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Author Topic: Covenants Enforced By The City  (Read 20900 times)
K7CB
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Posts: 81




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« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2012, 09:41:11 AM »

I found out more.  The builder is the one that told me the city would enforce the covenants.  I have since found out from a lawyer located on the ARRL's website that the city does not enforce any complaints because covenants are, as you know, private agreements - not ordinances.  Since there is no HOA, the only recourse someone would have to force me to take it down would be to take me to court.  In most cases, someone that doesn't like the antenna isn't willing to go through that much hassle...it depends on how passionate they feel about it.  There's also the strong possibility that the current homeowners don't even know these covenants exist due to the length of time that has transpired since the neighborhood was built and the number of violations I see taking place.  I thought about maybe putting up a Cushcraft R8 and let everyone get used to it.  If no one complains for a while, work up to my SteppIR 2 element...I've been told by the lawyer that if someone complains AFTER the antenna has been up for sometime, they have less of a foot to stand on.  But, it also depends on what a jury or judge would say and they aren't always reasonable or logical.
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AC7DX
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« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2012, 03:10:48 PM »

Try that in my HOA and you will lose big time Cry
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WA8FOZ
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Posts: 188




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« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 07:16:44 PM »

Quote
I found out more.  The builder is the one that told me the city would enforce the covenants.  I have since found out from a lawyer located on the ARRL's website that the city does not enforce any complaints because covenants are, as you know, private agreements - not ordinances.  Since there is no HOA, the only recourse someone would have to force me to take it down would be to take me to court.  In most cases, someone that doesn't like the antenna isn't willing to go through that much hassle...it depends on how passionate they feel about it.  There's also the strong possibility that the current homeowners don't even know these covenants exist due to the length of time that has transpired since the neighborhood was built and the number of violations I see taking place.  I thought about maybe putting up a Cushcraft R8 and let everyone get used to it.  If no one complains for a while, work up to my SteppIR 2 element...
In doing that, you may be taking a BIG chance....

Quote
've been told by the lawyer that if someone complains AFTER the antenna has been up for sometime, they have less of a foot to stand on.  But, it also depends on what a jury or judge would say and they aren't always reasonable or logical.
Exactly. So how much risk do you wish to tolerate? I would ask the VC to refer you to a competent local real estate attorney, who can give you a reasonable estimate of what your chances are. Then you can make an informed decision, balancing possible risks with whatever other factors are important to you.

Good luck!
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K7CB
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Posts: 81




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« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 07:58:00 PM »

I know of at least two amateurs and a CBer who live in neighborhoods here in Colorado Springs with covenants and no one has done a thing about their antennas.  I see there are three or four amateurs in the neighborhood where this house is located...I'll have to drive by and see if there are any antennas or if a HAM even lives there.
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NN4RH
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Posts: 321




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« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2012, 04:10:07 AM »

Since there is no HOA, the only recourse someone would have to force me to take it down would be to take me to court.  In most cases, someone that doesn't like the antenna isn't willing to go through that much hassle...it depends on how passionate they feel about it.

Typically, a bunch of neighbors and other activists throughout the neighborhood will band together and gang up on you. They could easily outspend you on lawyers.

Quote
There's also the strong possibility that the current homeowners don't even know these covenants exist due to the length of time that has transpired since the neighborhood was built and the number of violations I see taking place.  

The instant someone sees an antenna go up, they'll find the covenants or start nagging the city until the city gives them a copy. Other people's other violations don't matter. Antennas are a special case. For some reason, the sight of an antenna can trigger all sorts of nastiness. You could be living in the worst run-down slum in the country, but if you put up a ham radio antenna, all of a sudden everyone is going to be whining about how it's destroying their "property values".

Quote
I thought about maybe putting up a Cushcraft R8 and let everyone get used to it.  If no one complains for a while, work up to my SteppIR 2 element...

Be freinds with the neighbors in the meantime. It really all depends on your relationships with each neighbor.

Quote
I've been told by the lawyer that if someone complains AFTER the antenna has been up for sometime, they have less of a foot to stand on.

Not really. It depends on whether there is a prohibition against antennas in the existing covenents.

And just hope nobody new moves into the neighborhood. They're often the nastiest ones.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 04:12:42 AM by WN9HJW » Logged
WX7G
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Posts: 5987




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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2012, 06:39:57 AM »

The legal viewpoints has been explored, now for an ethical viewpoint.

The neighbors bought homes knowing there were covenants and they have the expectation that there will be no antennas.

I believe any antenna(s) should be low profile a beam should not be considered.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 06:42:05 AM by WX7G » Logged
AC4RD
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Posts: 1236




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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2012, 09:17:02 AM »

Be freinds with the neighbors in the meantime. It really all depends on your relationships with each neighbor.

I'm with you on that one.  When I get a new neighbor, or become active after being off the air for a while, I tell my neighbors I'll be "playing with my radios," make sure they have my phone number, and tell them to CALL me right away if they experience any interference.  It's been many years since I actually had to take any action for RFI problems.  But I think the neighbors appreciate being in on it.  I'd rather have to put in a LP filter, or avoid pointing an antenna at my neighbor's sun room, and have us all be friends, than let it turn into an argument.  (No HOAs to worry about in my neighborhood, happily enough.)
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 12:33:41 PM »

1) The neighbors may not know that the covenants exist at all.

2) I have never had anybody complain about my antennas. Of course, they have been relatively low-impact, visually, but certainly not "stealth".

3) How visible will the antennas be from the street? And from neighboring properties?

Your best bet is to consult with a qualified Real Estate attorney - and not make much noise.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KD8Z
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Posts: 169




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« Reply #23 on: November 26, 2012, 05:23:51 PM »

Misrepresentation is a major point of litigation in the courtrooms these days.  Many times a contract can be nullified or renegotiated over just such a statement.  The broker/saleswoman made a big boo boo by telling you that there were no covenants and placed herself and her company in jeopardy.  Get a good lawyer and give them any and all evidence you have on the statement and hopefully you have it in writing.  Don't erase these old emails as they may cost the broker a bundle.  You may opt for a large cash settlement, a new contract, or dissolve the old contract.   The broker/salesman  should never make such statements without being absolutely positive there are no CCr's when in fact they do exist.  Very bad for the broker if you get the right attorney.  This all depends upon how your state handles misrepresentation and each state does it differently.
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W0MT
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Posts: 172




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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2012, 08:04:43 AM »

Misrepresentation is a major point of litigation in the courtrooms these days.  Many times a contract can be nullified or renegotiated over just such a statement.  The broker/saleswoman made a big boo boo by telling you that there were no covenants and placed herself and her company in jeopardy.  Get a good lawyer and give them any and all evidence you have on the statement and hopefully you have it in writing.  Don't erase these old emails as they may cost the broker a bundle.  You may opt for a large cash settlement, a new contract, or dissolve the old contract.   The broker/salesman  should never make such statements without being absolutely positive there are no CCr's when in fact they do exist.  Very bad for the broker if you get the right attorney.  This all depends upon how your state handles misrepresentation and each state does it differently.
There is a doctrine in the law known as the "Four-Corners Rule."  Simply stated it means that a written contract cannot be modified by verbal agreements and that the contract will be enforced strictly on the text contained with the four corners of the document. Generally verbal comments to a written contract have no effect on the terms. It may be possible to get a real estate agent sanctioned for providing untrue statements but that offers no help to the hapless home buyer.
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KD8Z
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Posts: 169




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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2012, 08:37:02 AM »

I have used misrepresentation in an RV park sale where the seller verbally told the buyer that the septic system was sufficient for a full park sewage, it was not sufficient as the prior owner had to have the septic system pumped monthly to keep up to even a partial load. Clearly a lie to misrepresent!  This cost both the seller and the broker just over one million dollars US.
The four corners rule was deemed not applicable in the face of such blatant misrepresentation being it verbal or otherwise.
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K1DA
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Posts: 487




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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2012, 10:05:44 AM »

  What's the zoning for the area, and is there an ordinance regarding building heights?  The city may have no interest in private agreements contained in deeds, but they WILL enforce height limits contained in zoning laws if they conclude they apply  to an "antenna structure".   Keep in mind that realtors are a lot like used car salesman Smiley.   
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K7CB
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2012, 04:37:35 AM »

I haven't visited this thread for a while and a few things have come to my attention.  First, the covenants state that NO antennas will be mounted in such a way that they can be seen from the front of the house.  I have found at least three homes that are in violation of this.  While the antenna(s) in question are for TV reception and protected by OTARD - the covenants still dictate their placement and these three houses are in violation.  Two have the antenna strapped to their chimney and one (neighbor behind me) has one in a tripod dead center on the roof.  And I found over 15 violations pertaining to RVs and trailers NOT being parked behind a fence.  So, it does appear that either 1) no one is enforcing the covenants or 2) no one may know the covenants even exist.  So, I'm going to start out somewhat low profile - my VHF/UHF groundplane antenna, a 2M beam and my Antron 99 for 10M.  Leave that up for a while and see what happens.
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K1DA
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Posts: 487




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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2012, 09:15:57 AM »

Those of us with military experience know what happens when you tweak the tiger....sometimes EVERYTHING comes down, NO exceptions. 
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N2EY
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Posts: 3877




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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2012, 10:34:28 AM »

the covenants state that NO antennas will be mounted in such a way that they can be seen from the front of the house.  I have found at least three homes that are in violation of this.  While the antenna(s) in question are for TV reception and protected by OTARD - the covenants still dictate their placement and these three houses are in violation. 

OTARD preempts the covenants if the antennas need to be where they are in order to work. That's the power of OTARD.

However, an OTARD-protected antenna does NOT set a precedent for a non-OTARD-protected antenna.

IANAL, but that's how it works.

Sorry

73 de Jim, N2EY
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