Council attempts to use CEQA against radio ham

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Feb 6, 2015.

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  1. G4TUT

    G4TUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Council attempts to use CEQA against radio ham

    Napa City Council is attempting to get a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review of the amateur radio antenna mast belonging to Jeff Hullquist W6BYS

    A few people living in the same neighborhood as Hullquist have waged a year-long campaign against his 16.76 meter (55 foot) antenna mast.

    Council members agreed that limiting Hullquist’s hours of use likely clashed with federal law, which says radio operators must be reasonably accommodated. Limiting or restricting usage isn’t likely legal.

    So on Tuesday the City Council asked for a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review to determine what impact – if any – Jeff Hullquist’s tower at his Coombs Street home has on the cultural integrity of the historic Napa neighborhood.

    Jeff Hullquist W6BYS said after the meeting that the environment study was a nonsense decision intended to harm him financially. He’s required to pay for the CEQA report, which could cost him thousands.

    Depending on discussions with his lawyer, Hullquist said, he might take the matter to federal court.

    Read the Napa Valley Register story at

    Neighbor unhappy with Radio Ham's mast


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  2. N5LB

    N5LB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It seems like this an issue of a few people who desperately NEED to be in control rather than appropriate elected governance. It also seems personal rather than technical, nearly always a disaster. The council actions seem very punitive and I hope he can get relief in a federal court. Also I would think that the ARRL would vigorously pursue relief through their general council if for no other reason than the nasty precedent this could set.

    How big is this antenna and what is "reasonable", a rather disputable concept?

    I live in an HOA community and am happy with my HF 6 vertical and lots of radials. They will allow me a tower that is no more than 10 feet above the roof, for me about 37 feet if I wanted to put one up. I also am active in the local emergency management for the community and provide telcom and software help that I feel critical to maintaining my relationships. So there are compromises. Ending up in a legal battle is perilous and likely to end badly as I feel this case may end.
  3. W0IW

    W0IW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hoa's will be death Of ham radio :(
  4. NU4R

    NU4R Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the words of Jerry Seinfeld...

    "That's a shame."

    And, the overwhelming masses in the once great and disciplined country insisted and voted on the "more government is better lie" and in the words of Jeff Foxworthy...

    "Here's your sign."

    Maybe ya'll be a bit more careful what foolish and hidden agenda liberal pestilence you vote on when election time rolls around.

    And, spare me of your sarcastic rebuttal fellow QRZ-ers. My ignored "inbox" is full of them and besides, the overwhelming evidence is NOT in your favor of what this country has become...and especially WHY!

    BY NOW & 73!

  5. KJ6ZOL

    KJ6ZOL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Apparently the mentioned 55 foot mast is in a neighborhood of historic century old Victorian homes. In such areas, lots tend to be small (since gasoline powered lawn trimmers didn't exist) and houses are close together. So basically you have a situation where you have this beautiful Victorian neighborhood and then a 55 foot antenna towering over it and intruding like a stuck car horn. I don't blame the neighbors for being angry. While Napa is rather liberal, I don't think the issue here is a bunch of nagging ninnies who hate progress. I think there's a real issue where a historic neighborhood suddenly has a massive antenna looming over it. I know that the FCC already prohibits ham radio antennas at sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places. I think that this is basically the same issue.

    Edit: here's the original article from the local paper. Note that this ham's home is in a city recognized historic district. I would think that a municipal historic district would have similar restrictions as a federal one.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2015
  6. AC7DX

    AC7DX Ham Member QRZ Page

    where was HOA talked about..I missed it...
  7. NK2U

    NK2U Ham Member QRZ Page


    If you look at his home on Google Sat view, it is not in a neighborhood where there are a lot of old homes, on the contrary, they look brand new. Now perhaps in another neighborhood the homes are older.

    de NK2U
  8. VE6ETP

    VE6ETP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to mention if you go down to Google Streetview you get quite a different view. There are powerlines everywhere, and not just a couple of them. It's actually quite bad.

    I agree that the proper course of action would be to go out and meet individual neighbours to get them on board with the idea so that they aren't shocked into anger when it goes up suddenly. But honestly, these people seem like they are just being spiteful. I'd be more inclined to get after city council to work on a plan to do something about the power lines running all over the community rather then getting one tower down.
  9. W1BR

    W1BR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The article said something about no building permit. Take would give the town complete jurisdiction. The FCC has nothing to do with this. It is strictly zoning. If he did have a permit, then if I were him, I'd get a good lawyer.

    And, I'd hope the good townsfolk would realize that a high tower helps to prevent interference, nothing worse than being in the RF field of a ground mounted vertical or very low dipole.

  10. W4TGA

    W4TGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Must have been snowing when the photo on Google Sat view was taken. If you look at the property on:<wbr>sold/5059314-467.. You wlll note that it is definitely an older neighborhood and the lots are very narrow. The property lists the ham's home as a duplex, so he may represent only 1/2 of the property in question.

    No question, the tower is lovely, but I think he has lost the war by not getting the proper permits BEFORE construction of his 55ft self supporting crank up tower. Also, look at the address on Google Earth. You can see his multi element beam array from outer space. He lives in California, one of the most regulated states in the country. He is affiliated with a police agency, based on his photo on the QRZ page. Did he expect to break the law and get away with it?

    Sorry he is causing all of us a black eye.
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