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(A) Purpose and legislative intent. The purpose of this section is to establish general guidelines for the locating, collocating, modifying or upgrading of telecommunications towers, antenna, ground equipment and related accessory structures. It is the intent of this section to:
(1) Promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the public by regulating the locating of telecommunication facilities.
(2) Minimize the impacts of telecommunication facilities on surrounding land uses by establishing standards for location, structural integrity, and compatibility.
(3) Encourage the location and collocation of telecommunication equipment on existing structures thereby minimizing new visual, aesthetic, and public safety impacts, effects upon the natural environment and wildlife, and to reduce the need for additional towers.
(4) Accommodate the growing need and demand for new and upgraded telecommunication services.
(5) Encourage coordination between suppliers and providers of personal telecommunication services.
(6) Establish predictable and balanced codes governing the construction and location of telecommunications facilities within the confines of permissible local regulations.
(7) Establish review procedures to ensure that applications for telecommunications facilities are reviewed and acted upon within a reasonable period of time as required by applicable state and federal regulations.
(8) Respond to the policies embodied in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 so that no discrimination between providers of functionally equivalent personal wireless services occurs, or to prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting personal wireless services.
(9) Respond to the policies in Section 6409 of the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 USC § 1445(a)).
(10) Protect the character of the town while meeting the needs of its citizens to enjoy the benefits of telecommunication services.
(11) Encourage the use of public lands, buildings, and structures as locations for telecommunications infrastructure demonstrating concealed technologies and revenue generating methodologies.
(B) Authority. The provisions of this section are permitted under authority granted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina with particular reference to Article 6 of Chapter 153A of the North Carolina General Statues.
(C) Specific telecommunication definitions.
ALTERNATIVE STRUCTURE. A structure that is not primarily constructed for the purpose of holding antennas but on which one or more antennas may be mounted, including, but not limited to buildings, water tanks, pole signs, billboards, church steeples, and electric power transmission towers.
AMATEUR RADIO TOWER. Any tower used for amateur radio transmissions consistent with the "Complete FCC U.S. Amateur Part 97 Rules and Regulations" for amateur radio towers.
ANCILLARY STRUCTURE. Any form of development associated with a communications facility, including, but not limited to foundations, concrete slabs on grade, guy anchors, generators, and transmission cable supports, but excluding equipment cabinets.
ANTI-CLIMBING DEVICE. A piece or pieces of equipment designed to prevent people from climbing the structure.
ANTENNA. Any apparatus designed for the transmitting and/or receiving of communication signals, including, but not limited to telephonic, radio and television communications.
ANTENNA ARRAY. A single or group of antenna elements and associated mounting hardware, transmission lines, or other appurtenances which share a common attachment device such as a mounting frame or mounting support structure for the sole purpose of transmitting or receiving communication signals.
ANTENNA ELEMENT. Any antenna or antenna array.
ANTENNA MODIFICATION. See COLLOCATION.
ANTENNA UPGRADE. See COLLOCATION.
ASR. The Antenna Structure Registration Number as required by the FAA and FCC.
BASE STATION. The electronic equipment utilized at the base of a tower for the transmission and reception of communication signals.
BREAKPOINT TECHNOLOGY. The engineering design of a tower wherein a specified point on the tower is designed to have stresses concentrated so that the point is at least 5% more susceptible to failure than any other point. In the event of a structural failure, the failure will occur at the breakpoint rather than at the base plate, anchor bolts, or any other point on the tower.
BROADCAST FACILITIES. Towers, antennas, and/or antenna arrays for AM/FM/TV/HDTV broadcasting transmission facilities that are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
COLLOCATION. The practice of installing and operating multiple wireless carriers, service providers, and/or radio common carrier licensees on the same tower or attached communication facility using different and separate antenna, feed lines, and radio frequency generating equipment.
COMBINED ANTENNA. An antenna or an antenna array designed and utilized to provide services for more than one wireless provider, or a single wireless provider utilizing more than one frequency band or spectrum, for the same or similar type of services.
CONCEALED. A tower, ancillary structure, or equipment compound that is not readily identifiable as such, and is designed to be aesthetically compatible with the natural environment or existing and proposed building(s) and uses on a site. There are two types of concealed facilities:
(a) ANTENNA ATTACHMENTS. These include painted antenna and feed lines to match the color of a building or structure, faux windows, dormers or other architectural features that blend with an existing or proposed building or structure.
(b) FREESTANDING. Freestanding concealed tower's usually have a secondary, obvious function which may include church steeple, windmill, bell tower, clock tower, light standard, flagpole with or without a flag, or tree.
DEVELOPMENT AREA. The area occupied by a communications facility including areas inside or under an antenna-support structure's framework, equipment cabinets, ancillary structures, and/or access ways.
DISCONTINUED. Any tower without any mounted transmitting and/or receiving antennas in continued use for a period of 180 consecutive days.
DISTRIBUTED ANTENNA SYSTEM (DAS). A network of smaller, spatially separated antenna nodes located within the public right-of-way and installed on either existing or new utility poles and connected to a communications network. A DAS network splits the transmitted signal among several smaller antennas to provide coverage and reliability over the same area as a single traditional tower/antenna.
EQUIPMENT COMPOUND. The fenced-in area surrounding the base station equipment including the areas inside or under a tower's framework and ancillary structures such as equipment necessary to operate the antenna on the structure that is above the base flood elevation including cabinets, shelters, pedestals, and other similar structures.
EQUIPMENT CABINET. Any structure above the base flood elevation including cabinets, shelters, pedestals, and other similar structures and used exclusively to contain radio or other equipment necessary for the transmission or reception of communication signals.
FAA. The Federal Aviation Administration.
FCC. The Federal Communications Commission.
FEED LINES. Cables used as the interconnecting media between the transmission/receiving base station and the antenna.
FLUSH-MOUNTED. Any antenna or antenna array attached directly to the face of the support structure or building such that no portion of the antenna extends above the height of the support structure or building. Where a maximum flush-mounting distance is given, that distance shall be measured from the outside edge of the support structure or building to the inside edge of the antenna.
GEOGRAPHIC SEARCH RING. An area designated by a wireless provider or operator for a new base station, produced in accordance with generally accepted principles of wireless engineering.
HANDOFF CANDIDATE. A wireless communication facility that receives call transference from another wireless facility.
LEAST VISUALLY OBTRUSIVE PROFILE. The design of a communication facility and its equipment to present a visual profile that is the minimum profile necessary for the facility to properly function.
NON-CONCEALED. A tower, ancillary structure, or equipment compound that is readily identifiable as such and can be either freestanding or attached.
PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE. Commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services as defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
PUBLIC SAFETY COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT. All communications equipment utilized by a public entity for the purpose of ensuring the safety its citizens and operating within the frequency range of 700 MHz and 1,000 MHz and any future spectrum allocations at the direction of the FCC.
RADIO FREQUENCY EMISSIONS. Any electromagnetic radiation or other communications signal emitted from an antenna or antenna-related equipment on the ground, tower, building, or other vertical projection.
RADIO FREQUENCY PROPAGATION ANALYSIS. Computer modeling to show the level of signal saturation in a given geographical area.
SATELLITE EARTH STATION. A single or group of parabolic or dish antennas mounted to a support device that may be a pole or truss assembly attached to a foundation in the ground, or in some other configuration, including the associated separate equipment cabinets necessary for the transmission or reception of communications signals with satellites.
STRUCTURE. Anything constructed or erected, the use of which required permanent location on the ground, or attachment to something having a permanent location on the ground, including advertising signs.
TOWER. Any staffed or unstaffed location for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals or other wireless communications, and usually consisting of an antenna or group of antennas, transmission cables, equipment cabinets, and may include a tower. The following developments shall be deemed a communications facility: new, mitigated, or existing towers, public towers, replacement towers, collocation on existing towers, attached wireless communications facilities, concealed wireless communication facilities, and non-concealed wireless communication facilities. Towers do not include any device used to attach antennas to an existing building, unless the device extends above the highest point of the building by more than 20 feet. Types of support structures include the following:
(a) GUYED. A style of tower consisting of a single truss assembly composed of sections with bracing incorporated. The sections are attached to each other, and the assembly is attached to a foundation and supported by a series of wires that are connected to anchors placed in the ground or on a building.
(b) LATTICE. A tapered style of tower that consists of vertical and horizontal supports with multiple legs and cross bracing, and metal crossed strips or bars to support antennas.
(c) MONOPOLE. A style of freestanding tower consisting of a single shaft usually composed of two or more hollow sections that are in turn attached to a foundation. This type of tower is designed to support itself without the use of guy wires or other stabilization devices. These facilities are mounted to a foundation that rests on or in the ground or on a building's roof. All feed lines shall be installed within the shaft of the structure.
TOWER BASE. The foundation, usually concrete, on which the tower and other support equipment are situated. For measurement calculations, the tower base is that point on the foundation reached by dropping a perpendicular from the geometric center of the tower.
TOWER HEIGHT. The vertical distance measured from finished grade to the highest point of the tower, including any antenna, lighting or other equipment affixed thereto.
TOWER SITE. The land area that contains, or will contain, a proposed tower, support structures and other related buildings and improvements.
(D) Exemptions. The following items are exempt from the provisions of this section:
(1) Any amateur radio tower less than 50 feet in height or communications towers existing or permitted prior to the adoption of this section.
(2) Satellite earth stations that are one meter (39.37 inches) or less in diameter in all residential zoning districts and two meters or less in all other zoning districts.
(3) A government-owned communications facility, upon the declaration of a state of emergency by federal, state, or local government, and a written determination of public necessity by the town designee; except that such facility must comply with all federal and state requirements. No communications facility shall be exempt from this section beyond the duration of the state of emergency.
(4) A government-owned communications facility erected for the purposes of installing antenna(s) and ancillary equipment necessary to provide communications for public health and safety.
(5) A temporary, commercial communications facility, for the purposes of providing coverage of a special event such as news coverage or sporting event, subject to approval by the town, except that such facility must comply with all federal and state requirements. Said communications facility may be exempt from this section for up to one week following the special event.
(E) Applicability. Unless specifically exempted above, this section applies to development activity involving the installation, construction, or modification of all antenna and tower facilities. This includes but is not limited to:
(1) Non-commercial, amateur radio station antennas.
(2) Existing towers.
(3) Proposed towers.
(4) Public towers.
(5) Mitigation of towers.
(6) Collocation on existing towers.
(7) Attached wireless communications facilities.
(8) Concealed wireless communications facilities.
(9) Non-concealed towers.
(10) Broadcast facilities.
(F) Abandonment (discontinued use).
(1) Towers, antennas, and the equipment compound shall be removed at the owner's expense should the facility/tower not have active antennas in use for a period of 180 days.
(2) An owner wishing to extend the time for removal or reactivation shall submit an application stating the reason for such extension. The town may extend the time for removal or reactivation up to 60 additional days upon a showing of good cause. If the tower or antenna is not removed within this time, the town may give notice that it will contract for removal within 30 days following written notice to the owner. Thereafter, the town may cause removal of the tower with costs being borne by the owner.
(3) Upon removal of the tower, antenna, and equipment compound, the development area shall be returned to its natural state and topography and vegetated consistent with the natural surroundings or consistent with the current uses of the surrounding or adjacent land at the time of removal, excluding the foundation, which does not have to be removed.
(G) Conflict with other laws or regulations. When the requirements of this section conflict with the requirements of other lawfully adopted rules, regulations, or ordinances of the town, state or federal government, or deeds restrictions imposed by the developer or subdivider, the more stringent requirements shall govern.
(H) Interference with public safety communications. In order to facilitate the regulation, placement, and construction of antenna, and to ensure that all parties are complying to the fullest extent possible with the rules, regulations, and/or guidelines of the FCC, each owner of an antenna, antenna array or applicant for a collocation shall agree in a written statement to the following:
(1) Compliance with "Good Engineering Practices" as defined by the FCC in its rules and regulations.
(2) Compliance with FCC regulations regarding susceptibility to radio frequency interference, frequency coordination requirements, general technical standards for power, antenna, bandwidth limitations, frequency stability, transmitter measurements, operating requirements, and any and all other federal statutory and regulatory requirements relating to radio frequency interference (RFI).
(3) In the case of an application for co-located telecommunications facilities, the applicant, together with the owner of the subject site, shall use their best efforts to provide a composite analysis of all users of the site to determine that the applicant's proposed facilities will not cause radio frequency interference with the town's public safety communications equipment and will implement appropriate technical measures, as described in antenna element replacements, to attempt to prevent such interference.
(4) Whenever the town has encountered radio frequency interference with its public safety communications equipment, and it believes that such interference has been or is being caused by one or more antenna arrays, the following steps shall be taken:
(a) The town shall provide notification to all wireless service providers operating in the town of possible interference with the public safety communications equipment, and upon such notifications, the owners shall use their best efforts to cooperate and coordinate with the town and among themselves to investigate and mitigate the interference, if any, utilizing the procedures set forth in the joint wireless industry-public safety "Best Practices Guide," released by the FCC in February 2001, including the "Good Engineering Practices," as may be amended or revised by the FCC from time to time.
(b) If any equipment owner fails to cooperate with the town in complying with the owner's obligations under this section or if the FCC makes a determination of radio frequency interference with the town public safety communications equipment, the owner who failed to cooperate and/or the owner of the equipment which caused the interference shall be responsible, upon FCC determination of radio frequency interference, for reimbursing the town for all costs associated with ascertaining and resolving the interference, including but not limited to any engineering studies obtained by the town to determine the source of the interference. For the purposes of this subsection, failure to cooperate shall include failure to initiate any response or action as described in the "Best Practices Guide" within 24 hours of town's notification.
(I) Building code requirements. Towers shall be constructed and maintained in conformance with all applicable building code requirements.
(J) Zoning process levels. Table 3-1 below indicates the zoning process for the different types of tower projects.
Table 3-1 Process
Amateur radio no greater than fifty (50) feet in height
DAS network equipment, concealed towers, collocation, attached antennas, base station equipment
New towers other than those defined as concealed
1. P - Permitted by right
TRC - Subject to Technical Review Committee approval (staff level)
TC - Subject to Special Use Permit approval by Town Council
(1) Process Level I. The Zoning Compliance Permit issued by the Planning Department to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of amateur radio tower.
(2) Process Level II. The Zoning Compliance Permit issued by the Planning Department (after Technical Review Committee approval) to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the installation of DAS network equipment or concealed towers and collocation, attached antennas, base station equipment or antenna element replacements.
(3) Process Level III. The Special Use Permit issued by the Planning Department (after public hearing and approval by Town Council) to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of new towers, excluding amateur radio towers.
(4) Process Level IV. The Special Use Permit issued by the Planning Department (after public hearing and approval by Town Council) to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of new towers, specifically broadcast facilities.
(K) Locating alternatives order.
(1) Locating of new antenna array and new towers. Locating of a new antenna array and new tower shall be in accordance with the preferred location hierarchy provided in Table 3-2 below.
Table 3-2 Preferred Location Hierarchy
Concealed attached antenna
Collocated/combined/DAS antenna on existing tower
Replacement of existing tower
Non-concealed attached antenna
Concealed freestanding tower
Non-concealed freestanding tower
(2) Locating of attached, collocated, DAS, and combined antenna. For attached, co-located, or combined antenna, the order of ranking preference, highest to lowest, shall follow the same ranking as provided in Table 3-2 above. Where a lower ranked alternative is proposed, the applicant must file relevant information as required including, but not limited to, an affidavit by a radio frequency engineer demonstrating that despite diligent efforts to adhere to the established hierarchy within the geographic search area, higher ranked options are not technically feasible, practical or justified given the location of the proposed communications facility.
(3) Replacement of existing tower. For replacement of an existing tower, the order of ranking preference from highest to lowest shall follow the same ranking as provided in Table 3-2 above. Where a lower ranked alternative is proposed, the applicant must file relevant information as required including, but not limited to, an affidavit by a radio frequency engineer demonstrating that despite diligent efforts to adhere to the established hierarchy within the geographic search area, higher ranked options are not technically feasible, practical or justified given the location of the proposed communications facility.
(4) Freestanding towers. Where a freestanding tower is permitted, the order of ranking preference from highest to lowest shall follow the same ranking as provided in Table 3-2 above. Where a lower ranked alternative is proposed, the applicant must file relevant information as required and demonstrate higher ranked options are not technically feasible, practical, or justified given the location of the proposed communications facility, and the existing land uses of the subject and surrounding properties within 300 feet of the subject property.
(L) Application requirements. All tower applications shall contain the following:
(1) Completion of the Town of Clayton's Site Plan and Tower Application.
(2) Proof that a property and/or tower owner's agent has appropriate authorization to act upon the owner's behalf, if applicable.
(3) Application fee.
(4) Site plan.
(5) Written statement indicating that the criteria set forth in § 155.310(H) are met.
(6) For new towers: A determination of need demonstrating that no existing tower can accommodate the applicant's proposed use; or that use of such existing facilities would prohibit personal wireless services in the geographic search area to be served by the proposed tower.
(7) Valid FCC license/approval, as applicable.
(M) General development standards.
(a) New towers shall be configured and located in a manner that shall minimize adverse effects including visual impacts on the landscape and adjacent properties.
(b) New freestanding towers shall be designed to match adjacent structures and landscapes with specific design considerations such as architectural designs, height, scale, color, and texture.
(c) A balloon test shall be required subsequent to the receipt of the photo simulations in order to demonstrate the proposed height of the new tower. The applicant shall arrange to raise a colored balloon no less than three feet in diameter at the maximum height of the proposed tower, and within 50 horizontal feet of the center of the proposed tower.
(d) The applicant shall meet the following for the required balloon test:
1. Applicant must inform the Planning Department and abutting property owners in writing of the date and times, including alternative date and times, of the test at least 14 days in advance.
2. The date, time, and location, including alternative date, time and location, of the balloon test shall be advertised in a locally distributed paper by the applicant at least seven but no more than 14 days in advance of the test date.
3. The balloon shall be flown for at least four consecutive hours during daylight hours on the date chosen. The applicant shall record the weather during the balloon test.
4. Re-advertisement will not be required if inclement weather occurs.
(e) New antenna mounts shall be flush-mounted, unless it is demonstrated through RF propagation analysis that flush-mounted antennas will not meet the network objectives of the desired coverage area.
(f) In residential zoning districts, new towers shall only be considered on lots whose principal use is not residential.
(a) Grading shall be minimized and limited only to the area necessary for the new tower and equipment.
(b) Towers shall be constructed to accommodate antenna arrays as follows:
1. All freestanding towers up to 120 feet in height shall be engineered and constructed to accommodate no less than four antenna arrays.
2. All towers between 121 feet and 150 feet shall be engineered and constructed to accommodate no less than five antenna arrays.
3. All towers between 151 feet and taller shall be engineered and constructed to accommodate no less than six antenna arrays.
(c) Freestanding non-concealed tower shall be limited to monopole type towers, unless the applicant demonstrates that such design is not feasible to accommodate the intended uses.
(3) Setbacks. Freestanding towers and equipment compounds shall be subject to the setbacks described below:
(a) If the tower has been constructed using breakpoint design technology (see “Definitions”), the minimum setback distance shall be equal to 110% of the distance from the top of the structure to the breakpoint level of the structure, or the minimum side and rear yard requirements, whichever is greater. Certification by a registered professional engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina of the breakpoint design and the design's fall radius must be provided together with the other information required herein from an applicant. (For example, on a 100-foot tall monopole with a breakpoint at 80 feet, the minimum setback distance would be 22 feet (110% of 20 feet, the distance from the top of the monopole to the breakpoint) plus the minimum side or rear yard setback requirements for that zoning district.)
(b) If the tower is not constructed using breakpoint design technology, the minimum setback distance shall be equal to the height of the proposed tower.
(a) Height calculations shall include above ground foundations, but exclude lightning rods or lights required by the FAA that do not provide any support for antennas. It is intended that all new non-broadcasting towers be 150 feet or less in height. However, should a tower be required in excess of 151 feet, under no circumstance shall any tower exceed 300 feet. All new towers in excess of 151 feet shall be subject to the following additional requirements:
1. Evidence that the antenna service area will be so substantially compromised that there would be a requirement of additional antenna array within a distance of two miles.
2. The tower shall be designed to allow for a future reduction of elevation to no more than 150 feet, or the replacement of the tower with a monopole type structure at such time as the wireless network had developed to the point that such heights can be justified.
(b) New concealed towers shall be limited to 150 feet or less in height. Height calculations shall include above ground foundations, but exclude lightning rods or lights required by the FAA that do not provide any support for antennas.
(5) Equipment compound.
(a) Equipment compounds shall be completely screened from view and shall not be used for the storage of any excess equipment or hazardous materials. No outdoor storage yards shall be allowed in a tower equipment compound. The compound shall not be used as habitable space.
1. Equipment cabinets shall be screened in accordance with § 155.402(G)(4). Cabinets may be provided within the principal building, behind a screen on a rooftop, or on the ground within the fenced-in and screened equipment compound.
(6) Parking. Parking shall be required in accordance § 155.401(C) of the UDC.
(7) Fencing. All equipment compounds shall be screened from view and enclosed with an opaque fence, masonry wall, landscaping, or combination thereof. Alternative equivalent screening may be approved through the site plan approval process described in § 155.402 of the UDC.
(8) Buffer. The equipment compound shall be landscaped with a minimum 10 foot wide perimeter buffer containing the following planting standards:
(a) All plants and trees shall be indigenous to eastern North Carolina.
(b) Existing trees and shrubs on the site should be preserved and may be used in lieu of required landscaping with approval from the Planning Department.
(c) One row of evergreen trees with a minimum two inch caliper, 25 foot on center.
(d) Evergreen shrubs capable of creating a continuous hedge and obtaining a height of at least five feet shall be planted, minimum three gallon or 24 inches tall at the time of planting, five foot on center.
(e) Alternative landscaping plans which provide for the same average canopy and understory trees but propose alternative locating on the entire subject property may be considered and approved by the Planning Department, provided the proposed alternative maximizes screening as provided above, and is otherwise consistent with the requirements of § 155.402 of the UDC.
(9) Signage. Commercial messages shall not be displayed on any tower. Required noncommercial signage shall be limited to the following:
(a) The only signage that is permitted upon a tower, equipment cabinets, or fence shall be informational, and for the purpose of identifying the tower (such as ASR registration number), as well as the party responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility, and any additional security and/or safety signs as applicable.
(b) If 220 volts or more is necessary for the operation of the facility and is present in a ground grid or in the tower, signs located every 20 feet and attached to the fence or wall shall display in large, bold, high contrast letters, minimum height of each letter four inches, the following: "HIGH VOLTAGE - DANGER."
(c) Name plate signage shall be provided, in an easily visible location, including the address and telephone number of the contact to reach in the event of an emergency or equipment malfunction, including property manager signs as applicable.
(10) Lighting. Lighting on towers shall not exceed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) minimum standards. All other lighting shall be subject to the following:
(a) Any lighting required by the FAA must be of the minimum intensity and number of flashes per minute (i.e., the longest duration between flashes) allowable by the FAA. Dual lighting standards are required and strobe light standards are prohibited unless required by the FAA.
(b) Lights shall be oriented so as not to project directly onto surrounding property or rights-of-way, consistent with FAA requirements.
(N) Additional requirements for Level II and Level III facilities.
(1) Requirements for all Level II facilities:
(a) Compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for electromagnetic radiation: In order to protect the public from excessive exposure to electromagnetic radiation, the facility applicant shall certify through a written statement that the facility meets or exceeds current ANSI standards as adopted by the FCC.
(b) Certification furnished by a registered professional engineer licensed in the State of North Carolina that the structure has sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antenna and feed lines in addition to all other equipment located or mounted on the structure.
(c) One original and two copies of a survey of the property completed by a registered professional surveyor, licensed in the State of North Carolina showing all existing uses, structures, and improvements.
(d) Any applicant for facilities under this section shall certify that such proposed facility shall comply with all applicable federal regulations regarding interference protection, including but not limited to federal regulations regarding adjacent channel receiver (blanket) overload and intermodulation distortion.
(2) Collocation and combination (Level II). The town requires collocation and combining of antennas on existing communications towers as a first priority where collocation is possible. Collocations are subject to the following additional requirements:
(a) A collocated or combined antenna or antenna array shall not increase the height of an existing tower by more than 10% or 20 feet, whichever is greater.
(b) New antenna mounts shall be flush-mounted onto existing structures, unless it is demonstrated through radio frequency (RF) propagation analysis that flush-mounted antennas will not meet the network objectives of the desired coverage area.
(c) The equipment cabinet shall be subject to the setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
(d) When a collocated or combined antenna is to be located on a nonconforming building or structure, then the existing permitted nonconforming setback shall prevail.
(e) Collocation and eligible facilities requests of wireless support structures described in § 160A-400.53 North Carolina General Statutes, shall meet all the following requirements:
1. The additional antenna array, transmission lines, and related ancillary equipment including the base station do not exceed the number of same items previously approved for such tower when originally approved, and the collocated facility is in complete conformance with the original conditions imposed on the tower upon which it is being attached.
2. The proposed collocation shall not increase the overall height of the tower or support structure to which the proposed infrastructure is to be attached by the greater of (i) more than 10% or (ii) the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed 20 feet.
3. The collocation shall not increase the ground space area approved in the communications tower site plan for equipment enclosures and ancillary facilities by more than 2,500 square feet.
4. The collocation shall not, except where necessary to shelter the antenna from inclement weather or to connect the antenna to the tower via cable, add an appurtenance to the body of a communications tower that protrudes horizontally from the edge of the tower the greater of (i) more than 20 feet or (ii) more than the width of the tower at the level of the appurtenance increase.
5. The existing tower on which the collocation will attach shall comply with applicable regulations, restrictions, and/or conditions, if any, applied to the initial wireless facilities placed on the tower.
6. The proposed additional collocation and tower shall comply with all federal, state, and local safety requirements.
7. The proposed collocation and ancillary equipment shall not exceed the applicable weight limits for the tower.
(f) Applications for collocation entitled to processing pursuant to Section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 USC § 1445(a)) shall be approved provided they meet the following requirements:
1. A collocation on an existing antenna-supporting structure shall not increase the overall height of the antenna-supporting structure, antenna and/or antenna array more than 10% or 20 feet, whichever is greater, and shall not cause the width (girth) of the structure to be increased more than 20 feet or the existing girth of the structure, whichever is greater.
2. Any collocation on an existing antenna-supporting structure shall meet current building code requirements (including windloading).
3. A collocation shall not add more than four additional equipment cabinets or one additional equipment shelter.
4. A collocation shall not require excavation outside of existing leased or owned parcel or existing easements.
5. Proposed collocations that do not meet these standards shall be processed as a Level III application.
(g) Collocation approvals entitled to processing pursuant to Section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (47 USC § 1445(a)) are subject to the following:
1. A collocation application shall be deemed complete unless the town notifies the applicant within 45 days of submission (or within some other mutually agreed upon timeframe) that the submission is incomplete. Notices of application incompleteness shall identify the deficiencies in the application which, if cured, would make the application complete. Approval or denial of a complete application shall be in writing and shall be postmarked to the applicant by the 45th day after the submission is deemed complete.
2. Upon resubmitting of the revised application the town shall follow the process identified in this section, above, until all deficiencies identified are deemed cured.
3. If the town does not respond in writing to the applicant within the specified timeframe detailed above, then the application shall be deemed approved.
4. Applications subject to this review process shall not be subject to design or placement requirement, or public hearing review. All applications shall be initially submitted to the Planning Department for review and processing.
(h) New concealed and non-concealed towers shall be reviewed and have a decision rendered within 150 days of receipt of the application.
(3) Attachment: concealed and non-concealed (Level II). Antennas may be mounted onto a structure which is not primarily constructed for the purpose of holding attachment antennas but on which one or more antennas may be mounted. Attached antenna shall be subject to the following:
(a) The top of the attached antenna shall not be more than 20 feet above the existing or proposed building or structure.
(b) Non-concealed attachments shall only be allowed on electrical transmission towers and existing light stanchions subject to approval by the Technical Review Committee and utility company.
(c) When an attached antenna is to be located on a nonconforming building or structure, the existing permitted nonconforming setback shall prevail.
(d) Except for non-concealed attached antennas, feed lines and antennas shall be designed to architecturally match the façade, roof, wall, and/or structure on which they are affixed so that they blend with the existing structural design, color, and texture.
(4) Antenna element replacement (Level II). For any replacement of an existing antenna element on an antenna, the applicant must, prior to making such modifications, submit the following:
(a) A written statement setting forth the reasons for the modification.
(b) A description of the proposed modifications to the antenna, including modifications to antenna element design, type and number, as well as changes in the number and/or size of any feed lines, from the base of the equipment cabinet to such antenna elements.
(c) A signed statement from a qualified person, together with their qualifications, shall be included representing the tower's owner or owner's agent that the radio frequency emissions comply with FCC standards for such emissions. The statement shall also certify that both individually and cumulatively, and with any other facilities located on or immediately adjacent to the proposed facility, the replacement antenna complies with FCC standards.
(d) A stamped or sealed structural analysis of the existing structure prepared by a registered professional engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina indicating that the existing tower as well as all existing and proposed appurtenances meets North Carolina Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) requirements, including wind loading, for the antenna support structure.
(5) DAS equipment (Level II).
(a) System Design Review. A DAS applicant, prior to its initial application for a DAS facility, shall furnish an overall system design application to the Planning Department for review and approval by the Technical Review Committee. The system design application shall include the following information:
1. A statement of the identity and number of wireless services providers that will utilize the DAS systems;
2. A statement that the DAS system will be capable of accommodating at least eight wireless service providers on the proposed system;
3. A graphic depiction of the conceptual plan for the proposed total area of service coverage by the DAS system;
4. A statement of the number of handoff facilities for the DAS system;
5. A proposed build-out timeline and graphic depiction of the build-out phases through completion.
(b) Equipment Design Review. A DAS applicant, prior to its initial application for a DAS facility, shall furnish an equipment design application to the Planning Department for review and approval by the Technical Review Committee. The equipment design application shall include the following information for each proposed design:
1. Elevation of the antenna and/or antenna support structure to include the following proposed dimensions: height, width and breadth. Height shall include the base, the antenna support structure, and lightning rod.
2. Elevation views of any security barrier or equipment compound, indicating architectural design, exterior appearance and materials, including color.
3. Mounting location on antenna support structure or building, including height above ground level (AGL).
4. Identification of all mounting frames, arms, brackets or other devices or equipment used to hold antennas and other equipment in place.
5. Equipment brochures or drawings for the proposed facility, shall be provided for antennas, support structures/mounts, equipment shelters, feed lines and security barrier, if any.
6. Photo-simulated post-construction renderings of a sampling of completed proposed DAS facilities, equipment compound and/or equipment cabinets, ancillary structures, and landscaping, if any, from locations determined at the pre-application conference. The views shall incorporate before and after scenarios, a scaled color image of the proposed type of facility, an aerial map with the location of the selected views, and a description of the technical approach used to create the photo simulations. The simulations shall include a minimum of four vantage points (north, south, east, and west).
7. Individual sample site plan (no larger than 24 inches by 36 inches with an 8½ inch by 11 inch reduced copy) prepared and certified by a North Carolina-licensed professional engineer shall include all information listed on the DAS application checklist, and including existing or proposed public rights-of-ways, private roads and/or access easements through, on, or adjacent to the subject property.
8. Applicants should submit the information required by divisions 1. through 7. above for each design, if multiple designs are proposed.
(c) Individual component application and approval. Following approval of the DAS system design and DAS equipment design by the Technical Review Committee, a DAS applicant shall submit applications for individual DAS installations to the Planning Department for administrative approval provided the individual application provides documentation certifying it is consistent with the system design and equipment design standards previously approved in divisions (a) and (b) above.
(6) Replacement of existing towers. For a replacement of an existing tower with a new structure, the applicant must submit the following items outlined in division (7) below for new towers, including items (c) through (h), (k) through (p) and (r).
(a) The height of a tower approved for replacement shall not exceed 115% of the height of the tallest tower that is being mitigated.
(b) Level III: The height of a tower may exceed 115% of the height of the tallest tower that is being mitigated with evidence that the new tower will eliminate the need for an additional antenna array within a distance of two miles. Under no circumstance shall any mitigated tower exceed a height of 300 feet.
1. Height and setbacks. A new tower approved for replacement of an existing tower shall not exceed 115% of the height of the existing tower and shall not be required to meet new setback standards so long as the new tower and its equipment compound are no closer to any property lines or dwelling units as the tower and equipment compound being replaced. The intent is to encourage the replacement process, not penalize the tower owner for the change out of the old facility.
2. Buffers. At the time of replacement, the tower equipment compound shall be brought into compliance with any applicable buffer requirements.
3. Visibility. Replacement towers shall be configured and located in a manner that minimizes adverse effects on the landscape and adjacent properties, with specific design considerations as to height, scale, color, texture, and architectural design of the buildings on the same and adjacent zoned lots.
(7) New towers (Level III). All new towers shall submit the following additional information as a part of a complete application:
(a) A report and supporting technical data shall be submitted, demonstrating the following:
1. All antenna attachments and collocations, including all potentially useable cross country utility distribution towers and other elevated structures within the proposed service area and alternative antenna configurations have been examined, and found unacceptable.
2. Reasoning as to why existing facilities such as cross country utility distribution and other elevated structures are not acceptable alternatives to a new freestanding tower.
3. Reasoning as to why the adequacy of alternative existing facilities or the mitigation of existing facilities are not acceptable in meeting the applicant's need or the needs of service providers, indicating that no existing communications facility could accommodate the applicant's proposed facility shall consist of any of the following:
A. No existing towers located within the geographic area meet the applicant's engineering requirements, and why.
B. Existing towers are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant's engineering requirements, and cannot be mitigated to increase in height.
C. Existing towers do not have sufficient structural integrity to support the applicant's proposed wireless communications facilities and related equipment, and the existing facility cannot be sufficiently improved.
D. Other limiting factors that render existing wireless communications facilities unsuitable.
(b) Technical data included in the report shall include certification by a registered professional engineer licensed in the State of North Carolina or other qualified professional, which qualifications shall be included, regarding service gaps or service expansions that are addressed by the proposed tower, and accompanying maps and calculations demonstrating the need for the proposed tower.
(c) Signed statement from a qualified person, together with their qualifications, shall be included that warrants radio frequency emissions from the antenna array(s) comply with FCC standards. The statement shall also certify that both individually and cumulatively, and with any other facilities located on or immediately adjacent to the proposed facility, the replacement antenna complies with FCC standards.
(d) A stamped or sealed structural analysis of the proposed tower prepared by a registered professional engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina indicating the proposed and future loading capacity of the tower is compliant with EIA/TIA-222-G (as amended) for either Johnston or Wake County, North Carolina, as appropriate.
(e) An affidavit by a radio frequency engineer demonstrating compliance with “Locating Alternatives Order” located in § 155.310(K) above. If a lower ranking alternative is proposed the affidavit must address why higher ranked options are not technically feasible, practical, and/or justified given the location of the proposed communications facility.
(f) Statement as to the potential visual and aesthetic impacts of the proposed tower and equipment on all adjacent residential zoning districts.
(g) Written statement by a registered professional engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina specifying the design structural failure modes of the proposed facility.
(h) Statement certifying that sound levels shall not exceed 70 db at the related property line.
(i) A map showing the designated search ring.
(j) A radio frequency propagation plot indicating the coverage of existing antenna sites, coverage prediction, and design radius, together with a certification from the applicant's radio frequency (RF) engineer that the proposed facility's coverage or capacity potential cannot be achieved by any higher ranked alternative such as a concealed facility, attached facility, replacement facility, collocation, or new tower.
1. These documents are needed to verify the proposed parameters of a facility and to determine if the proposed location is the best suitable land use in the designated geographic area of the proposed facility in accordance with applicable state and federal standards for communications facility siting.
(k) One original and two copies of a survey of the property completed by a registered professional engineer, licensed in the State of North Carolina showing all existing uses, structures, and improvements.
(l) Signed and sealed site plans shall include the following:
1. Name of project and date.
2. Deed Book and Page and Map Book and Page Reference.
3. Scale, north arrow, and vicinity map.
4. Subject property information including zoning, watershed classification, and percent coverage of lot to be impervious surface (if located in a designated watershed area).
5. Adjacent property information, including land owners, land uses, height of principal building, size of lots, zoning, and land use designation.
6. Tower elevations.
7. Landscape buffering plans.
8. Maximum height of the proposed tower and proposed and future mounting elevations of future antenna, including individual measurement of the base, the tower, and lightning rod.
9. Location, classification, and size of all major public or private streets and rights-of- way.
10. Identify adjacent features within 500 feet of property boundary including driveways, public parking areas, pedestrian ways, trails, and any other pertinent features.
11. Two reduced copies (8½"×11"), of the foregoing preliminary grading plans may be included on site plans or separately submitted in equal quantities.
(m) Title report or American Land Title Association (A.L.T.A.) survey showing all easements on the subject property, together with a full legal description of the property.
(n) List of adjacent property owners and keyed to the map. The list must be from the most current ownership information supplied by the appropriate County Tax Department, together with two sets of mailing labels for such property owners. Applicant will also provide a notarized Certification Letter stating the ownership list referenced herein is accurate to the best of the applicant's ability.
(o) Simulated photographic evidence of the proposed tower and antenna appearance from any and all residential areas within 1,500 feet and vantage points approved by the Planning Department including the facility types the applicant has considered and the impact on adjacent properties. The simulations shall include depictions of:
1. Overall height;
3. Physical location;
4. Mass and scale;
5. Materials and color;
7. Architectural design.
(p) All other documentation, evidence, or materials necessary to demonstrate compliance with the applicable approval criteria set forth in this section.
(q) A pre-application conference will be required for any new tower. The applicant shall demonstrate that the following notice was mailed (via certified mail) to all other wireless service providers licensed to provide service within the town as indicated on the list of wireless service providers provided by the town:
"Pursuant to the requirements set forth in § 155.310 of the Town of Clayton Unified Development Code, [TOWER PROVIDER] is hereby providing you with notice of our intent to meet with the town staff in a pre-application conference to discuss the location of a free-standing wireless communications facility that would be located at ________ (physical address, latitude and longitude (NAD-83)). In general, we plan to construct a tower of _____ feet in height for the purpose of providing _______ (type of wireless service) _______. Please inform the town staff if you have any desire for placing additional wireless facilities or equipment within two miles of our proposed tower. Please provide us with this information within 20 business days after the date of this letter. Your cooperation is sincerely appreciated.
Sincerely, (pre-application applicant, wireless provider)"
(r) Prior to issuance of a building permit, proof of FAA compliance with Subpart C of the Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 77, and "Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace," if applicable.
(O) Additional requirements for Level IV (broadcast) facilities.
(1) Broadcast facilities. All new broadcast facilities shall submit the following additional information as a part of a complete application:
(a) Technical data included in the report shall include the purpose of the proposed facility as described in the FCC Construction Permit Application.
(b) Signed statement from a qualified person, together with their qualifications, shall be included that warrants radio frequency emissions from the antenna array(s) comply with FCC standards regarding interference to other radio services. The statement shall also certify that both individually and cumulatively, and with any other facilities located on or immediately adjacent to the proposed facility, the replacement antenna complies with FCC standards regarding human exposure to RF energy.
(c) A stamped or sealed structural analysis of the proposed tower prepared by a registered professional engineer licensed by the State of North Carolina indicating the proposed and future loading capacity of the tower is compliant with EIA/TIA-222-G (as amended) for either Johnston or Wake County, North Carolina, as appropriate.
(d) Statement certifying that no unusual sound emissions such as alarms, bells, buzzers, or the like are permitted. Emergency generators are permitted. Sound levels shall not exceed 70 db.
(e) One original and two copies of a survey of the property completed by a registered professional engineer, licensed in the State of North Carolina showing all existing uses, structures, and improvements.
(f) Six sets (24"×36") of signed and sealed site plans shall include the following:
1. Name of project and date;
2. Deed Book and Page and Map Book and Page Reference;
3. Scale, north arrow, and vicinity map;
4. Subject property information including zoning, watershed classification, percent coverage of lot to be impervious surface (if located in a designated watershed area);
5. Adjacent property information including land owners, land uses, height of principal building, size of lots, and existing zoning and land use;
6. Landscape buffering plans;
7. Maximum height of the proposed tower and/or antenna, including individual measurements of the base, tower, and lightning rod;
8. Location, classification, and size of all major public or private streets and rights-of-way;
9. Identify adjacent features within 500 feet of property boundary including driveways, public parking areas, pedestrian ways, trails, and any other pertinent features;
10. Two reduced copies (8½"×11"), of the foregoing preliminary grading plans may be included on site plans or separately submitted in equal quantities;
11. Structure elevations.
(g) Title report or American Land Title Association (A.L.T.A.) survey showing all easements on the subject property, together with a full legal description of the property.
(h) List of property owners within 1,000 feet in residential zoning districts and 500 feet in all other zoning districts and keyed to the map. The list must be from the most current ownership information supplied by the appropriate County Tax Department, together with two sets of mailing labels for such property owners. Applicant will also provide a notarized Certification Letter stating the ownership list referenced herein is accurate to the best of the applicant's ability.
(i) A pre-application conference will be required for any new broadcast facility.
(j) Prior to issuance of a building permit, proof of FAA compliance with Subpart C of the Federal Aviation Regulations, Part 77, and "Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace," if applicable.
(2) Supplemental requirements for broadcast facilities. All new broadcast facilities shall meet the following supplemental requirements:
(a) Determination of need. No new broadcast facilities shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates that no existing broadcast tower can accommodate the applicant's proposed use.
(b) Height. Height for broadcast facilities shall be evaluated on a case by case basis. The determination of height contained in the applicant's FCC Form 351/352 Construction Permit or application for Construction Permit and an FAA Determination of No Hazard (FAA Form 7460/2) shall be considered prima facie evidence of the tower height required for such broadcast facilities.
(c) Setbacks. New broadcast facilities and anchors shall be subject to the setbacks described below:
1. Minimum of 500 feet from any single-family dwelling unit on same lot.
2. Minimum of one foot for every one feet of tower height from all adjacent lots of record.
(d) Equipment cabinets. Except for AM broadcast facilities, cabinets shall not be visible from pedestrian and right-of-way views.
(e) Fencing. All broadcast facility towers, AM antenna(s) towers, and guy anchors shall each be surrounded with an anti-climbing fence compliant with applicable FCC regulations.
(f) Buffer. Except for AM broadcast facilities, it is the intent that all pedestrian views from public rights-of-way and adjacent residential land uses be screened from proposed broadcast facilities using existing vegetation or be landscaped with a minimum 10 foot wide perimeter buffer containing the following planting standards:
1. All plants and trees shall be indigenous to this part of North Carolina.
2. Existing trees and shrubs on the site should be preserved and may be used in lieu of required landscaping where approved by the Planning Department.
3. One row of evergreen trees with a minimum two inches caliper, 25 foot on center.
4. Evergreen shrubs capable of creating a continuous hedge and obtaining a height of at least five feet shall be planted, minimum three gallon or 24 inches tall at the time of planting, five foot on center.
5. Alternative landscaping plans which provide for the same average canopy and understory trees but propose alternative locating on the entire subject property may be considered and approved by the Planning Department, provided the proposed alternative maximizes screening as provided above, and is otherwise consistent with the requirements of this section.
(P) Administration, enforcement, and penalties.
(1) Administration. This section shall be administered and enforced by the Planning Director or designee. The town may, through contract, secure the professional services of telecommunications consultants to assist town staff in the implementation of this section. Such professional services include, but are not limited to, review and evaluation of permit applications, determination of compliance with existing and proposed federal regulations, minimization of the aesthetic impact, review of the technical data and expert testimony as needed.
(2) Enforcement and penalties. If the Planning Director or designee shall find that any of the provisions of this section are being violated, it shall notify in writing the person responsible for the violation, specifying the nature of the violation and what corrective measures must be taken. The Planning Director or designee shall order discontinuance of illegal use of land, buildings, or structures; removal of illegal buildings or structures or of additions, alterations, or structural changes thereto; discontinuance of any illegal work being done; or shall take any other action authorized by law to ensure compliance with or to prevent violation of the provisions of this section.
(3) Penalties. Any person failing to take corrective action within a reasonable time after receiving written notice from the Planning Department and any person operating a communications tower without a valid permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the enforcement provisions listed in § 155.720 of the Unified Development Code.
(4) Fees. The Town Council shall set a fee, payable to the town to cover the necessary processing cost of all communications tower permits. The set fee shall be posted in the town's comprehensive list of fees and charges.
(5) Supplemental review. The town reserves the right to require a supplemental review for any Process Level (I, II, III, or IV) subject to the following:
(a) Where due to the complexity of the methodology or analysis required to review an application for a Process Level (I, II, III or IV), the town may require the applicant to pay for a technical review by a third party expert, the costs of which shall be borne by the applicant and be in addition to other applicable fees. Schedules of current fees are listed in the town fee schedule.
(b) Based on the results of the expert review, the approving authority may require changes to the applicant's application or submittals.
(c) The supplemental review may address any or all of the following:
1. The accuracy and completeness of the application and any accompanying documentation.
2. The applicability of analysis techniques and methodologies.
3. The validity of conclusions reached.
4. Whether the proposed communication facility complies with the applicable approval criteria set forth in these codes.
5. Other items deemed by the town to be relevant to determining whether a proposed communications facility complies with the provisions of these codes.
(Ord. 2005-11-02, passed 11-21-05; Am. Ord. 2008-10-03, passed 10-6-08; Am. Ord. 2012-01-04, passed 1-3-12; Am. Ord. 2012-04-03, passed 4-2-12; Am. Ord. 2012-12-03, passed 12-3-12; Am. Ord. 2013-12-02, passed 12-2-13; Am. Ord. 2014-06-10, passed 6-16-14)