"I urge all of you to call the Washington offices of your senators and request their support on Senate Bill 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act. This will allow antennas to be placed in restricted communities, similar to PRB-1 as to local zoning laws."
The committee, set to vote on one of our issues (15 November 2015). The stars are aligned. Please call their offices and leave a recorded message if you have to.
The antenna you save (or someday want to build) may be your own...
"George -N1PP" modified by W4EG - Ernest
Here is a copy of my letter to our Senators in Florida.
My wife and I are looking forward for a positive vote on S-1685; for the Amateur Radio Parity Act that is coming up for the committee vote.
As you may be aware, we are available for any communication needs; whether is a search and rescue or acts of God.
Our equipment are available at no cost to all Federal, State and City when necessary.
We use our personal radio equipment and the availability to communicate is hamper by HOA and CC&R's unnecessarily.Thanking you in advance, (signed)
"Thank you for contacting me regarding the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in the United States Senate and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.
On June 25, 2015, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced S. 1685, the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015. This legislation would allow radio operators to construct radio antennas on their property, including in situations where local home owner associations or subdivisions prohibit it. This legislation has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, on which I sit, for further review.
Many amateur radio operators are not allowed to construct radio antennas on their property because of the regulations that some homeowners associations and subdivisions currently have in place. These radio antennas are sometimes used to perform very important public services such as communication assistance during natural disasters and other public emergencies. However, many home and condominium associations contend that the antennas are unsafe, unsightly, and have the potential to drive down property values. Please rest assured, I will keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation come before me for a vote.
Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you."
Sounds to me like he needs more persuasion
I agree if you support the bill or not get off your duff and write your lawmaker now. I have a right to my opinion and respect your right to make your views known. I totally respect the advocacy of many hams, extend me the same courtesy. If you disagree attack the merits of my view, not me personally. I would do the same for you as I find most here in the Flex community more intelligent than I and worthy of respect. ( I will wait to send this until I hear your comments to correct inaccuracies).
Here is my letter:
November 12, 2015
Dear Representative Keating,
I am a constituent in your District and I want to bring an issue to your attention. I am a federally licensed Amateur Radio operator, one of nearly three-quarters of a million licensees of the Federal Communications Commission in the United States.
On a rare occasion hams provide communications support for, and participate in public service events on behalf of our communities. During and in the aftermath of disasters and emergencies, when other forms of communications are unavailable, we are supposed to provide communications for first responders and Federal, state and local governmental agencies and non-governmental agencies, including the Red Cross and Salvation Army; for the United States Military through the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS); and to our neighbors when communications systems are overloaded or fail. However it is the rare amateur radio operator that has either a generator or the ability to provide accuracy in message handling. Radio Amateurs used to contribute to the future of telecommunications as we no longer participate in the development of innovative technology in this digital age, the last meaningful contribution occurred in the vacuum tube age. Amateur Radio is non-commercial, I suggest you listen to the attached audio clip recorded this weekend to hear what radio amateurs actually do most of the time. The exam for a license has become so easy, even a small child can and has passed it. Radio amateurs are generally good and decent men but that does not give them license to abuse their neighbor’s peace and tranquility.
Now “hams” want to abrogate agreements reached in good faith with Homeowner Associations to not erect an outdoor antenna at our residences.
Recently, a bi-partisan Bill, H.R. 1301 - “The Amateur Radio Parity Act”, was introduced by Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) with Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) and additional original co-sponsors. HR 1301 directs the FCC to extend their existing PRB-1 regulations of “reasonable accommodation” of Amateur Radio communications to include private land use regulators. This would afford us the ability to force homeowner’s associations in residential developments to redefine what is reasonable. Private land use regulations routinely include restrictions that completely preclude Amateur Radio communications operators from installing any type of outdoor antenna system; however the radio amateur knew what he was signing when he moved in.
As your constituent, I am asking that you not support the bill. Please contact Rep. Kinzinger’s office to do so. If you have any questions, please contact a lobbying group for an HOA.
Burt Fisher, holder of the highest class of amateur radio license for 54 years
You just overtook my contest buddy Dennis, N6KI for the "2015 Curmudgeon of the Year Award". Dennis at least knows when to leave well enough alone. Keep it up and I hope to see you at the Flex Banquet in Dayton 2016 where I will give you your award.
Of course, your position on this issue is totally wrong.. if fact, one of the reasons so many hams are unable to participate meaningfully in EMCOMM is due to HOA restrictions which preclude the installation of antennas...
You are future wrong in your assumption that every ham has a Choice when he moves into a HOA restricted antenna community. In California it is now impossible to find any affordable or new home developments that allow antennas. I am one of the lucky few who could afford to buy in an older neighborhood in which the HOA had expired...even then it took significant legal expense to obtain a building permit.
You are further wrong about the value of ham participation in EMCOMM... . In both the 2003 and 2007 San Diego Fires, ham radio saved lives and property...
In fact, my favorite anecdote is a message I got from my Daughter-in-Law after the 2007 Fires...
"You know I always thought your antennas were ugly.. BUT.. Thank you for saving my Mother's life... I will never say anything bad about your ham radio antennas again"
In my case even if it passes id have to make a formal request with plans showing potential impacted views etc. it would still take effort but at least not and outright no.
Good for everyone.
Hanging our hat on EMCOMM as the sole reason for this bill is probably a poor idea. Opposing the bill because few hams participate in emergencies is an equally poor idea.
Restrictive covenants and contract terms have been used in the past to deny people entry to communities and to enforce the will of the few. Just because they exist does not make them just. A reasonable person will often accept one restrictive term to gain the benefits of the community. That doesn't prohibit them from working within the law to improve the situation. This bill appears to be a reasonable step promoting fair play, honorable intentions, and genuine compromise. Things we can all support, I think.
I've been a ham for most of my life (38 years of 49). I've also been an HOA Board officer. The two are not mutually exclusive. I don't see how either side could oppose this genuinely useful legislation.
Clearly HOA is not what he bought into. I have encouraged him to move into a neighborhood with like minded people. Unfortunately like in California, his area has been riddled with HOAs. If you dont live in a HOA you run the risk of a trailer being parked next to your million dollar home.
My father only looks for a balance. He wouldn't want a 100 foot tower in his backyard. But he is also not allowed to put up a Flag Pole antenna EVEN THOUGH it doesnt look like an antenna. The board has stated they want NOTHING to do with Armature radio even if it has not visual or economical impact to the neighborhood. How is one to protect them selves with this?
This bill does not give a blank check to Amateur operators. It merely provides the foundation to which boards MUST provide reasonable provision to an Amateur operator. That means they can allow in their bylaws the provision to errect stealth antennas such as simple wire ones, Flag Pole Antennas and if allowed small telescoping antennas that must be hidden - these are only examples where the HOA could adopt a minimum spec in reaching an agreement. Today there is NO forum for this to happen.
This bill MUST be passed!
I take offence to the comments Burt had. His words by stating how easy the tests are, how few hams volunteer, etc diminish the significance of the hobby. I just dont see this. I see many volunteers in my club; I see MANY gaining greater knowledge after getting their license. Not all are electrical engineers or can talk to all aspects of antenna theory, etc. but they try and keep trying; and enjoy every moment of the knowledge sharing. This hobby is all about people. Its about knowledge sharing, volunteering and just some times making new friends. I have never met an evil ham operator (though there are always evil people in this world) who has used their hobby to do harm. In fact most are there to help when ever they can!!!!
Shame on you Burt for not supporting your community! The likes of you have truly ruined this hobby and this country.
It is not a surprise to read your comments and as KY6LA, WS7M, AS5S etc... said "if you hate this hobby so much? Why are you still here, acting as one?"
Perhaps you should continue to be a substitute teacher where those innocent little kids adore you and praise you so much?
I sincerely hope you don't get offended with my personal observations and expressions but, I feel you are in the wrong hobby.
I've observed that you are so negative to anything and everything that is posted on the forum. I have yet to find a thing that you posted to be positive to all the posting posted.
If I was as miserable as you seems to be, I would find something else to do.
I've stop reading your posting because it is of little value and of no interest; again,because of your negative attitude that it gives and your Superman picture of supremacy over all!
Finally, my HOA has authorized me to install a Hy-Tower 18HT, which I appreciate and thank them.
Last note.... I see SAT dishs on sides of homes for TV, they have other options, so I have put up a 43' vertical in my back yard.... it's been there and up for the last 4 years without a word (i.e. the inspector has yet to see it)..
I fully understand that you are taking the hostile position to the Senate Bill position as a way to rile up the ire of the participants of this community.. ...as you seem to get your jollies when you make people angry with you....
I am reminded of the medical oath "Physician Do No Harm"
Since you do not live in an HOA nor do you have frequent natural disasters, you have no skin in the game as the Parity Act has little relevance to you..
Yet you choose to cause harm to others by taking the negative position on the Parity Act.
Harm-- yes Harm..
You are deliberately trying to harm hams who for whatever reason live in HOA and without this Parity Act are prevented from fully enjoying their hobby...
You are deliberately trying to harm people whose lives and property could be saved by better EMCOMM communications.
Yes - you are entitled to take any position whatsoever on any matter ... but, it is hard for me to have any respect for anyone who deliberately goes out of his way to directly cause harm to others as you have done with your letter...
Lets just say I have been quite surprised at how many houses are covered by an HOA. Finding a new house without restrictions has been a challenge.
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