Palmdale California antenna ban

Status
Not open for further replies.

kf6bka

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
22
Location
Nashville Tn
Last edited:

OpSec

KEK'ing my TEK
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,664
Location
Monitoring the database
Unless I'm missing something, the City can't impose stiffer regulations than already exist from the FCC. How are they going to impose "RFI inspections" when they have no lawful reason to enter the dwelling in question? The FCC Part 9x and Part 15 regulations cover such topics, it is not a function of local government to enforce those matters.

Clearly, the city leaders are pissed off about something. I wonder if there are bunch of eyesore hammy installs in the city that a vocal handful of people have been squawking about at common council meetings, et al.
 

kf6bka

Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
22
Location
Nashville Tn
Yes there was a ham that did take a stand against the City here's the intial article:

RADIO LAW: PALMDALE CA. ORDERS HAM ANTENNAS TAKEN DOWN

A Palmdale, California, ham has had his permits to install an antenna
on his property revoked. This, after neighbors complained that his ham
radio operations were interfering with their consumer electronic
equipment and posed a threat to their safety.

Heeding complaints from these residents, the city's Planning Commission
voted unanimously Thursday, September 27th to revoke the minor-
modification permits obtained in 2005 by Alec Zubarau, WB6X, to erect a
tower and antenna. Asoka Herath, Palmdale's director of planning says
that the vote means Zubarau will have 10 days to ask the City Council
to overturn the commission's ruling. The decision also means that
within 14 days, Zubarau must cease using the tower and any antennas
that now are considered illegal.

Zubarau will be allowed to re-apply to the city for any permits he
would need to legally install and use other antennas. If the
commission's decision is appealed but upheld by the City Council,
Zubarau will have to dismantle the antenna tower he constructed
earlier.

Earlier this year, Zubarau's neighbors came to the city alleging his
radio transmissions were interfering with the television, radio and
telephone reception. In response, Zubarau said his radio equipment met
all standards set by the Federal Communications Commission and should
be having no effect on his neighbors. Zubarau's attorney Fred
Hopengarten, K1VR, is quoted in news reports as saying that if
interference were a problem, it would be up to those neighbors to find,
acquire and install interference-eliminating equipment.

At least 10 people, including three attorneys, spoke in Zubarau's
defense. They advised the planning commission any interference by the
city with the operation of a ham radio station could violate federal
regulations. Attorney Pamela Royce, W6PNW, told the commission that it
should consider very carefully the cost of possible litigation if
Zubaru is forced to take his antennas down or is forced off the air.
(AV Press and others)

Now I don't have the actual article but he fought the city and won. That's where this started. These people gave him a permit in 2005 and revoked it 2 years later.
 

OpSec

KEK'ing my TEK
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,664
Location
Monitoring the database
Well, that fits the phrase "All it takes is one..." but somehow I think there is more at play here. There usually is.

Revoking a building permit two years later, huh? That's classy...
 
D

DaveNF2G

Guest
The People's Republic of Kalifornia does not wish to be part of the United States when the laws of the land are inconvenient for the fruits and nuts who live there. Perhaps they should try secession....
 

n8emr

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Messages
498
Unless I'm missing something, the City can't impose stiffer regulations than already exist from the FCC.
Most of what is in the proposal has nothing to do with things the FCC is going to have control over.
Now PRB one should some help, but its not a stop all. The city document talks about "vertical" antenna's
where I think they really mean support structure. Guess one could say Hey my antenna is horizontal.
 

n1das

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,599
Location
Nashua, NH
Zubarau's attorney Fred
Hopengarten, K1VR,
The city hasn't got a leg to stand on regarding interference complaints, whether real or perceived, as such matters are outside the city's jurisdiction.

I think Zubarau will ultimately prevail in the end as he's got the best lawyer on his side when it comes to these matters. Fred literally wrote the book on the subject of "Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur" and is the title of his book (ARRL publication). He also handles tower cases for the cell phone companies and other commercial stuff.

I know Fred, he recently handled a similar case for a ham friend of mine in Vermont and I attended the hearings for that case. Permit granted, 100ft tower built! Fred really knows his stuff of which I have personally witnessed firsthand. I highly recommend him as an attorney if you're planning on putting up a ham tower on your property.
 
Last edited:

DPD1

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,994
Not to offend anybody in Palmdale... But this action is kind of funny, coming from an area where about 1/4 of the homes have their own private junkyard. I think maybe the city needs to re-prioritize a little.

However, regarding the remarks about the overall political slant of the state... It's a fallacy that CA is highly liberal overall. You'd actually be surprised how conservative it can be sometimes.

Dave
www.DPDProductions.com
Antennas & Accessories for the RF Professional & Radio Hobbyist
 

brandon

Member
Database Admin
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,486
Location
SoCal
Not to offend anybody in Palmdale... But this action is kind of funny, coming from an area where about 1/4 of the homes have their own private junkyard. I think maybe the city needs to re-prioritize a little.
You took the words right out of my mouth :lol:
 

XTS3000

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
Messages
1,088
I'd be so pissed if I legally obtained a permit, installed a tower only to have to take it down because of 1 neighbor.

I would install what antannas I could in the atic and continue transmitting. A friend has all his antennas in the atic, and I'm stunned how well he can TX/RX on VHF / UHF. He gets out as well or better than us with outside antennas.

I got mixed results putting my antennas in my atic, so put them all outside. Maybe it's got something to do with what my roof is made of. Installing the antennas outside increased my range my 25% I estimate.

So if your in a community that doesn't allow outside antennas, try installing them in the atic and see how well it works for ya.
 
K

kb0nly

Guest
It will be overturned, first of all because they will get slapped for not knowing their own jurisdiction on these matters, second of all because once the hams and scanner freqs (i say freqs instead of freaks, but its still meant with respect) start lawyering up and the city starts getting buried in paperwork they will realize they stand to loose more then they can gain.

There was a case similar to this, in regards to the permit revocation, a few years ago that i read about. I think it was in Florida or somewhere along the gulf? I remember it being in QST. They tried to go back on a permit nearly a year after it was approved and the structure, tower that is, was built. The guy got the lawyers on the city and even filed a lawsuit against them for discrimination against him based on his hobby. Sounds stupid but in the end the city got slapped good in a court and he won his lawsuit, no financial gain, but the city had to pay all of his lawyer and court costs, which in the end he said was nearly hundred times the amount he paid for the permit... lol
 

kb2vxa

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
6,131
Location
Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.
After having read this and numerous similar city ordinances I have concluded the wording vague and subject to interpretation by design. Each and every one treads upon federal statutes and jurisdiction so the bottom line is unless you're prepared to take it to court and prove your case to the satisfaction of the zoning commission you're screwed. It's Catch 22 and you're fighting on the enemy's home ground my friends, you'll spend years in expensive litigation, your costs far exceeding those of equipment making ours a rich man's hobby in fact and indeed.

As for precedents, they've already been set against you time and again but here's some food for thought. Cite one example in Case Law where anyone has prevailed in court in matters such as these. Since I can't find any I'd really like to know, there are plenty of cases of ongoing litigation but none that I know of that were settled right off the bat by citing Smith vs. Jones.

You can forget about any help let alone enforcement at the federal level but there is hope. If you can get preemptive legislation passed at the state level you have your ace in the hole, that's the direction we have taken and succeeded in several states so far.
 
K

kb0nly

Guest
At least i don't have these problems here, don't even need a permit to put up a tower. When i went to the city administrator before putting up my first tower i was told "nothing on the books about it so i don't have anything for you". After asking a few more people i was told "as long as your below the 200ft requirement for the airport", etc..

So a couple years later and i am almost done putting up my second tower. Not one complaint yet, but then i have neighbors that don't really have anything that i can interfere with now, everyone has switched to cable, most have bought new tv's, and many are using 5ghz cordless phones or cell phones instead of cheap wall phones.

I had one case where a neighbor thought something from me might be interfering with his AM radio while trying to listen to Paul Harvey one day. I was in the back yard though so he wandered over and asked if i could listen to this "odd noise" on his radio. I went over and heard the distinct sound of a digital telemetry transmitter, i've heard this many times before after the local hardware store started selling these wireless weather stations, and i looked up on the wall and asked him when he installed that weather station, why it was just yesterday, then he took it off the wall and moved it a couple feet away from the radio and the noise went away.

Of course now he was happy, he knew the problem and that he caused it himself.. Case closed. My neighbors are pretty understanding. If they have a problem they come to me first, they know that i am understanding and will help, so that makes a big difference as well. I don't know this guys full problem, but i suspect that he might have clashed a bit with his neighbors before it got this far.

A few phone line filters, or filters for the tv's of those still using an antenna, goes a long way. I can tell another story along these lines. Last year the cable tv went fuzzy, it was off and on, it would come and go, but it happened at times that i was not home as well. I went out and tracked down a few spots in the alley where there was exposed cable, some of which looks to have been damaged for some time. I made a couple phone calls and showed the damage to one of my neighbors, the cable company came out and fixed it and everyones signal improved drastically. I became the good guy on the block once again "he gets things done" etc..

Just be neighborly in your hobbies as well as in your lifestyle, is that too much to ask?
 
Last edited:

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
We should remember that California has a state law incorporating the FCC's PRB-1 ruling. The city of Palmdale is obviously ignoring this law as well.

I found it interesting that someone from New York commented about the whole "Kalifornia" thing. New York had, and may still have, a law that prohibited mounting a ham radio in a vehicle if that radio was capable of receiving frequencies out of the ham band. There was a widely reported case of a ham who was stopped by a police officer and the ham's radio equipment was confiscated.

The higher the population, especially in regard to density, the more regulation and laws are needed, the actions of a lot of people living in limited space requires some coordination. If Californians don't want those laws then they can move to a fairly close area in Nevada made up of Esmeralda and Nye Counties. Nye does not have any planning and zoning. Back in 1996 I applied for a job at Death Valley National Park. I looked for a place to own a home as I had owned homes during my last two assignments, and the housing situation for NPS employees at Death Valley is absurd. Married couples living apart in mens and womens barracks for several years before getting a small mobile home to live in together. I looked at buying property in Pahrump and found the situation to be scary. There was a situation where someone invested $400,000 in buying a property and lived there for 5-10 years when an industrial firm moved next door. The company built a plant that repaired bumpers and re-chromed them. The noise and odors from the plant made his home unlivable and he lost most of the value of his home.

There was also a case of an adjacent property owner building a shooting range next to some residences. The lack of zoning laws, an "anything goes" situation, meant that the adjacent property owners had no recourse.

There are other situations having to do with street maintenance, water and sewer systems, and flood control that made my head spin. I was told of several cases where someone modified their property so that all the flow from that property was placed on a path directly at a home on an adjacent lot. The county does not have any personnel in any agencies to address these types of problems and people are forced to use the court system in lieu of the county. A significant number of property owners don't have the resources to use the court system so the golden rule of "them's with the gold make the rules" comes into play.

Anyone who wants "less government" should be forced to live in the town of Goldfield, the county seat of Esmeralda County, Nevada. The town is a 100 acre or more, junkyard. One could say that moving to Nye and Esmeralda Counties is a choice and if you don't like how the people live there, don't move there. The trouble is that people often don't have a choice and have to move there because of a job, then run into some serious financial difficulties when they buy homes and properties.

When I was in New Mexico the state lacked a law that required road access to each lot in a subdivision. In some subdivisions located in canyons the property owners furthest down canyon denied access across their land for all the property owners up canyon of the lowest property. I also lived in Arizona in the 70's and the lack of laws governing subdivisions were infamous all across the county. Lots of people from New York bought property in Arizona and New Mexico that they intended to move to after retiring. When they actually moved and wanted to build homes they were faced with a lot of issues that the property sellers did not have to disclose during the sale.

If you live in the east you have no idea of what the situations are in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. It was anarchy in many cases. I was often amazed to observe how a lack of regulation resulted in some wild situations when I lived in all three of those states. I didn't have a choice in where I lived as I was directed to transfer there. I'm glad I didn't have the financial resources to be a property owner while I lived in them.

I suspect that the densely populated states on the east coast have more regulation than California has.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top