H O A and ham radio antennas

Most HOAs only recognize a TV sattelite dish as acceptable. However, here on Trilogy neighborhood in WA, we hams who are ARES members have successfully petioned for an antenna to support the emergency needs of a remote location. Most are 5-6’ dual band, but there are a couple of 16’ masts located on roof edges, mainly towards the rear of the property. The adjacent neighbors must be informed. But, as we had a wildfire emergency within 10iles, and widespread power outage, including cellular, those of us with winlink were able to send emails to out of the area family. We local hams also operate a simplex net on vhf weekly, so we’re in good communication with each other and the outside world. Perhaps this is a topic for other his residents to check out their county’s ARES operation and have that talk with your neighbors and his. 73, K6SNS (Jack @ Tehaleh–Pierce county, WA)

When I bought my house several years ago, one of the first things I asked about was if an HOA was part of the deal. I made absolutely sure there was no HOA involved. An HOA would have been an instant deal breaker. I have a 440 ham repeater at home as I live near the top of a hill in the area and there is absolutely no way I will let a HOA have any say in what I can and can’t do at home.

I highly recommend Fred K1VR’s book Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur.

Yeah, HOA’s can (are…) a problem for us hams. I live in a “over 55” community, and outside of a square yard size (or smaller…) tv sattelite antenna, nothing else is allowed by the HOA. However, our local neighborhood ham group, most of which are county ARES members, petitioned successfully to allow ham antennas up to 16’ mounted on a roof eave, perferably towards the rear of the house. We had a close wildfire issue recently, coupled with a massive power outage, as well as spotty cellular. Only the hams had outside (we’re an isolated rural community) communications, both with the county ARES nets, and using WINLINK to send emails to concerned loved ones for neighbors. I might add that our neighborhood has an active CERT (community emergency response team) which most of our local hams are active in. The HOA loves us! Something to consider for other areas.

Whilst neither myself nor the other ham in the family have HOA or other kinds of ‘self important nobodies’ busybodies causing issues, knowing some over here in the UK do have our counterparts (parish councils and residents associations) I can appreciate how much of a pain they can be.

■■■■, anything they see as a potential devaluation of the nirvana they try to maintain puts you straight in the iron sights.

So I’m glad you found a viable grounds to work with, and whilst undervalued until required - a resource that can aid messaging and communication in emergency should be overlooked or tolerated in as far as it’s use doesn’t cause an actual problem.

What I never will support are abuses which use such things to be a deliberate barefaced rules dodge - most hams wouldn’t stoop that low, so my mentioning it isn’t implying your efforts are anything less than legit.

There’s always a work around when you need to be on air (talking legally of course), and ham radio has a very long history of doing so, covertly or sometimes in plain, obvious but ignorance-fuelled oblivious acceptance.

Mentioning such bodies always reminds of an hilarious chain of events involving parish council approval for use of a church hall for a radio rally - even Ronnie Barker couldn’t have topped that fictionally and he was a master of comedy writing…

Well, I don’t give them the time of day any more - unless it’s council planning application based or complying with EMC/Safety requirements, I ignore busybodies and the self-elected types.

Tom - You are lucky in your HOA’s behavior. Unfortunately, not all of them behave in the same manner. I think I’d be very safe in saying that while they aren’t all AH’s, but most are.

@Tom4278 - unless there was some specific formal written absolute immunity clause for an elected role position in an HOA (likewise for ANY collective group using a voting structure for formal posts), anyone who felt grounds to object had a formal right to bring what they may see as a violation or abuse (even by the HOA president) up to be addressed and you’d actually have no immunity unless you chose to abuse the role by denying it be taken into account at HOA meetings agenda or refused to allow it be included.

Then, if there was a majority response in favour of the complaint being tackled because word spread about the abuse or abusive denial or due process or both, you’d be obligated to (at the very least) hang dealing matters of it to another committee member or a resident/member to handle (to ensure there wad no elected role abuse of due process) and you be under the microscope not as pres but entirely as a resident/HO/member with zero authority to interfere based on elected role privileges. In fact, under many charters, you’d be formally required to temporarily relinquish your post until due process was concluded.

Where HOA ‘staff’ and their committee counterparts in other elected collective groups get away with abuses on a collective conspiracy level or personal abuse of position it is entirely down to the fact members live in fear of crossing the Pres or committee least they get kicked out and/or no longer therefore qualify as a valid recognised qualifying HO/member.

Clearly the specifics vary, but the core of due process etc and charter basis hasn’t changed since such things were first democratically governed.

In fact, if I was the complaint instigator (as has happened here when committee staff have abused their roles in clubs and groups I’ve been part of) or I felt someone else’s complaint was justified about an abuse or actual unaddressed matter that had be conveniently ‘buried’ for sinister reasons, there was no level of fear or immunity that would protect the abuser from facing being victim to whatever was supposed to happen retribution wise under the charter and rules once I got involved.

I’m not taking you to task - just pointing out there ultimately is no such thing as an absolute elected role immunity outside of a dictatorship - and a dictatorship is the underlying core that really underpins most committee lead collectives because most of the elected actually thrive on and see there role as both badge of status and freedom to empire build, hence why committee staff lineups tend to be stagnant and roles mostly change hands when someone resigns by choice or because they no longer qualify to be involved (such as death, moving away or being no longer able to keep performing the role adequately).

I’ve got a lot of committee blood on my hands getting rid of such people (as in deposing and ridding committees of such folk) by due process. Sure I lost out by getting kicked out too, but it lead to the rapid downfall of the abusers too and that ultimately was what mattered, my subsequent exclusion/punishment didn’t matter on any level that counted for anything.