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Author Topic: How can I determine local antenna restrictions?  (Read 1503 times)
KC9KEP
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« on: September 20, 2009, 05:48:14 PM »

Hello!

I'd like to put up a 10-foot tripod and 10-foot
mast onto my rooftop for a 20-meter Moxon.

My roof ridge is about 21 feet high, so I hope to
achieve about 35 feet of height.

I'd placing on the rear ridge of my roof.

Can anyone tell me how I can determine what restrictions
exist for antenna installations in my locale?

I don't want to start to blindly phone around and
generate undesirable attention if I don't need to :-)

Thanks!
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 07:18:30 PM »

By the wording of your question I shall procede on the basis that you are currently living in the house in question at this time.

The easiest way is to simply look at your purchase agreement.  Read it word for word.  OR better yet, take it to a lawyer whome you trust and have him read it and tell you the specific legal restrictions, if any, in your purchase and or lease agreement.  

IF that is all clear you also have to contact the building and construction dept of the city and or county as well.  You may have to obtain a construction permit in order to modify your property--with possible required inspections as well.

IF you are renting I would also ask your landlord before putting up the antenna on the roof of his house--particularly if it involves driving nails into the roof.  You may pay rent to live there but also remember it is HIS PROPERTY and he gets the final say-so.

IF its strictly a matter of the landlord saying no then compromise with him.  Ask him if it would be OK to put up some kind of temp push up pole and lean it against the house in such a fashion as to not damage the house allowing you to remove the antenna structure when you leave.
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WC0R
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 08:05:29 PM »

The best way is to get a copy of the architectural guidelines and the covenants and restrictions for your homeowner's association. If you don't have a homeowner's association, you might be in luck because the FCC restricts  how state and local governments can regulate amateur radio activities including antennas--unless you plan to put up a tower higher than 200 feet or close to an airport.
If you have a HOA see if antennas are addressed in either the CCR or architectural guidelines. The architectural guidelines are a little easier to negotiate than the CCRs which are part of the recorded deed. You can see what restrictions there are--and also how well they are enforced--before you approach your HOA with your antenna ideas.
Many HOAs prohibit TV antennas or external antennas, but have not enforced these restrictions as people have put up satellite dishes. Whatever you do, do your homework, have a couple of alternative approaches, and try to meet the intent of the restrictions. You have to live with your neighbors...
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 08:25:58 AM »

Re ZOU...

ACTUALLY you are not exactly accurate.

You need to read the FCC policy word for word.  It says reasonable allowances NOT do what you want.

The FCC has mandated that governments cannot completely forbid amateur antennas (outside of certain exceptions) and must, here is the KEY PHRASE, make reasonable allowance.  Reasonable allowance does NOT mean do whatever the hell you want.

The FCC has NOT prohibited building permits, engineering reviews and post errection engineering inspections in the name of reasonable public safety--ALL of which may run into thousands of dollars.

The city, or county government can still charge you thousands of dollars for a building permit, still require you to present a formal plan that must meet engineering reviews for safety standards to be reviewed by engineers (you should smell review fees)and still require you to pay post inspection fees and have engineers inspect the tower.

REASONABLE does NOT by the way mean 200 feet.  It is NOT unheard of for a county and or city government to restrict your antenna to much much less 100.  SOMETIMES even less than 50 feet.  I have read over the years tales of horror when an amateur has gone thru all the legal hoops and been given a permit for ONLY 30 feet and there was not one damn thing that they could do about it--30 feet/max/period.  

Sorry but even using the Reasonable Allowanc provisions the city and county can STILL put a hell of a hobbnail boot on your throat and make you squirm like a SOB.  And the FCC will NOT stop them.  The so called 'reasonable' varies.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 08:31:22 AM »

re ZOU...

By the way wrong on the sat dish.  The FCC has mandated that even HOAs have to allow those little sat dishes.  

Its not a matter of enforcement of HOA in so much as it is a matter that the FCC aka government has told the HOAs they have to accept those little dishes weither they like them or not.

The FCC still absolutely refuses to mandate the allownce of external antennas for amateurs in HOAs.  And I cannot say as I blame them for wanting to stay way the hell away from that can of worms.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 09:00:04 AM »

Others here seem to be addressing covenants and CC&Rs, but you didn't mention any of that so I won't assume any apply.

If you're restricted only by municipal code, all that is laid out in plain English for your community right here:

http://www.ci.muskego.wi.us/Government/MunicipalCodes/tabid/391/Default.aspx

Check Chapter 17.

WB2WIK/6
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W0MT
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 09:21:00 AM »

Re: LRZ

ACTUALLY you are not exactly accurate.

Your statement, “The easiest way is to simply look at your purchase agreement” is NOT the way to find out about things like antenna restrictions. A purchase agreement contains things like sale price, closing date, where and when the closing will be held, fees to real estate agents and who pays them, what items convey in the sale like appliances, etc. If you want to learn about things like antenna restrictions, you need to read the CC&Rs and Architectural Guidelines (if any).

I have personally bought and sold more than ten properties (most with CC&Rs) and I have never seen antenna restrictions in the purchase agreement.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 10:04:05 AM »

re the above poster...

The devil is in the fine print and sometimes what it DOESN'T say.

IF there is a clause that specificly states that the HOA must approve any external antenna then you can bet your GD ass that every request for an external antenna with the exception of federal small dish mandate is NOT going to be approved under ANY circumstance.  A snowball in hell would have a better chance of survival compared to any request for any kind of external antenna (if the HOA approval board is composed of snob hard azz people).

And the FCC is NOT going to lift a single finger to stop me from banning external amateur radio antennas under HOA.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 10:37:01 AM »

>RE: How can I determine local antenna restrictions?       Reply
by W0MT on September 21, 2009    Mail this to a friend!
I have personally bought and sold more than ten properties (most with CC&Rs) and I have never seen antenna restrictions in the purchase agreement.<

::They almost never would be.  The purchase agreement/contract of sale/deed transfer paperwork wouldn't include CC&Rs; what they normally *would* include is a statement that by signing these papers, you (the homeowner) are agreeing to be bound by whatever deed details exist.  They don't go telling you what those are.

It's up to the buyer to do the research, look up any deed restrictions, procure a copy of the covenants (if there are any), etc.

Typically on R/E settlement paperwork you sign in several places and initial every single page, for dozens of pages.  Buried within the text on one of those pages you are generally signing your "agreement with" whatever deed restrictions exist, and it's up to you to find out what they are.

WB2WIK/6
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W0MT
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2009, 11:17:46 AM »

Re: LRZ

I’ve got a swell idea. Why don’t you try reading before you post? You said that antenna restriction would be found in the purchase agreement. I said they would not; they would be found in the CC&Rs and Architectural Guidelines.

I never asserted that the CC&Rs would not or could not prohibit antennas. I also never asserted that the FCC would intervene for a Ham to put up an antenna in violation of the CC&Rs.

Re: WIK

I don’t doubt that some may have seen a purchase agreement that says the buyer will comply with CC&Rs but none of the purchase agreements I have ever signed contained such language. As a retired attorney, I read all of the fine print and it just hasn’t been there in any I have ever read or signed.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2009, 12:25:30 PM »

RE MT...It is in the contract...

Everything is in the contract.

SOMETIMES words have two meanings.


I clearly stated go to a lawyer, YOUR LAWYER.  In other words DO NOT DO THIS YOURSELF, you are NOT qualfied unless you are yourself a lawyer.  

IN SO MANY WORDS.  WHICH is why I clearly stated have YOUR lawyer read tell you what you can and cannot do.  

Perhaps YOU should learn to read.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2009, 01:27:41 PM »

>RE: How can I determine local antenna restrictions?       Reply
Re: WIK

I don’t doubt that some may have seen a purchase agreement that says the buyer will comply with CC&Rs but none of the purchase agreements I have ever signed contained such language. As a retired attorney, I read all of the fine print and it just hasn’t been there in any I have ever read or signed.<

::Well, I'm not an attorney (although I played one on stage, once), but maybe you can shed some light on how restrictions can be transferred and binding without the owner agreeing to them in principle?  Here in California, I've bought and sold several homes and in every case, there was such wording (stipulating that any deed restrictions were part of the property transfer and agreed to by the buyer) in every contract of sale, even though the properties involved didn't have any deed restrictions!  (I guess it's just "boilerplate" in the CA agreements.)

Maybe this varies by state?

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
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W0MT
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2009, 04:13:35 PM »

Steve,

CC&Rs are said to "run with the land" (a legal term of art). That means that whoever owns the land is bound by the CC&Rs. For example, if you inherit land with CC&Rs, you are bound by them regardless if you ever saw, read, or understood them. This is also true of easements. They too run with the land. If someone acquires property with an easement, they are bound by the easement whether they like it or not. Due diligent is the expression applied to a buyer's duty to go to the courthouse to discover these things.

Because so many buyers never understood this and they screamed to the state law makers, many states have passed statues that require a buyer to be furnished CC&Rs prior to the sale. In other words, due diligence is often required by statute. That being said, failure of the buyer to be provided CC&Rs is probably not grounds for recision of the sale, at least in my experience. Failure to provide the CC&Rs to the buyer might be the grounds for a negligence claim against whoever is responsible for providing the CC&Rs. This is a problem for a Ham as one of the elements of a tort case is providing monetary damages. How do you show monetary damages for not being able to participate in a not-for-profit hobby?

So you are correct that how this works varies state-by-state, at least in terms of whether a purchase agreement even mentions CC&Rs or easements. That being said, I would be shocked to see CC&Rs ever contained in a sales agreement. The reason is simple. Virtually all sales agreements are drafted by an attorney. Think of the problems that would occur if the CC&Rs were included in the sales agreement that somehow they were entered with mistakes. The drafter of the document could be in serious doo-doo. Also some states are starting to realize that CC&Rs sometimes need to be changed. Some state now allow the CC&Rs to be change by a majority vote of the homeowners. Attorneys like to draft documents that don’t need to be changed as time goes on. The sales agreement might mention or incorporate CC&Rs without including them.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2009, 05:50:50 PM »

>RE: How can I determine local antenna restrictions?  Reply  
by W0MT on September 21, 2009  Mail this to a friend!  
Steve,

CC&Rs are said to "run with the land" (a legal term of art). That means that whoever owns the land is bound by the CC&Rs. For example, if you inherit land with CC&Rs, you are bound by them regardless if you ever saw, read, or understood them. This is also true of easements. They too run with the land. If someone acquires property with an easement, they are bound by the easement whether they like it or not. Due diligent is the expression applied to a buyer's duty to go to the courthouse to discover these things.<

::Yes, I understand that.  I'm not a lawyer, but have owned 15 homes and have a CA R/E license.

>Because so many buyers never understood this and they screamed to the state law makers, many states have passed statues that require a buyer to be furnished CC&Rs prior to the sale. In other words, due diligence is often required by statute. That being said, failure of the buyer to be provided CC&Rs is probably not grounds for recision of the sale, at least in my experience. Failure to provide the CC&Rs to the buyer might be the grounds for a negligence claim against whoever is responsible for providing the CC&Rs.<

::In CA, all deed restrictions and easements are fully disclosed during escrow.  That is the law, here.  Every R/E sales contract I've ever seen fully discloses all, including a Plat plan showing all easements; if that's not part of the package, the contract is easily nullified by the courts.

>This is a problem for a Ham as one of the elements of a tort case is providing monetary damages. How do you show monetary damages for not being able to participate in a not-for-profit hobby?<

::Good question, and I have no idea!  That would be one for a judge.  Possibly a ham could get a few signed affadavits from medical professionals indicating the buyer suffered psychological damage, hi hi.  I really don't know.

>So you are correct that how this works varies state-by-state, at least in terms of whether a purchase agreement even mentions CC&Rs or easements. That being said, I would be shocked to see CC&Rs ever contained in a sales agreement. The reason is simple. Virtually all sales agreements are drafted by an attorney.<

::Here in CA, all R/E sales are handled by Escrow Officers only, and attorneys are almost never involved.  However, the "boilerplate" contracts were very likely drafted by attorneys.  I don't know who they are, and they all read the same.

>Think of the problems that would occur if the CC&Rs were included in the sales agreement that somehow they were entered with mistakes. The drafter of the document could be in serious doo-doo. Also some states are starting to realize that CC&Rs sometimes need to be changed. Some state now allow the CC&Rs to be change by a majority vote of the homeowners.<

::I've been through that one, and it's not so easy.  Here, HOA "By Laws" can be revised, but CC&Rs really cannot.  What an HOA can do, and I've been through this also, is,  by majority vote (or whatever the By-Laws required -- it might require a quorum to get the majority vote) the HOA can choose to simply ignore and not enforce the CC&Rs.  That doesn't mean the covenants go away, they're just ignored.  That's not a bad situation, but I wouldn't bet on it in most cases.

>Attorneys like to draft documents that don’t need to be changed as time goes on. The sales agreement might mention or incorporate CC&Rs without including them.<

::As I said, here in CA, the most populated state in the country and also one that has more multimillion dollar homes than any other state by a very wide margin (L.A. City alone has over 50,000 residences appraised at over $1 Million), covenants are disclosed in all R/E sales contracts, but it can be in a sneaky way, by asking the buyer to sign his acknowledgement that he is familiar with all applicable deed restrictions and agrees to be bound by them.  This doesn't actually stipulate what they are!  But it's an acknowledgement that there may be some, and the buyer is cognizant.  Then, it's up to the buyer to discover.

Many buyers write an addendum stipulating that if they discover during the escrow process that deed restrictions are untenable, the contract can be null and void.  That can provide a cooling off period of maybe 14 to 30 days, after which the buyer is stuck with whatever he finds.

73

Steve WB2WIK/6
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2009, 06:36:45 PM »

>RE: How can I determine local antenna restrictions?  Reply  
by W0MT on September 21, 2009  Mail this to a friend!  

Re: WIK

I don’t doubt that some may have seen a purchase agreement that says the buyer will comply with CC&Rs but none of the purchase agreements I have ever signed contained such language. As a retired attorney, I read all of the fine print and it just hasn’t been there in any I have ever read or signed.<

::I'm sure you're right, and I don't disagree with you.  However, isn't that very sneaky?  How can someone sell any item that has use restrictions without disclosing what those use restrictions are?

This is tantamount to selling a car that won't start on Sundays.  "Oops, I wasn't required to tell you that, so it's your problem."  That's horrible.

I'm happy that in CA these restrictions *MUST* be disclosed in escrow.

WB2WIK/6
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