Amateur Radio – Success Stories



From: Scott Neader KA9FOX
To: TowerTalk Reflector
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:37:33 -0600

At 09:20 AM 3/19/2006 -0800, AA6EG wrote:
>[Y]ou should pick up the ARRL publication on Zoning, if you
>haven’t already..
>73, DX, de Pat AA6EG 

I second the notion about getting the ARRL Antenna Zoning book, written by Fred Hopengarten K1VR. 

When I was in a similar situation, looking for land where I could plant a tower, I bought the book and read it from cover to cover. 

Eventually, I came across 5 acres that was a compromise between what I wanted and what my XYL was going to let me have. 🙂 Unfortunately, the land came with CC&Rs. We made an offer on the land, but we made it contingent on being able to get the Home Owner’s Association to approve the tower. 

I was sure they wouldn’t let me, but my XYL was so sure the land was perfect, that she went door-to-door asking nearby neighbors if they’d be OK with a tower. Hearing no negative comments, I called the leader of the HOA. He seemed cautious, but open-minded. 

I wound up hiring K1VR to look over the CC&Rs, and he designed a “tower request” document that I could present to the HOA that was “friendly” to read, but (in Fred’s opinion) carried a lot of weight, should it ever be challenged. 

Fred’s experience was invaluable… he knew to ask for 95 feet instead of 100 ft., and to propose it in a more neighbor-friendly location of my lot. He knew to talk about how the dull gray tower would blend into the natural environment. And how my wire antennas would be kept in the backyard and would be black in color, which helps them to be less visible. He also knew that someday someone might challenge the tower with “I didn’t know it would look like THAT!!!” So he had me attach pictures of similar towers, from a similar distance from the road … and also to attach a page out of the Rohn Catalog showing the dimensions of a tower section that I was proposing (Rohn 55) … and to have each member of the HOA initial each page. And he did it all with friendly, non-legalese language that didn’t scare them away. 

Fred taught me to be open, up-front and honest about the tower, and to make a reasonable request for permission by providing the right information, in the right format. It worked … and I’m QRV. Some pics at

I’ve not received any complaints from anybody since the tower and antennas have gone up, either directly or via the rumor mill. (Knock on wood!) 

I guess the summary is… in my opinion… don’t buy the land until you have express, written permission to erect a tower and antennas, and make sure you have a lawyer help with the permission request.

73 – Scott KA9FOX