CAI Calls on Washington to Cut the Pork, er, HAM

Mar 18, 2015

Oppose Federal HAM Radio Special Interest Demands to Pre-empt Community Associations’ Guidelines 

In 2014, 64 U.S. Representatives cosponsored legislation that would pre-empt community associations’ architectural guidelines and rules related to installation of HAM radio towers and antennas.

Although that bill failed, Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) has reintroduced the same damaging bill, now designated as H.R. 1301.

Immediate Action is Requested!

HAM radio lobbyists are currently back in the halls of Congress, asking House Members to co-sponsor H.R. 1301 while seeking Senators willing to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
Contact your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators today and ask them to oppose all legislation prohibiting community association review or approval of HAM radio towers and large, fixed antennas by clicking here.

The HAM radio lobby claims this legislation only requires community associations to “reasonably accommodate” their hobby.

This disguises the facts. 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has historically interpreted “reasonable accommodation” to mean virtually no restrictions and no prior approval requirements on installing TV antennas and satellite dishes (see excerpts from FCC guidelines below).

If a HAM radio “reasonable accommodation” standard becomes federal law, community associations face the real prospect of having limited or even no say on the installation of towers and large, fixed antennas used in HAM radio broadcasting.

The truth is the majority of community associations tell CAI that HAM radio operators are welcome to pursue their hobby if they follow community guidelines.

In a 2014 survey conducted by CAI covering community associations in 46 states, 64 percent of respondents confirmed their association’s board or architectural review committee had never denied a request to install a HAM radio antenna.

An additional 27 percent of survey respondents found no record of a denial. The survey also found that associations routinely provide space for HAM radio clubs so residents can pursue their radio hobby.

Federal pre-emption of community association architectural standards is a heavy-handed and unnecessary intrusion in community associations.

To assist you and your legislators' understanding of how the FCC interprets the standard of “reasonable accommodation”, here is a link to the FCC’s current interpretation as it relates to satellite and TV antennas. The FCC will very likely use the same interpretation as it relates to HAM radio antennas and towers.

Community Associations Institute (CAI) | 6402 Arlington Blvd., Ste 500, Falls Church, VA 22042 | | 888.224.4321 

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