies, based on my dozens of visits to the Denver area recently.  (Fully realizing that on a bad day, it can take 30 minutes to even get out of the airport due to its rather massive size...that's really a "Y3K" airport, you've got there.)

Obviously, I had no idea where you were specifically looking or where you or your wife may work.

The reason for my post, and many previous posts on the same subject, is that I absolutely do not accept the postulate "there is nothing available around here without CC&Rs!" I've heard proclaimed by many and proven by none.  If one restricts his personal market to only blue houses, this is a problem.  

Having traveled extensively throughout the U.S. (been to all 50 states at least 3 times, and most of the 48 contiguous states dozens of times, each) and having lived on both coasts (and having moved 16 times between 1973 and 2003), I have never found anyplace where I could not find a very suitable home that is covenant-free, within the local median price range, and capable of making my family very happy.

WB2WIK/6
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KC2LSU
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2003, 10:48:31 AM »

"Instead the zoning law reads "No equipment or process shall be used in any home occupation that creates visual or audible electrical interference in any radio or television receivers off the premises, or causes fluctuations in line voltage off the premises "


 If your interested enough you can get that zoning law removed. Local regulations cannnot make rules about Interference, only the FCC can. The FCC just finished deleting a rule like that one, after it was pointed out to them, by an interested amateur
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