ARRL

PRB-1

ARRL PRB-1 Package

Introduction:

Amateurs are often faced with two different types of antenna restrictions:

1) Local Government Zoning Ordinances
2) Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&R's).

These two types of restrictions must be dealt with separately. PRB-1 was not intended to cover CC&R's, but it was intended to give local zoning authorities guidance in enacting and enforcing their ordinances. Check this link if you are faced with covenants (CC&R's).

Local governments are required to reasonably accommodate Amateur Radio installations and what is in the electronic PRB-1 package can be very helpful as a part of a presentation before local planners. It is still up to you, the amateur, to be well versed in what PRB-1 says and which documents you want to present to local planners as they consider or reconsider the ordinance and/or your application. As stated in September 2000 QST, pp. 87-88, PRB-1 is "a good thing, but still not a panacea." It is still your responsibility and the responsibility of other amateurs to help educate local zoning authorities as to what PRB-1 is and how it applies. This means that you will need to read and understand PRB-1 and other documents on this page.

The PRB-1 Document 

The FCC's PRB-1 document, an 11 page Amateur Radio Memorandum Opinion and Order, was released September 19, 1985. Even though it is from 1985, it is still valid today. The legal cite is 101 FCC 2d 952 (1985) and it can be found on the FCC Web page. It can also be found on this page in HTML, PDF or ASCII formats. The FCC also clarified the FCC's PRB-1 Order on November 19, 1999. This Rulemaking has not been finalized and may be subject to appeal. The FCC maintains it the most current information in its Release section.

The 11 page document has been codified at Section 97.15(b). This is a short summary of the 11 page PRB-1. PRB-1 states that local governments must reasonably accommodate amateur operations, but they may still zone for height, safety and aesthetics concerns.

As stated earlier, it is important to note that PRB-1 does not cover covenants although there is a brief mention of covenants in the 1999 PRB-1 clarification. Unfortunately, the FCC has not yet provided an outright preemption of covenants for amateurs.

Further information

Amateurs will find the FCC's Amateur Radio Service Web page to be very useful. Part 97 is just a small part of the Code of Federal Regulations and other regulations affect the Amateur Service even though they do not appear in Part 97, but are referenced. Part 17 covers antenna marking and lighting. Amateurs can find the complete Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations on the web. Amateurs with further questions can contact the Regulatory Information Branch in the Field and Educational Services Department at ARRL HQ at reginfo@arrl.org. Check here for FCC links to other sites.

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