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Re: [TowerTalk] Arlington, Tx Tower Height Restrictions

To: "Jim Lux" <>, <>,<>, "towertalk" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Arlington, Tx Tower Height Restrictions
From: "D. Scott MacKenzie" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 22:22:45 -0400
List-post: <>
I have always told my children, when dealing with any bureaucracy - "that if
it isn't written down - it doesn't exist"  Always good advice, whether
dealing with THE MAN or any other entity.....

Good Advice

-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Jim Lux
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 9:14 PM
To:;; towertalk
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Arlington, Tx Tower Height Restrictions

At 01:04 PM 7/17/2006, wrote:
>Dave asks:
>Anyone on the list here, live in Arlington, Texas and know what the city
>allows there?
>   Several calls to the Code Enforcement folks have gone unanswered and
> unreturned.
>Hello to Dave and the list,
>Most cities now have their city codes on their web sites. Type in the city
>name, state, and have fun.
>In Dave's case, it only took me about 15 minutes, on a really slow DSL
>connection, to find that Arlington, TX appears to have a 50' height
>restriction for ham antennas. Unfortunatly, their codes are a bit of a
>bummer to navagate. Not to orderly or user friendly (what else is new).
>So Dave, all you have to do is get to the "right" inspector and have a
>chat. AND stay cool. All you're looking for is info as to if you even need
>a permit, or what you really need to get one.

When you have that little chat, and find out no permit is required, see if
they'll issue a memo or letter to that effect. Even as much as a fax along
the lines of:
Dear counter person X,

Just to confirm our discussion yesterday that the code does not require a
permit for XYZ. If you recall differently, please let me know.

Thanks for your help.

Bob I'm a nice ham

helps.  When the fax arrives, it gets logged, and put into a file
somewhere.  Later on, if a dispute arises, you can  say, on abc date, I
talked to X, and they said I didn't need a permit. When they go check,
they'll find the fax, etc..  A lot of times, these things get resolved on
the "minimum hassle to move on" basis... If they think that someone just
off-the-cuffed an answer to get rid of you, and there's no paper trail,
they can proceed as if it never occurred, and blow you off, which might
mean siccing the code enforcement folks on you.

However, if there's a piece of paper (an artifact, in "process" lingo) then
they have to take some sort of action. They can:
1) Claim they never talked to you, nothwithstanding the fax, which might
have gotten "lost".  The "counter log" where you sign in takes care of that
one. They either tell the person complaining to go away or they have to
explain their "oopsie"

2) Claim they talked to you, but that's not what they said.  The fax says
what you thought they said, and if they thought differently, they should
have notified you.

"complainer, go away" or "explain the oopsie"

3) Claim the person who talked to you made a mistake.  This one opens a big
can of worms, and they don't like to go there.

4) The best of all worlds, they say, yep, he came in, we told him he didn't
need a permit, he built it, so what are you going to do about it: now go
away and stop complaining.

The basic principle here is: "if it's not written down, it doesn't exist."

Obviously, if they'll give you a plan check statement or similar, that's
even better, because they had to sign it.

Bear in mind that you can do everything perfectly right, have all the
paperwork in order, have the city perfectly happy, and still wind up
spending thousands to resolve a legal dispute.  Unlikely, but it does
happen.  I wouldn't agonize about it.. go to the city, talk to someone,
follow up with a fax, and put up the tower.  Either the minimal effort of
the fax pushes them to "do the right thing" or having sacrificed your first
born child in the planning department and having them stamp your building
permit in blood would make no difference.  {the latter applying in those
very rare cases where you've got someone who gets a wild hair, has lots of
money/time, and doesn't care who they annoy}.

The city is usually your friend. Make it easy for them to work for you.

Jim, W6RMK


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