Land Development Code :: Back to Table of Contents

Section 1207.15    Telecommunication Facilities

  1. Purpose
    These regulations governing wireless telecommunication facilities are established to
    provide for the construction, erection, maintenance, extension and removal of such
    facilities in certain zoning districts in the City and are related to certain applications
    of technology and engineering in the field of wireless telecommunication. The
    purpose of these regulations is to balance the competing interests created by the
    federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-104) and the interests of
    the City in regulating wireless telecommunication towers and related facilities for the
    following reasons:
    1. To provide for orderly development within the City;

    2. To protect property values;

    3. To maintain the aesthetic appearance of the City, including, but not limited to,
      its unique residential character, unobstructed open spaces, and attractive
      commercial and office/industrial areas;

    4. To protect residential properties, parks, open spaces and the nonintensive
      commercial zoning districts which are characteristic of the City from the
      adverse effects of towers and related facilities;

    5. To promote collocation of wireless telecommunications facilities in order to
      decrease the total number of towers in the City;

    6. To provide for and protect the health, safety and general welfare of the
      residents and visitors of the City.

  2. Applicability
    No person shall construct, erect, maintain, extend, or remove a wireless
    telecommunication facility in the City without compliance with the provisions of this

  3. Minimum Standards for Construction, Erection, Mainenance, Extension and Removal.
    All wireless telecommunication facilities shall comply with the following minimum
    1. Use Regulations:
      1. A wireless telecommunication tower may only be permitted as a
        conditional use in District 8: Industrial/Office Park Development
        Areas. A wireless telecommunication tower is not permitted in any
        other zoning district in the City.
      2. The installation of a wireless telecommunication antenna(s), and the
        expansion of an existing equipment shelter to serve such antenna(s),
        may be permitted as a conditional use on an existing wireless
        telecommunication tower in a residential zoning district.
      3. The installation of a wireless telecommunication antenna(s) where the
        construction or erection of a tower is not proposed by the applicant,
        shall be permitted as an accessory use on existing towers, buildings or
        structures. To the extent the remaining standards of this section are
        applicable to the situation involving the installation of a wireless
        structure, such standards shall govern the installation.

    2. Co-Location:
      1. All applicants for construction or erection of wireless
        telecommunication towers shall be required to construct on a base
        tower structure and structure foundation that is designed to be
        buildable up to, but not including, 200 feet above grade. Such
        structure shall be designed to have sufficient structural loading
        capacity to accommodate at least four (4) antenna platforms or
        antenna arrays of equal loading capacity for four (4) separate
        providers of service to be located on the structure when constructed to
        the maximum allowable height. The wireless telecommunication
        facility shall also be designed to show that the applicant has enough
        space on its site plan for an equipment shelter large enough to
        accommodate at least four (4) separate users of the facility. If an
        equipment shelter is initially constructed to accommodate only one (1)
        user, space shall be reserved on site for equipment shelter expansions
        to accommodate up to at least four (4) separate users. Agreement to
        the provisions of this subsection must be included in the applicant's
        lease with the landowner, if different from the owner/user of the
        tower. Written documentation must be presented to the City Manager
        evidencing that the landowner of the property on which the tower is to
        be located has agreed to the terms of this subsection. As an additional
        condition of issuing a conditional use permit, the owner/user shall
        respond in writing to any inquiries regarding collocation of another
        user of the facility within thirty (30) days after receipt of a written
        inquiry. Copies of all written requests to co-locate and all written
        responses shall be sent to the City Manager.

      2. The applicant requesting permission to install a new tower shall
        provide evidence there is no technically suitable space for the
        applicant's antenna(s) and related facilities reasonably available on an
        existing tower, building or structure within the geographic area to be
        served. With its application, the applicant shall identify the location
        of every tower, building or structure that could support the proposed
        antenna(s) or area where it would be technically suitable to locate so
        as to allow it to serve its intended function. As part of its
        application, the applicant shall provide a scaled map of all of its
        existing, proposed or planned antenna locations within a five- mile
        radius of the site which is the subject of the application.

      3. The applicant must demonstrate that a technically suitable location is
        not reasonably available on an existing tower, building or structure. If
        an existing tower, building or structure is technically suitable, the
        applicant must demonstrate that it has made written request to
        collocate on the existing tower, building or structure and the request
        was rejected by the owner of the tower, building or structure. In all
        circumstances, owners of existing towers shall promptly respond in
        writing to requests for co-location, but in no event shall they respond
        more than thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of a written request
        for co-location. If another telecommunication tower is technically
        suitable, the applicant must further show that it has offered to allow
        the owner of that other tower to co-locate an antenna(s) on another
        tower within the City which is owned or controlled by the applicant, if
        available, on commercially reasonable terms and the offer was not

    3. Spacing. There shall be a separation of a minimum of one-half mile between
      wireless telecommunication towers.

    4. Height. Notwithstanding the height requirements of the underlying zoning
      district, the maximum height of a free-standing wireless telecommunication
      tower, including its antenna and all appurtenances, shall be less than 200 feet
      above grade. The maximum height of any wireless telecommunication
      antenna, installed pursuant to subsection (a)(2) hereof, shall be no greater than
      the height of the existing tower, building or structure to which it is attached.
      The height of any equipment shelter shall not exceed fifteen (15) feet from

    5. Setbacks. All wireless telecommunication towers shall be set back from
      property lines of residentially-zoned or used properties a distance of at least
      five hundred (500) feet. Otherwise, the tower and related facilities shall
      comply with the required setbacks in the zoning district in which they are
      located. In no event shall a wireless telecommunication tower or facility be
      located in front of the principal building on the lot, if any.

    6. Design:
      1. All wireless telecommunication towers should be monopole design,
        and shall be painted light gray in color unless otherwise required by
        state or federal law.
      2. All wireless telecommunication facilities shall be subject to review by
        the Architectural and Historic Board of Review (AHBR) for the
        purpose of enhancing the compatibility of the facilities with their
        surroundings. The color of a wireless telecommunication tower and/or
        antennas shall be as determined by the AHBR for the purpose of
        minimizing its visibility, unless otherwise required by the Federal
        Communications Commission (FCC) or the Federal Aviation
        Administration (FAA).
      3. The wireless telecommunication antennas shall be of a panel design
        and mounted flush to the tower, building or structure which elevates
        the antennas, unless the applicant can demonstrate that it is not
        feasible from an engineering standpoint to use such antennas or to
        mount them in such a fashion.

    7. Landscaping. A landscaped buffer area of not less than fifteen (15) feet in
      depth shall be placed between the wireless communication facilities and the
      public rights- of-way and any adjacent properties from which a direct view
      can be had of the facilities, other than the tower itself. The fifteen(15)-foot
      landscaped buffer shall have a tight screen fence of hardy evergreen
      shrubbery not less than six (6) feet in height. The landscaping shall be
      continuously maintained and promptly restored, if necessary.

    8. Engineering Report. A report shall be prepared and submitted by a qualified
      and licensed professional engineer and shall provide proof of compliance with
      all applicable federal, state, county, and City regulations. The report shall
      include a detailed description of the telecommunication tower, antenna(s),
      equipment shelter, and appurtenances, and shall certify that radio frequency
      (electromagnetic) emissions are in compliance with the regulations of the
      Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

    9. Maintenance:
      1. The applicant shall submit a plan documenting how the wireless
        telecommunication facility will be maintained on the site in an
        ongoing manner that meets industry standards.
      2. On each biennial anniversary of the issuance of the zoning certificate
        for a wireless telecommunication facility, or not more than ninety (90)
        days prior thereto, the owner/user shall submit to the City a report
        prepared by a licensed professional engineer(s) which shall verify
        continued compliance of the facility with all governmental
        requirements including, but not limited to, the structural integrity and
        stability of any towers or antennas, electrical safety standards, and
        auxiliary power source safety standards.

    10. Lighting. Except as required by law, an antenna or a tower shall not be
      illuminated and lighting fixtures or signs shall not be attached to the antenna
      or tower. If lighting is required by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
      regulations, the most visually unobtrusive "state-of-the-art" lighting available
      shall be used, unless otherwise required by the FAA.

    11. Security:
      1. A security fence not less than eight (8) feet in height shall fully
        enclose those portions of the wireless telecommunication facility
        which come in contact with the ground. Gates shall be locked at all
      2. A permanent warning sign with a minimum size of two (2) square feet
        and a maximum size of six (6) square feet shall be posted on the site.
        In addition the sign shall specify an emergency telephone number of
        the owner/user of each set of antennas on the site. The owner/user
        shall also provide the City Manager, the City Fire Department, the
        City Police Department, and the City Emergency Medical Service
        with information on whom to contact, an address, and a telephone
        number in the event of an emergency.

    12. Advertising Prohibited. No advertising sign(s) or devices shall be permitted
      anywhere on a wireless telecommunication facility site.

    13. Outdoor Storage. There shall be no outdoor storage of equipment or other
      items on the wireless telecommunication facility site except during the facility
      construction period and to supply emergency power to the facility only during
      a power outage.

    14. Access to Facility. The access driveway to the wireless telecommunication
      facility shall, whenever feasible, use circulation driveways of the existing use
      on the lot, if any. Where use of an existing driveway is not feasible, the
      driveway to the facility shall be a minimum of eighteen (18) feet in width with
      a minimum overhead clearance of eleven (11) feet and shall be setback a
      minimum of twenty (20) from the nearest side or rear lot line. This driveway
      shall meet the load limitations for fire equipment. If the access road to the
      facility is more than one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet from the public
      right-of-way, a turnaround shall be provided for emergency vehicles at the site
      and a by-pass, adequate for emergency vehicles, with an approachable access
      shall be provided for each additional one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet of
      the driveway. There shall be a maximum of one (1) off-street parking space
      on the facility site.

    15. Accessory Equipment Shelter. The maximum cumulative total size of all
      equipment shelters accessory to a telecommunication tower or antenna on a lot
      shall be 1000 square feet and their maximum height shall not exceed fifteen
      feet from grade. Only one (1) equipment shelter, or the configuration of
      more than one (1) shelter appearing as (1) shelter, shall be permitted on a lot.
      Where it is technically feasible and reasonably practical, an existing building
      or structure on a lot shall be used to shelter the equipment associated with a
      wireless telecommunication facility.

    16. Undergrounding of Utilities. All utility lines from the utility source to the
      wireless telecommunication facility shall be underground.

    17. Time Limit for Commencement and Completion. After issuance of a zoning
      certificate to construct a wireless telecommunication facility, the applicant
      shall commence construction within six (6) months and shall complete
      construction within one (1) year or the zoning certificate shall expire.

    18. Abandonment and Removal of Facilities.
      1. If at any time the use of the wireless telecommunication facility is
        discontinued for 180 consecutive days, said facility shall be deemed
        abandoned. The City Manager shall notify the owner/user in writing
        and advise that the facility must be reactivated within ninety (90) days
        or it must be dismantled and removed from the site within that same
        ninety (90)-day period at the cost of the owner/user. The owner/user
        of the wireless telecommunication facility shall, on no less than an
        annual basis from the date of issuance of the zoning certificate, file a
        declaration with the City Manager as to the continuing operation of
        each of its facilities within the City.
      2. The applicant for the wireless telecommunication facility shall be
        required as a condition of issuance of a zoning certificate to post a
        cash or surety bond acceptable to the City Solicitor of not less than
        $100.00 per vertical foot from grade of the wireless
        telecommunication facility, which bond shall insure that an
        abandoned, obsolete or destroyed wireless telecommunication antenna
        or tower shall be removed within 90 days of cessation of use or
        abandonment. Any successor-in-interest or assignee of the applicant
        shall be required to additionally execute such bond, as principal, to
        insure that the bond will be in place during the period of time that the
        successor-in-interest or assignee occupies the facility.

  4. Exemption of Certain City Property
    Regardless of the provisions of this Section, a wireless telecommunication facility
    may be permitted on any property owned or controlled by the City and used for public
    services and shall be constructed, erected, maintained, extended and removed under
    such conditions, standards and regulations as required by the City Council.