Orange : Ham Radio Operator to Take Down His 2 Towers

With the city threatening to tear down the two 72-foot antennas that loom above his Rose Avenue home, ham radio operator Herbert Koch has agreed to do the dismantling himself--but not until the Fourth of July.

City Atty. Furman Roberts said he granted Koch the additional time in the hope that the city wouldn’t have to hire someone to do the work--estimated to cost about $900--and place a lien on his property for payment. “I’m going on his promise that he will spend his Independence Day doing some independent work and not thrust the burden back on us,” Roberts said.

Koch wouldn’t comment on the latest action, but he told the council earlier that he couldn’t afford to dismantle the towers and that they could play an important role in emergency situations.

Neighbors began complaining about the antennas two years ago, arguing that they are unsafe, unsightly, and interfere with radio and TV transmission. In a high wind, said neighbor Toni Quinn, “We can sit here and watch parts fall to the ground.”


The city ruled last February that Koch could retain the antennas, but that they would be subject to a safety inspection by a civil engineer. When Koch didn’t comply with that condition, the council declared the structures public nuisances and began to assess the cost of dismantling.

Koch subsequently phoned Roberts and requested the additional time, noting that he would be out of town and unable to do the work before the Fourth of July holiday.