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Towers and Building Permits

To: <>
Subject: Towers and Building Permits
From: (Christopher Bolek)
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:08:52 -0500
I too have just asked about the requirements for putting up a tower, and
the response from the city planner was "Just keep your anchors inside your
building setback, and you don't need a building permit".

I found this a little strange as well, especially after reading this thread
of messages.  I am putting up a 100' Rohn 25G with about 5 feet in the
ground, making it 95' plus the mast.  I am going to have a 14 element, 2
meter Yagi and a 5 element, 6 meter cross-yagi at the top.  In addition I
will have 2 standoff's with small omni's on them.  The city planner said
this is just a really big TV antenna, and that those are everywhere around

I live in a somewhat rural area.  The name of the town is Newberry and it
is about 12 miles west of Gainesville in Florida.  He is correct in that
everybody has the "TV towers" in there yard.  Usually they are about 50' or
so and most also have a C-band dish as well.  I opted for a mini-dish and
my Ham tower.

He did say that he would sign any sheet I had that stating what he said in
writing.  So that is exactly what I am doing.  Tomorrow I am going to his
office and bringing in several copies to have signed.

Any further advice is welcome, and thanks for a wealth of information and a
great reflector!!

Chris, KF4GJK
________________ |__________ |

> From: Fred Hopengarten <>
> To:
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: Towers and Building Permits
To: <>
> Date: Wednesday, January 29, 1997 11:46 AM
> From:
> Fred Hopengarten, K1VR
> Six Willarch Road * Lincoln, MA 01773-5105 * 617/259-0088
> e-mail: or
> Big antennas, high in the sky, are better than small ones, low.
> On Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:44:23 -0500 (Leikhim, Joe)
> writes:
> >Is it unusual to require a building permit to construct an amateur 
> >tower? I called my local building department and was told (verbally) 
> >that none was needed. I drove over and saw the plans inspector and was 
> >told again the same. I asked for written confirmation and was told to 
> >put the request in writing and that the director would have to approve 
> >the letter stating that no permit was required. 
> >-- 
> >Joe Leikhim
> >
> K1VR:  In my experience (I've been involved in over fifty tower cases), a
> building permit is usually required.  I must say, however, that I once
> saw a town ordinance that had been crafted by hams and passed by Town
> Meeting which specifically said that up to a certain height, no permit
> was required.  If your town has such an ordinance, no letter is
> necessary.
> My advice:  Why are you taking the word of a town employee?  A complete
> copy of the town zoning code will only cost $5-20.  Read it cover to
> cover.  Look for definitions such as "structure," "building," and
> "antenna."  Read any section with the word "height" in it.  Find and
> understand any "Dimensional Table" or "Table of Dimensions".  Be sure you
> know what type of zone you are in.  (You may be in an agricultural zone,
> an R-1, R-2, etc.).
> Finally, you might want to ask a local ARRL Volunteer Counsel if he has
> any experience with that town.
> Now the question you should be asking is:  "If they tell me I don't need
> a permit, why should I break my back to get one?"  Answer:  Without a
> permit, should it suffer damage, your insurance company may decide not to
> honor your coverage and pay for damage to your antennas and support
> structure.  Also, without a permit, all hell could break loose at a later
> date.
> Good luck! -- Fred K1VR
> --
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