Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Tower restrictions, any attorneys or experienced hams? Need help  (Read 67808 times)
KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3734




Ignore
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2010, 04:42:37 PM »

hi Tim,

Try calling your local Rep and Senator, they may be able to help.
A few phone calls can get the local board moving.

The local TV station troubleshooter can also help, some TV
coverage will help your cause and make the board look foolish.

take a look at this topic

http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,72013.0.html

You may be able to do the same thing that was done for this case.
Existing case law may also help you.  That is why you need a lawyer
that is an expert in these matters.

Thompson's attorney, Fred Hopengarten of Massachusetts, a legal expert
in telecommunications law, helped convince the county state's attorney
office that the county zoning law was trumped by Federal Communications Commission
law that allowed for construction of ham radio towers.

http://www.pjstar.com/news/x1428447220/Opposition-to-radio-tower-farm-pushes-on

Keep us posted.

73 james
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20636




Ignore
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2010, 07:18:51 PM »

If you just wave PRB-1......in their face you're going to get, well, what you just got.  They don't care, and they shouldn't.


They shouldn't because Pennsylvania never codified PRB-1.  Half the states did, but not that one.

My state (CA) codified it many years ago, in fact two Governors ago.  It's state law here.
Logged
K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6055




Ignore
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2010, 03:45:46 AM »

.....The local TV station troubleshooter can also help, some TV
coverage will help your cause and make the board look foolish.....

It may also strengthen their resolve to stop you in any way they can.  Some public officials are like that--make them look bad and you can kiss any compromises goodbye.
Logged
AA2HA
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2010, 01:16:03 PM »




They shouldn't because Pennsylvania never codified PRB-1.  Half the states did, but not that one.

My state (CA) codified it many years ago, in fact two Governors ago.  It's state law here.

Actually PA did. PA Senate bill 884 is now Act 88.  http://www.ddxa.org/Act88.html

James, Great minds think alike. I did call my State rep. who is, unfortunately,  friends with the supervisor of town counsel. Luckily he was recently voted out and I'll try that approach when the new member begins in January. The local paper ran a story on the situation, and even blasted the town for "excessive red tape" and gave amateur radio two thumbs up for public service. They mentioned my MARS participation and commented on my nightly involvement (11 PM- 3 AM) for several consecutive nights during the recent disaster in Haiti. And even cited my relaying info directly from Andrews Air Force Base. (with the Salvation Army Net)
 I contacted both local TV stations, but they weren't interested in the story.
 I did contact Fred Hopengarten who was nice enough to respond to my email. He suggested that I buy his book that was supposed to be available in late November, but still, as of today, hasn't been released.
 I just want to thank everyone for the comments and support and suggestions. We're all in this together and it helps to know that I'm not alone!
 It just boggles my mind that we, as amateur radio operators, are recognized by the Federal Government with orders from the FCC such as:

Federal Preemption PRB-1

A Federal Order issued in 1985 which preempts the authority of state and local zoning laws regulating amateur radio structures.

“State and local regulations that operate to preclude amateur communications in their communities are in direct conflict with federal objectives and MUST be preempted.”

“Because amateur station communications are only as effective as the antennas employed, antenna height restrictions directly affect the effectiveness of amateur communications. 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.”

“ local regulations which involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations MUST be crafted to accommodate reasonably amateur communications, and to represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority's legitimate purpose.”



Language subsequently issued as a Federal Regulation (Title 47 CFR   §  97.15):
“Except as otherwise provided herein, a station antenna structure MAY be erected at heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service communications.
State and local regulation of a station antenna MUST reasonably accommodate such communication and MUST constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the state or local authority’s legitimate purpose.”


Public Law 103-408--Joint Resolution of Congress to Recognize the Achievements of Radio Amateurs as Public Policy
Public Law 103-408--Oct. 22, 1994
Public Law 103-408
103d Congress
Joint Resolution
Section 1, Paragraph 3”
“(3) reasonable accommodation should be made for the effective operation of amateur radio from residences, private vehicles and public areas, and that regulation at all levels of government should facilitate and encourage amateur radio operation as a public benefit.”

According to the Federal Government, Municipalities Must:

-Reasonably accommodate amateur communication

-Apply only the minimum practical regulation to accomplish the authority’s legitimate purpose

-Must permit heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur communications.

According to the federal Government, Municipalities Must Not:

-Preclude amateur communication.

-“Precluding amateur communication is in direct conflict with federal objectives and MUST be preempted.”

-MUST not engage in balancing their enactments against the interest that the Federal Government has in amateur radio, but rather must reasonably accommodate amateur communications.

-“given this express Commission language, it is clear that a ‘balancing of interests’ approach is not appropriate in this context.”

The Federal order ( PRB-1) concludes:

“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 conflicts with federal policy, as well as time-consuming and expensive litigation in this area. Amateur operators who believe that local or state governments have been overreaching and thereby have precluded accomplishment of their legitimate communications goals, may, in addition, use this document to bring our policies to the attention of local tribunals and forums.”




From the FCC & ARRL web site:

“The courts have tended to agree that reasonable accommodation does require that a town adhere to a certain process. The reasonable accommodation standard has been interpreted to mean that a town must:
consider the application;
make factual findings; and
attempt to negotiate a satisfactory compromise with the applicant.
Under a reasonable accommodate standard, consideration of an application does not terminate if it is determined that the requested antenna structure is not permitted under local regulation. Reasonable accommodation requires that the local board should then consider what steps must be taken to "reasonably accommodate" amateur radio communications. A town must apply its regulations in a manner that reasonably accommodates amateur communications.
In considering the steps necessary to provide reasonable accommodation, a board may not balance the interests of the town in regulating local land use matters against the interest that the Federal Government has in amateur radio. The Commission has already done that balancing and issued a Federal rule that requires the board to accommodate amateur communications.”

I'm a simple man and still can not get it through my rather thick cranium why, with such express language, from The Federal Government (State PRB-1 laws aside) municipalities frequently thumb their nose at Federal orders. I, in my limited understanding of law, read that clearly it is the town that should accommodate me, not the reverse.
 As an electrician and understanding code, I know that wording in regulation is important. Some codes say "should" which means, basically, it's a good idea. When the word "MUST" or "SHALL" (instead of "should) is applied, this is something, written in stone, as an absolute requirement.


 
Logged
N2EHG
Member

Posts: 14




Ignore
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2010, 04:39:45 AM »

I find it strange  and  criminal that the town board wants  a  600$ fee  just to meet them.  I've  presented before  many boards  and have not heard that before.

 Not  really an  authority perhaps this is common? Just seems  really   unreasonable,  Do towns typically  charge  residents  to present?


N2EHG
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3913




Ignore
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2010, 05:47:56 AM »

Not  really an  authority perhaps this is common? Just seems  really   unreasonable,  Do towns typically  charge  residents  to present?

It all depends on thje location and the rules/mindset in force there.

In this case, the mindset is that "radio towers" are a special use of a property, for commercial purposes. The idea that a resident might want one for noncommercial purposes never occurred to them. They view it as a safety/zoning issue - the person wantin the tower is asking for special permission, an exemption to the rules.

Since it's a special exception, (the mindset says) why should the taxpayers pay for it? Let the person asking for the special permission pay the costs of the application. It's just a cost of doing business.

Also, the cost of the fees is small compared to the overall cost of the installation.

In the case of a commercial installation, all of the above does make a certain kind of sense. Look at the total cost of a cell tower, with foundation, commercial tower, antennas, feedlines, backup power, lightning protection, professional installation with crane rental, etc., etc., and a couple of thousand in fees is pocket change. 

Of course what we hams know, and what PRB-1 says, is that amateur radio antennas are a completely different thing. But that particular local board doesn't realize it yet.

Also, fees are a revenue stream for the local government. They are often much more politically acceptable than tax increases. Fees only affect those who are building something; taxes affect everyone who owns property.

I'm NOT saying any of this is how it should be. I'm saying that's how it is, and that we have to understand it in order to deal with it.

The irony is that such mindsets are a direct result of the "small government/low taxes/minimal regulation" mindset. Same as CC&Rs.

The township folks aren't saying you can't have a tower; they're just saying that you have to go through their process (which costs some money) to get permission.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
K1DA
Member

Posts: 525




Ignore
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2010, 10:29:16 AM »

   His problems fit in with a "minimal regulation mindset"HuhHuh??   
Logged
AA2HA
Member

Posts: 16




Ignore
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2010, 12:37:04 PM »

I find it strange  and  criminal that the town board wants  a  600$ fee  just to meet them.  I've  presented before  many boards  and have not heard that before.

 Not  really an  authority perhaps this is common? Just seems  really   unreasonable,  Do towns typically  charge  residents  to present?


N2EHG

It's not just a $600 fee either. It's $600.00 for the special permit, and additional $600.00 to meet with the board, I must pay a stenographer to record the entire meeting and decision (I have no idea what that would cost, but I'd assume not a small amount), Secretarial fees (who knows what that means or how much), and engineering fee (to have a certified engineer cheek the manufacturer's specs. Again I have no idea what that would cost, but again, I'm sure we're not talking a few bucks), mailing fees (for "correspondence" and sending all property owners within 300' of my property registered or certified letters) These fees could be well into the $3,000+ range or perhaps much more)

 I even tried a different approach. The PA State Senate Bill, Act 88 states:
"No ordinance, regulation, plan or any other action shall restrict amateur radio antenna height to less than 65 feet above ground level."

So... I resubmitted my zoning application for a 60 foot tower (leaving one section out) and a 5 foot mast for a total of 65 feet, which, according to PA law, they may not regulate. It was also rejected as "A use not provided for."  I was told "It doesn't matter, if it's not on our books, it's a use not provided for."  Huh Isn't it provided for under state law?

Actually, they've not officially rejected me in writing, all they will say it's "A use not provided for" and being determined to be such, the above fees apply for consideration. I did receive a registered letter on Friday stating that if I didn't pay the fees, my application will be rejected because it will expire. Which means an additional $150.00 will need to be paid when and if I reapply for a new permit.
 
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3913




Ignore
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2010, 05:14:07 PM »

   His problems fit in with a "minimal regulation mindset"HuhHuh??   

As I previously wrote, they are the result of the "small government/low taxes/minimal regulation" mindset. Same as CC&Rs.

Here's why:

"Small government" in this case means they don't have a lot of knowledgeable people running things. (If they did, they'd know about PRB-1 and that the Commonwealth had adopted it).

"Low taxes" in this case means there are all sorts of fees so the cost of applications is borne by the person making the application, not the taxpayers.

"Minimal regulation" in this case means that they simply ban all sorts of things rather than have lots of regulations to deal with them. "No towers on residential properties" is about as minimal as you can get.


73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
K6OK
Member

Posts: 62




Ignore
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2010, 06:12:01 PM »

I did receive a registered letter on Friday stating that if I didn't pay the fees, my application will be rejected because it will expire. Which means an additional $150.00 will need to be paid when and if I reapply for a new permit.

Many cities and counties will waive fees for low income applicants.  Perhaps you could write back and ask for a full or partial waiver based on your status and income.

Logged
K1DA
Member

Posts: 525




Ignore
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2010, 05:52:03 PM »

   "Minimal" to me would mean little or NO regulation of  amateur towers.  Anyone familiar with how bureaucrats "work" knows that the more of 'em, there are, the more rules and regulations there will be.  The Federal Government is a prime example.  They can't "regulate" far enough or fast enough. 

   I might go out on a limb and suggest the notion that "all things are prohibited unless specifically PERMITTED"  is not how property law works, at least around here, where unless you enumerate what you wish to regulate, you have not "regulated" it at all. 
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20636




Ignore
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2010, 09:31:54 AM »



   I might go out on a limb and suggest the notion that "all things are prohibited unless specifically PERMITTED"  is not how property law works, at least around here, where unless you enumerate what you wish to regulate, you have not "regulated" it at all. 

That's the way regulations are supposed to work; it goes back to the Ten Commandments, where #1, #4 and #5 are feel-goods and the other seven are all "Thou Shalt Nots."

It's impossible to "regulate" what you can do.
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3913




Ignore
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2010, 06:58:12 PM »

   "Minimal" to me would mean little or NO regulation of  amateur towers. 

Me too. But that's not how the folks who make the rules see it. To them, "minimal regulation" can mean simply not allowing towers at all. That's a lot simpler than having all the regulations needed to allow them.

This is one reason the folks who write CC&Rs put in "no antennas" rules. That way, they don't have to judge which antennas are allowed and which aren't.

Anyone familiar with how bureaucrats "work" knows that the more of 'em, there are, the more rules and regulations there will be. 

Which isn't always a bad thing.

We live in a complex technological society, so there needs to be a reasonable level of regulations to match.

The Federal Government is a prime example.  They can't "regulate" far enough or fast enough. 

Just the opposite. For 30 years the Feds have been busy de-regulating. That's why we had the recent financial crisis and why the real estate market tanked.

It used to be that there were tight regulations on banking, investing, and particularly home mortgages. The rules were written in such a way that it was quite difficult for most people to get in over their heads with a mortgage; the banks simply weren't allowed to lend you too much money.

But the deregulation craze that started about 1980 swept away most of those rules, and the lenders and borrowers went wild. The result was quite a mess, and will take years to climb out of.

Or consider FCC. Do you think they adequately regulate RF noise sources? I don't!
 
   I might go out on a limb and suggest the notion that "all things are prohibited unless specifically PERMITTED"  is not how property law works, at least around here, where unless you enumerate what you wish to regulate, you have not "regulated" it at all. 

The point is that AA2HA lives in a place where the local govt. decided that it was simpler to just not allow towers on residential properties. That their policy violates state law hasn't occurred to them.

---

One of the ironies of all this is that often the places that are most "red" seem to have the most draconian anti-antenna regulations, while the places which are the most "blue" seem to have the least. Compare WB2WIK's experiences in LAX with those of AA2HA in Pike County, PA.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
AB4D
Member

Posts: 298


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2010, 06:45:08 AM »

Not  really an  authority perhaps this is common? Just seems  really   unreasonable,  Do towns typically  charge  residents  to present?

It all depends on thje location and the rules/mindset in force there.

In this case, the mindset is that "radio towers" are a special use of a property, for commercial purposes. The idea that a resident might want one for noncommercial purposes never occurred to them. They view it as a safety/zoning issue - the person wanting the tower is asking for special permission, an exemption to the rules.


That was exactly the case when I applied for a permit to erect a tower at my home.  The code for my county only addresses towers and antenna supports for commercial installations, which require the payment of a large fee to obtain a conditional use permit. When I went to apply for a building permit, the county building department was convinced that all towers must be treated as a commercial venture, and therefore I must obtain a CUP with an initial fee of $600.00.

Before proceeding further, I asked for a meeting with the director of zoning, and prepared a package with as much "in my favor" information I could locate (PRB-1, VA code 15.2-2293.1, Amateur Radio publications from the FCC and ARRL), to explain about the ARS and that it was totally noncommercial.

I was able to convince zoning to direct the building department to relax the rules for my amateur radio tower installation, no CUP, and I just had to follow the normal building inspection process.  The saving grace for me; the county attorney determined from the package I provided that I was preempted because of PRB-1 and VA code 15.2-2293.1.

I believe that if I had not presented the favorable information and performed the necessary research beforehand, the outcome may have been far different.  IMO anyone who is contemplating installing a tower for amateur radio, and your local jurisdiction does not have a code on the books which addresses noncommercial towers, you should prepare to educate the county. A great many people have never heard of amateur radio or know our purpose, those who have heard of ham radio, usually lump us in with CB radio and think "oh no, TV and telephone interference."

I wish you good luck obtaining a permit for your tower.





Logged
KI4SDY
Member

Posts: 1452




Ignore
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2010, 06:32:34 PM »

Have you figured out that you shouldn't have applied for a permit in the first place yet and instead should have used the effort to paint the tower and antennas flat black or go the flag pole or silo route? Never apply for a permit. You are just making it harder for other hams when you do that!  Undecided

Also, notice that the only support that you are getting is from the newspaper because of "public service." That is why it is so important to ham radio. Some of these hams are so self-centered they wouldn't help an old lady across the street and it hurts the hobby.  Cry

I am noting however that you seem to be able to buy a lot of property and engage in hobbies on Social Security. Things can't be that bad.  Wink
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 08:37:01 AM by KI4SDY » Logged
Pages: Prev 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!