ARRL

ARRL General Bulletin ARLB029 (2002)

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ARLB029 Landmark bill could provide amateurs relief from restrictive
covenants

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ARRL Bulletin 29  ARLB029
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington CT  May 14, 2002
To all radio amateurs 

SB QST ARL ARLB029
ARLB029 Landmark bill could provide amateurs relief from restrictive
covenants

A bill introduced in Congress May 14 could provide relief to
amateurs prevented by private deed covenants, conditions and
restrictions--CC&Rs--from installing outdoor antennas. Rep Steve
Israel (D-NY) has introduced the ''Amateur Radio Emergency
Communications Consistency Act.'' The measure is aimed at preventing
private land-use rules from ''unreasonably interfering with'' the
installation and use of ''appropriate antenna structures'' for
amateurs. Rep Greg Walden, WB7OCE (R-OR)--the only Amateur Radio
operator in Congress--and Rep Pete Sessions (R-TX) have signed on as
original cosponsors.

The measure contains but one sentence: ''For purposes of the Federal
Communications Commission's regulation relating to station antenna
structures in the Amateur Radio Service (47 CFR 97.15), any private
land use rules applicable to such structures shall be treated as a
state or local regulation and shall be subject to the same
requirements and limitations as a state or local regulation.''

The bill, which does not yet have a number, is expected to be
assigned to the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee of the
House Energy and Commerce Committee.

After the ARRL ran into a brick wall trying to convince the FCC to
include CC&Rs under the limited federal preemption known as PRB-1,
the League's Board of Directors agreed to pursue a congressional
remedy. ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP, and other League officials
met with Israel, Walden, Sessions and others on Capitol Hill earlier
this year to discuss the prospect of such a bill and how it should
be worded. With the proposal now in the legislative hopper, Haynie
says the ''really hard work'' is up to the amateur community, League
members or not.

''It becomes important for all of us to write your congressman, call
your congressman and voice your support,'' Haynie said. ''This will
have to be a grassroots effort, and we're going to pull out all the
stops.''

Israel, whose father, Howard, is K2JCC, said in a statement read
into the Congressional Record that his bill seeks to ensure the
continued viability of a volunteer public service resource. ''My
bill would provide Amateur Radio licensees with the ability to
negotiate reasonable accommodation provisions with homeowners'
associations,'' Israel said, ''just as they do now with governmental
land-use regulators, to ensure that our nation is not left with
areas devoid of the public safety services amateurs can provide.''

Visit the US House of Representatives ''Write Your Representative
Service'' Web page http://www.house.gov/writerep/ for information on
how to contact your representative.

ARRL requests those contacting members of Congress to copy ARRL on
their correspondence--via e-mail to ccr-bill@arrl.org or via US Mail
to CC&R Bill, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Please include
your name and address on all correspondence.
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