Help support the Amateur Radio Parity Act

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cellphone

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No more HOA antenna restrictions soon!!!!

The Apartment Complex I live in Does Not Allow any outdoor Antenna's at all.


This bill could help you change that. There is speculation that the wording in the bill "any private land use restriction" could be read to preempt a landlord's ability to place limits on a renter.
 
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AK9R

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The Apartment Complex I live in Does Not Allow any outdoor Antenna's at all.
While this veers this thread a bit off topic, you should familiarize yourself with OTARD.

https://www.fcc.gov/media/over-air-reception-devices-rule

The rule (47 C.F.R. Section 1.4000) has been in effect since October 1996, and it prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming. The rule applies to video antennas including direct-to-home satellite dishes that are less than one meter (39.37") in diameter (or of any size in Alaska), TV antennas, and wireless cable antennas. The rule prohibits most restrictions that: (1) unreasonably delay or prevent installation, maintenance or use; (2) unreasonably increase the cost of installation, maintenance or use; or (3) preclude reception of an acceptable quality signal.

Effective January 22, 1999, the Commission amended the rule so that it also applies to rental property where the renter has an exclusive use area, such as a balcony or patio.
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
The ARRL put together a great link to contact your Senators. It takes 2 minutes. I hope everyone takes the time to help those of us that are in HOAs.

https://arrl.rallycongress.net/ctas/urge-us-senate-to-support-amateur-radio-parity-act
Got my email yesterday from the League. Took all of a minute if that to follow the links and send my letters off. I am not in an HOA, but I have long supported the League in this effort for my fellow amateurs that do live in HOAs.
 

Bushwack44

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Bingo!

Having exclusively managed HOAs for 25+ years, 90% of boards can/will dictate size of antenna and where it can be installed. If you want it on your balcony, they are entitled to say it can't go there (same applies to the roof or affixing an antenna (or satellite dish) to any part of the structure).

Ultimately, they can tell you the antenna can be no longer than 25' (same example for a satellite dish; saying it can't be wider then 36"). If that length doesn't work for you, you're SOL. They've done their due diligence.

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.
 

TheSpaceMann

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HOAs have been a thorn in the side of many amateur radio operators for years. However, I have to give the hams living in The Villages in Florida a lot of credit! In spite of very strict HOA rules, the hams have been able to beat their HOA and totally flourish! They even post loads of information on their website about how the HOA rules have been circumvented with a variety of camouflage antennas! If you're curious, their website an be found at: K4VRC - Villages Amateur Radio Club
 
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SCPD

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All the more reson to become better educated on the use of smaller, covert antennas, especially for HF.

Long wire antennas, tuners and the like.

I live in an HOA restircted suburb outside charlotte, snooty golf/swim/tennis community, and have been able to get on air w out any issues..

my 2m and scanner antennas are in attic, no issues and i have an hf antenna up there too, and use temporary mast set ups for outside for di poles....

great relationships w neighbors who know i am the IT guy, and ham operator, go a long way in folks not complaining....

i do hope this passes though....
 

k6cpo

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The Amateur Radio Parity Act has been re-written as a result of the ARRL's negotiations with the Community Associations Institute (CAI.) What the league has done is sell us out in order to obtain language in the bill that is favorable to the CAI, in particular allowing aesthetics to be a factor in determining whether an antenna installation is acceptable to an HOA.

The exact wording of Section 3(b)(3) of the bill is as follows: "subject to the standards specified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a), permit a community association to establish reasonable written rules concerning height, location, size, and aesthetic impact of, and installation requirements for, outdoor antennas and support structures for the purpose of conducting communications in the amateur radio services."

The San Diego Section Manager spoke before my club at our August meeting Wednesday and stated that several attorneys that are hams (but not league attorneys) have stated that this language will allow HOAs to reject an antenna installation based on appearance alone. He and the former Assistant Southwestern Division Director are recommending hams contact their Senator and urge defeat of this measure.

The full text of the legislation is at the following link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1534/text
 

KE0GXN

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Echo Mike Two-Seven
I guess what it boils down to is, would folks rather just keep the status quo and continue to put antennas in their attics or stealth them outside, like many have and are doing?

To me something is better than nothing, (as in supporting the bill) or as it stands now (my understanding) an HOA doesn't even need to claim aesthetics, they can just deny you flat out.

In my opinion, the previous and current bill was never intended to to give amateurs carte blanche rights to put up towers or any antenna they desired....(I don't see that ever happening, from what I have read about HOAs), however it would at least require an HOA board to work with you and provide you a measure of accommodation.

At the end of day, when an amateur voluntarily chooses to live in an HOA, he/she has to understand their hobby/antenna deployment will be limited no matter what. This bill in my opinion is better then what they have now....

Maybe I am missing something?
 

TheSpaceMann

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I think they'll be able to put antennas up as long as they are not conspicuous. Beams will probably not be allowed, but end feds, dipoles and flagpole type verticals should be OK.
 

AK9R

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There are many wildly incorrect assumptions about this bill. The title of this thread is a wild assumption in itself. There are any number of hams who think that if this bill passes, that they will be able to put up a tri-band beam on a 75 foot tower on a 90x140 residential lot. Yes, you might be able to get a building permit for such an antenna and support structure, but would it be really practical? Is your home owner's insurance going to pay for the damage your antenna and support structure does to your neighbor's house when the whole thing comes crashing down.

Does the bill give amateur radio operators carte blanche to put up what they want? No. However, when the first iteration of the bill was introduced in the House, the CAI went off with their wild ideas about unsightly antennas popping up every where. The ARRL and the CAI met in the middle and worked out language agreeable to both sides. As has been pointed out, if the bill passes, an HOA will have "establish reasonable written rules concerning height, location, size, and aesthetic impact" and will have to consider your request. In many areas nowadays, hams don't even get a hearing with their HOA. The HOA just flatly says "no".

The only perfect solution to dealing with HOAs about antennas is to move to someplace without an HOA. For those who don't want to move, this bill, while flawed, is a step in the right direction.
 

N5TWB

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As many have already posted, the current bill will not achieve the Nirvana described by the thread title. A former ARRL vice-director has recently held forth on this bill and how it achieved its current form. Here is the text of his post as was re-posted on the "100 Watts and a Wire" Facebook page:

Now that I am a former ARRL Vice Director, I am free to speak my mind on
this matter. As a long-time proponent of antenna rights, it is with great
disappointment that I say I do not favor passage of HR-555. I should add up
front, by way of disclaimer, that I am not an attorney.

I was a big supporter of the original Amateur Radio Parity Act - the PRB-1
version. The ability to put up outdoor antennas and the structures
necessary to support them on your property is crucial to being an active Ham
for many licensees. Since 2010 I have visited the offices of numerous
elected officials, sent over a thousand e-mail messages, spent entire
convention weekends generating letters from Hams to their elected
representatives and spoken at countless club meetings to drum up support for
this legislation.

It's fair to say that I invested a major chunk of my time
in support of the original Parity Act, and I certainly respect ARRL
leadership for its persistence in seeking relief for all impacted Amateurs,
whether League members or not. However, in February of 2016 the language
that mirrored PRB-1 was removed from HR-1301 (now HR-555), and this is a
critique of the result, not of the intent or effort.

Last year, ARRL found itself at odds with one senator over the bill and was
required to negotiate compromise language with CAI, a national trade
association of homeowner associations (HOAs) and similar groups. While I
had some major misgivings at the time, I did not object to the compromise
language because I believed it would help at least those Amateurs who live
in homes with developer-imposed deed restrictions not within the purview of
an active HOA.

Since that time, however, some high-profile, competent and very
knowledgeable attorneys (all of them Hams but none associated with the ARRL
Board) have evaluated the compromise language and found that it may do more
harm than good. They have pointed out some serious shortcomings in HR-555
that significantly restrict how many Hams may benefit from its passage and
that, if uncorrected, could actually diminish the rights of some Amateurs
and grant the right to regulate Amateur antennas to HOAs that do not now
have that right.

What follows is an abbreviated description of the issues surrounding HR-555,
the current version of the Parity Act. For those who want to dig deeper
into the matter, I have a version I can e-mail you separately that include
attachments containing (1) the original bill language, (2) the compromise
language in the current bill, and (3) an analysis prepared by former FCC
attorney and active Amateur Radio operator Jim Talens N3JT for the Potomac
Valley Radio Club. Many of the points in Jim's critique were also made by
Fred Hopengarten K1VR (author of Antenna Zoning for the Radio Amateur) at
his presentation to the Legal Forum at the May 2017 Dayton Hamvention.
Suffice it to say that the expert Ham-attorneys are NOT all lining up in
support of HR-555 in its current form.

The original bill pretty much paralleled PRB-1, the Federal Preemption
Statute. It required the FCC to revise its regulations to prohibit private
deed restrictions that preclude or fail to reasonably accommodate Amateur
Radio communications or that do not constitute the minimum practicable
restriction on such communications to accomplish the legitimate purpose of
the private entity seeking to enforce such restriction.

On the other hand, the compromise bill that CAI insisted on does the
following:

1) It grants HOAs the right to use aesthetics as a basis for antenna
decisions, even to those associations whose rules do not now have any
provisions concerning antennas. This grant of power to HOAs is
unprecedented in Federal law, and it adds a right - as a matter of Federal
law - for HOA's that has never been previously approved in Federal law.
That right cannot be undone by state law.

2) It requires a deed-restricted Amateur to notify and seek prior
permission from the HOA before installing any outdoor antenna, with no
grandfathering for those already installed.

3) It does not establish a time frame within which the HOA must render a
decision; an HOA can stall indefinitely and do so without adverse
consequence.

4) It does not grant or guarantee to an Amateur the right to operate on the
band(s) of his or her choice.

5) It permits but does not require the HOA to establish written rules
regarding antenna size, type and location.

6) It does not establish or require an HOA administrative process for
redress if an HOA denies a Ham's requested antenna. The decision of the HOA
is final.

Under HR-555, if passed, Hams who have existing "stealth" antennas, even
with the concurrence of their immediate neighbors, would now be in violation
of Federal law and FCC regulations.

HOAs will be legally able to write their own rules with no objective
criteria and no standards, and they will have the unrestricted power of
Federal law to back them up.

The band(s) on which the Amateur wishes to operate need not be a
consideration in any HOA decision; they could limit you to a small UHF whip
a few inches long on your gutter and say that have accommodated Amateur
Radio.

An HOA that previously existed only to conduct limited activities, such as
maintaining roads, utilities and exterior landscaping, one that has never
held any power to regulate Amateur Radio, would be granted the power to
demand the removal of existing antennas and to demand that an Amateur seek
its approval to install any Amateur antennas or supports. Imagine having
moved into a neighborhood because the HOA had no regulatory power over
Amateur Radio antennas, only to have Federal law now grant the HOA that
power!

The compromise bill expressly disconnects itself from PRB-1. Unfortunately,
that means that none of the Ham-friendly court decisions interpreting PRB-1
would be binding on an HOA.

It has been argued that the FCC, in writing the regulations required by
HR-555, could eliminate some of the above risks. However, the FCC has
opposed restricting the rights of HOAs for over thirty years, and I don't
think it is prudent to count on the Commission to reverse itself and
interpret the law in our favor. Neither can we count on CAI, having won the
rights it demanded, to sit by and make no attempt to influence the
post-enactment regulatory process in its favor. Wishful thinking to the
contrary is hardly a sound basis on which to make our decisions.

Because of the aforementioned shortcomings of HR-555 and the likely adverse
consequences of its passage, I cannot support it any longer. There may be a
better path than the one the League is now pursuing; I don't know if we can
ever get there, but I certainly don't want us to make things worse for a
significant number of Amateurs or expose them to being found in violation of
Federal law and FCC regulations. Please consider these points when you are
asked to write letters of support for HR-555 to your legislators.

As an aside, I want to remind you that some licensees have been successful
in selling the advantages of Amateur Radio-based disaster communication
capability to their HOA boards. Offering benefits can be much easier and
less costly than demanding one's rights.

73 - Marty N6VI
 

k6cpo

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As many have already posted, the current bill will not achieve the Nirvana described by the thread title. A former ARRL vice-director has recently held forth on this bill and how it achieved its current form. Here is the text of his post as was re-posted on the "100 Watts and a Wire" Facebook page:

Now that I am a former ARRL Vice Director, I am free to speak my mind on
this matter. As a long-time proponent of antenna rights, it is with great
disappointment that I say I do not favor passage of HR-555. I should add up
front, by way of disclaimer, that I am not an attorney.

[snip]

73 - Marty N6VI
The league is pushing back. Here is their response:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Regulatory/The Amateur Radio Parity Act FAQ.pdf
 
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