[TowerTalk] tower restrictions

Richard Hill rehill at ix.netcom.com
Sun Jul 20 12:38:35 EDT 2008

Not really fair to repost part of an article and comment on the part not
repeated.  The first link provided the developers view.  August 12, 2007
hardly qualifies as 'very old' when discussing planning issues.  The second,
a pilot view and more recent information.  <Grin>.

You may note that I did dig deep enough to note in the text that was
reproduced below, "End result?  The developer had to remove two stories of
the building and project approval processes were changed (and there were
resignations from the planning department)."

The FAA had no teeth in this, it was the community, the California DOT
Division of  Aeronautics and the City of San Diego that had the ability to
address the issue, and ultimately the City went to court.  It seems that
everyone in San Diego County has a special interest in airports.

Perhaps the point was too deep?  The consequences of ignoring permits and
requirements may range from nothing to removing your structure or part of
it.  All politics are local....

OK, moving on.


-----Original Message-----
From: Roger (K8RI) [mailto:K8RI-on-TowerTalk at tm.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 10:01 PM
To: Richard Hill
Cc: TowerTalk at contesting.com; Gregg Seidl; Bob Alexander
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] tower restrictions

Richard Hill wrote:
> Not quite on topic, but a developer in San Diego got a permit to build a
> "sky scraper" in the path of an alternate landing pattern, just out of the
> airport authority.  End result?  The developer had to remove two stories
> the building and project approval processes were changed (and there were
> resignations from the planning department).
> http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061105/news_1n5tootall.html
> Includes developer's position and history.

First that is a very old article and the FAA was not powerless.
A bit more background:
Just a search on Montgomery field and Sunroad brings up a wealth of

This situation differs greatly from a ham tower and city permits.Even
where the FAA is a consideration, the individual only needs receive an
opinion/statement for the local Flight Service District Office or FSDO
as to what they must do and unless directly in the flight path for a
runway or very close to the airport there usually isn't a problem. the
FAA gets quite excited if the local of state tries to get involved
within their regulations.  IOW they are quite territorial. <:-))

What the original article missed was that enroaced on the *instrument*
flight pattern, not an alternative flight pattern and  although they
called them small planes there are multi engine jets in and out of
there. Something the city has tried to stop.
Basically the city ignored federal guidelines in issuing the permits.
The *apparent* goal was to get it in and then force the airport to alter
their pattern, but as the city had used federal funds they lost out.
That particular airport, city, and the FAA have a long adversarial

I think if you check farther the builder eventually ended up removing
two floors from the building. IOW the top floor apartments and a second
story for a parking garage. Now there's an investigation as to who did
what and when<:-))

However it does show that even building permits provide no absolute
guarantee even for large corporations. OTOH the builder may be able to
recoup some losses from the city. I for see some long, messy legal
battles out of that one.

Roger (K8RI - ARRL Life Member)
N833R (World's oldest Debonair)


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