Despite FCC rulings that support amateur radio hobbyists and the installation of ham radio antennas, Homeowners Associations have mightily resisted. Hobbyists have been harrassed, fined, and sued by HOAs which insist that neighborhood covenants don’t have to pay attention to federal law.
But there’s a new bill introduced in Congress which could prove interesting if it gets wide support. Republicans and Democrats are signing on to the bill. Hobbyists are mounting a nationwide campaign to get it passed into law. Of course, the HOA industry is fighting it tooth and nail, claiming such nonsense as “this is a bill that would invalidate all CC&Rs.”
But as our frequent guest blogger and commenter, Deborah Goonan, says, it’s an example of how going federal can bring results.”
We heard similar objections in opposition to satellite dishes, remember? “Property values will plummet” if satellite dishes are visible from any angle. Of course, in those days, many HOAs had exclusive bulk contracts with cable companies. Just a coincidence?
Fortunately the people were heard, and common sense prevailed. Now millions of Americans are free to enjoy their favorite sports events and movies from the comfort of their homes, without obtaining the blessings of their HOA Boards.
We hear similar objections to xeriscape, native plants, vegetable and herb gardens, solar panels, rain barrels, holiday decorations, play structures for children, and unauthorized flags or placement of flags. The list is endless. Basically, the industry, led by CAI, wants your HOA Board to be able to prohibit any object that might detract from that ever-perfect, suitable for the cover of “House Beautiful” look!
In the minds of the opposition, it doesn’t matter if, as a resident, you want to conserve natural resources, save money on energy costs, eat healthier foods, express your patriotism or religious freedom, or provide simple pleasures and playtime for your children and grandchildren.
It doesn’t matter that HAM radio can save lives when a natural disaster strikes, wiping out conventional telecommunications. (No gigantic antenna towers necessary with today’s technology, just barely visible wires or modestly-sized temporary atennas)
A few lobbyists with the backing of a multi-billion dollar real estate industry want to deny many of YOUR property rights. Don’t let that continue. Contact your Congressional representatives today, and urge them to support the Amateur Radio Parity Act.
See this link for more information http://www.arrl.org/hr-4969, click on”How can I help to get HR 4969 passed?” for a sample letter to email.