Sterling Heights, MI - Amateur Radio Antenna Restrictions?

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Hello All,

(Feel free to let me know if this is the right place to post this or not. I figured it was more specific here in the Michigan thread compared to the Amateur Radio thread.)

The wife and I are looking at buying a house in Sterling Heights, Michigan. I'm wondering if anyone is aware of any city restrictions / codes / ordinances for putting up a amateur (ham) radio antenna? I took a look on the city website (codes and ordinances) but didn't see anything ham radio related.

Thank you,
-Phil K8RFR
 
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I took a look on the city website (codes and ordinances) but didn't see anything ham radio related.
To CYA, I'd contact City Hall and get it straight from them.

After all, they're the ones who would do the enforcement.

Of course even better, get it in writing and get a name of the person who OK'd it.
 

Sparky_one

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We've had some local cases here were individual ham operators were targeted. One in Mustang, was actually told he could not transmit with his HF rig. All it took was a letter from the ARRL and the city revoked the warning and order. Another case, a Midwest City man was told he could not have a ham antenna. He lived in a regular city neighborhood with no restrictions. Neighbors complained, code inspectors visited, and then he got the letter. ARRL got involved, sent the letter, and they revoked the warning. I actually know the guy who sent the letter to him and he was completely oblivious to ham radio law. In a Florida case, a man only wanted to put up a J-pole on the soffet of his home. The neighborhood association said no. Before it was over and done, he wound up with like a 50 foot tower and a beam. The neighborhood association president later said, "Why didn't we just let him have his j-pole".
 

UMFan

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I live near there and am unaware of any restrictions. Any they have are likely illegal, but I understand that you want to understand how the city may be enforcing this. I see nothing in a review of zoning and code enforcement for the city:


However, the advice to call the city that doctordialtone suggested at (586) 446-2360 is probably the best action.
 
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Office is currently un-reachable by phone (due to COVID-19). Below is an email reply I received from a city building official. I didn't think Amateur radio was "private radio", feel like this doesn't quite apply. Thoughts? :

"Good Afternoon Philip



I included below the following ordinance requirements relative to the installation/construction of a radio antennae for private communications. The specific section is 28.00 of the Zoning Ordinance. Please let us know if you have any questions. I also included our Building Official on this email.



Thank you

Chris



H. Satellite dish antennas and other television and radio antennas/receivers may be permitted as accessory structures in any zoning district, subject to the following provisions:

1. A satellite dish antenna that is designed to receive direct satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite service, that is one meter or less in diameter shall be permitted without a zoning compliance permit, unless it is attached to a mast of greater than 12 feet in height. If the mast to which it is attached exceeds 12 feet in height, then special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25 shall be required;

2. A satellite dish antenna that is designed to receive video programming services via multi- point distribution services, including multichannel multi-point distribution services, instruction television fixed services and local multipoint services and that is one meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement shall be permitted without a zoning compliance permit, unless it is attached to a mast of greater than 12 feet in height. If the mast to which it is attached exceeds 12 feet in height, then special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25 shall be required;

3. A conforming commercial earth station shall be permitted without a zoning compliance permit;

4. An antenna that is designed to receive private radio or television broadcast signals which is less than 12 feet in height when installed shall be permitted without a zoning compliance permit. If the antenna exceeds 12 feet in height, then special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25 shall be required. Such a structure shall not, however, be erected so as to injure the roof covering, and when removed from the roof, the roof covering shall be repaired to maintain weather and water tightness. The installation of any antenna structure mounted on the roof of a building shall not be erected nearer to the lot line than the total height of the antenna structure above the roof, nor shall such antenna structure be erected near electric power lines or encroach upon any street or other public space;

5. Satellite earth stations more than one meter in diameter located in a residential district shall require special land use approval by the Planning Commission under Article 25;

6. Satellite earth stations more than two meters in diameter located in an area where commercial or industrial uses are generally permitted shall require special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25;

7. An antenna that is designed to receive private radio or television broadcast signals shall require a special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25 if the height exceeds 12 feet;

8. An antenna of any type or size which is to be erected on a structure that is located in a district that is listed or eligible to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places shall require special approval land use by the Planning Commission under Article 25;

9. Any approved structure shall be subject to compliance with all applicable regulations, including but not limited to the requirements under the BOCA Building Code;

10. The Zoning Board of Appeals may modify the requirements of this section as authorized in section 30.02C5.

The application for a special approval land use or variance shall include construction drawings showing the proposed method of installation, including details on foundations and anchoring, and a site plan or plot plan showing the proposed location. Any structure covered by this section shall not be located in any front or required side yard setback."
 

UMFan

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I think you're covered under #3. I don't think they can enforce the 12 foot requirement, but the issue is less that than what the knowledge of the code enforcement folks would be. My advice would be if you move there to just set up your rig as you desire and if you get any flack cite #3 as the basis by which you're in compliance. Another option would be to contact the local ARRL chapter, which undoubtedly would have some users from SH in it and ask them how they dealt with it or even if they had issues. Good luck.
 
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Thank you.
I think you're covered under #3. I don't think they can enforce the 12 foot requirement, but the issue is less that than what the knowledge of the code enforcement folks would be. My advice would be if you move there to just set up your rig as you desire and if you get any flack cite #3 as the basis by which you're in compliance. Another option would be to contact the local ARRL chapter, which undoubtedly would have some users from SH in it and ask them how they dealt with it or even if they had issues. Good luck.
 

scanmanmi

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As Sparky stated many local entities make administrative rules, either knowingly or not, that directly contradict other ones. I will have to do some digging but I'm prettty sure Gov Snyder got a state wide ham exemption to any local pencil pushing cubicle dwellers. (I think mainly property owners associations were the main culprit)
 

scanmanmi

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They cannot ban them and it looks like they have to make “reasonable accommodation” although there can be height limits. If you feel (like me) that 12' is not enough you can get special aproval. There are hints on how to do that including equipment descriptions and an emphesis on safety.
 

iMONITOR

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A friend used to live in Sterling Hts Just slightly N-W from 17 Mile Rd and Dequindre. He had a small ranch in a older residential area on a corner. He had a large discone antenna and a wide-band log periodic beam about 4' long on a 20' mast on a chimney mount (very visable) for about 30 years with no complaints. So I don't know how strict they are. There is a ham one block South of 17 Mile Rd just East of Dequindre with a big tower with lots of antennas both vertical and horozontal with lost of guy wires, HF dipoles, satellite antennas and rotors. Been there for decades with no problems that I know of.
 

Golay

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Don't neglect the #1 rule of antenna installations.
After you put it up, wait a couple weeks before transmitting.
Because if you do get any interference complaints, it will be right away.
When they come knocking saying you're coming thru the microwave and messing up their hair dryer, you can say you're not even on the air yet.
 
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