(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
ANTENNA. Any structure or device used for the purpose of collecting or transmitting electromagnetic waves, including, but not limited to, directional antennas, such as panels, microwave dishes and satellite dishes, and omni-directional antennas, such as whip antennas.
TOWER. Any ground or roof mounted pole, spire, structure or combination thereof taller than 15 feet, including supporting lines, cables, wires, braces and masts, intended primarily for the purpose of mounting an antenna, meteorological device or similar apparatus above grade.
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct in place, place or re-erect, replace or repair any tower without first making application to the Building and Inspection Division and securing a permit therefor as hereinafter provided.
(2) The applicant shall provide at the time of application sufficient information to indicate that construction, installation and maintenance of the antenna and tower will not create a safety hazard or damage to the property of other persons.
(3) Permits are not required for:
(A) Adjustment or replacement of the elements of an antenna array affixed to a tower or antenna, provided that replacement does not reduce the safety factor; or
(B) Antennas and/or towers erected temporarily for test purposes, for emergency communication, or for broadcast remote pick-up operations, provided that all requirements of subsection (d) below are met, with the exception of subsection (d)(3) below which is waived. Temporary antennas shall be removed within 72 hours following installation.
(c) Fee. The fee to be paid is that prescribed under building permit fees, based on valuation, as set forth in City Code Appendix A.
(d) Construction requirements. All antennas and towers erected, constructed or located within the city, and all wiring therefor, shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) All applicable provisions of this code;
(2) Towers shall be designed by a state licensed professional engineer to conform to the latest structural standards and wind loading requirements of the Minnesota State Building Code and the Electronics Industry Association;
(3) Any antenna or antenna mounting structure, or part thereof placed in the public right-of-way as defined in Chapter 17 of the city code must receive an appropriate right-of-way permit issued through the Public Works Department and must comply with the requirements in Chapter 17, Article IV of the city code;
(4) Towers and associated antennas shall be designed to conform with accepted electrical engineering methods and practices and to comply with the provisions of the National Electrical Code;
(5) All signal and remote control conductors of low energy extending substantially horizontally above the ground between a tower or antenna and a structure, or between towers, shall be at least eight feet above the ground at all points, unless buried underground;
(6) Every tower affixed to the ground shall be protected to discourage climbing of the tower by unauthorized persons;
(7) All towers shall be constructed to conform with the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration;
(8) Antennas and towers shall not be erected on protected residential property as defined in § 19.03 of this code in violation of the following restrictions.
(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 21.301.10 of the Zoning Code, the required setback for antenna and tower not permanently attached to a building, shall be equal to the height of the antenna and tower. Those antennas and towers permanently attached to a building, and whose base is on the ground, may exceed this required setback by the amount equal to the distance from the point of attachment to the ground.
(B) No tower shall be in excess of a height equal to the distance from the base of the antenna and tower to the nearest overhead electrical power line which serves more than one dwelling or place of business, less five feet.
(C) Metal towers shall be constructed of, or treated with, corrosive resistant material. Wood poles shall be impregnated with rot resistant substances.
(9) All towers erected within the city must conform to the applicable performance standards in § 19.63.05 of this code.
(e) Existing antennas and towers. Antennas and towers in residential districts and in existence as of March 15, 1973 which do not conform to or comply with this section are subject to the following provisions.
(1) Towers may continue in use for the purpose now used and as now existing but may not be replaced or structurally altered without complying in all respects with this section.
(2) If such towers are hereafter damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause whatsoever, the tower may be repaired and restored to its former use, location and physical dimensions upon obtaining a building permit therefor, but without otherwise complying with this section; provided, however, that if the cost of repairing the tower to the former use, physical dimensions and location would be 10% or more of the cost of a new tower of like kind and quality, then the tower may not be repaired or restored except in full compliance with this section.
(f) Lights and other attachments. No antenna or tower on protected residential property as defined in § 19.03 of this code shall have affixed or attached to it in any way except during time of repair or installation any lights, reflectors, flashers or other illuminating device, except as required by the Federal Aviation Agency or the Federal Communications Commission, nor shall any tower have constructed thereon, or attached thereto, in any way, any platform, catwalk, crow’s nest or like structure, except during periods of construction or repair.
(g) Number of towers and antennas. Only one tower shall exist at any one time on any one parcel of protected residential property as defined in § 19.03 of this code.
(h) Inspections. All towers may be inspected at least once each year by an official of the Building and Inspection Division to determine compliance with original construction standards. Deviation from original construction for which a permit is obtained constitutes a violation of this section. Notice of violations will be sent by regular mail to the owner and he or she will have 30 days from the date the notification is issued to make repairs. The owner will notify the Building and Inspection Division that the repairs have been made, and as soon as possible thereafter, another inspection will be made and the owner notified of the results.
(i) Violations. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(j) Interpretation. It is not the intention of this section to interfere with, abrogate or annul any covenant or other agreement between parties; provided, however, where this section imposes a greater restriction upon the use or premises for antennas or towers than are imposed or required by other ordinances, rules, regulations or permits, or by covenants or agreements, the provisions of this section shall govern.
(1958 Code, §§ 193.01—193.13) (Ord. 73-14, passed 3-12-1973; Ord. 96-25, passed 7-1-1996; Ord. 2001-20, passed 6-18-2001; Ord. 2008-15, passed 5-5-2008; Ord. 2009-1, passed 1-26-2009; Ord. 2010-29, passed 11-1-2010; Ord. 2022-40, passed 8-29-2022)