I agree that this is a major problem. A major problem in the long term.
I frankly cringe every time that I come up on QRZ.com and see a thread about
CC&Rs and the standard argument that if you want antennas, you should simply
I'm sorry, but that argument does not wash with many families - especially
young ones who live in urban and suburban environments (the ones who we hope to
make up the bulk of the future contesting ranks). Moving out to bumblef**k
simple for the sake of getting the privilege to throw up a lot of aluminum does
not fly well with a lot of wives, and will often not be to the advantage of a
ham's life and that of the ham's family.
I could certainly move to Warrenton, but I'd have to commute 2.5 hours every
day to work, deal with average schools, not enjoy the benefits of being near
Washington, D.C., and have average government/health services. Is amateur
radio worth that much to me? Nope, not as a husband and a father to two very
So, barring wholesale lifestyle changes, what is there to do? Well, structural
Technically my home is in a deed-restricted neighborhood - but one that has
been around for about 40 years and the "association" has not been overzealous
in their enforcement of the regs. In fact, the other ham and I who live in the
development have basically "trained" the board to accept antennas as a function
of emergency preparedness and homeland defense. In suburban D.C., people are
very sensitive to that issue and will often give some leeway when you describe
your plans and set-up in those terms. Get onto your neighborhood association
board and start educating them - start drafting language - and start revising
rulings to be more radio friendly.
Speaking of homeland defense, I have wondered why the ARRL hasn't pushed that
angle harder in Washington and in the state houses. If the League wants to
really preserve amateur radio and contesting, you'd think that they'd start
playing the homeland defense card a lot harder. Do members of congress, state
legislatures, and local cities really want to appear to be soft on homeland
defense? Do members of congress, state legislatures, and local cities really
want to act ill-prepared and not foster activities with NO cost that enhance
defense? You'd think that folks with political motivation would recognize that
free enhancement of defense measures would be enhance their positions by
allowing for radio operators.
Further, for the life of me, I cannot understand why the League or somebody
hasn't forced the issue of exemptions for amateur antennas in CC&R restricted
neighborhoods by inserting language into omnibus legislation pieces. Pet
programs are done all the time. Extraneous provisions and statutory language
is dumped all the time into non-relevant bills. Why hasn't this been done with
amatuer radio antennas??
Anyhow, coming full circle, the restrictions have indeed crimped a lot of
contesting stations from fully developing. While I'm not advocating the
allowance of 200 foot towers in suburban and urban environments, a 50 foot
tower with a tribander and a good operator can get you very, very far. K6LL
has proved that point in spades.
73 Rich NN3W
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