In 2007 I approached my HOA with a proposition to allow me to raise a 24′ high Hustler 6-BTV in order to pursue my amateur radio hobby. Of course all of this could have been dismissed if I were active prior to purchasing my first home, but since I wasn’t I had to take matters into my own hands in order to get on the air.
It seems many stumble across my posts/threads on eHam when considering how to approach their HOA to gain an exemption to any type of antenna/tower restriction. I recently provided another ham with my letters I composed for my HOA board of directors and management company. Thankfully I have a very understanding board of directors and management company. Maybe the state of the economy and the fact so many homes in our association are foreclosed that there are more important issues to deal with than some guy wanting to pursue his hobby.
Initially, I chose to ignore (play dumb) the CC&Rs set forth by my association. When I was finally cited, I removed my 6-BTV, but soon had it back up in the air disguised as a flagpole. It wasn’t until a winter storm with strong winds snapped the aluminum in half that I took the antenna down in order to look for another option.
I decided to approach the management company representative to see if I would be wasting my time putting together a presentation for the HOA board of directors. She didn’t sound positive in her response, but I decided to pursue it in order to partake in my hobby. Thankfully I made the right decision and spent the next few weeks off the air and working on my presentation.
I initially called this an exemption, then a proposal and finally a petition. It seems to be a combination of all of these. I wanted an exemption from the HOA’s CC&Rs in order to erect my Hustler 6-BTV antenna. I wrote a letter that was revised a few times explaining the hobby, what radio is used for and how it plays a role in emergency communications. I also took many digital photos to show where the antenna could be seen from. I also collected signatures of my immediate neighbors. Oddly enough none of them really cared if I had the antenna. One woman asked if it would interfere with her TV, to which I replied no. But I also said if there were any RFI/EMI issues to contact me and they would be resolved.
The board was quite open to my proposal, maybe because were so used to getting into negative issues with attending homeowners, I don’t know. But the presentation was a success and all but one member agreed to the proposal. By virtue of the majority the accepted my proposal.
So it pays to take the time and make the effort to work with your HOA if you are in a situation where you are restricted. I know some of the recent ham magazines now talk about “hamming from the shadows” for those of us who cannot erect towers with beams above our homes. Nonetheless there are numerous ways around CC&Rs in order to get on the air. But the decision is ultimately yours as to how you proceed. If you are interested in my letters, don’t hesitate to e-mail me.