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Thread: Online petition to FCC to void HOA and developer antenna restrictions

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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by W4PG View Post
    But this is exactly what PRB-1 did, which has been incorporated into many states' laws. For instance, Florida has this law:

    166.0435 Amateur radio antennas; construction in conformance with federal requirements.—
    (1) No municipality shall enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation which fails to conform to the limited preemption entitled “Amateur radio Preemption, 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985)” as issued by the Federal Communications Commission. Any ordinance or regulation adopted by a municipality with respect to amateur radio antennas shall conform to the above cited limited preemption, which states that local regulations which involve placement, screening, or height of antennas based on health, safety, or aesthetic considerations must be crafted to reasonably accommodate amateur communications, and to represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority’s legitimate purpose.
    ===============================================

    There is a similar one that says no county can do the same. I agree completely with you that hell will freeze over before the FCC will VOID any pre-existing agreements. However, as they did with municipal and county law, they just might require that any restrictions on ham antennas must "reasonably accommodate amateur communications, and to represent the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the local authority’s legitimate purpose."

    A blanket ban on antennas is simply not reasonable, as neither would a complete overturning of CC&Rs. While a 180 foot tower with multiple stacked beams may be a bit overboard, a simple vertical antenna in the back yard may not be. Some wire antennas can be made so stealthy one can barely see them. It's possible to maintain the aesthetics of the neighborhood while still allowing an outdoor antenna. I can't see that anyone has suffered due to PRB-1 being incorporated into various states' laws.

    As others have noted, in many areas it's almost impossible to find a reasonable home without restrictive covenants. Contracting with someone to not do something is OK as long as one has alternatives. In some cases there are no alternatives, which is not reasonable.

    I own a rental condo in a high-rise on Clearwater beach. I have never seen so many adults acting like spoiled children as I have when it comes to the Condo Nazis. The things they get their panties in a wad over are simply stunning and unbelievable. I would never live anywhere where an HOA existed! Blimey!!

    ...............Bob

    Simply put, you are confusing state, county and l;ocal "laws" with CONTRACTS that are agreed upon by individuals. PRB-1 prohibited government agencies from (unreasonable) limitations that apply to antennas; and really only specified receiving antennas.
    it had no real effect upon private agreements, which are CC&R's.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by WA9SVD View Post
    Simply put, you are confusing state, county and l;ocal "laws" with CONTRACTS that are agreed upon by individuals. PRB-1 prohibited government agencies from (unreasonable) limitations that apply to antennas; and really only specified receiving antennas.
    it had no real effect upon private agreements, which are CC&R's.
    That's true, but the OTARD rule even overrides CC&Rs. Thousands of CC&Rs were published prohibiting even television antennas and DBS satellite dishes. Those are all void by OTARD and homeowners associations cannot prohibit broadcast television antennas and dishes.

    So, it is possible.

    But I won't hold my breath.
    What if soy milk is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by WA9SVD View Post
    Simply put, you are confusing state, county and l;ocal "laws" with CONTRACTS that are agreed upon by individuals. PRB-1 prohibited government agencies from (unreasonable) limitations that apply to antennas; and really only specified receiving antennas.
    it had no real effect upon private agreements, which are CC&R's.
    I was simply responding to your assertion that the FCC would not invalidate private contracts by suggesting they had already changed local and state law to prevent cities and counties from unreasonable restrictions, so they just might do the same for CC&Rs some day. As others have pointed out, they did JUST that with OTARD. If ham radio had the financial clout that broadcast TV did, the FCC would do the same for us that they did with OTARD.

    A federal study is underway where Congress is going to decide if the FCC has the authority to jump into the CC&R issue. Stay tuned!!
    ex-W4DFW Ham since 1970. ARRL Life Member and Volunteer Counsel

  4. #84
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    This is plainly OTARDed... why didn't we hams "glom" onto the the OTARD decision -- why didn't the League join that bandwagon to begin with? Perhaps they tried?

    Quote Originally Posted by W4PG View Post
    I was simply responding to your assertion that the FCC would not invalidate private contracts by suggesting they had already changed local and state law to prevent cities and counties from unreasonable restrictions, so they just might do the same for CC&Rs some day. As others have pointed out, they did JUST that with OTARD. If ham radio had the financial clout that broadcast TV did, the FCC would do the same for us that they did with OTARD.

    A federal study is underway where Congress is going to decide if the FCC has the authority to jump into the CC&R issue. Stay tuned!!
    Not in but around Palmer, Alaska

  5. #85
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    Support NRA then HOA.

    Or Move.
    "Theory only works perfect in a vacuum." KA9JLM Don

  6. #86
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    My opinion, it would properly take an act of the legislative body to modify property rights, and even then there would have to be a compelling public need to do so.

    Of course, executive agencies legislate from the bureaus all the time. If nobody makes enough noise it just might work.
    Posting from an undisclosed location in the Nation of Bitter Clingers!

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by NL7W View Post
    This is plainly OTARDed... why didn't we hams "glom" onto the the OTARD decision -- why didn't the League join that bandwagon to begin with? Perhaps they tried?
    The ARRL filed a petition to have PRB-1 expanded to include CC&Rs and the such, but the FCC turned them down. It was back in the late '90s as I remember . . .
    ex-W4DFW Ham since 1970. ARRL Life Member and Volunteer Counsel

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by W4PG View Post
    Oh I understand what you are saying about enjoying your view, it's just that 99% of the restrictions contained in CC&Rs and the like are NOT there because they give someone a warm and fuzzy feeling, they are there for one purpose and one purpose only - maintaining property values. As such, THAT is one of the major obstacles to overcome in educating people about ham radio antennas. And whether you like it or not, you are PAYING for that view AND to keep it - so yes, it DOES affect property values. I might love looking out my window and seeing a golf course and nothing more, but make no mistake, that "view" is part and parcel to what makes the property valuable and is precisely WHY restrictions exist to maintain that view.

    There are many types of ham radio antennas that have little or no effect on aesthetics, yet most covenants prevent ALL outdoor ham antennas. Clearly there is more going on than just aesthetics. A tower that extends 30 feet above the tree line is an entirely different beast than a dipole hung from limbs beneath the tree line that you will never see from your home.

    There are many things here at home I do that don't serve the public or community. At what point do we allow an HOA to restrict my right to enjoy those things simply because they don't serve the public? What happened to my right to pursue life, liberty and happiness?

    I guess I will never understand the aesthetics argument given all that I see that I have no control over, yet must endure no matter what.

    One of my neighbors kept a rooster for two years - two MISERABLE years that I could not open my windows at night because the damn thing cockle doddle DUDE all night long!! I was SO hoping he'd complain about my antenna! I was prepared to give him a mouthful, let me tell 'ya!

    Our of curiosity, is watching TV a hobby? Is it really necessary??? Why is it a federal right to have a satellite dish on my house no matter where I live?? How does that serve the public good?? The reality is, it's all about money and who is making it, unfortunately.

    ................Bob
    You're discussing why the contracts exist, and I'm saying that I know many people who accept and sign them because they exist, not why.

    There is a difference.

    I don't mistake the value of the view as part of the value of the property. I'm saying that you've been discounting the value of the view to the people who already live there (the value of the view), instead focusing on who might live there (the value of the property which includes the value of the view).

    Taking away the antenna restriction (which I am NOT opposed to) is going to make a lot of people irate because it is affecting the value of the view for those already living there. They came into their homes with an expectation of the view. Destroying that view (in their opinion, no matter what you think), may not affect the value of the property to prospective buyers, but it does lessen the value for those already there who will feel like they've been screwed.

    Think of it in terms of purchasing a car with a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty that is transferrable from owner to owner. One reason you made the purchase is that warranty. Then one day the car company decides, for whatever reason, that they're going to rescind that warranty. Now it may not have any impact on future buyers of that car, may not lessen the value of that car in their eyes, but what about in your eyes? The one who still owns it, and part of your purchase decision was that warranty?

    Do you see what I'm getting at? I know many of my neighbors who would feel that way. Most understood invalidating reception antenna restrictions because it meant that people were not forced to purchase cable when they could receive public broadcasts for free. But invalidating restrictions on towers so that some can pursue a hobby? That opens up a whole can of worms because how many different hobbies may people want to pursue that involves things left in driveways and on lawns for days and weeks at a time? This is not a knock against people who pursue those hobbies: just saying that those people also agreed to the restrictions that prevent them from pursuing the hobby of their choice. So what's being advocated? Invalidating a part of a contract to enable the pursuit of one specific hobby. You don't think that is going to anger more people than just those who don't want antennas in their view?

    As far as watching television being a hobby. No, it's not. Is it watched for entertainment? Of course, but it is also the accepted standard media for the dissemination of information, and all stations have weekly emergency network tests. Providing for everyone to be able to receive free over the air broadcasts very much serves the public good. Come on, you shouldn't need to have that explained to you.
    Last edited by KI4NGN; 04-11-2012 at 11:59 AM.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by W6OGC View Post
    When CC&Rs were applied to the occasional development, it was possible to select a place to live free of those restrictions. That is no longer really a viable approach for the most part.

    I spent most of last year designing a Zero Energy home, to be built in the Texas hill country north of San Antonio. I planned to retire, due to being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, for which there is no treatment and no cure other than a lung transplant when the condition worsens to that point. My youngest sister went through this, and has the lung transplant now. The UT Medical Center is where she was cared for and where I chose to be cared for.

    I am an all cash buyer of real estate. We looked a hundreds, if not thousands, of lots within an hour of San Antonio, and found many for sale at attractive prices that we would have purchased on the spot, except that all of them, every last one, was burdened with restrictions on antennas, anywhere from flat prohibition of outside antennas to onerous restrictions which mean virtual ineffectiveness for what might be allowed with HOA approval.

    In several instances, the lot we selected was so attractive, I entered into a dialogue with the Architectural Control Committee heads, to explain what I had in mind and get some reading on whether or not they would be opposed to the modest antennae I had in mind. In no case was I able to persuade the Committees to accept even a modest HF vertical, a VHF-UHF vertical and similar small unobtrusive choices. One Committee head thought it might be workable provided all the antennas "were screened from public view", IOW, if anybody drove by the property and caught a glimpse of anything that might be an antenna, it would be no go! So in an area basically 60 miles north of San Antonio and 60 miles either side of Highway 281 basically, east/west, most of 7200 square miles, as far as I can tell, there are no lots for sale that will allow my SteppIR vertical. I brought the new Texas flagpole law to their attention and they jumped on that like hobos on a ham sandwich. It had to be within so many feet of the front, back so many feet from the road, no higher than so high, the flag had to be no bigger than such and so and no smaller than something else and lighted between these hours and those hours...... needless to say, I wouldn't live amongst those Nazis if the lot were free! The inhabitants certainly aren't free! These Committees don't care about antennas, or views, or values as much as the power of being in control.

    That same situation persists in nearly every area I have studied, perhaps without the extreme fascination with making everyone bend the knee to the all powerful Committee.

    There is a reasonable accommodation here, and that is how I think it will progress. Nobody can expect to have 9 100'+ towers in their urban lot, but outright, and essentially outright, bans will be unenforceable. Less garish installations will somehow be accommodated.
    "Garish" according to who?

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by KI4NGN View Post
    You're discussing why the contracts exist, and I'm saying that I know many people who accept and sign them because they exist, not why.

    There is a difference.

    I don't mistake the value of the view as part of the value of the property. I'm saying that you've been discounting the value of the view to the people who already live there (the value of the view), instead focusing on who might live there (the value of the property which includes the value of the view).

    Taking away the antenna restriction (which I am NOT opposed to) is going to make a lot of people irate because it is affecting the value of the view for those already living there. They came into their homes with an expectation of the view. Destroying that view (in their opinion, no matter what you think), may not affect the value of the property to prospective buyers, but it does lessen the value for those already there who will feel like they've been screwed.
    NGN, I get what you're saying here. While I agree with PG's general assertation that HOA rules are designed to preserve property values, I disagree that the argument "there's no study linking antennas to reduced values" will sway them. To that end, therefore, it is more than just property values.

    I believe at the root is an attitude that "today's neighborhood is good, therefore if tomorrow is to be different, you'll have to prove that it has NO impact on what we call good today. But understand that today is deemed perfect...and any change will alter this perfection." That's the approach. Some residents will focus on the aethestics, some on the values, some on health risks, others on other things - but they band around their right to prevent change as they make the neighborhood more like a condominium in terms of owner rights.

    My own neighborhood exemplifies this. No change is allowed except as prescribed by the rules, or as submitted and approved. Those things prescribed by the rules include about 3 different mailboxes, 2 different fence styles, deck and patio details, house and door colors, even where lawn furniture and toys can be left and not left. ANYTHING ELSE is prohibited unless submitted and approved.

    To me, this isn't evidence that therefore "all other changes have been proven to be detrimental to property values" - rather, that they don't know...they only know that any other change will represent a deviation from the existing perfection, and their main concern becomes "will allowing this cause neighborhood dischord" regardless of why. Their job isn't to ask why, rather to avoid dischord. This dischord is a reduction of perceived neighborhood value to the residents without being an actual reduction in property values. Don't think "neghborhood value" matters? Look at any neighborhood sales pitch and they tend to show pictures of people harmonizing in the neighborhood, not enjoying the privacy of their homes. Outside buyers generally won't know if the neighborhood is harmonious or not, so the property values aren't generally impacted. But life may be.

    As for the override of contracts...

    My own HOA had to begrudgingly amend their own rules as a result of the Direct TV rulings. Add things like "must be installed by a professional installer" and other such nonsense, and they made it so it would be the least impactful to the perfection. But yes, the government came in and overrode this.

    Direct TV and others I presume made a number of cases:
    1. Everyone in the community would benefit from the choice vs. the cable monopoly established by the city/county.(this appeals to the want to undo their authority)
    2. Many in the neighborhood will get Direct TV - and thus it will become commonplace, the 'norm'.
    3. When they get it, they'll get HBO and other wonderful things that everyone can appreciate.
    4. There's money to be made here, this is good for the economy.

    So now DHS and Congress have become involved. Can they sell the idea that ham radio offers a public benefit and thus some accomodation for antennas must be provided? They have the mechanism to do so, I'm not sure if the "sell" is as compelling. I hope it is...I'm the poster child...I'm inactive because the HOA rules present a hurdle higher than I'm willing to jump...and thus I offer NO backup emcomm use in an emergency. My equipment and skills, which come at no cost to the government, sit useless but for some HOA accomodation. I sense that the "sell" will have to be based on EMCOM value-adds, and thus I like K1OIK's idea that HOA overrides only be given to those able to show an EMCOM capability. I'm fine with that.

    And to those who say "you made a choice to live in an HOA community, suck it up." - Yes, you're right and yes, I do. I knew full well what I was getting into and made the simple choice that ham radio wouldn't be in my life anymore. I'm an HF guy - I sold my tower and beam and moved to the HOA restricted community and boxed up my gear. I don't seek a freebie change to my rules, but it would seem in the public's best interest if hams with EMCOM capability were given some reasonable accomodation. And if that were the case, I might get into EMCOM just to get an antenna in the air. And if I did that, and 100s of others did in other HOA's around the country....wouldn't that be good for DHS and our overall emergency communications capabilities? Could it hurt?

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