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Re: [TowerTalk] Building permit Wichita Kansas

To: Ryan Jairam <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Building permit Wichita Kansas
From: Mickey Baker <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2010 11:45:15 -0400
List-post: <">>
Ryan's situation is very similar to mine. Fort Lauderdale limits all
residential buildings to a height of 35' in the "Unified Land Development
Regulations" but there is an exception by ordinance that says the height
restriction does not apply to "amateur radio towers and masts." Elsewhere in
the ULDR, there is a definition of "towers" which specifically excludes
"amateur radio structures."

The building and zoning management here says that they have never
encountered this law! I can find no permitted amateur radio  In Florida, so
that's likely true. The hams I've spoken with said that it was futile, but
no one could tell me that they applied and been denied!

We have a set of laws that make pretty much everything the state and lower
government agencies do public record, outside of law enforcement and legal
proceedings, so I watched progress on my application carefully. If you'd
like to follow the progress of my permit through the City's system, click

When the first plans examiner failed my plans at zoning because of the 35'
height requirement, I made an appointment with him (before the application
could be rejected) and very politely but assertively made him aware of the
ordinance that excluded amateur radio "towers and masts" from the ULDR.
Since then, I've spoken with the director of zoning a number of times. He
told me that it is his opinion that they must issue the permit, but he needs
approval from the City Attorney's office to do so because, in the original
plans reviewers words, "There's nothing that specifically allows it." All I
want to hear is that there is nothing prohibiting it!

At the City Attorney's office, the land use attorney has deferred to the
City Attorney to make a decision. That's a good sign - it appears that
neither zoning nor the land use attorney can find a reason to deny the
permit. We're all waiting on him to decide whether or not a permit will be
issued. I imagine that he is researching the law and going to make a
decision whether to allow it or litigate, but it could be sitting in his
inbox... it has only been 3 weeks.

The law is clear. Actions not otherwise prohibited are allowed. I should get
my permit.

I've written on TowerTalk in an earlier posting about my submission - I
followed advice in Fred Hopengarten's book very closely and submitted a fat
application package with engineering data (PE stamped), a certified survey
of my property with the antenna location marked to scale, explanation (and
corrected cited) laws at the local, state and Federal level supporting my
case, including limited references to case law. I've written subsequent
letters supporting my position to zoning officials and they've been very

Where I live, all the City codes and ordinances are available at

Although I know of several "after the fact" code enforcement cases in Fort
Lauderdale, where the ham didn't get a permit and got pounded by the city, I
know of no one who has actually followed the process to get a permit. That's
what I'm attempting.

Time will tell - they'll either approve or deny it. Either way, it will be


Mickey N4MB

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 12:58 AM, Ryan Jairam <> wrote:

> This is good advice.
> But you will never know what will happen until you ask the building
> official.
> Reading the ordinances can be a bit tricky as some places have
> gigantic, elaborate antenna ordinances and then somewhere else they
> will exempt amateur radio completely or have a different set of rules
> to satisfy PRB-1.  For example, my town's antenna ordinance limits
> towers to 80ft, requires a conditional use permit, co-location with
> other wireless facilities if possible, free use by the town for public
> safety antennas, a public hearing and 20 copies (I think that's what
> it was) of all documentation.  All wireless communications facility
> must have a fence and other requirements.
> That's fine until you go to the definition of what is an antenna and
> what is a wireless communications facility.  Turns out that the
> definition does not include any towers used exclusively by ham
> operators or other residential users (such as CB or TV antennas).
> Even the building official had to consult with the town's land use
> attorney before they OK'ed my building permit. All I needed was a NJ
> UCC building permit and not a zoning permit, conditional use permit,
> variance or any other special permission.
> Anyway, the long and short of it is YMMV.
> Ryan, N2RJ
> On Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 7:45 PM, K0DAN <> wrote:
> > I haven't built anything in Wichita but I know the generic civil process.
> >
> > If you want to "study up" before you present yourself and your project to
> > the codes enforcement people (and that's a good idea), you should go the
> > city (if you're in incorporated Wichita) or county courthouse, and ask to
> > get a copy of their planning & zoning regs, and building and construction
> > codes. If you're lucky these will be in digital form and they'll give it
> to
> > you or sell to you for a nominal fee. It is public information, and that
> is
> > the roadmap you must follow.
> >
> > Once you have the codes, spend several nights going thru the index and
> find
> > the section(s) that relate to external structures, buried or overhead
> > cables, and other stuff that fits in your plan. Get a good understanding
> of
> > what they expect and when you go to apply for your permit, make sure that
> > you have dotted your I's and crossed your T's. Show them everything they
> > expect to see. At a minimum have the complete US Tower documentation and
> be
> > prepared to show how the plans meet or exceed the specs. Having a plat of
> > your property, which you have drawn to-scale locations and details will
> be
> > very help to your cause. If there are restrictions on tower height,
> set-back
> > from other property, be sure you have identified them and show that
> plainly
> > on your plan.
> >
> > When your homework is done, go visit the codes office and tell them what
> you
> > wish to do, tell them you've read & understood their codes, and that you
> > want to make sure all your homework is in order. Do not be
> confrontational
> > with them, don't quote FCC rules at this time, don't drop names, don't
> quote
> > hearsay, etc..."just the facts, M'aam." Ask them to HELP you complete
> your
> > project, and they probably will, but keep in mind that their "bible" is
> are
> > the building codes and statutes....if you can show that you comply, then
> > they HAVE to support you...if you don't comply, they will not approve
> your
> > plan, and if/when you should have to challenge, they will tell the
> planning
> > & zoning commission that you don't comply. Most of the time, it is very
> > black & white...but there are cases and causes where you might be able to
> > request a variance, but that's starting to get complicated and may
> involve
> > expense if you need to hire an attorney.
> >
> > If you have neighbors who might be opposed to your project, keep in mind
> > that these projects are done in the open, and that public hearings allow
> > interested parties to support or challenge you. Here it'd be good to have
> > some ARRL, emergency communications, FCC, etc., facts & figures in your
> back
> > pocket in case you have a challenge. Don't play all your cards if you
> don't
> > have, and don't play them too early.
> >
> > This kind of thing is done every day...and if you meet the statutes, you
> > should be in good shape and it'll be easy. If you don't conform, you will
> > have more of a challenge. Just remember to go in friendly and
> inquisitive,
> > and ask what you need to do for them to grant your permit. The codes and
> P&Z
> > people are civil servants...they see these projects all the time, and
> their
> > job is to make sure that new construction in their jurisdiction meets the
> > city/county requirements.
> >
> > Good luck and 73
> > Dan
> > K0DAN
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Friday, October 22, 2010 11:08 AM
> > Subject: [TowerTalk] Building permit Wichita Kansas
> >
> >
> >> Has anyone gone through the process of getting a permit and putting up a
> >> tower in Wichita?
> >>
> >> If so please let me know what the process was and how difficult it was.
> >>
> >> Looking at a US Tower 55' and trying to avoid as many pitfalls as I can.
> >> Any info would be appreciated.
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Jeff, N0OST
> >> _______________________________________________
> >>
> >>
> >>
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> >> TowerTalk mailing list
> >>
> >>
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > TowerTalk mailing list
> >
> >
> >
> --
> Ryan A. Jairam,
> _______________________________________________
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list

Mickey Baker
Fort Lauderdale, FL
“Tell me, and I will listen. Show me, and I will understand. Involve me, and
I will learn.” Teton Lakota, American Indian Saying.

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