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

To: "Alan C. Zack" <>, "Noel" <>
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Anyone not need a permit to install their tower? - Nopermit Required
From: <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2004 18:51:33 -0000
List-post: <>
Although it may be academic because of the expense, it appears there may be 
some confusion over what a 'special exception' or 'conditional use' permit is 
allowed to require.  Remember as you read this, that I am NOT a lawyer.

I am now engaged in discussions with my township which has a 30' height 
restriction w/o a 'special exception' permit.  When I read the law, it was 
obvious that the criteria for acceptance/rejection made no mention of PRB-1.  
I am not a lawyer, but reading the language of PRB-1, and 7 court cases, 
including the recent 'Snook vs. Texas City' decision, it's apparent that when 
townships/cities try to 'balance' community interests against those of hams, 
they are violating PRB-1 AND court decisions.

According to MY interpretation of "Snook", a govt MUST allow you to put up 
an 'effective' tower.  This means, according to "Snook", that if your 
neighbor objects, and the township rejects your special exception permit on 
that basis, then PRB-1 pre-empts the zoning restriction.  

Govts must allow ham radio, according to "Snook".  They must, if they wish to 
restrict tower height, also show that a SHORTER tower is as effective as a 
HIGHER tower.  This is the basis for many govts saying that a 70' tower or 
below merely needs a building permit. Govt's dont want to try to prove that a 
30' tower is as good as a 70' tower.  

BUT there is also a practical matter to consider: most local govts don't give 
a damn about the individual.  They care about MONEY. If they come up against 
Verizon, they don't screw around, and give them what they want. But when an 
INDIVIDUAL is affected, they WILL screw you because they CAN.  It's a game of 
chicken.  They're betting you won't take them to court.

The township solicitor, when I presented her with a 7 case summary of federal 
court decisions, called them 'persuasive', but said she would study the cases 
in depth to see if the 30' height restriction was valid w/o changing the 
Special Exception criteria to reflect PRB-1.  I'm hoping she will recommend 
to the Board of Supervisors that it's not in their interests to try and 
defend this stupid law.  But local govt officials take pride in their 
stupidity.  As Mark Twain once said "Dear Reader, imagine I'm a member of the 
local school board, and imagine I'm an idiot...but I repeat myself..."

The decision, I HOPE, will be made by Jan. 21.  



"Alan C. Zack" <> said:

> In putting up my tower I have learned the City Planner Dept. is a
> separate bureau from the City Building Dept.  My understanding is that
> the Planner will tell you if, and what type, of tower you are allowed
> in your area.  In my case, I do not need a Planner Dept. permit if I
> stay under 45 ft.  If I go over 45 ft I need a conditional Planning
> Permit to erect the tower.  But then the separate Building Dept. gets
> involved and has to approve the base foundation drawing which requires
> the State PE stamp and wind calcs.
> I decided to go with a US Towers 40 ft tower to avoid the Planning
> Dept's requirement for a conditional permit for a tower over 45 ft. 
> To receive the conditional permit notices will be mailed out to all my
> neighbors within a certain area.  If one neighbor doesn't like it it
> goes to a public hearing and other delays.  I selected the 40 ft so I
> would avoid this.  Now, with the approval from the City Planner I went
> to the Building Dept.  I had the drawing from US Towers that the
> inspector said was fine but it had a CA PE stamp (US Towers is located
> in CA).  I would need to get a NV PE stamp.  The inspector then
> mentioned I needed wind calcs for 90 MPH.  In discussing this with
> others, the general opinion is 90 MPH is an overkill and
> unreasonable.  The county and the largest city in the county, Las
> Vegas, only requires 75 MPH wind calcs.  I wrote a nice, polite letter
> to the building department requesting they accept the county
> requirement of 75 MPH.  I also mentioned the antenna would be used for
> RACES and MARS operations so they would see it has some pubic interest
> use.  It has been three weeks since I wrote the letter with no
> response as yet.  I expect somewhat of a delay due to the holiday
> period so will just wait a while longer.
> Anyway, to make a long story short, remember you are dealing with
> first the Planning Dept. who will tell you IF the tower is allowed,
> then the Building Dept., who will control the actual construction of
> the tower. 
> Noel wrote:
> > 
> > So I called my local city planners office to begin the process of
> > getting a permit to install a tower on my one acre lot. We live in a
> > kind of agricultrual area, but more horse-country than agricultrial.  At
> > first I'm told I'd need to get a "conditional use permit" to install my
> > tower.  But later when trying to get more details of what I'd need for
> > the permit, I speak directly with the city planner who tells me I don't
> > need a permit at all because the city ordinance requiring a "conditional
> > use permit" is only for towers over 75'.  And since my tower is only
> > 60', he does not think I need a permit at all. He goes on to read from
> > the ordinance, and explains that it specifically exempts singe pole
> > radio structures and the like under 75'.  I'm a little concerned about
> > the words "single pole" because my tower is not a single pole.  But a
> > triangular tower with four guys wires.  I explain that to the city
> > planner and he still says I don't need a permit, if I keep the
> > installation under 75'.
> > 
> > So my concern is, if I install my tower without a permit, and keep it
> > under 75'.  What protection, if any, do I have if later someone
> > complains about my antenna and tower? Not that I expect it from my
> > neighbors but you never know.
> > 
> > According to the city planner, I can still get a "building permit" to
> > ensure the installation meets proper installation requirements, but that
> > it is not necessary.  I'm kind of relieved I don't have to get permit
> > but wonder if I should anyway, or just go ahead with my installation and
> > see what happens.
> > 
> > Thanks for any suggestions
> > Noel
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > 
> > See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless 
Weather Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any 
questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > TowerTalk mailing list
> >
> >
> -- 
>                                      Alan Zack
>                      Amateur Radio Station K7ACZ
>                          Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
>           Quality Engineer, The Boeing Company, Retired
>   Aviation Chief Warrant Officer, U.S. Coast Guard, Retired
>         U.S. Coast Guard, Always Ready, Always There
> Every hour, Every day, Around the Clock and Around the World
>                                SEMPER PARATUS
> _______________________________________________
> See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless 
Weather Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any 
questions and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.
> _______________________________________________
> TowerTalk mailing list



See:  for "Self Supporting Towers", "Wireless Weather 
Stations", and lot's more.  Call Toll Free, 1-800-333-9041 with any questions 
and ask for Sherman, W2FLA.

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