Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Things just got serious for hams in Montgomery County

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 18:54:43 -0500

Subject: FYI Montgomery County residents, tower legislation


For people living in Montgomery county Maryland, new tower legislation. See E-Mails below.


From: Tyler
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2005 10:39 PM
Subject: Things just got serious for hams in Montgomery ZTA05-10 tower restrictions

I just received an email from Councilman Mike Knapp's office that informs me that the MFP committee just met and has reduced the amateur tower allowances down to 65 feet of height and 100 percent setback without an appeals hearing! We don't deserve this and most of us probably can't afford the process.

You can read about it here:

Obviously, this means war. Please forward this information to anyone or group you know that will be adversely affected by this legislation and I encourage all to start a barrage on their Council people. I will forward all info as I get it.


FROM: Tyler
SUBJECT: [PVRC] Here is the info I got straight from Knapps man Brian re: ZTA05-10

Hi Tyler -

The Councilmember is in session all day, but asked me to get a response to you ASAP, especially given that this legislation was considered in the MFP committee yesterday.

As introduced, ZTA 05-10 adds a new use category, "amateur radio facility," permitted by right if the facility does not exceed 100 feet. At the last committee work session, the MFP committee (of which Mike is not a member) unanimously agreed to amend the bill to provide a 65-foot limit for amateur radio towers, required that an amateur facility be set back one foot for every foot of height from the property line, and allow additional heights to be allowed by the Board of Appeals if it can be demonstrated that additional height is needed to engage in amateur radio communications - that would meet the standard you were concerned about, I believe, as it would allow you a tower exceeding 65 feet if it just won't work otherwise.

The committee meeting yesterday was mainly about radio broadcast towers. The committee voted to set a limit of 275, with exemptions allowed by the Board of Appeals. I do not believe they modified any provisions relating to amateur towers, although they did clean up the definition of "tower" beyond merely lattice towers. The Chairman of the Committee (Mrs. Praisner) can now, if she wishes, call the bill up for further consideration by the full council.

You can see the long memo prepared by staff for the MFP committee
right here. (see the link in my previous email)

The Damascus Towers group referred to in the linked document was put together to fight the construction of an AM broadcast station planned in the Damascus area. The ham radio portion of this was obviously spurred by the Poolesville group fighting our own N3HBX with Praisner in their court.

73, Ty


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