It seems to me that we often fail to walk a bit in the other fellows' shoes.
First, I've had towers and antennas all over the world (Russian bureaucracy
was the most difficult and most corrupt) and I've fought the local zoning
folks, the county inspectors and the Homeowners Associations. In three
cases I actually had the Association rules against antennas changed to
accommodate a tower as a condition to buying the house. (Helps in Florida
when the developers are still in control). But sometimes when I step back
and admire my new 75 foot tower with DX wings flying on top and then gaze
around me at the manicured lawns, picturesque houses, and lovely landscaping
I sometimes look at my tower with different eyes. It just doesn't fit in
this scheme of things. I value good neighbors and I value my rights, but
sometimes we have to accommodate our neighbors just as we demand the PRB-1
At one QTH, even though I had successfully waged war and got my agreement to
erect an 80 ft crank-up tower I finally took it down and put up wire beams
and even a Rhombic hung from tall slash pines. It didn't play as well but I
got along famously with all my neighbors.
My current QTH was chosen for my ability to put up an antenna. I have a
Glen Martin roof-mount tower with a 402CD and a TH-7 at 72' above ground,
but at 104' above sea level which is my front yard. (QTH is Casey Key
Island in the Gulf of Mexico). My antennas don't look so out of place here
with the Coast Guard tower just down the road and most buildings sprouting
marine antennas of one sort or another.
These zoning and planning committees, whether government or homeowners, are
just trying to do their jobs in looking after the best interests of the
majority of homeowners who probably aren't hams nor sidewalk mechanics who
want to stack old wrecks in their driveway. To these committees, we are
often seen as common nuisances.
I've learned a bit in all these years as a ham and as a human being and I
remember my Grandfather telling me more than once when my blood was hot for
battle that "you catch more flies with honey and you can with vinegar." I
like Steve's advice. A little diplomacy and giving "Caesar his due" is far
better than an expensive war. I wish I had the $10,000 I spent in one case
where I won but was the black sheep of the neighborhood.
Jon Hamlet, W4ZW
Casey Key Island, Florida
FAQ on WWW: http://www.contesting.com/towertalkfaq.html
Administrative requests: towertalk-REQUEST@contesting.com