Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Owners Association Antenna Issues

HOA Puts A "Stop" To Rover Antenna Too
Honestly, I'm trying hard to stay positive about living in a deed restricted neighborhood, and the impact that has on amateur radio activity. But I'm at my wits end.

Friday's mail brought a "warning notice" from my homeowners association informing me that I was in violation of the CC&R agreement which prohibits any outdoor antenna with the exception of small satellite dish antennas. According to the letter, the HOA had received a complaint from one of my neighbors who could see the "tip tops" of several large antennas in my backyard.

Since I have no outdoor antennas, I was more than a little puzzled. A quick stroll into the backyard revealed the problem. My PVC "rover rack" of large VHF/UHF Yagis was sitting on my patio table so that I could mow the lawn. Even with the privacy fence, the tops of it could likely be seen by one of my neighbors. I knew just which one is must be.

The Back Story: Just a few days prior to receiving the letter, my wife and I had been in the backyard spray painting some props for our Halloween decorations. We had placed a painters drop cloth on our patio and were doing a few touch ups during the early afternoon. We also used a Skill saw to cut a few PVC pipes for use in the props. A noisy and messy operation best done outside.

One of our neighbors was having several of her friends, and their children over for what Yuppies refer to as "play dates". Despite the emphasis on children, these are little more than excuses for the wives to dress up, act snotty, and gossip about their friends. During that afternoon, I had noticed several "hard looks" in our direction meant to convey her disappointment that we were doing labor in our backyard during her social event.  

My wife and I rarely even visit the backyard, and our college age kids have even given up using the hot tub, so I'm sure that she didn't expect anyone to be outside making noise during the afternoon. It should be noted that our temporary project is perfectly acceptable use of our property according to our neighborhood rules, leaving her little to complain about to the HOA. I suppose that when she spotted the antennas, she simply jumped on it as an excuse to make a fuss.

In any event, the experience has convinced me that any attempt to "hide" a tilt over mast would be futile. I'll simply have to learn to live with the reduced performance of attic mounted antennas, and place the rover rack into storage off-site.

There is little else that I can do until the economy improves and the demands for existing homes perks up. Maybe in a year or two, we'll consider selling the home, and moving to another neighborhood. Meanwhile, the quest for indoor VUCC on 2 Meters continues....

1 comment:

g4ilo said...

From one deed-restricted ham to another, you have my sympathy. I enjoy reading about what you're doing on VHF and UHF with attic antennas, though. Keep up the good work.