Help support the Amateur Radio Parity Act

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djpaulino

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No more HOA antenna restrictions soon!!!!

From the ARRL:

The Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017 was introduced in the US Senate on July 12, marking another step forward for this landmark legislation. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are the Senate sponsors. The measure will, for the first time, guarantee all radio amateurs living in deed-restricted communities governed by a homeowner's association (HOA) or subject to any private land use regulations, the right to erect and maintain effective outdoor antennas at their homes. The Senate bill, S. 1534, is identical to H.R. 555, which passed the US House of Representatives in January.

"Amateur Radio continues to be a critical part of our emergency communications operations," Wicker said. "Mississippians learned firsthand after Hurricane Katrina how Amateur Radio operators can provide a resilient, distributed network to first responders and disaster relief organizations when other communications tools fail."

"Amateur Radio operators provide an invaluable service to their communities by assisting local emergency communication efforts when disasters occur and main lines are down," Blumenthal said. "This bipartisan measure ensures that operators have access to the tools they need to support our first responders when lives are at stake."

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai applauded the bill in late January, saying that it would "help Amateur Radio operators, and take several steps to promote public safety."

ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, expressed the League's appreciation to the Senate sponsors. "ARRL is grateful for the support of Senators Wicker and Blumenthal for sponsoring this important piece of legislation, and for advocating this bill for the past 3 years," he said. "Their continuing support is critical to the success of our efforts." President Roderick also thanked Senator John Thune (R-SD), who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, for "championing the Parity Act in the Senate since the beginning of our effort."

The bill has enjoyed widespread, bipartisan support. In the 114th Congress, nearly 130 cosponsors signed onto the legislation in the House and the Senate. The legislation, which strikes a carefully crafted balance for all concerned parties, is the result of months of work culminating in the accord reached by ARRL and the Community Associations Institute (CAI). The measure provides for the guarantee of an effective outdoor antenna while protecting the aesthetic concerns of HOAs.

In a statement, ARRL said it looks forward to working with the bipartisan leadership of the Senate and the Commerce Committee to help move the Wicker-Blumenthal legislation through the Senate and to the President's desk.
 

AK9R

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First off, don't hold your breath. While the House bill passed, the Senate bill has just recently been introduced. The Senate bill has to get out of committee, then it goes to the floor of the Senate, and then the Senate has to decide whether or not to vote on the bill. A similar bill in the last Senate was never even voted on because one Senator blocked it.

Secondly, even if these bills both pass and the President signs it, your HOA's rules against amateur radio antennas won't magically disappear. You will still have to present your antenna plans to your HOA and you will still have to get their approval. The only difference is that your HOA will have to provide you with "reasonable accommodation" for your antennas. If you have visions of putting up a 75 foot tower with a tri-band beam on a 90 x 140 foot lot, you may be in for disappointment.
 

cmdrwill

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At least one more step in the direction for Amateur Radio operators to have a reasonable antenna.
 

mejnetguru

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And also keep in mind that it is still following the concepts of "exclusive control". Those in condo or similar communities with common elements (i.e. roofs) are still subject to your community's rules.

Should end up being very similar to the existing regs on sat TV antenna.

Also, the bill does not expressly grant anything, it just directs the FCC to make regulatory changes to meet the stated outcome.
 

mmckenna

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Here's a better worded article on the subject:

https://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/newsID/15735

From the above article:
"The bill includes a provision to allow amateur radio operators to negotiate with individual homeowner associations to install antennas that conform to the community’s aesthetic interests. The provision would preserve association control over a community’s appearance and would enable expansion of amateur radio networks in areas that were previously off-limits to operators."

As stated, this does't mean (if this passes) that you'll get to put up a 75 foot tower on your condo's balcony. It just means you get to ask for an accommodation, they need to work with you, but they still have final say over the aesthetics. This might mean that while you'd really like to put up a big beam, they -might- allow you to string up a wire dipole.
 

k6cpo

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Anyone in the amateur radio community that thinks this bill is going to pass in this congress is severely deluded. Until the Republicans get over their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, nothing else is going to even be considered.
 

natedawg1604

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I will never fully understand why anyone would want to form an HOA, let alone sit on an HOA board. IMO anyone who spends the time to work on an HOA board should quit and work on a REAL board like a city council, local political party, school board or something else that doesn't involve worrying about the paint color of your neighbor's house.
 

HamRFinCT

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Anyone in the amateur radio community that thinks this bill is going to pass in this congress is severely deluded. Until the Republicans get over their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, nothing else is going to even be considered.
Thank your Republicans for taking back the country. While the mess right now is not pretty at least the interests of US CITIZENS is coming first again.
 

cifd64

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I can easily see my HOA requiring additional insurance to cover any damages the antenna causes should it fall.

Also, prepare for yourself for the endless complaints by your neighbors about it being an eyesore.

Also, be prepared to shell out bug money to have their structural engineer come out to inspect and certify the thing.

Thats if this thing passes.

As a condo owner, you wouldnt believe the crap I went through just to get direct TV. Dont underestimate the HOA. If they dont want it, you cant have it.
 

mmckenna

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I will never fully understand why anyone would want to form an HOA, let alone sit on an HOA board. IMO anyone who spends the time to work on an HOA board should quit and work on a REAL board like a city council, local political party, school board or something else that doesn't involve worrying about the paint color of your neighbor's house.
I don't live in an HOA.
I can tell you that some people like uniformity and the knowledge that the (around here) half a million bucks they invest in a home won't be impacted by the guy living next door who leaves trash out on the front lawn, paints his house pink and purple, parks vehicles on the front lawn, etc.
Yeah, they are a pain, but for everyone who hates them, theres another that like them.

You and I are ones that wouldn't like them.


As for those who serve on the HOA boards, that's pretty simple. My brother, sister and parents all live in the same HOA controlled neighborhood. No one wanted to be on the board, so my dad (who's been retired for 15 years) stepped up to lead the board, that way he could keep some of the petty/childish complaints under control. My brother and brother in law are both on the board (all three of them are hams). There is one other person from the neighborhood that cared enough to pay attention. The rest of the neighborhood just blindly pay their dues but refuse to participate.
Works out pretty well for my family. They basically have control of the HOA board. They keep it sensible and under control. As for the stupid complaints, they actually had one home owner want the HOA to call San Jose International Airport and make them move their approach since the jet noise (they are near 7000 feet) was "annoying". The home owner had moved in a few months before and SJC has been there since the 1940's.

HOA's are as good or bad as their board. People will complain their butts off about the HOA's, but will rarely step up and do something about it.
 

garys

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Both Houses of Congress routinely handle many issues simultaneously. Although the media would have you believe nothing is getting done, many bills have been passed and signed into law by the President.

Anyone in the amateur radio community that thinks this bill is going to pass in this congress is severely deluded. Until the Republicans get over their obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, nothing else is going to even be considered.
 

KI4RDO

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I agree I've lived through good and bad HOA boards in my townhouse. Some *****ed about every little thing and others didn't cause any problems. While we had a good board I was a cabbie for a few years one of the neighbors complained about my cab being parked in the driveway when I was off shift and the hoa president told them to shove the complaint and told me about it later


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

RRR

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This is really a simplistic issue; If you know you want to, or would someday want to put up a radio tower, then why would you choose to reside where there is a homeowners association that would b1tch and moan about it?
 

AK9R

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We've argued this point before...

The housing market in my area (metro Indianapolis) is like this: old houses in old city neighborhoods often with high crime rates, medium-old houses in established suburban residential neighborhoods with decent-size lots that are at the age where they are going to need lots of expensive upgrades, newer houses in newer suburban residential neighborhoods with small lots and HOAs, older houses with septic systems on large rural lots where the asking price has more to do with the size of the lot than the quality of the house, new expensive custom houses on large rural lots.

In my case, and I think others are in this boat, I initially looked at the medium-old houses in established residential neighborhoods, but what I saw were houses that were going to need kitchen rebuilds, bathroom rebuilds, furnace replacements, old trees heavily pruned or cut down, etc. For some folks, that kind of house would be fine. For me, I didn't want to take on a "project". The houses in the country on big lots were out of my price range. So, I bought a new house in a new neighborhood.

Yes, I have an HOA. Yes, I obtained a copy of the CC&Rs before I bought the house. Yes, I understood what those CC&Rs said about antennas. But, I figured I could work within the rules. Since I've been in this house, I've been net control for countless Skywarn nets, I've worked all states on both phone and RTTY, I've gotten confirmed contacts with 89 DXCC entities, and I've competed in several phone and RTTY contests. Do I ever expect to put up a big tower and tri-band beam on a 90x140 foot lot? No, that would be silly, and I will never ask for that. Yes, where I live has limitations with regard to amateur radio. But, the house is less than 10 years old and I spend very little on maintenance and repairs.

In the beginning, I was gung-ho about the Amateur Radio Parity Act. I joined with my club to meet with our elected representatives and ask for their support. Since then, I've backed off a bit. I think the ARPA would be helpful to some hams, but it's not going to completely wipe away antenna restrictions.

Everything in life is a trade-off, a compromise, a balance between sometimes conflicting needs. It's easy to say "I'd never buy a house where I couldn't put up antennas", but there's more to life than radio.
 

N4DES

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The only difference is that your HOA will have to provide you with "reasonable accommodation" for your antennas. If you have visions of putting up a 75 foot tower with a tri-band beam on a 90 x 140 foot lot, you may be in for disappointment.
And you will need to get the applicable building permits from the local AHJ if there is a plan to build an accessory structure (tower). They could put additional restrictions above what the HOA wants as most HOA boards leave the engineering requirements to someone else.
 

k9wkj

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this act leaves the definition of the term "reasonable" on the clipboard of the HOA
and also every bit of wire you put out is now firmly under the HOAs jurisdiction
no more sneakin a wire out that hasn't been approved and run past the "engineers and inspectors" the HOA requires you to use
unless you have very deep pockets, this doesn't help the common HOA restricted ham

dont rely on what your told the bill says
you must read it very carefully yourself
it does not define "reasonable"
unlike OTARD (Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule)
which defines it quite well
 

TheSpaceMann

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If this passes, I believe the end result will be that antennas are OK as long as they can not be readily seen. End fed wires and disguised verticals will fly, but large beams on big towers will not.
 

AK9R

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And you will need to get the applicable building permits from the local AHJ if there is a plan to build an accessory structure (tower).
In most jurisdictions, that's always been the case. An HOA can't overrule local building codes and ordinances. IOW, an HOA may only be concerned about aesthetics, but the local building codes for setbacks and engineering standards apply no matter what the HOA says now or in the future.
 

ChrisABQ

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As a scanner enthusiast, I am grateful to hear this. As I AM a member of our Board of Directors for my HOA, I was able to get my 2 small antennas approved in a 7 - 0 vote. As a first responder myself, the board was appreciative of my knowledge and dedication to public safety.
 
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