THE PROMENADE AT SEAGATE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION SATELLITE DISH/ANTENNA POLICY A. Introduction. The Federal communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a rule concerning the ability of homeowners associations to control the installation of small (less than 39” in diameter) television satellite dishes (such as the small Sony, RCA, DirecTV and similar dishes). The FCC permits the Association to prohibit rooftop installations and to establish preferred locations for satellite dish installations within exclusive use balcony and patio areas. One of the purposes of the Association is to maintain and enhance property values, and therefore for safety and appearance purposes, common area roof and wall installations are prohibited and balcony and patio installations must be made in accordance with the requirements described below. B. Balcony and Patio Installations. Dishes one meter or less in diameter may be installed within the perimeter of the of a unit’s private patio area provided: ¾ In accordance with the FCC rule, the Association may control the location of the Antenna within the balcony and patio areas, and the Association may require reasonable screening or concealment of the dish to the Architectural Committee’s reasonable satisfaction, such as painting the antenna, as long as the conditions will not unreasonably increase the cost of the system, unreasonably delay the installation, or render reception of a signal impossible or substantially degraded. A dish may not be installed on the exterior side of a patio wall or fence. A dish may not be screwed, bolted, or otherwise installed into the floor surface of a balcony deck, because such installations will allow water to infiltrate into the deck. ¾ If a cable is to be installed through a wall, the cable must be fed through a “pass-thru” tube, which must be kept sealed on the exterior side of the wall by the owner. ¾ The owner must maintain the dish and cause all damage resulting from the installation and/or removal of the dish to be repaired in accordance with the CC&Rs. ¾ Failure to follow these requirements may result in the owner incurring the costs of repairing all damage caused by the installation and/or removal of the dish. SATELLITE DISH/ANTENNA POLICY CONT. 1. Dishes: Satellite dish and antenna designed to receive programming services may be installed in an area under an owner’s exclusive use or control so long as such antennae and satellite dishes are (a) one meter or less in diameter, (b) installed in the least visually obtrusive portion of an owner’s property where an acceptable quality signal can be received, so long as such installation is not unreasonably expensive, and (c) either screened from view or painted to match the surrounding area so as to blend in with the surrounding area. 2. Broadcast Antennae: Antennae designed to received television broadcast signals may be installed in an area under an owner’s exclusive use or control so long as (a) an acceptable quality signal cannot be received via an indoor antenna (e.g., an antenna mounted in an attic, “rabbit ears,” etc.), (b) the antenna used is the smallest size available at a reasonable cost that receives an acceptable quality signal, and (c) the antenna is installed in the least visually obtrusive portion of an owner’s property where an acceptable quality signal can be received, so long as such installation is not unreasonably expensive. 3. Attachment of Dishes or Antennae: Satellite dishes and antennae may not be attached to any common areas or area not under an owner’s exclusive use or control unless the location and method of installation is approved in advance by the Board of Directors in accordance with the regular procedure for architectural modifications. The foregoing policies and practices shall remain in full force and effect until such time as they may be changed, modified, or amended in their entirety, by a duly adopted Resolution of the Board of Directors of The Promenade At Seagate Homeowners Association. NEW SATELLITE DISH INFORMATION The FCC has handed down declaratory rulings on seven of the ten petitions filed with the FCC pertaining to antenna/satellite dish installation. In each case ruled on so far, the FCC has ruled in favor of the plaintiff (homeowner or telecommunication company). The results of those rulings are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Associations must eliminate any prior approval, application, or permit process from their restriction. Associations must have restrictions but those restrictions cannot cause unreasonable delay or further cost in antenna installation, maintenance, or use. Restrictions may be placed regarding safety concerns (example, installing an antenna on a fire escape), but those restrictions must be clearly defined. Associations may not restrict the installation of antennas under the historical district. If the FCC finds that any part of an association restriction is invalid, then the entire restriction is unenforceable. When considering all of these new rulings it is of the utmost importance to rewrite and adopt new guidelines regarding the installation of antennas. Unfortunately, the enforcement of such restrictions could fall under the causing of unreasonable delay or further cost in installation, maintenance, and use. These rulings only apply to antennas no larger than one meter in size. Please note that out of the seven cases that have had a ruling rendered, only one involved a townhouse. In this particular case, a homeowner had installed a DBS antenna on his balcony. It was established that the owner had exclusive ownership and use of his balcony (regardless of the association’s easement permitting it to enter, inspect, and make repairs), which fell under the precedent that the association could not impose unreasonable delay or further costs in antenna installation, maintenance, or use. Further rulings in the future should be able to clarify an association’s ability to restrict installation in common areas.
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