Public Law No. 112-96: Want Ham Radio Antennas Even In Your HOA CCR Controlled Fiefdom?

Public Law No. 112-96 – Stop HOA And Condo Association Restrictions From Outlawing All Ham Radio Antennas

Below is the text of a posting at ARRL regarding their solicitation of comments from ham radio operators impacted by HOA and Condo Association CC&R that interfere with our ability to erect ham radio antennas.  You have until April 25, 2012 to give them your specific opinions to help with their response to Public Law No. 112-96.

With over 23% of ALL Americans now living in some sort of HOA controlled fiefdom where power hunger board’s wield their biased attitudes as if they were laws. Pretty soon, a majority of Americans will live under HOA dominion.

It is past time that we, as ham radio operators, have a right to have our voices heard in a way in which we can actually effectuate change. This is the opportunity. 

The FCC forced HOAs and Condo Associations to allow satellite dish antennas.  Let’s have them do the same for ham antennas – both UHF/VHF and even HF.  With the Coming Chaos that many Preppers are already anticipating, our country’s need for real emergency communications is going to be even more important to our citizens than ever before. Without tested antenna systems, a major percentage of our fellow hams will not be prepared to immediately rise to any critical challenge.

 Help Public Law No. 112-96 Help Ham Radio

Help in this fight today.  Click on the below links to voice your opinions to ARRL before April 25, 2012.

Overview of FCC Land Use Restriction Study – Public Law No. 112-96

In February 2012, as part of Public Law No. 112-96, Congress directed the FCC to undertake a study, with a report of the findings to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. This study would “use the expertise of stakeholder entities and organizations” to recommend how to best use radio amateurs in emergency communications and disaster relief efforts, and how to best utilize the Amateur Radio Service in coordination with the federal government in these efforts. In addition, the study would also discuss the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations and recommend ways to remove such impediments. This is the study championed by the ARRL for several years and was known as the “Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act”. This act was introduced into the 112th Congress as H.R. 81 and S. 191.

Under the provision of the act, the FCC has 180-days to prepare their report commencing with the signing of the statute into law. We are now if that period. As part of their study, the FCC has solicited public comment in a public notice DA 12-523 on two specific areas related to the study. There is a 45-day deadline for public comments on the public notice. All comments must be received by the FCC no later than May 17, 2012.

As the national organization for Amateur Radio, and as a principle proponent of this study, the ARRL has issued a call for all Amateurs – whether ARRL members or not – to submit their comments and assist.

The ARRL will present a detailed summary of anecdotal examples of the effect of CC&Rs and homeowner’s association rules on Amateur Radio emergency communications. What we need from you are the actual, personal experiences of a geographically diverse group of radio amateurs who are subject to CC&Rs or other private land use restrictions where they live; who can tell us very specifically of the adverse effect of those restrictions on their ability to prepare for and to provide emergency and disaster relief communications.

Most importantly, Amateurs need to explain why they did not have an option when it came to purchasing real property. Was your decision based on the pervasiveness of private land use restrictions of properties you were considering? Did these restrictions preclude or unreasonably restrict the installation and maintenance of outdoor Amateur Radio antennas? Did they subject the radio amateur to the unlimited discretion of a homeowners’ association, architectural control committee or other non-government decision maker requiring their permission in order to erect and maintain an effective antenna? Is your full participation in EmCom affected by these land use restrictions?

We need fact-based information, including the text of any CC&Rs to which amateurs are subject. We need to know about your efforts to find non-restricted places to live in their metropolitan areas. We need to know about the denial of approvals by HOA boards. You should mention specifically the effect of their restrictions on your ability to do and prepare for emergency communications. We need as much specificity as you can provide. We need your contact information in order to follow up if necessary (by telephone or e-mail.)

This website has links to web pages that allow Amateurs to provide their information easily on-line. The first form addresses the role that Amateur Radio has played in providing Emergency and Disaster Relief communications. If you have participated in an EmCom event or deployment since January 1, 2000, we ask you to provide specific information on the activation by completing this form by clicking here.

The second form provides for the collection of information on how private land use restrictions – such as property conditions, homeowner association covenants, and deed restrictions – have impeded the ability of licensees to full participate in emergency and disaster relief operations. It also allows you to provide details of how the CC&R has affected your participation in EmCom. It also provides the ability to upload a more detailed explanation of your situation, as well as providing copies of your actual CC&Rs or deed restrictions. If you are affected the deed restrictions, HOAs, or CC&Rs, please complete this form by clicking here to help with Public Law No. 112-96.

It is important to remember that CC&Rs are not the same as city and town zoning and building ordinances. The FCC already has extended a limited preemption to city and town ordinances thru PRB-1. This study also does not cover restrictions imposed on leased property, such as lease restrictions for apartment dwellers.

What this study specifically focus on are restrictions imposed on your ability to erect antennas and support structures that are imposed by private groups, such as your neighborhood sub-development Home Owners Association or Architectural Standards Committee.

In order to gather as much accurate data as possible, please keep your comments confined to your direct knowledge and participation in events. It is not helpful to have exaggerated claims or second-hand information such as “well a couple of towns over I heard they had an ARES net because of a flash flood.” Our goal is to present as forceful, fact-based record as possible.

It is important that when reporting CC&Rs that have affected you that you provide a copy of the pertinent portion of the covenant for inclusion in the report. If you can scan it or have a digital copy of the CC&R, you may email it to CCRINFO@arrl.org If you need to send a hard copy, it may be sent: CCR Information Study, ARRL, 225 Main St., Newington CT 06111.

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. Because of the short window by the FCC for comments, and the short deadline for the final report back to Congress, the ARRL must have your input by WEDNESDAY APRIL 25, 2012. This allows us time to compile the results into a useful and manageable presentation for the Commission.

If you have any questions, contact Dan Henderson, N1ND, ARRL Regulatory Information Manager at (860) 594-0236 or at dhenderson@arrl.org