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Upcoming Public Hearing

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Subject: Upcoming Public Hearing
From: (Joe Spinosa)
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 97 18:31:47 UT
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 
additional drawings.

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!

Best Regards,
Joe Spinosa
Concord, CA

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