Saturday, March 1, 2014

Village of Swanton,Ohio is Appealing the States PRB-1


An Ohio town is appealing the States PRB-1 like law into the court system. This after it lost an appeal by a ham who was given the right to put up an antenna that the municipality had denied. We have the latest from Amateur Radio Newsline’s Stephan Kinford, N8WB:


On February 4th the Village of Swanton Ohio filed a notice of appeal of its intention to challenge the decision of the Fulton County Common Pleas Court in the case of Gary Wodtke versus the Village of Swanton.

The legal issue began when the Village denied Gary Woodtke’s tower application and Wodtke, who holds the call WW8N, appealed that decision to the Fulton County Common Pleas Court. The Court ruled in favor of Wodtke telling the Village that it must approve a variance to WW8N’s antenna support structure. Instead the Village is now appealing that order into the Court of Appeals for the Sixth District.

In its docketing statement the Village of Swanton asserts four potential issues including one that questions whether Revised Code Section enacted by H.B. 158, which is Ohio’s version of the Federal PRB-1 statute is constitutional. It also questions whether H.B. 158 was constitutionally applied in this case.

Ohio law grants a right of appeal from final decisions of a Common Pleas Court. Appellate decisions are heard by a three judge panel that is usually designated near the time for oral argument. Decisions normally take a number of months after oral arguments are made.

Appellate decisions are generally final, unless further review is granted by the Ohio Supreme Court. While such a Court of Appeals decision represents the law only in that appellate district, it has the ability to be used as a significant precedent in other Ohio courts. It also can be cited in cases in other states that have passed similar state versions of the FCC regulations that are outlined in the text of PRB-1.

Late word is that the ARRL has announced its intention to file a Friend of the Court brief on behalf of Woodtke. This is likely because of the long term potential a finding against WW8N might hold by impacting on any ham living anywhere in the United States.

WW8N is represented by Toledo attorney Carey Cooper and by Fred Hopengarten, K1VR. Hopengarten is considered a national authority on zoning law and amateur radio antenna issues.

source; Stephen Kinford, N8WB, in Wadsworth, Ohio.

Donations to help cover WW8N's mounting legal costs can be sent to him through PayPal to .

It's a long complicated story, but this has been in the courts since 2008. And Gary still doesn't have his tower.

And this is NOT a CC&R or HOA issue! It's the city council who is stopping him at every turn. More details at Ignore all the thread hijackers and the incorrect assertions that "he shouldn't have moved into an HOA" because that is NOT the case here!  


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