By Jonathan H. Katz, Esq.

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) has issued a call to action regarding proposed legislation that, if enacted, may invalidate many community association rules and architectural standards governing the installation and use of amateur radio towers and antennas.

Last month, United States Representative Adam Kinzinger (R – Illinois) introduced H.R. 4969, which would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to amend its Code of Federal Regulations to invalidate certain community association covenants that apply to installation of radio towers and/or antennas for amateur radio use. With limited exception, the proposed legislation would require that all community associations would be prevented from governing installation of HAM radio towers and antennas and homeowners who want to install a radio tower or antenna for amateur radio use would not have to go through the architectural review process or follow existing community guidelines.

CAI has issued the following statement regarding this proposed legislation:

 “CAI recognizes the importance of amateur radio users’ assistance during a disaster or emergency. Importantly, CAI notes that amateur radio users’ success in assisting with communications during a disaster or emergency has not been inhibited by covenants created by neighbors in the community associations in which they have chosen to make their home. A 2012 study by the FCC reached this conclusion, too.

The FCC has rejected five official requests by amateur radio operators to relieve them of their contractual obligation to follow community procedures concerning the installation of radio towers and antennas. The FCC has determined there is no compelling national interest to warrant invalidating contractual agreements between private citizens.

On behalf of the 65 million Americans who choose to live in their community associations, CAI must oppose H.R. 4969 to preserve the model of community allowing neighbors elected by neighbors to create and enforce covenants for the betterment of the community as a whole.”

Hill Wallack LLP Partner and Chair of CAI’s Federal Legislative Action Committee, Ronald L. Perl, Esq., joins in CAI’s call to action and encourages you to contact your member of Congress to oppose H.R. 4969. CAI has created a template that you can use to draft your message to your member of Congress, which is available by clicking here.

For further information and history on this issue, please click here.

For more information on this or any other issue concerning your community association, please contact one of our Community Associations attorneys. For breaking news or updates on new blog posts, follow us on Twitter at: @njcondolaw.