ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB002 (2000)

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ARLB002 ARRL Seeks Reconsideration of PRB-1 Petition Denial

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ARRL Bulletin 2  ARLB002
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  January 11, 2000
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB002
ARLB002 ARRL Seeks Reconsideration of PRB-1 Petition Denial

The ARRL wants the FCC to declare that its limited federal
preemption policy known as PRB-1 applies to amateurs who live in
areas governed by deed restrictions, covenants, CC&Rs, or
condominium regulations just as it does to hams regulated solely by
local zoning laws.

In a Petition for Reconsideration filed in late December, the League
formally asked the FCC to rethink its November decision to dismiss a
1996 ARRL Petition for Rule Making. That petition called on the
Commission to expand and clarify the limited federal preemption
known as PRB-1.

In November, the FCC said PRB-1 excludes restrictive covenants in
private contracts as ''outside the reach of our limited preemption,''
although it strongly encouraged associations of homeowners and
private contracting parties to ''follow the principle of reasonable
accommodation'' with respect to Amateur Radio.

In asking the FCC to rethink its November Order, the League said the
FCC's disclaimer ''is no longer a valid premise'' and no longer
accurately reflects FCC jurisdiction over private land use
regulations.

Since PRB-1 came out in 1985, the ARRL pointed out, the FCC has made
it clear that it has Congressional authority to prohibit restrictive
covenants that could keep property owners and even renters from
installing antennas to receive TV, satellite and similar signals.
The League asserts the same principle applies to Amateur Radio, in
which the FCC has said it has a ''strong federal interest.''

The League called on the FCC to clarify that it intends PRB-1 to
apply to private land use regulations ''to the extent that it has the
jurisdiction to do so.'' Such an approach, the League said, would
leave hams free to negotiate reasonable accommodation provisions
with local homeowners' associations just as they do now with
governmental land use regulators.

The League also asked the FCC to provide some relief via PRB-1 to
protect amateurs from ''prohibitive and excessive fees'' that
localities might impose for permits and fees. ''Excessive costs
associated with burdensome screening requirements are also often
imposed by municipalities seeking a mechanism to preclude amateur
antennas notwithstanding the PRB-1 policy,'' the League said.

The ARRL asked the FCC to at least provide a statement that
''excessive costs associated with land use approvals fail the
'reasonable accommodation' and 'minimum practicable restriction'
tests of PRB-1.''

The League urged the FCC to revise and restate is preemption policy
and issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making ''without delay'' to amend
Part 97 of the rules or to issue an Order clarifying its PRB-1
preemption policy.

A copy of the ARRL's Petition for Reconsideration is available on
the ARRL Web site, http://www.arrl.org.
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