[AMRadio] ARRL initiative


JACK C. SHUTT w9gt at verizon.net
Wed Jul 16 11:07:54 EDT 2008


Well, the CCR issue seems to be one that is becoming an increasingly aggravating problem for hams around the country.  Unfortunately, many antenna restrictions are based on general prejudice and fear of TVI and other problems associated with a perception that ham radio is a bad thing and the cause of all sorts of problems for neighborhoods.  Many typical antenna installations are not as unsightly or as "dangerous" as some people might think. They do not, however, want to deal with anything that they think might detract from their property values or that might, in some way detract from the aesthetics of the area.  Sometimes a little PR work will help the situation.  The trouble really comes with certain groups getting laws and restrictions passed that limit everyone's rights and property use.  These things tend to get passed under the radar and then the options are closed and hams in an area are really out of luck.
   
  I suppose in cases where upscale neighborhoods are concerned about the appearance of a tower or elaborate antenna installation, some compromise may be the best answer.  Unfortunately, the "one size fits all" principle seems to apply when it comes to rules and regulations regarding property use and many areas seem to have officials that are on a "power trip" and tend to be totally inflexible.
   
  Hams could learn a lot from the experience of commercial cellular carriers in dealing with zoning restrictions and the like.  Of course, the cellular carriers have virtually unlimited resources in comparison to individual radio amateurs.  Cell towers have sprung up everywhere, even in places that you might not recognize or believe.  As an example, we have a 100' + tower here locally that is disguised as a large flag pole at a little league ball field.  The top 20 or 30 feet or so is a fiberglass radome that covers the antennas.  Cell antennas are also enclosed in church steeples and other architectural features.  One proposal involved enclosing cellular antennas in a monument at a local park.  There are also a number of cell sites that make use of existing electric transmission towers to support the antennas.  
   
  Although many of these compromise antenna installations might not be ideal, they do allow stations to operate in restricted environments, where otherwise they would not even be allowed to exist.  A little creativity in developing "stealth" installations can produce some amazing solutions to the problem. Hams have been very successful in developing hidden or stealth antennas and, at least, this in a better alternative than being totally off the air.
   
  I guess the old saying that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder really applies to antennas.  What looks great to us as radio amateurs is incredibly unsightly to some others.  I applaud the effort to get some the restrictions at least moderated or modified to allow "reasonable" antenna installations.  It will be interesting to see where this goes and if educating the public and increasing discussion will have a positive outcome.
   
  Just my two and a half cents worth.
   
  73,  Jack, W9GT
  

"Todd, KA1KAQ" <ka1kaq at gmail.com> wrote:
  I have to agree with Walter in that many folks move to such places
exactly for the reasons stated: they don't want to deal with
'unsightly' antennae or whatever else, they want their neighborhood
just so, etc. Anyone who freely moves there agrees to abide by these
rules when they sign the contract.

Different story if they change the rules once you already live
somewhere. History dictates that your previously-lawful use should be
grandfathered. If not, then you have a gripe.

Trying to impose one's views on another by force is no different if
the HOA / zoning board does it or the ARRL. And you always have the
freedom (and responsibility, IMO) not to go there if you think it's
going to be a problem for you. No different than moving into a
residentially-zoned area and trying to set up an industrial site. You
can hope for a variance, but to expect it would be foolish. They're
even good enough to let you know that in advance.

This is no 'David vs Goliath' BPL issue to rally the troops around, or
a useful tool for enlisting new members. More likely a shot to the
foot.

~ Todd, KA1KAQ

On Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 10:04 AM, Walter - K5EST wrote:

> but, you know
> folks do not have to live in those places that have CCR's
> that are harmful. Secondly, they could operate mobile
> or portable in another location. They could also figure
> out how to do stealth antennas and still stay on the air.
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