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[TowerTalk] Neighbors "rights"

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Neighbors "rights"
From: (Bill Turner)
Date: Fri Aug 15 11:03:31 2003
On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 07:57:47 -0400, Jerry Muller <>

>I think you're still missing the point Bill. Rest assured that I was 
>there on the day they talked about majority rule and one of the points 
>that has been stressed ever since day 1 is that majority rule doesn't 
>give the majority the right to stomp on any minority.

We're getting a bit emotional here by using the word "stomp", but the
majority does indeed have the right to overrule a minority, provided
they do not conflict with an even higher authority.  This is why for
example, a city can not pass a racially discriminatory law (overruled
by the federal government) but they can indeed pass laws where the
higher authority has no interest.  For example, if the city passes a
law forbidding horses in peoples backyards, the "rights" of the horse
owners will be "stomped" on but that's just too bad.

Fortunately we hams have PRB-1 which comes from the federal level.
Without that, we could indeed be "stomped" on quite easily.  And even
with PRB-1, it's so vague it worries me.  As I said previously, a
35-foot tower may be regarded by some zoning boards as quite
reasonable and we would be hard pressed to prove otherwise.  I would
hate a 35-foot limit, but from the zoning boards point of view, it is
NOT an outright ban, and it would allow me to pursue my hobby.  I can
forsee lots of money being spent to fight this in coming years.  

>Some minorities 
>are even specially protected (women, minorities, and in some situations 
>gays and lesbians for example).

Women and minorities are protected at the federal level.  Gays and
lesbians have some protection in some circumstances, but at a much
lower level.  There are some actions which would be legal against gays
and lesbians but would not be legal against women and minorities.  

I haven't kept up with labor law lately, but it used to be that an
employer could refuse to hire gays or lesbians.  Are gay and lesbian
rights being "stomped" on?  Yes.  Is it (or was it) legal?  Yes.  If I
am wrong on this I will stand corrected, but there are countless other

> The majority can say "we want to run all 
>the Jews out of town" (I'm Jewish), but that doesn't mean that they can.

Religion is protected at the federal level.  Too bad ham radio isn't a

>The majority does get a lot of rights, but one thing they DON'T get is 
>the right to stomp on the rights of minorities. In this case we're the 
>minority and the rights we have that the majority CAN'T stomp on are 
>spelled out in PRB-1. We MUST HAVE REASONABLE ACCOMODATION. The majority 
>CAN'T decide that they don't like towers and ban them.

PRB-1 is a big help.  I just wish it were more specific, especially in
the matter of tower height.

73, Bill W7TI

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