Amateur Radio Parity Act

Tom O'Brien

I just finished reading the Amateur Radio Parity Act, as referenced in the ARRL FAQ.

I think it's pretty scary to think that a HOA can enact "reasonable" standards for the physical and aesthetic characteristics of an antenna or its support structure. Having lived in HOA-regulated neighborhoods for most of the time I've been in ham radio (since 1957), I don't have a lot of remaining confidence in those groups (HOAs) to get anything right, if it's the least bit technical. In Taylor Lake Village (near Houston), my subdivision had seven (7) different sections, and each section had its own unique antenna-related restrictions. The oldest, Section I, actually expressed no restrictions on antennas, while the newest, Section VII, had restrictions on large satellite dish antennas. At some point, a well-meaning committee wrote a city ordinance that essentially overrode the various sets of restrictions (not just the antenna parts). The resulting ordinance imposed antenna restrictions on Section I (where none had existed before). I had two antennas on my property during the time I lived there (ten years), and heard never a peep from the HOA or the City about them.

But trust me when I say this: If I had been ordered to remove my antennas, I would have fought tooth and nail to protect my interest in the deed restrictions that existed when I bought the land. I once had an informal conversation with a former City Councilman about that ordinance and its wholesale rewriting of the deed restrictions, and his comment (I wish I had recorded the conversation) was that "they could do pretty much whatever they wanted". I did campaign vigorously against him when he ran in a later Council election, and he lost.

My Senators are going to get my comments soon.

Tom O'Brien
San Antonio, Texas

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