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[TowerTalk] Re: Do you tell them?

To: TowerTalk Post <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Do you tell them?
From: Jim Idelson <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 08:45:10 -0400
List-post: <>
>Do you tell your neighbors that you are going to put up a tower, or do you 
just do it?<

Are you dead certain that you don't need to file for any permits? There are 
very few jurisdictions that don't require a building permit for any structure 
that requires a foundation - like most towers. Your project may not require a 
zoning action such as a special permit or a variance, but a building permit is 
another matter. Better check it out - before a neighbor does so! As noted in 
many prior discussions on this reflector, it is to your great advantage to have 
at least a building permit for your project - even if it is not required. A 
building permit with the associated inspections and signatures gives you great 
protection in the event of future "questions" about the legality and 
construction quality of your tower. A totally undocumented tower doesn't stand 
on very good legal ground. That said, most jurisdictions will not require any 
more than a simple application, a small fee and a visit with the local building 
inspector/zoning officer to issue a building permit. The process will probably 
not involve notification of your neighbors.

If I were you? I would:
1.  Set up your station inside the house
2.  Put up a wire antenna
3.  Be very friendly and let the neighbors know you are a ham
4.  Don't operate
5.  Let this "station, but no operating" status linger for a couple of months
6.  Go get the tower permit
7.  Tell the neighbors about your plan in a pleasant manner; show them the 
permit, if necessary
8.  Put up the tower and get it inspected
9.  Invite the neighbors over to help work some dx.

If the setting for your tower is going to be very intrusive on the neighbors 
[20 feet away from them with an unobstructed view], I would spend more energy 
on educating them in advance. If the tower will be a good distance away and the 
view obstructed by trees, you shouldn't have to do so much. Through all this, 
remember that you are doing this to be a decent neighbor - not because the law 
requires it. If they say they are going to stop you, all you have to do is 
calmly show them the law that says you have the right to do what you are doing.

The unwritten assumption here is that you want to have a decent long-term 
relationship with your neighbors. You would like them to treat you the same way 
in the event they decide to put in a pool or something. You want to know that 
they might call the police if they see a moving truck emptying your house while 
you are away on a DXpedition.

My two cents . . . GL!


Jim Idelson K1IR
email    k1ir at


See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
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