HOAs Revisited – WWYD?

While I am not all that fond of homeowners associations, my wife and I did purchase a home in an HOA controlled neighborhood. Mind you, this was before I was active on HF (2004) and still a Technician. Maybe I did not educate myself well enough before our purchase, but after some 5 months of looking this was the best house of the many we had toured. I will take all the blame for getting myself into this rule dominated agreement.

It’s always fantastic to see ham operators working with their HOA in order to put up antennas or possibly in some cases a tower. I believe I could make a very convincing case to the HOA as to why I feel a tower would be more feasible over a mast, but that’s a discussion for another day. I happened to read a story from KF7NUA titled, HOA response to my question at a meeting they had – WWYD.

Nick approached the HOA to install a UHV/VHF antenna. He seemed to get lucky when the architectural committee member he spoke with mentioned he used to be licensed. He said he would look into for KF7NUA and get back to him. In the meantime, Nick picked up a Cushcraft R7 vertical.

It’s interesting to read the response from the committee member, citing from ARTICLE IX, OTHER RESTRICTIONS, “no antennae shall be above the roof line parapets, and all satellite dishes shall be in walled areas not visible from other Lots or streets.” Based on that alone Nick is in very good shape, in my opinion.

Now my HOA most likely varies, but the HOA did not care what could be seen from the backyard, they were only concerned with “curb appeal.” Thankfully my original proposal has a 6BTV, ground mounted just off center in my backyard and it was not visible from the front of the house.

In Nick’s case I don’t believe I would have even approached the HOA regarding ARTICLE IX, especially if I knew it was not going to be above the roof line and not able to be seen from the front yard. Would I be right? Probably not, because the first part of that section also says, “without written consent of the Developer or Association.” But still things are definitely in Nick’s favor.

With success in presenting my proposal and getting the association to agree to it, I feel I have knowledge to pass on to others who might be in similar situations. I don’t like compromise antennas, but when you live under CC&Rs you need to make some. I still think the flag pole vertical is an excellent way to go if you are denied by the HOA. Wires in trees are usually the simplest and more effective way to “get on the air” if your proposal is not accepted.

I think he will end up beating the HOA (by working with them) and be able to raise his antennas as pe his CC&Rs. While the obvious answer is not to buy in an HOA controlled neighborhood, sometimes that is not possible. Thankfully there are some caveats made that could potentially get you on the air. Don’t hate the HOA, but work with them and with your neighbors. You can read my saga with my HOA.