§ 158.039  UTILITY EQUIPMENT AND TOWERS.
   (A)   Allowed uses.  The following uses, exclusive of communications towers, are allowed in any district and are exempt from lot area, lot width, and yard requirements: overhead electric and telephone lines; underground utility lines and distributing equipment; conduits; vaults; pipeline laterals; mains; traffic signals; telephone booths and pedestals; sewerage pumping stations; sewerage treatment plants; water filtration plants; reservoirs; the structures in which these uses are housed; and other similar installations and equipment or accessories of public utility nature. However, the plans for overhead electric transmission lines of 69 kilovolts or more, cross-country telephone trunk lines, or a transmission pipeline shall be submitted before the beginning of construction to the Planning Commission for its review and approval, based upon consistency with the Master Plan.
   (B)   Conditional uses.  The following uses, exclusive of communications towers, shall be conditional uses in all zoning districts: buildings, yards, stations or substations for transforming, boosting, switching, or pumping purposes where such facilities are constructed above ground; and telephone exchanges.
   (C)   Communications towers.
      (1)   Communications towers are prohibited in all Residence Districts, the H District, and the MHP District.
      (2)   Communications towers are permitted as a conditional use in the A District and in the C District subject to the conditions and exceptions noted hereafter, imposed elsewhere in this division (C), imposed elsewhere in this chapter, imposed elsewhere by law, and subject to the following:
         (a)   A minimum setback of a distance equaling the height of the tower. The setback shall be measured from the base of the tower to the boundary line of the property owned, leased, or controlled by easement by the applicant;
         (b)   Subject to a minimum distance requirement of a distance equaling the height of the tower plus 200 feet from all Residence Districts, the H District, and the MHP District or the nearest part of any existing dwelling, school, religious establishment, or institution for human care, in any other district;
         (c)   Subject to a minimum setback from all overhead transmission lines of a distance equaling two times the height of the tower and all masts; and
         (d)   Subject to site plan approval by the Planning Commission pursuant to § 155.059.
      (3)   Communications towers and tower complexes are permitted as a principal permitted use in the C-2 and C-3 Districts, and as a conditional use in the C-1 and Employment Campus Districts, subject to the conditions and exceptions noted hereafter, imposed elsewhere in this subsection, imposed elsewhere in this chapter, imposed elsewhere by law, and subject to the following:
         (a)   A minimum setback of a distance equaling the height of the tower. The setback shall be measured from the base of the tower to the boundary line of the property owned, leased, or controlled by easement by the applicant;
         (b)   Subject to a minimum distance requirement of a distance equaling the height of the tower plus 200 feet from all Residence Districts, the H District, and the MHP District or the nearest part of any existing dwelling, school, religious establishment, or institution for human care, in any other district;
         (c)   Subject to a minimum setback from all overhead transmission lines of a distance equaling two times the height of the tower and all masts; and
         (d)   Subject to site plan approval by the Planning Commission pursuant to § 155.059.
      (4)   Communications towers and tower complexes are permitted as a principal permitted use in the Industrial Districts subject to the conditions and exceptions noted hereafter, imposed elsewhere in this division (C), imposed elsewhere in this chapter, imposed elsewhere by law, and subject to the following:
         (a)   A minimum setback of a distance equaling twice the height of the towers. The setback shall be measured from the base of the tower to the boundary line of the property owned, leased, or controlled by easement by the applicant;
         (b)   Subject to a minimum distance requirement of a distance equaling twice the height of the tower plus 200 feet from all Residence Districts, the H District, and the MHP District or the nearest part of any existing dwelling, school, religious establishment, or institution for human care, in any other district;
         (c)   Subject to a minimum setback from all overhead transmission lines of a distance equaling two times the height of the tower and all masts; and
         (d)   Subject to site plan approval by the Planning Commission pursuant to § 155.059.
      (5)   Communications towers erected on existing structures other than communications towers shall be allowed in any district, provided that the height of the tower does not exceed one-third of the height of the existing structure and the total height of the existing structure and tower does not exceed 200 feet.
      (6)   The issuance of permit is as follows:
         (a)   No permit to construct a communications tower may be issued unless the applicant demonstrates to the Zoning Administrator or, where applicable, to the BZA, need for the tower and that the applicant has exhausted all alternatives to constructing a tower. To that end, before an application may be accepted, applicants are required to submit a written location analysis detailing need for the tower. The location analysis shall be reviewed by a qualified firm, corporation, or person chosen by the county as a telecommunications consultant. The consultant shall be selected competitively, and fees shall be reasonable and commensurate with time spent on the review. The entire fee of the county’s consultant for the review shall be paid by the applicant. To ensure timely completion of the review, the applicant shall submit all information requested by the county or its consultant. Evidence submitted to demonstrate that no existing tower, structure, or alternative technology can accommodate the applicant’s proposed antenna may consist of any of the following:
            1.   No existing towers or structures are located within the geographic area which meet the applicant’s engineering requirements;
            2.   Existing towers or structures are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant’s engineering requirements;
            3.   Existing towers or structures do not have sufficient structural strength to support the applicant’s proposed antenna and related equipment;
            4.   The applicant’s proposed antenna would cause electromagnetic interference with the antenna on the existing towers or structures or the antenna on the existing towers or structures would cause interference with the applicant’s proposed antenna;
            5.   The fees, costs, or contractual provisions required by the owner in order to share an existing tower or structure or to adapt an existing tower or structure for sharing are unreasonable. Costs exceeding new tower development are presumed to be unreasonable;
            6.   The applicant demonstrates that there are other limiting factors that render existing towers and structures unsuitable; and
            7.   The applicant demonstrates that an alternative technology that does not require the use of towers or structures, such as a cable microcell network using multiple low-powered transmitters/receivers attached to a wire-line system, is unsuitable. Costs of alternative technology that exceed new tower or antenna development shall not be presumed to render the technology unsuitable.
         (b)   Upon receipt of all information requested by the county and the completion of the review of the location analysis, an application shall be accepted for processing by the county. In the event of a disagreement as to need for the tower after a complete exchange of all information between the applicant and the county, the BZA shall rule on this issue at the hearing on the application.
      (7)   An application for a zoning certificate for a communications tower must be accompanied by an affidavit from the applicant stating that space on the proposed tower will be made available to future users, when possible.
      (8)   Except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other federal or state agencies, no tower may use artificial lighting or strobe lighting at night.
      (9)   An applicant for a zoning certificate for a communications tower must execute an agreement with the county, in a form legally sufficient to the county, requiring the removal of the tower within six months after the tower ceases to function as a communications tower.
      (10)   In reviewing any application or site plan under this section, among other things, an agency shall consider the extent to which the proposed use seeks to:
         (a)   Minimize adverse visual effects of towers through careful design, siting, and vegetative screening;
         (b)   Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure and falling ice through engineering and careful siting of tower structures;
         (c)   Lessen traffic impacts on surrounding residential areas;
         (d)   Maximize the use of new communications transmission towers in order to reduce the number of towers needed; and
         (e)   Demonstrate that comparable sites are not available in nonresidential or rural areas, where the use is proposed in a residential or conservation zone when otherwise protected from residential development.
      (11)   The Zoning Administrator, BZA, and the Planning Commission may refer any application to appropriate agencies for comments.
   (D)   Additional provisions.  The provisions of this section shall be subject to §§ 158.049 and 158.071(C)(9).
   (E)   Conveyor systems.
      (1)   Conveyor systems shall be a principal permitted use in I-2 and I-1 Industrial Zoning Districts and A District and shall be a conditional use in all other zoning districts, except for Residential Districts. In considering an application for a conditional use, and in considering site plan approval, the BZA and Planning Commission shall consider whether the proposed conveyor system is more beneficial to the community at large than alternative systems for the transportation of materials, for example, railroad, or truck transportation. In comparing the proposed conveyor system to alternative transportation systems, the BZA and Planning Commission may consider the following factors:
         (a)   Noise, dust control, odors, air emissions, and compliance with current environmental regulations;
         (b)   Traffic congestion and wear and tear on public infrastructure;
         (c)   Impacts upon fire, police, or emergency response services; or
         (d)   Any of the limitations, guides, and standards contained in § 158.133(G).
      (2)   Except in industrially zoned areas, conveyor systems shall be underground at all road crossings.
      (3)   Conveyor systems are exempt from lot area, lot width, setback and yard requirements, except for separation distance requirements described in division (E)(4) below.
      (4)   Separation distance requirements are as follows:
         (a)   In A and C Districts, the conveyor system shall be located the greater of three times its height above ground; or 150 feet from any existing residential structure or from a property line in any Residential District;
         (b)   This division (E)(4) supersedes the distance requirements of § 158.040; and
         (c)   The separation distance requirements of this division (E)(4) shall not apply to permitted residential structures which are constructed after the date of conditional use approval or site plan approval.
      (5)   The maximum decibel level caused by the operation of the conveyor system at any receiving property line shall not exceed 65 dBA during daytime hours and 55 dBA during nighttime hours as those terms are defined in § 93.02 of the County Code.
      (6)   Conveyor systems shall be subject to site plan approval in accordance with § 155.059. The Planning Commission may impose additional requirements as necessary to preserve human health, safety, and welfare, and may consider design, siting, and vegetative screening to minimize adverse effects.
(Ord. 2019-06, passed 12-12-2019)  Penalty, see § 158.999