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US Tower MA40 Plan Part II

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Subject: US Tower MA40 Plan Part II
From: (Joe Spinosa)
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 96 16:53:12 UT
First of all, thanks to all that responded to my original posting a few weeks 

Much sound advice and good information.

I've managed to convince my XYL that a 3'x3'x4' hole won't be so bad if I 
build a small patio around the base and none of the concrete pad shows at 
grade level.  I plan to dig the hole about a foot deeper than spec., and fill 
it to about 6" below grade level.  Then I'll build a nice flagstone patio 
around the base fixture.

I'll go ahead and buy the MARB rotator base for the tubular tower as well as 
the mast raising fixture to make this thing a one-man installation.

OK, so now I'm dealing with the city planning commission.  What a joke!  They 
have no procedure to accommodate my needs.  I find this strange.  Concord, CA 
where I live has a population of well over 100,000 and was incorporated into a 
city back around the turn of the century.  This has never come up before?

My contact at the city planning commission has been doing some research for my 
project and reports that they have issued "land use" permits to commercial 
users for antenna towers, but never for a private individual in a residential 

I think I know why:  The closest permit she could find that would accommodate 
my needs was a level "C".  This starts at $2,640.  Its the same fee, and 
requires the same documentation and reports, as if I wanted to build an entire 

It's frustrating because I wanted to do this the right way.  Part of the 
process requires notifying all the neighbors within 300' of the planned 
installation.  I'm thinking of taking matters into my own hands and dealing 
with my neighbors directly.

My current thinking is:  If I can educate and get the blessing of all my 
neighbors, then there should be no need for city involvement.  On that note, I 
sent a letter out to all my neighbors (14) yesterday that described what I 
want to do.  I enclosed photocopies of the US Tower marketing material for the 
tubular tower (Neighbor Friendly Design!) as well as a photocopy of a 
traditional triangular Rohn type tower for comparison.

I told the city planning commission that this whole thing is crazy.  I also 
pointed out that there are dozens of amateur towers in the city.  It's a shame 
that we have no process to do this legally.  I did say that one day a ham with 
$10,000+ will challenge this whole thing and get it changed, but it won't be 

Any lawyers interested in a pro-bono case against city hall?  Didn't think so.

I really feel that I've been forced to do it this way.  One problem I see is 
that besides being illegal per-say, no official will be involved in checking 
my engineering specs.  I guess most hams do things right for their own 
investment, and I certainly will be included in that sentiment.

The neighborhood I live in is new.  We all bought our homes new in 1993 and we 
all know each other.  I was even printing a neighborhood newsletter for the 
first year or so.  I'm the guy on the block who worked with the police to 
establish a "Neighborhood Watch" program.  A detective put on a presentation 
that I hosted at my house for all the neighbors.  Countless parties have been 
held, and now, a few years later, I'm not aware of any hostilities on the 

I wonder if my plans could change all that?:-)

"Gee, we had a nice thing going here until JOE decided to put up those 
dreadful antennas in his back yard!"

Approaching the problem directly has some advantages.  Philosophically, it 
harks back to the good old days when neighbors worked things out without the 
benefit of lawyers and city planning commissions.  Unfortunately, times have 
changed, and if I do this without city approval, it will always be subject to 
come down.  In short, it will be illegal.

What say Tower Talkers?  Should I even bother contacting the County government 
to see if they have a process?  More important for my own peace of mind:  Will 
I have to learn to live with the self imposed stigma of being a social 

Best Regards,
Joe Spinosa
Concord, CA

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