Height restriction laws

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Height restriction laws are laws that restrict the maximum height of structures.

There are a variety of reasons for these measures. Some restrictions limit the height of new buildings so as not to block views of an older work decreed to be an important landmark by a government. For example, In the Tsarist Russian capital of Saint Petersburg, buildings could not be taller than the Winter Palace.[1]

Other restrictions are because of practical concern, such as around airports to prevent any danger to flight safety.


Hong Kong SAR[edit]

To protect the ridge line along Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, height restrictions are imposed according to the location of the buildings or structures.[2]


In Bali, Indonesia, a building cannot be higher than a palm tree, which is about 15 meters. The only building that is higher than a palm tree is the Bali Beach Hotel because the hotel was built before the height restriction was announced.[3] How much this is enforced is in question.[4]


Buildings in Raffles Place, Marina Centre, Marina Bay Sands, Bugis and Kallang have height restrictions of up to 280m because of the proximity of Paya Lebar Airbase.[5]


In Europe, there is no official general law restricting the height of structures. There are however height restriction laws in many cities, often aimed to protect historic skylines.

In Athens, buildings are not allowed to surpass twelve floors such as not to block the view towards the Parthenon. There are several exceptions though such as the Athens Tower, the Atrina center and the OTE central building which exceed that level. This is due to them being either built far away from the centre or the fact that they were constructed in periods of political instability. The city's tallest structure is the Athens Tower reaching 103m and counting 25 floors.

There is however a height restriction for new onshore wind turbines in the European Union, which set their total height to 200 metres ( http://www.energiekeuze.nl/nieuws.aspx?id=954 ).

North America[edit]


Canada has no national height restrictions, but many individual cities do have height restriction bylaws and building is restricted by the national aviation authority (Transport Canada) near airports. Some examples:

United States[edit]

Both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have a rebuttable presumption not to build any antennae over 2,000 ft above ground level. This is to prevent those structures from being a hazard to air navigation.[12]

For airports, sometimes there are exceptions for height restrictions made for important infrastructure equipment, as radio towers or for structures older than the airport. These structures have to be marked with red and white paint, have flight safety lamps on top, or both. Often red and white paint and flight safety lamps have to be installed on high structures (taller than 100 metres) far away from airports. Height restriction laws are not always kept strictly.

Several cities in the United States have local height limits, for example


External links[edit]