[TowerTalk] PCS Towers and Hams

David L. Thompson thompson@mindspring.com
Mon, 23 Jun 1997 13:06:13 -0400 (EDT)

At 09:56 AM 6/23/97 -0500, you wrote:
>Ok, now that I have your attention.....
>Today (6-23-97) in the Wichita Eagle Newspaper, they had a article about
all>the 100 to 150 foot towers going up in Wichita for the newe PCS service.


>Everything has whizzed through and these towers
>are going up in people's back yards.  Literally.  One guy in a residential
>area leased his backyard for a PCS tower.


>The article also quotes and industry expert as saying people
>won't give up the convienence of the cell phone for somebody's back yard
>vue.  The residents complaints are getting no where.  Peole are very angry.

>Any opinions or observations how this will affect our hobby?  Will it help
>it?  Or, will there be a backlash by residents and and local governments
>against ham radio towers?  I know this is all conjecture...but I am sure
>there are other experts out there on the reflector that have something to say.

 Lee Buller <k0wa@southwind.net>  asked a very good question.  The Atlanta
Regional Commission (ARC) a planning unit for 8 metro counties put together
a boilerplate law that fully meets FCC/1986 Telecom law.  Many of the
counties are replacing old tower laws with one close to the boilerplate.

Gwinnett County's original law was based on the FAA requirement of height
near an airport (please we beat that discussion to death recently!).  They
decided on a county wide 50' limit without a permit or other action.  Three
years ago they decided to require a special use permit/notification of
neighbors...and anything above 50' became very hard to do.

The PCS towers have been springing up all over the county in the past two
years.  Again without public discussion the county agreed to allow PCS
towers on any commercial property without homeowner or other nearby business
approval or notification.  Two cases of this with homeowners plus the ARC
asking each county to act made for a proposed law covering all towers..PCS,
ham, other commercial etc.  N4UCK got involved and struck some good points
for hams (he of several other victories in nearby counties).  At the main
hearing the PCS companies, homeowners, and even the local radio club (they
said N4UCK did not get enough) spoke against it.  The Commission Chairman
said this was the first time he could remember that they had done such a
good job that everyone was against it.  The Commissioners said they would
take input from all parties, have two more sessions to review the draft, but
that the draft at the next meeting (Tomorrow night) was the law!

I hope that the local radio club keeps all the fine features Jim N4UCK got
for us (70' rather than 50', exemption from landscaping/set backs,
engineering review to 110', and full review between 110' and FAA limit.)
Their main concern is that hams not be subject to landscaping, large fees,
etc and be deemed a separate (non-profit) group.  There is concern that some
of their vigor in this case may irritate the commissioners and planners who
though they had worked out a good plan with N4UCK. 

My suggestion is that if the town or county government is drawing up an
ordinance or law that hams quietly get what they want or be excluded
entirely (make the law PCS only) if the ham tower law is working and is

But don't let a law get by with some review!

Dave K4JRB

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