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[TowerTalk] Information needed

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Information needed
From: (Steve Sawyers n0yvy)
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 20:22:14 -0500
(This answer is a repost of information that I have given out before so
if it looks familiar, then hit the delete key.)

Sounds like you at least have your foot in the door. Went through this
several years ago. The ordinance that we got was less than deal - ie. no
restriction, but will give you a starting point. It is on the web at

This ordinance specifies the regulation for towers in general - ham and
commercial, including Cell, radio and TV broadcast, and beepers and
pagers. Basically a tower is a tower.

The other effective part of the ordinance was the amendments to the
basic zoning ordinance as far as what is allowed for permitted uses,
conditional uses and not allowed at all. This was scattered throughout
the overall zoning ordinance. I will attempt to summarize.

Tower heights are permitted based on land usage i.e. industrial,
commercial, office, residential, etc., and on the size of the lot.

Max Heights
District                     Principal    Accessory     Cond. Use
Ag (35 acres)                ----         200           >200
Ag (1-5)                     ----         150           >150
R1 (1 acre lots)             ----         125           >125
R2 (City Lots)               ----         80            >80
R3 (Duplexes)                ----         80            >80
R4 (Appartments)             ----         80            >80  
RMH (Mobile Home)            ----         80            >80
(Land owner or Aprtmt Manager must still approve)
OT (Offices)                 ----         80            >80
C1 (light Comm)              ----         150           >150
C2 (med. Comm)               ----         200           >200
C3 (heavy Comm)              ----         200           >200
CWH (warehouses)             ----         200           >200
HTS (HighTech Service)       200          200           >200
I1  (light Industrial)       200          200           >200
I2  (heavy Industrial)       Any Height   Any Height    Any Height

Hopefully you will be able to do better. 

We were operating in a rear guard mode. An overloaded commercial tower
came down when hit by a micro burst. It fell on an adjacent factory
killing a worker. The family and local union got involved requesting
regulation. We had to get very proactive. 

We tried to ally ourselves with the commercial interests, but found that
several of them were trying to sell us down the river and were working
for competative advantage rather than worrying about getting a good

We had licensed mechanical and electrical engineers on our amateur
group. We worked for over two years. We took the draft the local
government staff proposed and amended it one lne at a time to get what
we could in concessions.

Remember - this is a POLITICAL PROCESS!!! Know who your friends are,
know who has what power and opinions. Understand the law making process,
the steps and who has approval and change rights. We were able to get
one member on the special committee. Happened to be W0EJ. He has a PhD
in EE and is a licensed PE. We had two other PEs in our small amateur
group. We communicated regularly with the local amateur clubs. We all
attended every meeting, and they were all during the day. You have to be
there, be active, be positive. Our stance was "We want to help!" We were
citizens first, technical professionals second and amateurs third. We
never hid our amateur status, but we emphasized the others more.

After all that work, we almost lost it at the end. A couple of members
of the special committee who were not pro towers (and one of them was an
amateur) went to the board of supervisors with their own version of the
height restrictions for the ordinance at the last minute. They were well
connected and were serving on various boards in the planning and zoning
area. So they had the access and the credibility. It took a last ditch
effort to get out the amateur club members at the final approval meeting
to pull out what we got. 

At all the meetings we were very professional. Always jacket and tie.
Always polished presentations from prepared notes with hand outs for all
the committee members. Never repeating the same point in the same
meeting. Never derogatory. Our concern was to satify the safety needs of
the public without burdening the tower owners with lots of expense and
restrictions. We wanted the emphasis on safety, not on aethetics. We
don't win on aethetics. We kept up constant pressure, we were always
there, always analyzing what was going on and what were our options.

Once we got the ordinance, we have been constantly vigilant and
monitoring for any changes. "We are here to help." We even ran a
training session for the planning and zoning staff on the ins and outs
of the ordinance. What was acceptable and what was not under the new
rules. We had worked hard to gain credibility, and we got it to pay off
as best we could.

They have to know that you will not go away or roll over and play dead.

de n0yvy steve

John Watson wrote:
> The County where I live has started to draft ordinances to control
> the rash of tower permits that are primarily for cellular use. However,
> the county is also attempting to include in the ordinance, ALL towers,
> and has classified them into several groups. Amateur radio towers were
> to be included in the broadcast tower group.
>      The county has asked me to represent the amateur radio interests,
> to be sure that there is appropriate allowances for our useage, as to
> heights of towers, and how differentiate between our uses and tower
> types we use for the many facets of our hobby.
>      I have received from the ARRL, their package of PRB-1, and about 8
> - 10 different cases where amateurs have fought antenna restrictions,
> and the end results.
>      However, I am in dire need of a copy of a study called The
> Gunter-Olsen Study. This study supposedly shows that towers don't fall
> flat at a total of their height, but rather, they tend to twist on
> itself, and twist to basically fall in a relatively small area.
>      If anyone has a copy of this study, or any pertinent info from
> mfgr's relating to how a tower will fall, please let me know ASAP.
>      Luckily, our county is very supportive of our needs, and realizes
> that towers need to be of heights greater than 50 or 75 feet tall to do
> the job. They also realize and understand that our antennas may be
> rather large, and that several may be on one tower.
>      The county has addressed the possibility of having an amateur radio
> type on the zoning board specifically for any amateur radio related
> matters. This person WILL have a vote and a most important voice in
> amateur related matters.
>      Any help is greatly appreciated...
>                            DE KC4TBH
> --
> FAQ on WWW:     
> Submissions:    
> Administrative requests:
> Problems:       

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