Court Rules Excessive Antenna Application Fees Violated Reasonable Accommodation

Long-pending Amateur Radio antenna litigation that ARRL helped to fund has finally borne fruit. The Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department has ruled in the case of Myles Landstein, N2EHG, that the Town of LaGrange, New York, not only overstepped its state-granted authority by assessing excessive fees, but violated the limited federal preemption PRB-1 in the process. PRB-1 requires municipalities and states to “reasonably” accommodate Amateur Radio antennas and to apply the “minimum practicable regulation” in handling Amateur Radio antenna applications. The ruling is slated to be published as a case decision. Landstein had wanted to erect a 70-foot antenna support structure; the Town of LaGrange has a 35-foot height limit.

“This case, which goes back to 2013, was about applying PRB-1 to a situation in which a municipality attempted to thwart the installation and maintenance of ham radio antennas by imposing excessive permit application costs on the ham applicant,” said communications attorney Chris Imlay, W3KD, who is familar with the case. Imlay said the FCC has refused to clarify the cost-prohibition issue as it relates to PRB-1’s “minimum practicable regulation” and reasonable accommodation provisions of PRB-1.

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ARRL BoD Statement on Radio Parity Act

At its annual meeting January 18 – 19, the ARRL Board of Directors decided that the organization needs to “review, re-examine, and reappraise ARRL’s regulatory and legislative policy with regard to private land use restrictions.”

In order to effectively undertake such a review, the Board adopted a resolution to withdraw its December 18 Petition for Rule Making to the FCC, which sought to amend the Part 97 Amateur Service rules to incorporate the provisions of the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA), without prejudice to refiling. The resolution also is asking members of Congress who had refiled legislation to enact the Amateur Radio Parity Act (ARPA) to refrain from seeking to advance that legislation pending further input from ARRL.

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John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, is New ARRL West Gulf Division Director

John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, of Austin, Texas, is the new ARRL West Gulf Division Director. Stratton, the incumbent Vice Director, moved up to the Director’s chair after Director Dr. David Woolweaver, K5RAV, announced his immediate retirement during the ARRL Board of Directors meeting January 18 – 19.

An attorney, Stratton served as West Gulf Division Vice Director since 2009, when he was appointed to succeed Woolweaver, who became Director following the resignation of then-Director Coy Day, N5OK.

Woolweaver served as West Gulf Vice Director from 2000 until 2009, and as Director from 2009 until 2019. During his
tenure, he served on several committees, including the ARRL Board Executive Committee. He is a member of the ARRL Foundation Board of Directors.
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West Gulf Division Newsletter January 2019

A special message from your Director

“Everything that the ARRL undertakes must be 100% for the general good.  That policy bred loyalty and confidence.  With those two things an organization can proper forever.”
Hiram Percy Maxim , September 1927 QST.

History.  I joined the ARRL Board in 2000 as Vice Director after Jim Haynie, W5JBP, was elected President and Coy Day, N5OK, moved up to Director.  That is nearly twenty years ago!  I never thought that I would spend nearly twenty years on the ARRL Board.
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Winter Field Day

Winter Field Day Association (WFDA) is a dedicated group of Amateur Radio Operators who believe that emergency communications in a winter environment is just as important as the preparations and practice that is done each summer but with some additional unique operational concerns.

 We believe as do those entities of ARRL Organizations like ARES & RACES that maintaining your operational skills should not be limited to fair weather scenarios. The addition of Winter Field Day will enhance those already important skills of those that who generously volunteer their time and equipment to these organizations. This is why WFD is open to all licensed amateur radio operators worldwide.

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