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Author Topic: When you have an HOA, but there are no rules excluding antennas  (Read 1657 times)
W5KV
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Posts: 7




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« on: May 03, 2019, 05:51:42 AM »

I was curious as to what others have experienced in Homeowner's Associations or Property Owner's Associations who have CCRs that do not specifically preclude antennas?

My rules specifically state that I must get approval for any 'structure that changes the footprint of the property'. I assume that an antenna/tower/mast of some sort would fall under a 'structure'.

I am in the predicament where I am hesitant to ask to put something up in fear of not being able to put up anything at all.

My desire is to install a Rohn self supporting type tower at 30' with a MFJ-1846 hex beam & rotor on top. I live on a very wooded half acre lot, the antenna would rest at the same level as the tree canopy.

Part of me wants to go the official route because i'll be installing something that will be a bit more visible from other lots, but still very well hidden.

Thoughts? The worst they could say is no. I could then put up a telescopic mast with some other type of wire antenna if it doesn't work out. This mast would always be temporary then. I've also considered putting the hex beam up on a Push Up Rohn mast to minimize that larger silhouette of a tower... but after lots of research it seems that my original plan would be much better.

73
W5KV
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N4UM
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Posts: 623




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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2019, 07:39:01 AM »

What in the hell is the "footprint" of a property.  Sounds pretty vague to me.  I wonder if such a vague specification is enforceable.
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KC2XU
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2019, 08:02:05 AM »

As I understand it, as applied in our Township, the footprint is the outline of the building as registered with the local Code people.  After Sandy we were notified that any rebuilding had to be within the “existing footprint”... not bigger, no new extra rooms, etc.  it’s a NJ requirement for homes at the shore that you can’t rebuild bigger than you were.  Hence people buy existing properties, knock them down and build their obscenely huge new home.  Not that it bothers me Wink

I suppose you can confirm with your towns building codes people.  I am NOT a lawyer so I’m just throwing out what we learned here.

Best of luck we are HOA headed next year.  :/
dave
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KC2XU
North Beach NJ
W5KV
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2019, 09:07:28 AM »

I already had to request permission for the shed and a perimeter fence, so i’m not sure if footprint is limited to the building.

I have researched other hams in the neighborhood, but none are active on HF :/ go figure, lol.

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K1VSK
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Posts: 452




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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2019, 10:10:39 AM »

Like yours, our  HOA had no specific rules regarding ham radio antennas but, like most, have generic rules regarding aesthetics. I suspect yours does too.

Regardless, most HOAs can write new rules and you might be caught in the trap of erecting something only to subsequently be required to remove it. For this and other reasons, my suggestion is to be forthcoming with your HOA.

When asking for permission, also suggest you understand their aesthetic concerns and offer to work WITH them to develop a rule which ensures the neighborhood character.

The rule we established here says essentially - if the neighborhood can’t see it, it’s okay - .
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K7JQ
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Posts: 1225




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« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2019, 10:50:38 AM »

My experience in the three HOA communities I have lived in here near Phoenix, AZ all have had antenna restrictions in their CC&R's. I would assume that the "footprint of the property" is all inclusive of structures on your lot. At least that's how the HOA can interpret it without being specific. But the fact that you "must get approval for any structure..." leads me to believe that if you don't apply for approval and erect something (antennas, sheds, etc), the HOA can have the authority to make you remove it. Another thing to check out in the CC&R's is any provision that precludes erecting anything that can be a detriment to the health, welfare, and safety of the community. Antenna structures can be construed as part of that provision.

In my opinion, to ask approval for a tower that is visible in any way to others in the community would be a longshot. I could be wrong. Personally, I have always subscribed to the saying "It's sometimes better to ask for forgiveness than for permission". For me, it's worked out OK, using stealth antennas that no one can see (attic dipoles; ground or steel fence-mounted screwdriver), and always able to enjoy the hobby. On your half-acre, a ground-mounted screwdriver would permit a sufficient number of radials to make it very effective from 10-80 meters. I've worked over 285 countries and achieved some decent contest scores using one, but YMMV.

If you do ask for permission and they approve it, then great. If they say no, then you go the stealth route. But you have already alerted the HOA that you're a ham operator, and they can be jerks and be on the lookout for anything in your yard. Every HOA administration is different. A damned if you do, and damned if you don't situation. Good luck with your decision, and ability to get on the air.

73,  Bob K7JQ   
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K6JH
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Posts: 497




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« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2019, 05:56:08 PM »

Are there city/county requirements also? Do they place limitations on antennas? Seems to me a self supporting tower will also require a building permit, inspections, etc. And usually a tower is considered a structure outside the house perimeter, which almost certainly would be considered as adding to the "footprint".

With an investment of many thousands of dollars for a self supporting tower I would want to make darn sure that the HOA couldn't make me take the tower down and jackhammer out the concrete base.
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73
Jim K6JH
K1VSK
Member

Posts: 452




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« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2019, 07:23:33 PM »

Are there city/county requirements also? Do they place limitations on antennas? Seems to me a self supporting tower will also require a building permit, inspections, etc. And usually a tower is considered a structure outside the house perimeter, which almost certainly would be considered as adding to the "footprint".

With an investment of many thousands of dollars for a self supporting tower I would want to make darn sure that the HOA couldn't make me take the tower down and jackhammer out the concrete base.
There is no assurance unless he seeks and obtains approval which is why I suggested he request it. The “seek forgiveness” option is inviting all kinds of headaches and constant uncertainty when the headache will occur.

Although horror stories and anecdotes exist, most HOAs at least around here are reasonable except with people who aren’t respectful of the rules to which they agreed and, equally important, respectful of their neighbors.
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K7JQ
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Posts: 1225




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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2019, 08:14:59 PM »

To clarify my previous post regarding "seek forgiveness", I didn't mean to imply that anyone not seeking approval should spend thousands of dollars for a tower, etc and risk having to remove it. I meant to go minimally outdoor stealth with a low cost investment such as wires or low profile vertical. If it's not visual or unsightly and nobody complains, there's a chance the HOA won't notice, or let it slide. If they do require removal, then not a great loss in cost or labor. No headache...just take it down and go to plan B...attic, etc. Not a life or death situation. Tough choice, but getting antenna approval in a HOA/CC&R community is a crap shoot, and should be realized/expected when you sign the purchase papers. Then again, per K1VSK, you might have a reasonable HOA. Good luck.

73,  Bob K7JQ
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W5KV
Member

Posts: 7




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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 04:52:21 PM »

Just an update...

Had my Realtor inquire with the HOA President who he knows, and he and the other members wrote back that they are completely ok with it as long as there is no chance of it hitting a neighbors property so i’ll space it accordingly. I think this will limit me to 30-40-50ft but I need to check!

Great news!
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NK7Z
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Posts: 2446


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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2019, 06:05:33 PM »

Try and get it in writing...
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Thanks,
Dave
Amateur Radio: RFI help, Reviews, Setup information, and more...
https://www.nk7z.net
K1VSK
Member

Posts: 452




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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2019, 06:50:04 AM »

Try and get it in writing...
he did. -  “he and the other members wrote back that they are okay...

While not very well written, it does convey approval which isn’t surprising. Most HOAs are far more reasonable than some hams would admit.

Interestingly, our HOA included in its antenna approval procedures the following text as an incentive for hams living here to join our CERT:

“ No reasonable request from CERT ham operators will be refused given the antenna will be used for the safety of LWR residents during an emergency”.

While the EMCOM propaganda we sometimes hear is largely frivolous, it apparently influenced our HOA to add that stipulation.
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N4MQ
Member

Posts: 313




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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 05:29:59 AM »

IT CAN BE EASY PEZIE IF YOU WANT. Do like my friend did, become a member of the HOA. They are dying for members and most dont want to be there but stay as they feel leaving would cause a collapse of the hoa.  Work from the inside and be part of them, now you have leverage and if not, you can always resign, having learned what your dealing with.  Woody  You can make a difference!
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N2SR
Member

Posts: 1107




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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 03:01:40 PM »

Just an update...

Had my Realtor inquire with the HOA President who he knows, and he and the other members wrote back that they are completely ok with it as long as there is no chance of it hitting a neighbors property so i’ll space it accordingly. I think this will limit me to 30-40-50ft but I need to check!

Great news!

Why stop at 50 feet?   Go for a nice 90 foot crankup.   
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If no one is doing it that way, there is a probably a very good reason.
K0CBA
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Posts: 422




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« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2019, 06:18:56 PM »

HOA's; the last strong hold of the Nazis.
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