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Satellite Dish Question

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
2,612
Points
40
Our ordinance says satellite dishes may be located in side or rear yards but not in front yards. Some neighbors are complaining because some guy has one of those Direct TV dishes in his front yard. He has told us he can't get a signal anywhere else otherwise he would put it in back. My boss wants them to get a building permit (not currently required) and then we will make them file for a variance so he has to go to the expense of paying for a variance application and possibly paying an expert to prove he can't get the signal. Is there federal law that would supercede local code in this instance? I'm looking for an easy way out. Thanks.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
31
Probably all regulations go back to the days of mega dishes. With the size of newer ones, is there a possibility of the 'violator' going to the board to get the regs amended? Compare the dish to permitted front yard items. Sorry, not an easy way out. The telecom act may work, I could argue for either side.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
Is it attached tot eh house of freestanding?

It would make a difference in our By-laws.

If it is attached tot eh house, we do nothing about it, if it is freestanding then our by-laws are similar to yours and we request that they move it.
 

Streck

Cyburbian
Messages
610
Points
18
Our ordinance also prohibits satelite dishes in the front. If your ordinance does not prohibit dishes from being placed on the side, I think this would be a reasonable compromise and accomplish the goal of having a dish-free front of the residence.

We are not obligated to allow a person to violate our ordinance just because he can not get what he wants at that location. Technically, I have found that most variances are allowed only for dimensional changes, not a "Use." :-\

I know many people get upset with zoning laws because of things like this that they consider "nit-picking." But these are items that prevent property values from rising as high in some neighborhoods as in others. Good luck in your enforcement efforts.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Direct TV / Dish Network etc all are EXEMPTED from local controls by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 provided they dish is not larger than 3SF in area. There is NO ability for a community or homeowners associaiton to trump this exemption.

Sorry, you have to deal with it.

EDIT: Streck your ordinance would be in danger of being decalred invalid by a court challenge unless is has a severability provisionn to carve out the illegal pieces.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,551
Points
42
So now we'll have to have a satellite dish compliance officer measuring whether dishes are 3sf or more? I don't understand how he cannot get reception in the rear or side yard.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
Gedunker said:
So now we'll have to have a satellite dish compliance officer measuring whether dishes are 3sf or more? I don't understand how he cannot get reception in the rear or side yard.

Most dishes are standardized. The most typical models are between 18" and 24" (most of them being 18" and 20" right now in the States for the dish networks). Both of these hover around 2 sq. feet.

And as far as not getting reception... you have to have a clear line of sight to the satellite. Depending on the latitude, it can get pretty low on the horizon. If you live in a neighourhood with mature trees, it can be pretty tricky. I have had difficulty finding locations to put my satellite dish in both of my houses in Portland and Vancouver, and we could only find *one* location on our current house in Edmonton.
 
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