ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB018 (2002)

SB QST @ ARL $ARLB018
ARLB018 New Mexico, West Virginia are latest PRB-1 states

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ARRL Bulletin 18  ARLB018
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  March 11, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB018
ARLB018 New Mexico, West Virginia are latest PRB-1 states

New Mexico and West Virginia have become the 14th and 15th states to
adopt Amateur Radio antenna bills based on the limited federal
preemption known as PRB-1.

In New Mexico Gov Gary Johnson signed House Bill 314 on March 5
after it easily passed both houses of the legislature during a short
session that typically only deals with appropriations bills. In West
Virginia Gov Bob Wise signed House Bill 4335 into law March 7.
Acting with uncharacteristic speed, the West Virginia Legislature
okayed the measure less than 30 days after it was introduced. West
Virginia ARRL Section Manager Hal Turley, KC8FS, said Gov
Wise--whose late father was WA8AYP--also proclaimed March 7 as
''Amateur Radio Operators Appreciation Day.''

New Mexico's bill, the Emergency Communication Preservation Act,
stipulates that municipal or county ordinances regulating Amateur
Radio antennas ''shall not obstruct or preclude amateur radio service
communications'' and ''shall reasonably accommodate amateur radio
service communications.''

The bill further provides that antenna structures ''may be erected at
heights and dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur radio
service communications,'' but it does not include a minimum
regulatory height schedule. It also exempts Amateur Radio ''antenna
towers'' constructed prior to the effective date from subsequent
zoning regulation changes.

Municipalities or counties in New Mexico will still be able to
require Amateur Radio antennas or support structures to meet
screening, setback and placement, construction and health and safety
standards. Such regulation ''must be the minimum practicable
regulation to accomplish the local municipality's or county's
purpose,'' however.

New Mexico ARRL Section Manager Joe Knight, W5PDY, gave Mike Stuart,
AC5ZO, an ARRL member from Corrales, much of the credit for getting
the New Mexico bill through the legislature.

The West Virginia measure also incorporates language very similar to
that of PRB-1 into two articles of the Code of West Virginia. Under
the bill, any county or municipal ordinance or order concerning the
regulation or placement of Amateur Radio antennas would have to
comply with all FCC regulations, rulings and orders; ''reasonably
accommodate'' Amateur Radio communications; and represent ''the
minimum practicable regulation.''

West Virginia's bill would not prevent a county commission or
municipality from taking action to protect or preserve historic
buildings, structures, sites and districts established by federal,
state or local law.

Turley credited ''the tireless efforts'' of Kanawha County House of
Delegates member Sharon Spencer, KC8KVF--an ARRL member from
Charleston--for helping to get the bill through the legislature as
well as for her ''dedication and commitment'' to Amateur Radio.

An Amateur Radio antenna bill awaits the governor's signature in
Wisconsin, a PRB-1 bill recently was introduced in Tennessee and
similar measures have been proposed for introduction in other
states.

More information on antenna regulation is available on the ARRL
Antenna Restrictions Web page,
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/antenna-restrictions.html .
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