During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill that seeks to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennae in their communities.  This bill has been vehemently opposed by CAI for various reasons, and recently the parties reached a compromise with respect to the language contained in the bill.

The agreed upon changes to H.R. 1301 will still prohibit community associations from having blanket prohibitions on installation of amateur radio antennae, but will provide associations with some control over such installations.

The amended bill will allow associations to adopt rules and regulations governing installation, placement, and aesthetic impact of the antennae, as well as allow associations to seek prior approval of such installations.  Additionally, associations will be able to ban installation of Ham Radio antennae on general common elements in communities.  Although not an ideal situation, the new language certainly shines a better light on H.R. 1301 and provides associations with some control over Ham Radio antennae.

The bill has not yet been passed into law and still requires approval from the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and must also be signed into law by President Obama.  Feel free to track the bill as it moves through the legislative process.

What do you think about the proposed bill and its revisions?  Should Ham Radio antennae be federally protected?  Let us know your thoughts on this issue.

10 responses to “Ham Radio Antennae—Do Associations Have to Allow Them?
  1. Each state might as well declare associations contrary to good public policy, pass a set of master covenants, and micro-manage each community, taking local control away from the community members. That seems to be where it’s all headed, so just do it and dispense with it.

  2. Ham Radio antennae is an eyesore to the HOA community.

    Individuals wanting this application should seek single family homes with land/property they own completely.

    What next ~ a bathtub or toilet with flowers in the front yard?

    If property values are to be maintained ~ a Ham Radio antennae would be a big issue to me as a prospective buyer. I doubt I would even go in the neighboring house for sale to look at. How does this radio affect the surrounding air waves? I want quiet enjoyment.

  3. Volunteer Amateur Radio operators help their communities in good times and bad, through community events, disaster response, and various programs. Recently ARES/RACES Volunteers mobilized in the wake of the flood emergency in Texas. In May, the Maritime Mobile Service Network responded to a mayday call from a stranded vessel. In June Amateur Radio played a major role in the largest FEMA exercise of 2016 – an exercise to prepare for a possible Pacific Northwest magnitude 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami which could blackout all conventional means of communication – a natural opening for Amateur Radio involvement.

    I could go on and on. There are many other services provided by Amateur Radio Operators. Most of us are very aware of concerns by others about our antennas and we take care to use the least objectionable type many of which can be kept (and are) out of sight. I’m completely in favor of allowing HAM radio antennas in HOAs. There aren’t that many Amateur Radio Operators so it’s unlikely there will be a plethora of antennas arising if this bill passes. I serve on both the master and sub-association boards of my community and I’ve contacted my representatives to ask them to support the bill allowing HAM radio antennas. I’m all in favor of keeping up the appearance of my association and protecting our property values, but there is always the danger of going too far in stepping on peoples freedoms. By denying this useful organization to ply its skills, we are only injuring ourselves and putting at risk the help we might receive during future emergencies. Thank you.

  4. It sounds like the common area may be helped by the recent change but what about homeowners who have an antenna in their window view but out of site for the owner of the antenna?
    Sounds similar to dish applications?

    Every homeowner within the HOA should have equal protection as their common area or the homeowner who wants an antenna or dish. Thanks…

  5. I’m an hoa director and ham operator. Blanket prohibitions are absurd and most hams would work with their hoa toward reasonable accommodations. No one is talking about erecting 100′ towers. Effective communication requires some elevation of the antenna.

  6. We are in a single family home development and feel that the haphazard placement of satellite dishes to be much less aesthetically pleasing than a simple HR Antennae. My husband is a retired Federal Agent, volunteer Colorado Mounted Ranger Reserve Law Enforcement Officer and an ARES volunteer. I am a former Federal Police Officer and we both are Community Emergency Response members for Arapahoe County. Our Association blanket denies all ARC requests to run our antennae up against our authorized Flagpole.

    It is great to see the work being done in the Legislature to reach a compromise. The technology has come so far, it is absurd to continue banning a system that that serves the Community in so many positive ways. Common areas have their own sets of rules that can be applied in Multi-family communities.

  7. Walking around my HOA I see: satellite dishes, solar panels, solar water heaters (that look like black sheets spread over the roof and are particularly uncomely). Walking around my HOA I hear: the endless rattling sounds of heat pumps, the endless droning sounds of aircraft, the endless sounds of construction, the endless sounds of vehicles. And none of this has done anything but make my property values go up, Up, UP. The idea that ham radio antennas are going to drag down HOA values lacks credibility. Ham radio operators are already operating in HOAs across the country. They have discreet antennas that you probably never even noticed. Some even have modest towers that they crank up at night and bring down during the day. Amateur radio is all about mutual respect, and you couldn’t ask for better neighbors.

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