ARRL General Counsel Chris Imlay, W3KD, has rebutted assertions, expressed by some, that the Amateur Radio Parity Act of 2015 would represent an unlawful intrusion into “private contracts” and would invalidate architectural limitations and rules regarding the installation of ham radio antennas in residential neighborhoods. Imlay said the argument raised is that no federal legislation should alter private land-use restrictions, since these are contractual obligations. “The contractual characteristic of private land-use regulation has not existed in the United States for a great many years,” he pointed out. Imlay recently expanded on the topic during alengthy interview with HamRadioNow webcast host Gary Pearce, KN4AQ.
“A contract requires a meeting of the minds between the two parties,” Imlay said in his interview with Pearce, which also included ARRL Hudson Division Director Mike Lisenco, N2YBB, a prime mover of the legislation. With no opportunity to negotiate, “you don’t have a contractual relationship at all. Instead, what you have is a preclusion.” Rather than contracts, Imlay explained, private land-use restrictions are limitations placed on the use of land long before the buyer ever shows up, and they have become increasingly difficult to avoid. With more and more neighborhoods imposing CC&Rs, the only choice a radio amateur then has, Imlay told Pearce, is to buy or not to buy a dwelling in a community that may prohibit antennas completely…….
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