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Round two for campaign to limit Ham radio blocking rules

It is once more into the breach for “The Amateur Radio Parity Act” (H.R. 1301) resubmitted to Congress by Representative Adam Kinziger (R-IL). In a nutshell, the proposed law would give the Federal Communications Commission more power to limit apartment complex or homeowner association rules that prohibit Hams from setting up gear in or around their homes.

The American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which champions this bill, has posted examples of some of these Amateur radio restrictive deed or rental “covenants.” Here’s one regulation: “No antenna or tower shall be erected upon any lot for the purposes of radio operations.”

Not a lot of wiggle room in that one. Others appear a bit more subtle:

“No antenna for transmission or reception of radio signals shall be erected outdoors for use by any dwelling unit except upon approval of the Directors. No radio or television signals or any other form of electromagnetic radiation shall be permitted to originate from any lot which may unreasonably interfere with the reception of television or radio signals upon any other lot.”

Example number two sounds reasonable, but I’ll bet that what happens in the end is that some aspiring Ham goes to the Directors and says s/he wants to set up a public safety oriented Amateur signal, and they look at the application sideways and say no.

So the Parity Act would direct the FCC to require Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and other kinds of private land use regulators to extend “reasonable accommodation” to Amateurs asking to set up antennas. For Radio Survivor readers who crave legal geekiness, H.R. 1301 would amend the FCC’s Part 97 Amateur Service rules to make it clear that the Commission has the power to preempt HOA restrictions when it comes to Hams. Right now Part 97 regulations only grant that preemption power over local and state laws or ordinances.

Kinziger and the bill’s seven Republican and five Democratic co-sponsors first sent this proposed law to Congress in 2014. But like most legislation, it didn’t go anywhere. This year generally doesn’t look too promising either, Capitol-Hill-wise, but hope springs eternal. We’ll keep following the campaign for new developments.

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6 Responses to Round two for campaign to limit Ham radio blocking rules

  1. Charly March 19, 2015 at 7:31 am #

    First of all I am a licensed General Class Amateur Radio Operator. I think it is just plain stupid to expect the owners of private property to change their rules just because someone else disagrees with them. The Hams that bought or moved onto property that has an antenna ban, knew they could not erect any antennas BEFORE the occupied the property. So, what did they expect? The property owner warned them before they plunked their money down that no antennas would be permitted. You can’t change the rules of private property once the game has started, that indicates you are stupid…not ignorant because you knew the rules ahead of time and moved in anyway. Now you scream foul because you don’t like the rules. If they have a pet then intelligent people don’t buy a property that says NO PETS. Sorry Hams, but you are 100% wrong trying to change private property rules. Move out or better yet, never move in. If you can’t move out and you still want to Ham-it-up, then install Hamsphere or CQ100 in you computer and do it all without any antenna. Otherwise keep your trap shut…you are out of step.

    • Andrew March 19, 2015 at 9:20 am #

      Hey Charlie, What is trying to be accomplished is not having such rules for home owners in the first place.

      What kind of society will we have when more and more is coming down to “can’t have this”, “you can’t have that”,”your not going to this”, “your not going to do that”, “not in my backyard”!

      Then it leads to gestapo tactics enforcing it…is that what you prefer?

      You must be a proud citizen from the peoples socialists republic of commi-fornia!

    • Carson July 7, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

      Ease up there before you have a stroke.

  2. Radio Randy March 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

    I believe that it is the right of an HOA to be able to enforce the rules its members agreed to, even if they disagree, in the future. You signed the contract, now live by it.

    On the other hand, trying to prevent a licensed Ham from legally transmitting a signal from his home is over the top. You may have to use a loop, strung around your shack, but telling you that you simply cannot transmit is flat out wrong.

    I think it would be great for a private landowner, right next to one of these developments, to put up a gigantic antenna farm with lots of power and then watch the HOA folks cringe because they can’t do anything about it.

  3. Jim March 23, 2015 at 4:49 pm #

    Charley, I think you haven’t read the bill, and don’t know much about CCRs and HOAs. If you buy a home in a common development, you are the owner. It is your property. Some of the land you have under joint ownership, like the sidewalk and the pool, some you own outright, like the space inside your walls. But you are a member of the HOA. The HOA elects a board, who govern according to rules, some of which are called CC&Rs. All the a bill asks is that reasonable accommodations be made for ham radio.

  4. Furcifer May 6, 2016 at 11:19 am #


    Well how about the CCR that did not have an antenna restriction in place until after I had set up a Hustler 6BTV (19′) and installed a radial system before I laid sod down. He removed any right to grandfathering as well. Please also keep in mind that the builder controls the CCR until he has at least 51% of the houses built. He is the only member on the HOA until 51% of the property is completed. To further add insult to injury, he just added “No radio station or short wave operator of any kind shall operate from any Lot or residence without the prior written approval of the Committee. No radio or television antenna or satellite dish may be installed upon any Lot unless first approved in writing by the Committee. Any antenna or satellite dish permitted by the Committee must be attached to the rear of the dwelling and may not be placed forward of the rear line of the dwelling.” I asked for reasonable accommodations – He said “No”.

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