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Author Topic: Oak Ridge, TN and antenna restrictions  (Read 1707 times)
N7MDW
Member

Posts: 7




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« on: January 16, 2019, 12:18:23 AM »

I'm thinking of moving to Oak Ridge, TN and I'd like feedback from any hams in that area regarding:
 
1) How common are HOAs in general and how restrictive are they on antennas
2) Any typical zoning rules on antennas

For 30 years I lived in Florida where antennas are routinely banned by HOAs. However, FL has a 20 ft. flagpole law so hams can always put up a flagpole antenna. I understand that Tennessee in 2017 passed a law where a homeowner's association can't enforce rules that prohibit displaying the flag, so once again a flagpole antenna is always an option (but not my 1st choice).
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KE4OH
Member

Posts: 215




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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2019, 06:58:39 AM »

I live in Knoxville and worked in Oak Ridge for many years.

Have you been to Oak Ridge? If not, you might find the housing situation ... interesting. The rather large core of the original town has no HOAs. Not aware of any zoning restrictions on antennas, but you will want to contact the city codes office to verify. Or engage a real estate buyer's agent to find out for you.

Those houses were all built during WW2 for Manhattan Project workers. By and large, they are good houses. Well-constructed and most neighborhoods have been kept up well. But the floor plans, if still original, are strange by modern standards. E.g., the front door of most houses opens into the kitchen. And other oddities. But the yards are generally tiny. Good for towers and verticals. Not so much for dipoles, rhombics, etc.

In recent years, a number of new neighborhoods have been built as the government sold surplus land.  The older they are, the less likely they are to have HOAs. But the most recent neighborhoods are pretty much the McMansion type with very restrictive HOAs. But that is no different than really anywhere else in the USA.

So. if you want an historic wartime house, you should be fine. Recent suburbia-style house, think flagpoles and other stealth antennas. OR is an extremely patriotic area due to the nature of the work conducted there so flagpoles are no problem.

Think carefully before moving to OR. It's not for everybody. Some people move there because they like the schools but work in Knoxville or in Blount or Loudon counties. A lot of people work in OR, but live in Knox/Blount/Loudon or in Harriman, Clinton, Kingston, or Oliver Springs. Shopping isn't good unless you are happy with Home Depot and Wal*Mart. Dining is also sparse. Your fellow residents will be, by-and-large, scientists and engineers plus atomic trades union-types that do the dirty glow-in-the-dark type work at Y-12 and the Lab. And retired, metastasized (in more ways than one) versions of the same.

You can still get acreage for your dream antenna farm nearby, but it won't be inside Oak Ridge or Knoxville.

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73 de Steve KE4OH
ND6M
Member

Posts: 782




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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 07:12:34 AM »

...edit... a homeowner's association can't enforce rules that prohibit displaying the flag, so once again a flagpole antenna is always an option (but not my 1st choice).

Wanna bet?
 An antenna disguised as a flagpole is still an antenna.
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 2837




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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2019, 07:25:23 AM »

...edit... a homeowner's association can't enforce rules that prohibit displaying the flag, so once again a flagpole antenna is always an option (but not my 1st choice).

Wanna bet?
 An antenna disguised as a flagpole is still an antenna.

Not to wish it on anybody, but that would make an ideal precedent case if adjudicated provided the flag pole meets all other HOA requirements and restrictions and the ham has addressed any relevant safety regulations (e.g. NEC) and has a properly prepared and documented RF exposure assessment. The ARRL and the FCC would likely then be drawn in to support the ham. It would be fun to be part of that legal team.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
KS2G
Member

Posts: 1009




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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2019, 11:25:23 AM »

The ARRL and the FCC would likely then be drawn in to support the ham.

To the best of my knowledge the FCC has never intervened in any Amateur Radio antenna rights (PRB-1) dispute.

ARRL will provide a PRB-1nformation package (see: http://www.arrl.org/prb-1) and information about available Volunteer Legal Counsel (see: http://www.arrl.org/volunteer-counsel-program) but does not become directly involved, either.

 Wink
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W9IQ
Member

Posts: 2837




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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2019, 11:43:32 AM »

The ARRL and the FCC would likely then be drawn in to support the ham.

To the best of my knowledge the FCC has never intervened in any Amateur Radio antenna rights (PRB-1) dispute.

ARRL will provide a PRB-1nformation package (see: http://www.arrl.org/prb-1) and information about available Volunteer Legal Counsel (see: http://www.arrl.org/volunteer-counsel-program) but does not become directly involved, either.

 Wink

I was thinking a little more strategically than that in terms of claims likely to be made by the HOA. You can get a sense of that by the conditional clauses I used. They might even be skillfully guided in that direction...

On the other hand, I am not aware of any PRB-1 issue making it to the appellate level where the FCC would be more likely to assert preemption doctrine. They certainly won't bother with an HOA or a zoning board.

- Glenn W9IQ
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- Glenn W9IQ

I never make a mistake. I thought I did once but I was wrong.
K4QM
Member

Posts: 9




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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 12:08:21 PM »

As far as I can remember, there are NO HOAs in Oak Ridge.  I worked with several hams that live there and all had towers, etc.
As far as HOAs go, as far as I'm concerned,  they can go to H____!  I refuse to live in an area that has a HOA.
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 503




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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 06:31:26 PM »

See http://www.arrl.org/news/court-rules-excessive-antenna-application-fees-violated-reasonable-accommodation

The ARRL and the FCC would likely then be drawn in to support the ham.

To the best of my knowledge the FCC has never intervened in any Amateur Radio antenna rights (PRB-1) dispute.

ARRL will provide a PRB-1nformation package (see: http://www.arrl.org/prb-1) and information about available Volunteer Legal Counsel (see: http://www.arrl.org/volunteer-counsel-program) but does not become directly involved, either.

 Wink
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N7MDW
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 12:46:02 AM »

I live in Knoxville and worked in Oak Ridge for many years.

Have you been to Oak Ridge? If not, you might find the housing situation ... interesting. The rather large core of the original town has no HOAs. Not aware of any zoning restrictions on antennas, but you will want to contact the city codes office to verify. Or engage a real estate buyer's agent to find out for you.

Those houses were all built during WW2 for Manhattan Project workers. By and large, they are good houses. Well-constructed and most neighborhoods have been kept up well. But the floor plans, if still original, are strange by modern standards. E.g., the front door of most houses opens into the kitchen. And other oddities. But the yards are generally tiny. Good for towers and verticals. Not so much for dipoles, rhombics, etc.

In recent years, a number of new neighborhoods have been built as the government sold surplus land.  The older they are, the less likely they are to have HOAs. But the most recent neighborhoods are pretty much the McMansion type with very restrictive HOAs. But that is no different than really anywhere else in the USA.

So. if you want an historic wartime house, you should be fine. Recent suburbia-style house, think flagpoles and other stealth antennas. OR is an extremely patriotic area due to the nature of the work conducted there so flagpoles are no problem.

Think carefully before moving to OR. It's not for everybody. Some people move there because they like the schools but work in Knoxville or in Blount or Loudon counties. A lot of people work in OR, but live in Knox/Blount/Loudon or in Harriman, Clinton, Kingston, or Oliver Springs. Shopping isn't good unless you are happy with Home Depot and Wal*Mart. Dining is also sparse. Your fellow residents will be, by-and-large, scientists and engineers plus atomic trades union-types that do the dirty glow-in-the-dark type work at Y-12 and the Lab. And retired, metastasized (in more ways than one) versions of the same.

You can still get acreage for your dream antenna farm nearby, but it won't be inside Oak Ridge or Knoxville.


Thanks for the detailed reply. I haven't been to OR yet but plan a trip soon. I should say we're looking at the OR 'area' but could end up nearby. Wife and I are retired so it's not about being close to work. I just want to put up my vertical without BS from the neighbors/community.
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KS2G
Member

Posts: 1009




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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 05:35:49 AM »


Yes, good news!
And a rare instance in which ARRL provided financial support.
But they did not become directly involved in the litigation.
For the most part, if you're involved in a PRB-1 dispute, you're on your own.  Wink
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KE4OH
Member

Posts: 215




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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 07:03:42 AM »

Thanks for the detailed reply. I haven't been to OR yet but plan a trip soon. I should say we're looking at the OR 'area' but could end up nearby. Wife and I are retired so it's not about being close to work. I just want to put up my vertical without BS from the neighbors/community.

I just have to ask, why would you pick Oak Ridge as a potential retirement place? The overall metro area that centers on Knoxville is a mecca for lots of folks, including retirees. Low cost of living, decent medical, big time college sports, scenic, friendly, fishing, golf, etc. But moving specifically to OR just seems odd unless you have family or plan to work there.

Don't get me wrong, OR isn't a bad place. But it's kind of landlocked by mountains on one side and defense plants on the other. And just be aware that you're going to spend a lot of time driving to Knoxville to do anything or buy anything.
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73 de Steve KE4OH
N7MDW
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 10:04:07 AM »

Thanks for the detailed reply. I haven't been to OR yet but plan a trip soon. I should say we're looking at the OR 'area' but could end up nearby. Wife and I are retired so it's not about being close to work. I just want to put up my vertical without BS from the neighbors/community.

I just have to ask, why would you pick Oak Ridge as a potential retirement place? The overall metro area that centers on Knoxville is a mecca for lots of folks, including retirees. Low cost of living, decent medical, big time college sports, scenic, friendly, fishing, golf, etc. But moving specifically to OR just seems odd unless you have family or plan to work there.

Don't get me wrong, OR isn't a bad place. But it's kind of landlocked by mountains on one side and defense plants on the other. And just be aware that you're going to spend a lot of time driving to Knoxville to do anything or buy anything.

We're currently in Oregon which is run by lunatics and very expensive and getting worse. Local health care is sparse, lousy, and costs 3x what we're used to from Florida where we're originally from. Our house here has appreciated greatly and we're looking to capture that and go to a lower cost state closer to FL where we have family. We're not interested in returning to FL. No, we don't have family or work in OR. TN promotes places to retire and places like Cookeville and OR caught our eye. We're looking for a decent-sized town but not city or urban living (though I don't have a feel for how 'urban' Knoxville is). We don't want the crime that cities usually have more of. I'm a long distance cyclist so convenient access to lightly-traveled secondary roads is important. All we know at this point is what we've read online since we've not visited TN yet. We like the idea of being in a moderately-sized town but near a city. Our daughter and grandson live with us and work opportunities for her (not us) are important.
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KE4OH
Member

Posts: 215




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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 11:53:52 AM »

Makes a lot of sense. Some more comments then ...

Knoxville is fairly urban at its central core. But the metro area is the very definition of "suburban sprawl". Years ago, there were miles of farms and open spaces between anything you could call Knoxville and Oak Ridge. Today, Oak Ridge is practically a large suburb of Knoxville, though it is in an adjacent county.

I have bad news for you on cycling on lightly-traveled secondary roads. (I do bike, but not hard-core. Greenways, etc.) There aren't that many lightly-traveled roads around here. This is a busy, growing place. We aren't out in the country anymore. That's not to say that there aren't places to ride or that there aren't other hard-core road bikers around. But this isn't rural Vermont where one can bike through farmland and see maybe 2 vehicles and 600 cows per hour. This metro area has more population than the entire state of VT. And people drive fast here and everybody drives everywhere, so lots of vehicles on the road.

The good news for your daughter is that unemployment is nearly always very low here.

You know, you mentioned Cookeville. That may actually be a decent idea. It's maybe a bit bigger than Oak Ridge. But it's the biggest town around by far. Not a big metro area. Surrounded by a lot of rural areas. So there might be better opportunities for cycling. Has a big state university there. Plus it's an easy 1 hour drive to Nashville, which is a mighty good city to visit.

We're getting pretty far off topic for antenna restrictions! If you want any more opinions of Oak Ridge / Knoxville / TN /etc., just email. My address is good on QRZ.

73,

Steve KE4OH
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73 de Steve KE4OH
W4AJA
Member

Posts: 15




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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2019, 09:35:00 AM »

We're currently in Oregon which is run by lunatics and very expensive and getting worse.

Thanks for the lunch hour chuckle.

Enjoying the discussion...
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W4KVW
Member

Posts: 283




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2019, 09:13:27 PM »

Not to wish it on anybody, but that would make an ideal precedent case if adjudicated provided the flag pole meets all other HOA requirements and restrictions and the ham has addressed any relevant safety regulations (e.g. NEC) and has a properly prepared and documented RF exposure assessment. The ARRL and the FCC would likely then be drawn in to support the ham. It would be fun to be part of that legal team.

- Glenn W9IQ
[/quote]

LOL,I almost fell out of my chair from laughing when I read your reply. I am not quiet sure which is the bigger joke the FCC or thinking the ARRL will do anything unless it relates to more band space suggestions for the Technician Class License Ticket Holders so they might up their membership numbers. If you are not already maybe you should start a comedy act. I don't want either group supporting me. One wishes they were the Lion & the other is the Toothless Lion. LOL  Tongue Embarrassed Shocked Grin

Clayton
W4KVW

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