[TowerTalk] tower restrictions

Roger (K8RI) K8RI-on-TowerTalk at tm.net
Fri Jul 18 18:16:30 EDT 2008

David Gilbert wrote:
> That's convenient, but possibly not wise.  I wonder what your insurance 
> company's position will be if your tower falls down and causes a lot of 
> damage (or injures someone), and you can't show that installing it had 
> been approved or inspected for compliance to code.  My guess is that 
> they don't much care how well established you are in the community.
Pictures and in my case the ROHN catelog/book.  It depends on  your carrier.
Many, if not most areas that exempt ham towers or exempt them up to a 
specific height before requiring engineering data will not issue a 
permit even if requested.  It's that way here. Mine was tall enough to 
require a permit and inspection. The engineering data from the ROHN 
catalog was sufficient to make them happy.

A building permit may or may not make your insurance company happy. Mine 
could care less, but when it comes to neighbors it makes no difference 
whether you have a permit or not in most areas, nor does it usually make 
any difference if the tower is specifically permitted in the zoning.  
Rural areas are often treated differently than urban whether zoned or 
not. Surprisingly,  farm land has a lot of limitations as to what you 
can put on it. Just make the area where the buildings are located large 
enough to contain the number of towers you want to put up. Unfortunately 
a lot of rural areas with few hams have prohibitions against towers due 
to the cell towers and make no provision for ham towers.  Yes that could 
most likely be overturned, but it depends on your social/politickin' 
skills and financial ability to go to court if those fail.  After all 
depending on location you can get a pretty good income from a piece of 
land 100' on a side for a cell tower.  Here, cell towers are now 
prohibited. Of course that is after they stuck up two within a city 
block of each other.
> Or what happens if a new neighbor moves in two houses down from you and 
> turns you in to the local planning and zoning commission (which is 
> usually obligated to act).  In most places, the township would have the 
> right to force you to take it down even if you had met the local code 
> when installing it, although they would be more likely to just levy a 
> fine against you.
Not if they don't issue permits. However I think it'd more likely be a 
civil issue between you and the new neighbors whether you have a permit 
or not.  If they issue permits or require them, then by all means get 
one, but if not required I doubt getting one would give much advantage.  
I'd bet if mine is not the only ham tower constructed with a permit in 
the county, it is one of a very few.
> I always viewed building permits as cheap insurance against such issues 
> even though they aren't a guarantee.
Roger (K8RI - ARRL Life Member)
N833R (World's oldest Debonair)

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