I had the distinct displeasure of having back-to-back law suits in two
different towns, both
related to towers.
Circa 1981. Bought a house "on top of the hill." Restrictions on the house
said, "No antennas
attached to the house." I had my attorney (sizable law firm) review things
prior to buying. I
was cleared. I put up a self-supporting tower 30 feet from the house.
Neighbors sued, judge
agreed stating that "on the house" and "near the house" were the same thing.
So much for
mandatory requirement that restrictions "must be construed narrowly." Judge
went on to say
that he wasn't ruling that I couldn't have a tower "somewhere," meaning that I
would have to
try spots 2, 3, 4 ...... until I found one that he liked (which would be
never). I moved.
Circa 1985. Took two full years of searching EVERY weekend of the year to find
a good place.
Was just land. Entire "neighborhood" was woods (just being built up).
Reviewed everything with GIANT law firm (over 50 attorneys). Town actually
up to 50 feet. Okay, close enough, especially after the last experience. I'll
take it. Besides,
the QTH is phenomenal to EU and JA.
Build our house. Got to meet new neighbors as they moved in. Developed
relationship with neighbors. One time, due to dumb luck, both my wife and I
broke our foot.
Neighbors were great...took our garbage to the curb, cooked meals for us, did
How cool is that?
Two years later....
Went to townhall, submitted plans, received building permit....no problem.
Offered to be town
radio officer. Lovely.
Neighbor #1 get a bug up his butt, creates a stink, and sues me (note that all
I had done so
far was to get a permit. No construction, no hole, no nothing). Local and
get the story and "write it up." (now I've learned to never trust anything I
read in the
newspaper). Other neighbors join in the suit. I say to XYL, let's move. She
sez, "You can run
forever." We dig in our heels. 18 months of agony, flying in experts from all
over th country,
putting up with total BS from everything you could possibly imagine. Building
permit is NEVER
revoked, but town is now suing me. Go figure.
After 18 months, I win. Cost in quality of life, immeasurable (huge). Cost in
dollars, a full
year's worth of salary before deductions and taxes. Satisfaction...not much.
I should have just moved ...much cheaper and less stress on Quality of Life.
Is there a god?
Neighbor who started it all goes bankrupt within 1 year, has to sell house.
Wife leaves him.
Neighbor #2 who joined in suffers huge stroke, completely disabled, family has
house to survive.
Neighbor #3 business falls apart. Goes to work for his wife (travel agent) and
the following year.
So...what is Rule #1? YMMV. Nothing matters...it's all a crap-shoot. No
amount of legal
research, neighbor prep, town prep, whatever can ever guarantee anything.
The important thing to do is contingency planning. Figure out how much time,
you are willing to spend if things go bad and DON'T PUT IN MORE MONEY THAN
THAT. It is a
very slippery slope.
de Doug KR2Q
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