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Author Topic: Zoning Restrictions - Help Please  (Read 13096 times)
W9NM
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« on: November 22, 2011, 03:21:09 PM »

Well, I applied for a building permit to put up a new Hy-Tower to replace my existing vertical. 

Seems that in 2008 Rockford passed a new ordinance outlawing towers not attached to a residence, and limiting the height to no more than 10 feet higher than the residence it is attached to.

I can apply for a special use permit... it will take 2 to 3 months from 1st of Jan.  Cost will be almost $500, even if the permit is denied.  I will be required to have soil samples taken and analyzed and a list of other requirements much to long to list here.


I would like to present an argument that the requirements conflict with PRB-1, and that I will meet the pre-2008 requirements.

Has anyone had any luck with PRB-1 arguments.  Any other suggestions?

Thanks very much,
Emil



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WB2WIK
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2011, 03:38:00 PM »

Do you have a complete copy of the ordinance?
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W9NM
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2011, 03:59:44 PM »

Yes I do have a complete copy of the ordinance.


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N4UM
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2011, 06:06:15 PM »

I suspect you'll be wasting your time with the PRB-1 argument.  I also presume you should be "grandfathered" in at no additional cost with your existing vertical since it was in existence prior to the latest ordinance.  Paying $500 just to take a chance on putting a Hy-Tower right next to your house sounds like a bad bet to me - especially in view of (1) the cost of the permit application and antenna (2) the fact that your radial system will only cover 180 degrees rather than 360 and (3) the immediate proximity of the house is likely to screw up the antenna and may produce unsafe levels of radiation inside the house.  What do you realistically expect to gain if you are able to put the Hy-Tower right next to the house over your existing vertical? 
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W9NM
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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2011, 06:19:21 AM »

I have no intent on putting the vertical next to my home.

The Special Use Permit would be to replace my existing vertical, which is located towards the rear of my lot, with the Hy-Tower.

My existing vertical IS grandfather in, however I may not modify, replace, or repair if damaged.

Thanks for the reply,
Emil


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WX7G
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« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2011, 10:04:38 AM »

What is it about the Hy-tower that's superior to your existing vertical?
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2011, 10:33:14 AM »

If your present vertical is not working correctly you can probably get away with replacing it with a very similar looking one. Substituting a HyTower is likely a different matter.
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W9NM
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« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2011, 06:07:40 PM »

"What is it about the Hy-tower that's superior to your existing vertical?"


80 Meters...
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N2GEW
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2011, 05:19:13 AM »

The fact that your fellow Hams are trying to "talk you out" of putting up that tower indicates the frustrations that have resulted with the "PRB-1" argument. I learned my lesson a long long time ago.
I provided all members of my local planning board with copies of relevant PRB-1 rules and legal cases with regards to Amateurs and towers. It took months for them to consider this: I did site surveys, engineering drawings and I had initial legal assistance from a volunteer ARRL attorney in my state. In the end, the planning board decided they would change the land use plan to accommodate 60' Amateur radio towers ONLY IF the local Town Council (Mayor and board of two) recommended the change to the land use plan. Guess what? They did, I have the letter from the town council attorney written to the planning board framed in my shack. It completely shocked the planning board attorney and "leaders" that the council would do this. I showed up at the next meeting expecting to move forward and they dismissed me and said they weren't going to change anything for me. I lost over a year trying to do things "the right way"......
The most infuriating part was being approached in local venues by members of that board with comments like "we really wanted to help you get that tower: why did you come to us in the first place?"  That was really tough on the blood pressure!!
In the end, I determined it was better to beg forgiveness that ask permission. The tower went up years ago with no issues, complaints, questions, and no looking back.
Good Luck!
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W6OGC
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2011, 04:53:10 PM »

What is it about PRB-1 that your locals on the council don't understand?

PRB-1 requires that local zoning and planning "must reasonably accommodate amateur operations, but they may still zone for height, safety and aesthetics concerns."

If that doesn't work, start think about the OTARD rules which completely override zoning and HOA rules for Over The Air Receiving Devices.  While not strictly applicable to amateur radio, they allow you to put up TV antennas without regard to local rules.  A 60' mast with a Log Periodic for 30-1300 Mhz on top, guyed by wires that just happen to load up on 80-10 meters, or the threat of that, might make your Hy-gain look like a real good deal.  "Threat" is probably too harsh a term.... it provides a choice... they can approve the Hy-tower or see the 60' mast about which they can do nothing.  You have to be able to receive TV signals with it, of course but whatever else you use it for is your business, right?
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K5LXP
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2011, 07:11:10 AM »

Quote from:  link=topic=79171.msg557822#msg557822 date=1322355190
What is it about PRB-1 that your locals on the council don't understand?

To a zoning commission "reasonably" means "ignore".  There's little incentive for a commissioner to consider accommodating a group of less than 1% of their constituents.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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W9NM
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2011, 11:13:57 AM »

The fact that your fellow Hams are trying to "talk you out" of putting up that tower indicates the frustrations that have resulted with the "PRB-1" argument. I learned my lesson a long long time ago.
 -snip-

Really sorry about your travails obeying the 'law'...  I hope you remember what happened to you on Election Day. 
Thanks for the reply,
Emil
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W9NM
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2011, 11:22:24 AM »

What is it about PRB-1 that your locals on the council don't understand?
-snip-

Probably K5LXP's response sums it up nicely.

Really burns me... $6,200 a year in property taxes, and that includes discounts for Owner Occupancy and Retired Senior... and I get hassled for trying to put up and aluminum tube that can barely be seen above the tops of my trees.   

Thanks for your suggestion... OTARD.  I will do this before I pay $500+ and a year of time, for a dice roll.

Thanks for the reply,
Emil
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W9NM
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2011, 11:31:33 AM »

Quote from:  link=topic=79171.msg557822#msg557822 date=1322355190
What is it about PRB-1 that your locals on the council don't understand?

To a zoning commission "reasonably" means "ignore".  There's little incentive for a commissioner to consider accommodating a group of less than 1% of their constituents.
Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

It appears to be the case, I'm sorry to say.  Really short cited on the part of city councils that take that attitude.  

For example, in my city of residence:  They run ads in the Chicago newspapers that there is plenty of vacant subsidized public housing available for the taking.  Then, with people 'paying their own way' and more... they make life difficult.  I would have left the area when I retired, but the XYL wants to stay because of the family we have close at hand.  However, that is changing, and when the balance tips... I'm outta' here.

Thanks for the reply,
Emil
 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 04:39:15 PM by W9NM » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2011, 12:53:49 PM »

That's the problem with PRB-1. Who decides what is reasonable? Ultimately I guess a judge. To get it into court you have to spend money, hire a lawyer, build your case, etc.

If your zoning regulations permitted a tower "by right" you wouldn't have to spend money on a variance, but you'd still have to meet the code requirements. Many times that includes soil samples, drawing signed off by a professional engineer, permits, and inspections to ensure it was built/installed according to the approved plans. Not much different than building a house. Heck, my county required me to pull building permits to erect signs on 8-foot posts. Had to submit drawings showing the height, the distance from the center line of the road, the size of the metal sign, how deep the post went into the ground, and how much concrete would be used in the hole.  Roll Eyes
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