Village passes $1000 permit fee for ham radio antennas

Up to now I have not ever mentioned my exact location. In my videos I mention that I am located just north of Buffalo, NY and my cabin is in south western New York. 

Well here we go. My home is just north of Buffalo. The village of Kenmore is a small densely populated first ring suburb of the city. I have lived here for 13 years and both my wife and I are active in our local community. Our daughters attend the local schools and we have been happy with everything thus far.

It is a great place to raise a family. The schools are good, we have a great local police force and the fire department is top notch  :). We bought our home planning on eventually leaving but this became home. Don’t get me wrong, I love my cabin and all that it provides, but I have great neighbors and friends here and probably will stay in the village for the long haul.

I became aware, through the Buffalo News, that Kenmore passed a new law concerning amateur radio antennas. I have mentioned it on my youtube channel that I am a ham and have always planned on doing more videos on the topic but never got around to it. This law, according to the Buffalo News (6-month pawnshop moratorium enacted in Kenmore – read the article its in there), creates a $1000 permit fee for amateur radio antennas. 

This concerned me. I checked our local laws prior to installing my antennas and when I found none installed a DIY 2 meter antenna on the side of my home and a DIY ZS6BKW running from the back of my lot to the front. 

I contacted the clerk and mayor for more information. I have documented my emails going back and forth on

My biggest concern was this response

Please note that the Village, prior to passing this law, had no regulations pertaining to HAM operators, and such antenna structures were prohibited by local law. This local law represents the Village’s efforts to expand the rights of HAM radio operators.

I asked for some clarification on specific types of antennas and if they were covered by this law and was told I would have to apply to the building department in order to find out. I also made this comment

One further clarification. In your last paragraph it sounds like you are saying that if there is not a law that permits something that it is illegal. I’m not a lawyer but I always thought something was legal unless it prohibited by law not the other way around.

to which they responded 

First, to answer your question, what I previously said is correct. Unless a use or structure is specifically permitted by the zoning law, it is not allowed. This is standard zoning law. See, for example, Village of Kenmore Code § 25-91(a), which provides “[n]o building, structure or premises shall be created, remodeled or used within the restricted business use district which are intended, arranged or designed to be used for other than one or more of the following . . . .” See also Village of Kenmore Code § 25-67(a).

I made one last request and am waiting for a response.

Thank you this has been very enlightening. I just re-read section 25 article I and section 25 article III. Not being a lawyer I am a bit confused again. Can you please point me to the provisions the permit backyard swing sets to be placed in a residential back yard?

Thank you for continuing to answer my questions. I know these types of things probably get tiresome when dealing with someone such as myself who has limited knowledge of the law.

I have contacted the ARRL and am working with them. I am still waiting for the exact wording of the law. 

I have several threads going on different forums and online sites

The one has my entire discussion going back and forth with the village clerk. 

I have always kept my youtube and blog posts a-political and have no plan to change that. I know my viewers and subscribers come from many different walks of life and I love that. I have no plan to change this. 

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