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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