(a) Purpose. In order to accommodate the communication needs of residents and business while protecting the public health, safety and general welfare of the community, the Council finds that these regulations are necessary in order to:
(1) Facilitate the provision of wireless telecommunication services to the residents and businesses of the city;
(2) Minimize adverse visual effects of towers through careful design and siting standards;
(3) Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure through structural standards and setback requirements; and
(4) Maximize the use of existing and approved towers and buildings to accommodate new wireless telecommunication antennas in order to reduce the number of towers needed to serve the community.
(b) Area specific requirements for towers and antennas.
(1) Towers outside the right-of-way in residential zoning districts. Towers shall be allowed only in the following residentially zoned areas:
(A) Towers supporting amateur radio antennas and conforming to all applicable provisions of this code shall be allowed only in the rear yard of residentially zoned parcels.
(B) Towers supporting commercial antennas and conforming to all applicable provisions of this code shall be allowed only in the following residentially zoned locations:
(i) Church sites, when the antenna support structure is fully camouflaged as a bell tower, steeple or similar structure;
(ii) Park sites, when compatible with the nature of the park; and
(iii) Government, school, utility and institutional sites.
(2) Antennas and towers in the public right-of-way. Wireless telecommunication facilities, towers and antennas in the city, county or state right-of-way are also subject to the requirements in Chapter 17, Article IV of this code.
(c) Co-location requirements. All commercial wireless telecommunication towers erected, constructed or located within the city shall comply with the following requirements.
(1) A proposal for a new commercial wireless telecommunication service tower shall not be approved unless the approving body finds that the telecommunications equipment planned for the proposed tower cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved tower or building within a one-mile search radius (one-half mile search radius for towers under 120 feet in height, one-quarter mile search radius for towers under 80 feet in height) of the proposed tower due to one or more of the following reasons:
(a) The planned equipment would exceed the structural capacity of the existing or approved tower or building, as documented by a qualified and licensed professional engineer, and the existing or approved tower cannot be reinforced, modified or replaced to accommodate planned or equivalent equipment at a reasonable cost;
(b) The planned equipment would cause interference materially impacting the usability of other existing or planned equipment at the tower or building as documented by a qualified and licensed professional engineer and the interference cannot be prevented at a reasonable cost;
(c) Existing or approved towers and buildings within the search radius cannot accommodate the planned equipment at a height necessary to function reasonably as documented by a qualified and licensed professional engineer; and/or
(d) Other unforeseen reasons that make it infeasible to locate the planned telecommunications equipment upon an existing or approved tower or building.
(2) Any proposed commercial wireless telecommunication service tower shall be designed, structurally, electrically, and in all respects, to accommodate both the applicant’s antennas and comparable antennas for at least two additional users if the tower is over 100 feet in height or for at least one additional user if the tower is over 60 feet in height. Towers must be designed to allow for future rearrangement of antennas upon the tower and to accept antennas mounted at varying heights.
(d) Tower construction requirements. All towers erected, constructed, or located within the city, and all wiring therefor, shall comply with the requirements set forth of § 15.14 of this code.
(e) Tower and antenna design requirements. Proposed or modified towers and antennas shall meet the following design requirements.
(1) Towers and antennas shall be designed to blend into the surrounding environment through the use of color and camouflaging architectural treatment, except in instances where the color is dictated by federal or state authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration. The use of color or design features to attract attention to the tower is prohibited.
(2) Commercial wireless telecommunication service towers shall be of a monopole design unless the approving body determines that an alternative design would better blend into the surrounding environment.
(f) Tower setbacks. Towers shall conform with each of the following minimum setback requirements.
(1) Towers shall meet the setbacks of the underlying zoning district with the exception of industrial zoning districts, where towers may encroach into the rear setback area, provided that the rear property line abuts another industrially zoned property and the tower does not encroach upon any easements.
(2) Towers shall be set back from the planned public rights-of-way as shown on the most recently adopted Master Street Plan of the city by a minimum distance equal to one-half of the height of the tower including all antennas and attachments.
(3) Towers shall not be located between a principal structure and a public street, with the following exceptions:
(a) In industrial zoning districts, towers may be placed within a side yard abutting an internal industrial street;
(b) On sites adjacent to public streets on all sides, towers may be placed within a side yard abutting a local street; and
(c) Temporary towers erected to support special events and news truck towers may be placed between a principal structure and a public street subject to the time limits of subsection (r) below.
(4) A tower’s setback may be reduced or its location in relation to a public street varied, at the sole discretion of the approving body, to allow the integration of a tower into an existing or proposed structure such as a church steeple, light standard, power line support device or similar structure.
(g) Tower height. All proposed towers shall meet the height restrictions set forth in § 21.301.10 of this chapter.
(h) Tower lighting. Towers shall not be illuminated by artificial means and shall not display strobe lights unless such lighting is specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other federal or state authority for a particular tower. When incorporated into the approved design of the tower, light fixtures used to illuminate ball fields, parking lots or similar areas may be attached to the tower.
(i) Signs and advertising. The use of any portion of a tower for signs other than warning or equipment information signs is prohibited. Towers must not be colored or designed in a manner meant to draw attention.
(j) Associated equipment. Ground equipment associated with a tower or wireless telecommunications facility shall be screened by vegetative or other screening compatible with the surrounding environment if deemed necessary by the Planning Manager or designee. When associated ground equipment is housed in a building or structure, that building or structure shall be architecturally designed to blend in with the surrounding environment and shall meet the minimum tower setback requirements as outlined in § 19.63.05(f). Ground equipment associated with a wireless telecommunications facility may be located on residentially used property only within a utility easement adjacent to the public right-of-way and in conformance with the limitations discussed in § 17.70(d)(3), except in the multi-family zoning districts (R-4, RM-12, RM-24 and RM-50) where ground equipment associated with a wireless telecommunications facility may also be located within a code complying building or structure after receiving the approvals required by this code.
(k) Discontinued or unused towers or portions of towers. Discontinued or unused towers or portions of towers shall be removed as follows.
(1) All discontinued or unused towers and associated facilities shall be removed within 12 months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the Planning Manager. A copy of the relevant portions of a signed lease which requires the applicant to remove the tower and associated facilities upon cessation of operations at the site shall be submitted at the time of application. In the event that a tower is not removed within 12 months of the cessation of operations at a site, the tower and associated facilities may be removed by the city and the costs of removal assessed against the property.
(2) Unused portions of towers above a manufactured connection shall be removed within six months of the time of antenna relocation. The replacement of portions of a tower previously removed requires the issuance of a new conditional use permit.
(l) Antennas mounted on roofs, walls and existing towers. The placement of wireless telecommunication antennas on roofs, walls and existing towers may be approved by the Planning Manager, provided the antennas meet the requirements of this code, after submittal of: 1) a final site and building plan as specified by § 21.501.01 of this code; and 2) a report prepared by a qualified and licensed professional engineer indicating the existing structure or tower’s suitability to accept the antenna, and the proposed method of affixing the antenna to the structure. Complete details of all fixtures and couplings, and the precise point of attachment must be indicated. Antennas must be mounted on the facade of the building or penthouse structure unless the Planning Manager or designee determines that another antenna mounting location decreases the visual impact of the antennas. All roof mounted equipment must be screened from view in accordance with § 21.301.18 of this code.
(n) Additional submittal requirements. In addition to the information required elsewhere in this code, development applications for towers shall include the following supplemental information:
(1) A report from a qualified and licensed professional engineer which:
(A) Describes the tower height and design including a cross section and elevation;
(B) Documents the height above grade for all potential mounting positions for co-located antennas and the minimum separation distances between antennas ;
(C) Describes the tower’s capacity, including the number and type of antennas that it can accommodate;
(D) Documents what steps the applicant will take to avoid interference with established public safety telecommunications;
(E) Includes an engineer’s stamp and registration number; and
(F) Includes other information necessary to evaluate the request.
(2) For all commercial wireless telecommunication service towers, a letter of intent committing the tower owner and his or her successors to allow the shared use of the tower if an additional user agrees in writing to meet reasonable terms and conditions for shared use; and
(3) Before the issuance of a building permit, the following supplemental information shall be submitted:
(A) Proof that the proposed tower complies with regulations administered by Federal Aviation Administration; and
(B) A report from a qualified and licensed professional engineer which demonstrates the tower’s compliance with the aforementioned structural and electrical standards.
(4) A design plan and/or route for backhaul facilities, signed by a qualified and licensed professional engineer.
(o) Violations. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(p) Maintenance. Tower and antenna finish and paint shall be maintained in good condition, free from rust, graffiti, peeling paint or other blemish.
(q) Antenna design and mounts. Applicants shall use antenna designs and mounts that minimize visual impact.
(r) Variances. The following standards apply to variance requests for towers, antennas or wireless telecommunication facilities.
(1) The approving body shall consider the following issues in addition to the variance findings required in § 2.85.04.
(A) The viability of code complying alternative locations for the proposed tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility;
(B) The impacts of the tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility at the proposed site relative to the impacts of the tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility at a code complying alternative location;
(C) The extent to which there is a significant gap in coverage surrounding the proposed tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility or other evidence of inadequate service due to antenna location;
(D) The extent to which the proposed tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility is the least intrusive, lowest impact design available;
(E) The extent to which the height of the proposed tower, antenna or wireless telecommunication facility could be reduced and still provide adequate coverage;
(F) The extent to which the size of the proposed accessory equipment could be reduced; and
(G) The feasibility of placing the proposed accessory equipment underground.
(2) The applicant shall pay the reasonable cost of the city retaining a qualified, independent radio frequency engineer to provide a professional opinion to the approving body if the Planning Manager or designee determines that an independent radio frequency engineer is needed to assist in consideration of subsections (q)(1)(A) through (q)(1)(G) above.
(s) Temporary towers. The following standards apply to structures that meet the definition of “tower” that are not intended to be permanent structures.
(1) Emergencies. Temporary towers erected in response to emergencies may be approved for up to three months by the Planning Manager. Emergency temporary towers must meet all city code requirements applicable to permanent towers.
(2) News truck towers. Towers temporarily erected from vehicles for no more than 24 hours do not require prior approval. News truck towers must meet parking requirements.
(3) Special events. Temporary towers erected to support special events may be approved for up to seven days by the Planning Manager. Temporary towers erected to support special events must meet all city code requirements applicable to permanent towers.
(4) Other temporary towers. All other temporary towers must meet all city code requirements and follow the approval process applicable to permanent towers.
(t) Conflict with state statutes. To the extent that standards in this section are in conflict with applicable provisions in state statutes, the applicable state statute provisions supersede the standards in this section.
(Ord. 96-25, passed 7-1-1996; Ord. 98-17, passed 4-20-1998; Ord. 2001-20, passed 6-18-2001; Ord. 2002-31, passed 9-9-2002; Ord. 2007-41, passed 11-5-2007; Ord. 2008-1, passed 1-14-2008; Ord. 2009-34, passed 11-2-2009; Ord. 2010-1, passed 1-4-2010; Ord. 2010-29, passed 11-1-2010; Ord. 2015-15, passed 5-18-2015; Ord. 2017-15, passed 5-22-2017; Ord. 2019-2, passed 1-7-2019; Ord. 2019-8, passed 1-7-2019; Ord. 2020-27, passed 7-27-2020; Ord. 2020-51, passed 12-21-2020)