Restrictive Covenant - Residential Covenants - Antenna Restrictions

Antenna Restrictions

Many communities attempt to regulate amateur radio or outdoor television antennas. However, governments may regulate or void restrictive covenants. Some private contracts restricting over the air reception devices (OTARD) were preempted by the FCC in 1996. In PRB-1 the FCC preempted state and local regulation affecting Amateur Radio Antennas but did not see the need (in 1985) to preempt private contracts. Some states have subsequently enshrined this Federal regulation in their own statutes. In 1996 the ARRL American Radio Relay League attempted unsuccessfully to expand PRB-1 and have the FCC preempt restrictive covenants on amateur radio structures. The FCC found insufficient evidence in support of the request at the time and refused to reconsider. After several abortive attempts to secure Federal preemption of covenants regarding Amateur Radio antenna structures, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 mandated research to recommend to Congress any need for legislation. The FCC was susequently charged by Congress to conduct a study into the uses and capabilities of Amateur Radio Service communications in emergencies and disaster relief, and into the existence of impediments thereto, including the effects of unreasonable or unnecessary private land use restrictions on residential antenna installations. The FCC again found insufficient evidence to support Federal preemption of covenants regarding Amateur Radio antenna structures.

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... The surprise was short lived when it was realised that antenna restrictions would limit the real radiated power to little more than a 500 mW system ... A further restriction on power applied if the antenna was elevated by more than 7 metres from the ground ... In the event the antenna restrictions were (and still are) largely ignored and, in the main, unpoliced ...