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967 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Awhile ago someone posted a link to some government ruling that basically said that Home Owners' Associations restrictions on rooftop antennas and satellite dishes were not valid. Could someone repost the link to this information? Thanks.

Premium Member
2,399 Posts
I think it is a Federal Communications regulation that LIMITS the restrictions that HOA and/or local governments can impose on antenna height. It's probably on the FCC web page.

Premium Member
2,399 Posts

1,102 Posts
Not trying to jump on someone else's thread, but thought I'd offer a bit more information.

You are not limited to a single 1m dish. You are free to put up as many as you like provided none exceed the 1m limit. (no size limit for are friends from Alaska)

You are also allowed to put up an OTA antenna. Again there is no language in the ruling to prevent multiple antennas should they be necessary, and there is no size restriction.

The only time an HOA can become involved in this issue is if your antenna/dish is not in an area to which you have "exclusive use", or in a case where ther may be a safety issue. (i.e. masts that extend more than 12' above roofline) Local zoning and permitting authorities may also have a say on the safety issue, but again their scope is limited.

For complete details take a read through the following:

FCC Fact Sheet - Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule
Preemption of Restrictions on Placement of Direct Broadcast Satellite, Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service, and Television Broadcast Antennas

1,450 Posts
And expect something of a fight. Most HOAs seem totally unaware that some of the aesthetc restrictions they're trying to impose are unenforcable. They seem to think that whatever they put in writing and vote to approve, they can enforce.

The best analogy is the HOA restriction that allow Causasion-only owners. Many HOA CC&R's still have those those clauses. Of course, the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act made them null and void. Similarly, the 1996 Telcommunications Act makes most prohibitions on antennas null and void as well.

737 Posts
Chip's post hit the nail right on the head.

Just look in my sig for what I have on my roof and I'm about to add an old Channel Master 3610 (147" long) VHF antenna just above the rotor.

979 Posts
Originally posted by NightowlKY
Just look in my sig for what I have on my roof and I'm about to add an old Channel Master 3610 (147" long) VHF antenna just above the rotor.

Best of luck to you in your signal quest. But keep in mind that the FCC regs, which have broad protections for the TV consumer, do have some loopholes that could be used against you (if you are in an HOA situation). One of those loopholes is that "distant signal" reception is NOT protected. So if you are asked the purpose for your embassy-style :) antenna farm, the correct answer is, of course, for "local reception".

Gerald C

189 Posts
Here's the complete text of the FCC ruling on Over The Air Reception Devices (OTARD) as originally worded.

Pete Putman


[Code of Federal Regulations]

[Title 47, Volume 1, Parts 0 to 19]

[Revised as of October 1, 1999]

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

[CITE: 47CFR1.4000]

[Page 351-353]




Subpart S--Preemption of Restrictions That ``Impair'' a Viewer's Ability

To Receive Television Broadcast Signals, Direct Broadcast Satellite

Services or Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Services

Sec. 1.4000 Restrictions impairing reception of television broadcast signals,

direct broadcast satellite services or multichannel multipoint distribution


Source: 61 FR 46562, Sept. 4, 1996, unless otherwise noted.

(a)(1) Any restriction, including but not limited to any state or

local law or regulation, including zoning, land-use, or building

regulations, or any private covenant, contract provision, lease

provision, homeowners' association rule or similar restriction, on

property within the exclusive use or control of the antenna user where

the user has a direct or indirect ownership or leasehold interest in the

property that impairs the installation, maintenance, or use of:

(i) An antenna that is designed to receive direct broadcast

satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite services, that is

one meter or less in diameter or is located in Alaska;

(ii) An antenna that is designed to receive video programming

services via multipoint distribution services, including multichannel

multipoint distribution services, instructional television fixed

services, and local multipoint distribution services, and that is one

meter or less in diameter or diagonal measurement;

(iii) An antenna that is designed to receive television broadcast

signals; or

(iv) A mast supporting an antenna described in paragraphs (a)(1)(i),

(a)(1)(ii) or (a)(1)(iii) of this section; is prohibited to the extent

it so impairs, subject to paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) For purposes of this section, a law, regulation or restriction

impairs installation, maintenance or use of an antenna if it:

(i) Unreasonably delays or prevents installation, maintenance or


(ii) Unreasonably increases the cost of installation, maintenance or

use, or

(iii) Precludes reception of an acceptable quality signal.

[[Page 352]]

(3) Any fee or cost imposed on a viewer by a rule, law, regulation

or restriction must be reasonable in light of the cost of the equipment

or services and the rule, law, regulation or restriction's treatment of

comparable devices. No civil, criminal, administrative, or other legal

action of any kind shall be taken to enforce any restriction or

regulation prohibited by this section except pursuant to paragraph (c)

or (d) of this section. In addition, except with respect to restrictions

pertaining to safety and historic preservation as described in paragraph

(b) of this section, if a proceeding is initiated pursuant to paragraph

(c) or (d) of this section, the entity seeking to enforce the antenna

restrictions in question must suspend all enforcement efforts pending

completion of review. No attorney's fees shall be collected or assessed

and no fine or other penalties shall accrue against an antenna user

while a proceeding is pending to determine the validity of any

restriction. If a ruling is issued adverse to a viewer, the viewer shall

be granted at least a 21-day grace period in which to comply with the

adverse ruling; and neither a fine nor a penalty may be collected from

the viewer if the viewer complies with the adverse ruling during this

grace period, unless the proponent of the restriction demonstrates, in

the same proceeding which resulted in the adverse ruling, that the

viewer's claim in the proceeding was frivolous.

(b) Any restriction otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a) of this

section is permitted if:

(1) It is necessary to accomplish a clearly defined, legitimate

safety objective that is either stated in the text, preamble or

legislative history of the restriction or described as applying to that

restriction in a document that is readily available to antenna users,

and would be applied to the extent practicable in a non-discriminatory

manner to other appurtenances, devices, or fixtures that are comparable

in size and weight and pose a similar or greater safety risk as these

antennas and to which local regulation would normally apply; or

(2) It is necessary to preserve a prehistoric or historic district,

site, building, structure or object included in, or eligible for

inclusion on, the National Register of Historic Places, as set forth in

the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C.

470, and imposes no greater restrictions on antennas covered by this

rule than are imposed on the installation, maintenance or use of other

modern appurtenances, devices or fixtures that are comparable in size,

weight, and appearance to these antennas; and

(3) It is no more burdensome to affected antenna users than is

necessary to achieve the objectives described in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)

(2) of this section.

(c) Local governments or associations may apply to the Commission

for a waiver of this section under Sec. 1.3. Waiver requests must comply

with the procedures in paragraphs (e) and (g) of this section and will

be put on public notice. The Commission may grant a waiver upon a

showing by the applicant of local concerns of a highly specialized or

unusual nature. No petition for waiver shall be considered unless it

specifies the restriction at issue. Waivers granted in accordance with

this section shall not apply to restrictions amended or enacted after

the waiver is granted. Any responsive pleadings must be served on all

parties and filed within 30 days after release of a public notice that

such petition has been filed. Any replies must be filed within 15 days


(d) Parties may petition the Commission for a declaratory ruling

under Sec. 1.2, or a court of competent jurisdiction, to determine

whether a particular restriction is permissible or prohibited under this

section. Petitions to the Commission must comply with the procedures in

paragraphs (e) and (g) of this section and will be put on public notice.

Any responsive pleadings in a Commission proceeding must be served on

all parties and filed within 30 days after release of a public notice

that such petition has been filed. Any replies in a Commission

proceeding must be served on all parties and filed within 15 days


(e) Copies of petitions for declaratory rulings and waivers must be

served on interested parties, including parties against whom the

petitioner seeks to enforce the restriction or parties whose

[[Page 353]]

restrictions the petitioner seeks to prohibit. A certificate of service

stating on whom the petition was served must be filed with the petition.

In addition, in a Commission proceeding brought by an association or a

local government, constructive notice of the proceeding must be given to

members of the association or to the citizens under the local

government's jurisdiction. In a court proceeding brought by an

association, an association must give constructive notice of the

proceeding to its members. Where constructive notice is required, the

petitioner or plaintiff must file with the Commission or the court

overseeing the proceeding a copy of the constructive notice with a

statement explaining where the notice was placed and why such placement

was reasonable.

(f) In any proceeding regarding the scope or interpretation of any

provision of this section, the burden of demonstrating that a particular

governmental or nongovernmental restriction complies with this section

and does not impair the installation, maintenance or use of devices

designed for over-the-air reception of video programming services shall

be on the party that seeks to impose or maintain the restriction.

(g) All allegations of fact contained in petitions and related

pleadings before the Commission must be supported by affidavit of a

person or persons with actual knowledge thereof. An original and two

copies of all petitions and pleadings should be addressed to the

Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St. S.W.,

Washington, D.C. 20554, Attention: Cable Services Bureau. Copies of the

petitions and related pleadings will be available for public inspection

in the Cable Reference Room in Washington, D.C. Copies will be available

for purchase from the Commission's contract copy center, and Commission

decisions will be available on the Internet.

[63 FR 71036, Dec. 23, 1998]

737 Posts
Oh well, yeah...sure...of course! :)

Actually, my WB is over 40 miles away and the PAX is relatively low power and the CBS station suffers from horrible ghosting (multi-path) unless I'm pointed pretty much right at it...even with this setup!

Oh, and I'm not technically in an HOA but there are deed restrictions that are much the same.

Oops...just checked...my WB is 52 miles away...that's getting a bit out and thereby necessitates my need for the setup. My daughters just HAVE to watch 7th Heaven and Gilmore Girls! :)
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