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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anybody's HOA got on their case for putting up an

outdoor antenna and how it was resolved. No one in my neighborhood

has an antenna yet, so I'd be the first. Now, I know that I can say

something about the Telecommunications act of 1996? but is that

really the magic word for the HOA to give in? I think it isn't. If

that act is the only thing I can use, then I need to know more about

it. Does anyone know what it says about the following...


Can I have both a sat dish *and* an antenna?

Can the antenna be larger than 36" diag/dia (CM 4228) ?

How high over the roof line can I go?


Thanks for your help.
 

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The 36" spec is for dishes, not antennae. The spec applying to antennae is only for reception and placement. It can be any size required for reception, and its placement can be limited to 8' above the roof, IIRC. Also both can be limited to property under the control of the occupant, not common areas.


edit: It is 12 ft, not 8 and concerns local restrictions, not FCC.
 

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I think it's 12 feet above the roof, without getting special permission.


Satellite dishes are limited to 1 meter (40 inches), unless you are in Alaska where the size is unlimited. No restrictions on how many antennas or dishes....just depends on what it takes to get the programming you desire.


BTW, in an MDU (multi dwelling unit), a good SMATV system would be the ideal setup, if a HOA was smart!!!
 

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Is cable that is installed considered a "central antenna" since you have an available signal?


Q: If my association, building management, landlord, or property owner provides a central antenna, may I install an individual antenna?


A: Generally, the availability of a central antenna may allow the association, landlord, property owner, or other management entity to restrict the installation by individuals of antennas otherwise protected by the rule. Restrictions based on the availability of a central antenna will generally be permissible provided that: (1) the person receives the particular video programming or fixed wireless service that the person desires and could receive with an individual antenna covered under the rule (e.g., the person would be entitled to receive service from a specific provider, not simply a provider selected by the association); (2) the signal quality of transmission to and from the person's home using the central antenna is as good as, or better than, than the quality the person could receive or transmit with an individual antenna covered by the rule; (3) the costs associated with the use of the central antenna are not greater than the costs of installation, maintenance and use of an individual antenna covered under the rule; and (4) the requirement to use the central antenna instead of an individual antenna does not unreasonably delay the viewer's ability to receive video programming or fixed wireless services.
 

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No. Especially for houses - NO!


The whole purpose of the 1996 Act was to encourage competition for video programming - not stifle it.
 

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In general if you read the law, it keys on getting the "signals" you desire. The underlying philosophy is that we the people own the airwaves and we have rights to the signals broadcast on those airwaves. I think the word (signals) is key to the act as it allows the individual to go after the signal they want, not the signals forced upon them with embedded cable TV deals.


I have often wondered about any court cases in which an HOA might argue that a cable delivering all of the local channels in SD is enough to override an individuals desire to install an antenna that would only pull in those same channels and programs in DTV/HD. If the content is largely the same (just not as detailed), would the HOA be able to win the case? My guts say "no" because of the "signals" language, but I wonder if it has been tried and confirmed or refuted.


In the end, the law gives individuals the ultimate card to play in its clarity of language (that it overrides HOA rules) as well as placing the burden of getting around the law on the HOA. Once the law is reviewed by HOA attorneys, the "case" is generally over before it begins. And the individual can always threaten to call the FCC attorneys on the HOA if there is any wackiness threats ("take it down or we'll take it down ourselves", etc.). Somehow I can't picture that the FCC has enough attorneys/aides to handle the call volume, but maybe it never really comes to that once the HOA is informed you know the law.
 

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I suggest reading the linked Declaratory Rulings at the bottom of the order. (Here: http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html#links ) These are rulings pertaining to petitions that were filed by homeowners and tenants who were being harassed by HOA's, Villages, Landlords, etc. regarding their antenna and dish installations. These rulings--while long, dry, boring material that is excellent for putting the kids and reader to sleep--provide insight into the FCC's interpretation of the law, an understanding of the remediation process that is available to the public and their authority over this issue.


In most of the cases it was not necessary for the homeowner or tennant to go through the expense of retaining a lawyer or filing a court case. In one of the cases cited (Stanley and Vera Holliday, DA 99-2132), an HOA filed a state court case against the homeowners to have their antenna structures removed. In response, the homeowners filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC. As a result, the state court suspended the HOA's case pending the ruling of the FCC which ruled in favor of the homeowners. Also of note in this case was the fact that there was more than one antenna:
Quote:
Petitioners have installed six masts in the rear of their lot which are secured to the ground by guy wires. There are five masts approximately 30 feet in height which are roughly even with Petitioners' roofline, two of which simply provide support to another mast, and one ten foot mast. Petitioners have affixed five television antennas and three satellite dish antennas to these masts. The antennas provide reception for ten television sets, nine video cassette recorders, and seven satellite receivers.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Grim
Also of note in this case was the fact that there was more than one antenna:
Now that I'd love to see a picture of!
 

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I just received a letter from my HOA asking me to attend a meeting tonight about my televes75. I'm the first in the neighborhood although as recently as last week another 4228 went up. I talked on the phone to the property manager and she didn't seem to want me to remove the antenna. She claimed that they just wanted me to document the location and inform four neighbors that I had installed it. I have to fill out a four page document along with signatures from neighbors and a drawing of the placement. It seems to me that this fly's in the face of the FCC ruling about prior approval. They claim in the letter that I'm in violation of cc & r rules pertaining to changing the architecture of the home. Any opinions?


Robert
 

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Don't sign anything. I would guess that they are going to try to put some soft pressure on you to allow immediate neighbors access to the antenna if they decide they want one. If you go, I'd take a copy of the summarized rules (see the link another user provided toward to the top of this thread). In some cases, HOA managers are not well versed in the rule. However, it has been around for a long time. And many HOA magazines/flyers/newsletters/etc. have covered it in simple terms. A lot of times they are just trying to bluff the homeowners into either sharing (and typically assuming risk to other neighbors property) or convincing you that you should take it down. You don't have to assume liability for neighbors property and you probably don't have to take it down unless it is within very specific exceptions to the rule (historical preservation, safety, etc.).
 

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BTW - it's in MY signature as well - and be sure to print out a copy for the HOA manager and each member of the board, plus a few extras for others.


And I agree - don't sign a single thing. If you're less than 12 feet above your roofline, and you're not in one of the spelled out exceptions, go in with the attitude of "it ain't coming down without a ruling from the FCC that your rules meet their's".
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by robhair
She claimed that they just wanted me to document the location and inform four neighbors that I had installed it. I have to fill out a four page document along with signatures from neighbors and a drawing of the placement. It seems to me that this fly's in the face of the FCC ruling about prior approval. They claim in the letter that I'm in violation of cc & r rules pertaining to changing the architecture of the home. Any opinions?
Although many here will tell you that everything an HOA does regarding antennas and dishes has to be bad and evil, documenting the location of your antenna for their records after the fact is not an unreasonable request. Normally in such cases, the request or requirement for signatures is not enforced.


If they insist that you fill out a form, make sure that signatures are merely stating that the signees have been informed of the change, not that they agree to it.


Sometimes, a little cooperation on your part when it does no harm to your stated goal is the wisest course of action. Why pick a fight when you don't have to?
 

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Because it's a HOA, and by definition, those people who want to be on the governing board are nosy, "I know better than you what's best for our community" types who need slapped down every chance you legally can.
 

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"For example, local regulations that require a person to obtain a permit or approval prior to installation create unreasonable delay and are generally prohibited."


I interpret the above to mean one is not required to submit an architectural design change to the HOA for antenna installation. Do you agree? They (the HOA board) all say the architectural requests are simple procedure, but it's a pain, and causes some delay (even if the response turnaround is within a month and positive).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by HDTimeShifter
"For example, local regulations that require a person to obtain a permit or approval prior to installation create unreasonable delay and are generally prohibited."


I interpret the above to mean one is not required to submit an architectural design change to the HOA for antenna installation. Do you agree? They (the HOA board) all say the architectural requests are simple procedure, but it's a pain, and causes some delay (even if the response turnaround is within a month and positive).
The ruling is clear - you don't need prior approval. This doesn't prevent you, however, from filling out paperwork after the installation is completed, documenting the change and notifying the HOA of that change. My policy would be to put up the antenna and then submit the documentation they request. They cannot demand prior approval before you put the antenna up.
 

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I installed an antenna in my attic, but I am not able to receive a decent signal. I pettioned my hoa, and provided signatures of my neighbors.

I informed the hoa that the antenna would be installed 5/23/03 and I included a copy of the fcc rules. The interesting thing with my hoa is that satellite dishes 18" or less are ok, but antenna's are not. Of course the hoa always states that " you knew the rules" when you moved here.

Will post again with the results.

Marie
 

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I installed an antenna in my attic, but I am not able to receive a decent signal. I pettioned my hoa, and provided signatures of my neighbors.

I informed the hoa that the antenna would be installed 5/23/03 and I included a copy of the fcc rules. The interesting thing with my hoa is that satellite dishes 18" or less are ok, but antenna's are not. Of course the hoa always states that " you knew the rules" when you moved here.

Will post again with the results.

Marie
 

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Doesn't matter WHAT the HOA agreements state - the FCC's OTARD overrules ALL of them with regard to antennas. Put it up and if the HOA is foolish enough, just put a call into your local FCC field office and have them bend the ear of the unknowing HOA Board representative.
 
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