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Re: [TowerTalk] Anyone not need a permit to install their tower? -Noper

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Anyone not need a permit to install their tower? -Nopermit Required
From: "Bob Gates" <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2004 10:33:00 -0600
List-post: <>

You didn't mention what part of the country you are in, so I don't know if the
following will be relevant to you.  But it's obvious from the many responses
you've received that requirements vary significantly around the country.  I have
personal knowledge of permit requirements in most of the central states, and
they vary quite a bit.  Here's how "most" areas in this part of the country

You go to the building department with your plans.  They make a determination on
whether or not you require Planning/Zoning approval.  If you do, you make
application through that department.  Typically you are asking for a Conditional
Use Permit, or words to that effect.  This approval is based on "what" you wish
to construct.  The Zoning Board (of Appeals) rules on such issues as
compatibility with the neighborhood, impact on the surrounding properties,
appearance, etc.  This board is usually comprised of volunteer citizens of the
community, and, for the most part, they have no qualifications in architecture,
graphic design, city planning, or anything even remotely related to the function
they are performing.  As an example, suppose you wish to develop a commercial
property on the corner of a major intersection.  Behind you is a upscale strip
mall.  The Zoning Board could require you to match the architecture of the strip
mall because it would "look nice" and "blend in" better.  A totally arbitrary
decision.  You may even be required to submit three dimensional artist
renderings of what the project will look like.  They could determine that your
tower would be less "obtrusive" if you installed it 500' back from your house in
a group of trees.  Trust me, if you can avoid going before this group you will
be much better served.

Assume, though, that you did have to go through Zoning/Planning, and they gave
you approval on the plans submitted.  Or if no approval is required they sign
off on your application.  You may now make application to the Building
Department.  This is where you submit your construction drawings, and they will
rule on "how" the project will be constructed.  They determine if you meet all
relevant building codes and, incidentally, if you are complying with the
requirements laid down by the Zoning/Planning department.  Once the Building
Permit is issued, this is your final approval from the regulatory agency.  Small
caveat:  Depending on your project and the permitting agency, you may also
require an electrical permit and/or some other purely construction-related

If the Building Department says you don't need a permit, you may want to make
formal application anyway.  They could issue you a permit, or reject the
application in writing, stating that a permit is not required.  You're covered
in either case.  If your property is outside city/township limits, the governing
agency is usually the county.  If there is any possibility that your property
might be annexed into the city down the road, and the city permit requirements
are more stringent than the county, I wouldn't hesitate to get the permit now.
You would normally be "grandfathered" if that should happen.


73, Bob KG7KW

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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