Good Question: Should you pay a city permit fee for a TV satellite dish?

May 16, 2017 06:25 AM

A brochure at Rochester City Hall is causing some confusion. Many people think they have to pay a permit fee after they have a TV Satellite Dish, like Direct TV or Dish Network, installed on their home.

If you stop by City Hall in downtown Rochester, you'll find all sorts of brochures explaining the various permits you have to file and fees you have to pay. One of those brochures reads: "obtaining an Antenna or DISH Antenna" permit. The photo on the brochure is of a TV satellite dish, exactly like one on your home.

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A viewer who saw it reached out to us and asked if she had to file for a permit. We showed the brochure to several other people who, after looking at it, assumed they too had to file a permit for a dish.

"When I look at this, I think, yes I absolutely should file for a permit for a dish," Rochester resident Nancy Berry said.

So we went to Zina Lagonegro, the city's Planning and Zoning Director to get an answer.

Taney: Do I need a permit for my Direct TV or Dish Network satellite?

Lagonegro: In most cases, for residential applications, as long as the dish is less than 24 inches a permit is not required.

24 inches, or 2 feet. We measured several dishes and reached out to the companies that install them. Nearly all satellite dishes installed on homes these days are less than 21 inches, so no permit needed in the city of Rochester.

Taney: When do I need a permit?

Lagonegro: On occasion we might have a homeowner that is interested in ham radio operation or some other technology. It's possible that someone in a residential application needs a larger dish and in that case yes we would regulate it and require a permit for it.

Permit fees range from $50.00 to $230.00, depending on size and installation costs.


Pat Taney

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