At 7:50 AM -0800 2/4/98, K7LXC@aol.com wrote:
> Bottom line? If you want to put up a tower, you probably want to get a
>building permit. If you want to get a building permit, you probably have to
>get a PE involved.
When my wife and I went looking for property to build our new house, we
specifically looked for land with absolutely no deed or local government
restrictions on buildings or structures -- towers or otherwise. Yes, the
local County folks have their own building safety concerns, but their
feeling is we can put up anything we want so long as we construct is safely
(thank goodness for PRB-1).
THE ONLY WAY THEY CAN FULFILL THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE STRUCTURE
IS SAFE IS TO REQUIRE IT BE ENGINEERED, CONSTRUCTED AND INSTALLED TO
CERTAIN MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS. THEY DO THAT THROUGH THE BUILDING PERMIT AND
Sorry to shout like that, but I needed to emphasize that point as much as I
could. The local governments have a legal responsibility to assure the
public safety as much as they reasonably can. The building
permit/inspection process is how they go about doing that.
So, we bought a nice US Tower and bought the engineering drawings to go
along with it. Because we live in Nevada and the US Tower drawings are
signed off by a California PE, we needed to have the drawings certified by
a Nevada PE. That cost us $300. What we got for that money, in addition
to the paperwork required for our Building Permit, was a footing custom
designed for our very non-standard soil conditions here in the alluvial
plains of the western high desert.
The building permit cost us about $120. The footing was inspected prior to
the concrete pour and the completed installation was inspected when we were
done. The inspector signed off our permit, the tower is now officially
sanctioned by the local government and that permit is safely tucked away.
Okay, some cynics might ask, what did we get for our $420 exercise in the
bureaucratic process that we wouldn't have received by simply applying good
engineering practices to the installation? What we received was
protection, an insurance policy if you will, against future problems with
new or even current neighbors.
We live just below a ridge in a very scenic part of our county, with
nothing but empty land behind us. Our tower shoots over the heads of those
folks who live further down the ridge. Now what if someone buys a plot of
land behind us to build their half-million dollar dream home? They will be
a little bit higher than we are and our three-stacked yagis will be right
at their eye-level as they look out upon their nice view.
If these new neighbors of ours wanted to see if they could rid themselves
of our eye-sore, what would be the first thing they would do? They would
see if there were any local governmental requirements we didn't satisfy.
If we hadn't obtained the Building Permit, they could very easily complain
to the County and the County could be forced into telling us our tower had
to be dismantled, because there would be no way they could ensure our
footing was adequate after the fact.
There is also the potential problem if insurance coverage if something were
to go wrong and the tower were to cause damage or injury. The first thing
our insurance company would want to know was whether or not the tower was
constructed properly and to local County requirements. If not, our
insurance coverage would most likely turn out to be minimal or non-existant.
No, after investing over $10,000 in our tower project, that $420 is very
cheap insurance. Hell, our mast cost more than that! (Waving at Tom. :)
Dick Flanagan W6OLD CFII Minden, Nevada DM09db (South of Reno)
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