Grand Terrace to discuss ham radio an...

Grand Terrace to discuss ham radio antenna restrictions

There are 12 comments on the San Bernardino County Sun story from Mar 9, 2009, titled Grand Terrace to discuss ham radio antenna restrictions. In it, San Bernardino County Sun reports that:

Grand Terrace: Nearly four years after riled-up neighbors demanded action, the city is preparing to place controls on ham-radio antennas.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at San Bernardino County Sun.


Pomona, CA

#1 Mar 9, 2009
So when a disaster strikes, and your cell phone is useless, don't you people in GT realize that amateur radio is the ONLY communications method which will still function? No police or fire, their 800 mhz repeaters won't be operational, but a trained amateur radio operator might just save your life. Why would anyone want to restrict their antenna, when they offer a valuable public service?

Los Angeles, CA

#2 Mar 9, 2009
"But the regulations could not be so restrictive as to preclude effective ham-radio communications."

There is already a compromise in place, albeit an unspoken one. For Amateur Radio Communications to be effective height is key when working some bands. Towers could easily be many times larger, up to 200 feet, to afford effective communications.

Unfortunately most city councils are compromised of people who are so out of touch with anything technology related and refuse to do any research they bow down to the nay sayers.

I just hope that when the big one strikes and your telephones, internet, and cell phones are useless Robert Souter turns his back on you like you did to him and you will have no contact to relief services, your family members, and he will be all set riding out the wave of chaos knowing he still has all the communication he needs.

Oakville, Canada

#3 Mar 11, 2009
Only in California; "Get rid of those Life Rafts, they make the Ship look Cluttered !"
oh, my.

Cincinnati, OH

#4 Mar 11, 2009
Just another town trying to circumvent FEDERAL jurisdiction and will be slapped down eventually

Glen Rock, NJ

#5 Mar 11, 2009
Perhaps the town attorney might also want to look at California Statutes Section 65850.3, which made the Federal Pre-emption ruling part of California Law. There is no exemption in there to regulate antennas that "don't look pretty". In fact, the regulation calls for the "minimum" regulation to insure safety, not aesthetics.
Oh, and as others have mentioned, see how many antenna-less hams can help out in the next fire/earthquake/flood/chemical spill, etc. that seems to happen so frequently in California.
Idaho Joe

United States

#6 Mar 11, 2009
I guess you people have nothing better to do with your time,than to pick on amateur radio operators.maybe you need more crime in your area to keep you occupied
CA Resident

Redmond, WA

#7 Mar 11, 2009
Antennas only 35 feet high are simply not adequate to conduct reliable amatuer radio communications. 15 and 10 foot limits with no permit are laughable.

The Califonia Goverment Code says: "65850.3. Any ordinance adopted by the legislative body of a city or county that regulates amateur radio station antenna structures shall
allow those structures to be erected at heights and dimensions
sufficient to accommodate amateur radio service communications, shall
not preclude amateur radio service communications, shall reasonably
accommodate amateur radio service communications, and shall
constitute the minimum practicable regulation to accomplish the city'
s or county's legitimate purpose. "

I guess the city is wellcoming a lawsuit! What a shame that they will loose and have to pay the legal costs.
Tom Hi Desert

Las Vegas, NV

#8 Mar 12, 2009
The city needs to review what just happened in Palmdale, CA a couple of weeks ago. If they would review the courts findings maybe they would be more reasonable. A Cushcraft R8 if ground mounted would require a permit.
A antenna is not a structure as definded by the Uniform Building Code so it should not need a permit. I belive the only structures needs peermits.
Does the city require a permit for someone that wants to put up a 16 foot lamp post?
Tom Hi Desert

Las Vegas, NV

#9 Mar 12, 2009
Judge Rules in Favor of Amateur in Palmdale Antenna Support Structure Case:

On Friday, February 6, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Yaffe issued a ruling in favor of Alec Zubarau, WB6X, of Palmdale, California, in Zubarau's case against the City of Palmdale . Last year, after Zubarau received a valid building permit from the City to erect an antenna support structure, the City of Palmdale revoked Zubarau's building permit after he had erected the tower. According to Zubarau's attorney, Len Shaffer, WA6QHD, the Court's ruling invalidates the actions of the City in revoking Zubarau's permit and requires the City to allow him to replace the tower.

"Zubarau's case has drawn nationwide attention and financial support from the ARRL, Amateur Radio clubs and individual Amateur Radio operators from around the country," said ARRL Southwestern Division Vice Director Marty Woll, N6VI. "Although this ruling does not directly address the City's proposed zoning ordinance amendment, based on the Court's language, it should provide considerable support for those hams attempting to negotiate a more reasonable provision allowing antenna support structures in the Palmdale City Code."

According to Woll, the Court also found that "unsubstantiated complaints by neighbors and anecdotal reports of transmissions interfering with other electrical equipment or posing health and safety concerns" did not constitute substantial evidence. Yaffe's ruling stated that Palmdale's ordinance requiring that amateur antennas be compatible with the surrounding neighborhood with respect to visual and other impacts is void, since it may not constitute the minimum practicable regulation as required under the California state statute . The judge further found that the City's decision to eliminate the tower violates the express requirements of California's PRB-1 equivalent statute that was enacted in 2003, but had yet to be used in a court case.

"While falling just short of invalidating Palmdale's current antenna ordinance," Woll said, "this language ought to put a damper on the City's Draconian proposed zoning ordinance amendment and its extreme limitations on Amateur Radio antennas. One hopes that the City of Palmdale will think twice in the future about using tactics -- such as the threat of large fines -- to force compliance with an order based on unsubstantiated findings."

Shaffer told ARRL that the text of the Yaffe's ruling will be released after the service of notice on the City and expiration of the appeal period. He, Zubarau and Woll thanked the ARRL and the Amateur Radio community for what he called "the tremendous showing of support during this lengthy battle."


The ARRL Letter Vol. 28, No. 6 February 13, 2009

Los Angeles, CA

#10 Mar 12, 2009
The residents of Grand Terrace may one day regret this impairment of hams ability to respond in an emergency. Recent history has shown the benefit they provide in response to Katrina, the 69 flood isolating Loma Linda, etc.

But I guess Grand Terrace in immune to earthquakes and fires.
Ron Peterson

United States

#11 May 23, 2009
Tom Get A Life

United States

#12 Apr 24, 2011
"Antennas only 35 feet high are simply not adequate to conduct reliable amatuer radio communications. 15 and 10 foot limits with no permit are laughable."
As an extra class amateur operator with 30+ years experience, I would say you are wrong. Ground losses are a factor, but will have minumum effect to any station running legal limit. Mobile antennas being vertical have lower radiation angles and do quite well even at low power.

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