Monday, February 29, 2016

Progress on Amateur Radio Parity Act

A bill in Congress which would hold private land use agreements regarding amateur radio antennas to the same standards that already apply to municipalities, is now another step closer to a vote in the House of Representatives. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on communications and technology, which held hearings on H.R. 1301 in January, sent the bill to the full committee on February 11 with a favorable recommendation.  The bill, also known as the Amateur Radio Parity Act, would require that homeownwers’ associations and restrictive covenants(CC&Rs) “reasonably accommodate” amateur radio operation, the same rule that has applied to state and local governments since 1985. According to the ARRL Letter, the bill currently has over 100 co-sponsors and a companion bill in the U.S. Senate, S. 1685, was approved last year by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. 

In a related story, the Missouri state legislature is considering an identical measure to H.R.1301, which would implement its requirements on a state level. The effort is being spearheaded by Larry Scantlan,
KE0KZ, who says the Missouri bill can serve as a template for similar actions in other states. Several states have already incorporated the “reasonable accommodation” rule into their laws as they apply to county and local governments.