Legislature(2001 - 2002)

03/07/2001 01:37 PM CRA

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
           SB  78-MUNICIPAL REGULATION OF RADIO ANTENNAS                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR AUSTERMAN,  co-sponsor, explained  that SB 78 requires  that                                                            
local zoning  authorities reasonably  accommodate the antenna  needs                                                            
of   amateur   radio   operators   thus   following    the   Federal                                                            
Communications Commission (FCC) 1985 ruling.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
Historically,  amateur radio operators are there to  aid communities                                                            
during times of disaster  working along side government agencies and                                                            
officials.  Their  role  was  important   in  the 1964  earthquake,                                                             
Miller's Reach  Fire, Juneau/Thane Avalanche and the  Turnagain Pass                                                            
Avalanche.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
SB 78 assures that amateur  radio will be there to provide emergency                                                            
and public  service communications  support when it is next  needed.                                                            
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  PHILLIPS said  he  has 1964  earthquake  experience and  he                                                            
supports the bill.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON made  note of the sponsor's statement and letters                                                            
of support included in  committee packets. He then called for public                                                            
testimony.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
LARRY  HALVERSON,   Kenai  Peninsula  Amateur  Radio   Club  member,                                                            
testified  in  support   of  the  bill  in  theory  but   questioned                                                            
"reasonable  and customary  engineering practices"  on page  1, line                                                            
9,   because  this   doesn't   make  clear   who   will  make   that                                                            
determination.  Next, he asked for clarification on  page l line 15,                                                            
where tower  height restrictions are  addressed. He thought  current                                                            
wording might  be misinterpreted as  limiting minimum tower  heights                                                            
to those listed.  It would be clearer  if it said "should  not be in                                                            
excess of 75  feet 140 feet and 200  feet as stated." He  next asked                                                            
whether   this  would  supersede   any  current   borough   or  city                                                            
restrictions.  Finally, he  asked whether  a grandfather clause  was                                                            
implied.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN  TORGERSON  said  there  was  no  grandfather  clause.  His                                                            
interpretation  of  wording on  line  9, is  that application  to  a                                                            
planning commission  would be required to receive  a city permit for                                                            
a tower.  He thought  wording  on line  15 should  read "not  higher                                                            
than" instead of "not lower  than." He thanked Mr. Halverson for his                                                            
participation and asked  whether there were any radio towers he knew                                                            
of that are higher than 200 feet.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. HALVERSON said he didn't  know of any that exceeded 200 feet but                                                            
there is  one in the  city limits  of Kenai that  is 125 feet  so it                                                            
would not be legal under subsection (3).                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said he supports the bill and  the intent is not                                                            
to force  operators to dismantle  their antennas.  He said  he would                                                            
work on a grandfather clause.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ED BLACK, Kenai  Peninsula Amateur  Radio Club, said he agrees  with                                                            
Mr. Halverson's comments.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
CHAIRMAN TORGERSON  said he would hold the bill to  make the changes                                                            
and bring it back before the committee the following week.                                                                      

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