Bill to eliminate private land use restrictions for ham operators
Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-6) introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R.9670) on Thursday, December 22, 2022, to eliminate private land use restrictions that prohibit, restrict, or impair the ability of an Amateur Radio Operator from operating and installing amateur station antennas on property subject to the control of the Amateur Radio Operator.
The exponential growth of communities subject to private land use restrictions that prohibit both the operation of Amateur Radio and the installation of amateur station antennas has significantly restricted the growth of the Amateur Radio Service. These restrictions are pervasive in private common interest residential communities such as single-family subdivisions, condominiums, cooperatives, gated communities, master-planned communities, planned unit developments, and communities governed by community associations. The restrictions have particularly impacted the ability of Amateur Radio to fulfill its statutorily mandated duty of serving as a voluntary noncommercial emergency communications service.
Congress in 1996 directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promulgate regulations (Public Law 104–104, title II, section 207, 110 Stat. 114; 47 U.S.C. 303 note) that have preempted all private land use restrictions applicable to exterior communications facilities that impair the ability of citizens to receive television broadcast signals, direct broadcast satellite services, or multichannel multipoint distribution services, or to transmit and receive wireless internet services. ARRL attempts to obtain similar relief for Amateur Radio were rejected by the FCC with a statement such relief would have to come from Congress.
ARRL Legislative Advocacy Committee Chairman John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, noted that Congress, in 1994 by Joint Resolution, S.J.Res.90/H.J.Res.199, declared that regulations at all levels of government should facilitate and encourage the effective operation of Amateur Radio from residences as a public benefit. He continued by stating that “H.R.9670, the Amateur Radio Emergency Preparedness Act, is intended to fulfill that mandate and preserve the ability of Amateur Radio Operators to continue to serve as a key component of American critical communications infrastructure.”
ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and Mr. Stratton both extended on behalf of the ARRL, its Members, and the Amateur Radio community their thanks and appreciation for the leadership of Rep. Johnson in his tireless efforts to support and protect the rights of all Amateur Radio Operators.
For the full text of the bill, click here (PDF).