During the 2015-2016 federal legislative season, the Ham Radio lobby introduced H.R. 1301, a bill which seeks to prohibit associations from banning Ham Radio antennas in their communities. As originally proposed HR 1301 was detrimental to an association’s control over aesthetics, placement and prior approval with respect to Ham Radio antennas. In response to the bill, the Federal Legislative Action Committee of the Community Association Institute (“CAI”) spent countless months working with the House to create a revised version of H.R. 1301.
On Monday, September 12, the U.S. House of Representatives approved CAI’s proposed changes to H.R. 1301. In short, the revised version of H.R. 1301 provides that:
- Ham Radio operators are required to obtain consent of an association prior to installation of an outdoor antenna;
- Ham Radio operators are prohibited from placing antennas on common property; and
- Associations may establish written rules concerning outdoor Ham Radio antennas.
While an association may not completely ban Ham Radio antennas, the revised language of the bill provides an association with the power to regulate aesthetics, size, and installation, etc. However, note that the amended version of H.R. 1301 is not yet law, as it must still pass through and gain approval in the Senate and then receive approval from the President. If the Bill does not become law by the end of 2016, the Bill must restart the legislative process when Congress reconvenes in January.