Tired of seeing satellite dishes bolted all over the fronts of residences in his Northwest Side ward, an alderman is advancing a plan he hopes would push satellite television providers to install them on the sides or rear of buildings in most cases.
Property owners also would be responsible for removing the devices after residents move out of their buildings or a satellite TV contract is discontinued under an ordinance Ald. Ray Suarez, 31st, hopes will curb the proliferation of the dishes around Chicago.
Suarez appeared at a Zoning Committee meeting and showed photos of buildings in his ward with as many as nine dishes affixed to the side facing the street. He said the dishes proliferate in part because nobody bothers to pull them down them after renters move to new apartments.
"It makes it look terrible," Suarez said.
Satellite companies often argue their customers can't get clear signals if the dishes are bolted along the sides of the buildings, but Suarez said installers simply find it easier to put them up on the front than in the narrow gangways between homes. "I've talked to installers who say they're just taking the easy way," he said.
Under Suarez's plan, which passed the Zoning Committee and will head to the full City Council, satellite providers that want to install a dish on the street-side of a building would need to provide a written explanation why it can't go elsewhere.