Well I'm in "it" up to my eyeballs now.
I've filed my "land use permit" application with the city of Concord, CA.
I've submitted and re-submitted lots of drawings etc. as per requests from the
planning commission staff.
Notice of a Public Hearing has been sent to all my neighbors. It will be on
Wednesday, February 5, 1997.
I attended last month's planning commission meeting as an observer, just to
see how things go. I wasn't impressed. The chambers were packed. Some
businessman wanted to put up a public storage facility on a commercially zoned
lot. The town-folk showed up en-mass to protest. The commission flat out
denied the request, after several hours of pretty silly commentary. I only
mention this because I learned one important thing: The commission bends to
the will of the people present in the room... Period!
The businessman/entrepreneur in this case had all the law and ordinances,
zoning, etc. on his side. But the room was full of angry public. The
commission sided with the public. Perhaps this is a good thing, there may
have been a riot otherwise!
What disturbs me is that when the commission denied this request, they could
site no law or ordinance to support their decision. They simply said: "The
neighbors don't support this action so we are denying it". End of story. So
what about all that other silly stuff like zoning, ordinances and law?
Next Wednesday will be my turn. I'm trying to be optimistic, but I don't hold
out much hope. I included a copy of PRB-1 with my application, but I'm sure
it won't scare this bunch.
What's even worse is the notice the city sent out.
I was requested to submit several scale drawings of possible antenna
configurations that I would consider installing on my tower. I did. I
labeled the first one "my preferred installation". (I'm trying to set up a
satellite station.) I made the rest of the drawings bigger and more "ugly".
I calculated the wind loading so as not to exceed the tower's ratings. But I
wanted to make my preferred installation the best choice. I didn't want to
include an over simplified drawing with say, just a vertical on the tower,
thinking that they would only approve that.
So what did they do? They took the dimensions for the biggest, ugliest,
design and published them in the notice that went to all the neighbors!
This is a 33' foot crank-up we are talking about here. The big ugly drawing
had a 15' mast on the top with a 17' vertical at the top of that, and big M^2
VHF and UHF beams in the middle. The M^2 2M5WL is 33 feet long, so that's
what I drew and labeled. The notice my neighbors received is for a
communications antenna 61' high and 33' wide. Good grief. Catch 22.
The phone has been ringing here. A while back I showed one neighbor the US
Tower marketing material. He said I should buy the 89' tower! I was thinking
"I like this guy". Now that the notice showed up, he called to say: "It's
nothing personal Joe, but I have to oppose this tower thing... I'm writing a
letter to the city today". A few other "I don't care what you do" neighbors
are expressing, shall we say, "concern" over my project.
Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but it even seems they are talking with each
other about this. A conspiracy may be under way. Perhaps I should be
prepared for a petition or united front against me at the hearing.
So it goes.
Trying to explain that the tower is only 33' high, and that what I really want
to put up is a lot less massive than what the notice says, is just wasted
I should have stuck with just the one drawing of what I really wanted. Then
again, I tried from the get-go to tell the city that all I wanted was a permit
for the tower itself. I tried to explain that the antennas should just be
limited to what the tower can safely handle. That's when they asked for the
What's done is done. I seemed to have worked myself into a corner on this.
Besides a suit of armor, any suggestions on what to take to the public
Wish me luck next Wednesday... I know I'll need it!
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