Text: H.R.555 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (01/24/2017)

 
[Congressional Bills 115th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 555 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
115th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 555


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            January 24, 2017

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To direct the Federal Communications Commission to amend its rules so 
 as to prohibit the application to amateur stations of certain private 
             land use restrictions, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2017''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) More than 730,000 radio amateurs in the United States 
        are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission in the 
        amateur radio services.
            (2) Amateur radio, at no cost to taxpayers, provides a 
        fertile ground for technical self-training in modern 
        telecommunications, electronics technology, and emergency 
        communications techniques and protocols.
            (3) There is a strong Federal interest in the effective 
        performance of amateur stations established at the residences 
        of licensees. Such stations have been shown to be frequently 
        and increasingly precluded by unreasonable private land use 
        restrictions, including restrictive covenants.
            (4) Federal Communications Commission regulations have for 
        three decades prohibited the application to stations in the 
        amateur service of State and local regulations that preclude or 
        fail to reasonably accommodate amateur service communications, 
        or that do not constitute the minimum practicable regulation to 
        accomplish a legitimate State or local purpose. Commission 
        policy has been and is to require States and localities to 
        permit erection of a station antenna structure at heights and 
        dimensions sufficient to accommodate amateur service 
        communications.
            (5) The Commission has sought guidance and direction from 
        Congress with respect to the application of the Commission's 
        limited preemption policy regarding amateur service 
        communications to private land use restrictions, including 
        restrictive covenants.
            (6) There are aesthetic and common property considerations 
        that are uniquely applicable to private land use regulations 
        and the community associations obligated to enforce covenants, 
        conditions, and restrictions in deed-restricted communities. 
        These considerations are dissimilar to those applicable to 
        State law and local ordinances regulating the same residential 
        amateur radio facilities.
            (7) In recognition of these considerations, a separate 
        Federal policy than exists at section 97.15(b) of title 47, 
        Code of Federal Regulations, is warranted concerning amateur 
        service communications in deed-restricted communities.
            (8) Community associations should fairly administer private 
        land use regulations in the interest of their communities, 
        while nevertheless permitting the installation and maintenance 
        of effective outdoor amateur radio antennas. There exist 
        antenna designs and installations that can be consistent with 
        the aesthetics and physical characteristics of land and 
        structures in community associations while accommodating 
        communications in the amateur radio services.

SEC. 3. APPLICATION OF PRIVATE LAND USE RESTRICTIONS TO AMATEUR 
              STATIONS.

    (a) Amendment of FCC Rules.--Not later than 120 days after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission 
shall amend section 97.15 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, by 
adding a new paragraph that prohibits the application to amateur 
stations of any private land use restriction, including a restrictive 
covenant, that--
            (1) on its face or as applied, precludes communications in 
        an amateur radio service;
            (2) fails to permit a licensee in an amateur radio service 
        to install and maintain an effective outdoor antenna on 
        property under the exclusive use or control of the licensee; or
            (3) does not constitute the minimum practicable restriction 
        on such communications to accomplish the lawful purposes of a 
        community association seeking to enforce such restriction.
    (b) Additional Requirements.--In amending its rules as required by 
subsection (a), the Commission shall--
            (1) require any licensee in an amateur radio service to 
        notify and obtain prior approval from a community association 
        concerning installation of an outdoor antenna;
            (2) permit a community association to prohibit installation 
        of any antenna or antenna support structure by a licensee in an 
        amateur radio service on common property not under the 
        exclusive use or control of the licensee; and
            (3) subject to the standards specified in paragraphs (1) 
        and (2) of subsection (a), permit a community association to 
        establish reasonable written rules concerning height, location, 
        size, and aesthetic impact of, and installation requirements 
        for, outdoor antennas and support structures for the purpose of 
        conducting communications in the amateur radio services.

SEC. 4. AFFIRMATION OF LIMITED PREEMPTION OF STATE AND LOCAL LAND USE 
              REGULATION.

    The Federal Communications Commission may not change section 
97.15(b) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, which shall remain 
applicable to State and local land use regulation of amateur service 
communications.

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Community association.--The term ``community 
        association'' means any non-profit mandatory membership 
        organization composed of owners of real estate described in a 
        declaration of covenants or created pursuant to a covenant or 
        other applicable law with respect to which a person, by virtue 
        of the person's ownership of or interest in a unit or parcel, 
        is obligated to pay for a share of real estate taxes, insurance 
        premiums, maintenance, improvement, services, or other expenses 
        related to common elements, other units, or any other real 
        estate other than the unit or parcel described in the 
        declaration.
            (2) Terms defined in regulations.--The terms ``amateur 
        radio services'', ``amateur service'', and ``amateur station'' 
        have the meanings given such terms in section 97.3 of title 47, 
        Code of Federal Regulations.

            Passed the House of Representatives January 23, 2017.

            Attest:

                                                 KAREN L. HAAS,

                                                                 Clerk.