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H.12

AN ACT RELATING TO MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF AMATEUR RADIO ANTENNAS

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  POLICY

The General Assembly finds that it is the policy of the state of Vermont that amateur radio use and amateur radio antennas and support structures protect and promote the public interest by providing important communications support to both government and the public during times of emergency when other communications infrastructure is disabled or overburdened and by presenting the public with an opportunity for public service, self-training, communications, and technical investigation.

Sec. 2.  24 V.S.A. § 2296 is added to read:

§ 2296.  REGULATION OF AMATEUR RADIO

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Amateur radio” means the use of amateur radio and amateur satellite radio frequencies and services by qualified and federally authorized persons of any age who are interested in radio technique without pecuniary interest.

(2)  “Antenna” means an array of wires, tubing, or the like used for the transmission and reception of radio waves.

(3)  “Antenna support structure” means a structure or framework that is designed to elevate an antenna above the ground for the purpose of increasing the effective communications range and reliability of an amateur radio station.  Amateur radio antenna support structures are removable by design and therefore are a removable structure for assessment purposes.

(b)  Notwithstanding subdivision 2291(19) of this title, a municipal ordinance regulating amateur radio antenna or amateur radio antenna support structures shall comply with the requirements of 47 C.F.R. § 97.15(b), as amended from time to time, by allowing for the erection of an amateur radio antenna or an amateur radio antenna support structure at a height and dimension sufficient to accommodate amateur radio service communications.

Sec. 3.  24 V.S.A. § 4306(b) is amended to read:

(b)  Disbursement to regional planning commissions shall be according to a formula to be adopted by rule under chapter 25 of Title 3 by the department for the assistance of the regional planning commissions.  The rules shall give due consideration to the region’s progress in adopting a regional plan.  Disbursement to municipalities shall be through a competitive program administered by the department providing the opportunity for any eligible municipality or municipalities to compete regardless of size, provided that to receive funds, a municipality:

(1)  Shall be confirmed under section 4350 of this title; or

(2)(A)  Shall use the funds for the purpose of developing a municipal plan to be submitted for approval by the regional planning commission, as required for municipal confirmation under section 4350 of this title; and

(B)  Shall have voted at an annual or special meeting to provide local funds for municipal and regional planning purposes; or

(3)  Shall certify that it complies with the requirements of subsection 2296(b) of this title or is applying for a disbursement from the fund in order to come into compliance with the requirements of subsection 2296(b) of this title.

Sec. 4.  DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY AFFAIRS

         REPORT

On or before January 15, 2007, the department of housing and community affairs shall report to the house and senate committees on government operations concerning municipal permitting and siting of amateur radio antennas and amateur radio antenna structures and municipal compliance with the requirements of 24 V.S.A. § 2296(b).  In developing the report, the department shall consult with representatives of the amateur radio operators of Vermont and shall include the recommendations and input of such representatives in the report to the general assembly.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us