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(a) New wireless communication towers may be located only in nonresidential districts and shall be subject to the regulations set forth in this chapter and the regulations of the particular use district in which the antenna and/or tower are proposed to be located, but only to the extent that such regulations do not conflict with the regulations set forth in this chapter. Wireless communication antennas may be located in residential use districts as long as they are part of an existing structure. When so located, they shall be subject to the regulations set forth in this chapter and the regulations of the particular zoning district in which the antenna is proposed to be located, but only to the extent that such regulations do not conflict with the regulations set forth in this chapter. Generally, wireless telecommunications towers are objectionable in residential areas because their use is industrial in nature, and may be objectionable in the community at large because they are frequently considerably taller than surrounding structures, causing them to be seen from long distances. Their location is therefore regulated as permitted by the telecommunications act of 1996, as may from time to time be amended.
(b) In order to accommodate the communications needs of residents and businesses while protecting the health, safety and general welfare, the applicants for wireless telecommunications facilities shall locate, site, and erect said wireless telecommunications facilities in accordance with the following order of priority, (1) being the highest priority and (5) being the lowest priority:
(1) On existing telecommunications towers or other tall structures;
(2) Collocation on a site with existing wireless telecommunications facilities or structures;
(3) On municipally-owned properties outside of residentially zoned areas;
(4) On industrial zoned areas;
(5) On other property located within the City outside residentially zoned areas.
(c) If the proposed site is not the highest priority listed above then a detailed written resort must be provided as to why a site of higher priority was not selected. The person seeking such an exception must satisfactorily demonstrate the reason or reasons why such a permit should be granted for the proposed site and the hardship that would be incurred by the applicant if the permit were not granted for the proposed site.
(d) An applicant may not bypass sites of higher priority by stating that the site presented is the only one site leased or selected. An application shall address collocation as an option, and if such option is not proposed, the applicant must explain why collocation is commercially or otherwise impracticable. Agreements between providers limiting or prohibiting collocation shall not be a valid basis for any claim of commercial impracticability or hardship.
(e) Notwithstanding the above, the Planning and Zoning Commission may approve any site located within an area in the above list of priorities, provided that the Planning and Zoning Commission finds that the proposed site is in the best interests of the health, safety and welfare of the City and its inhabitants.
(f) The applicant shall submit a written report demonstrating the applicant's review of the above locations in order of priority, demonstrating technological reasons for the site selection. If the site selected is not the highest priority, then a detailed written explanation as to why sites of higher priority were not selected must be included with the application.
(g) Notwithstanding that a potential site may be situated in an area of highest priority or highest available priority, the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Zoning Commissioner may disapprove an application for any of the following reasons:
(1) Conflicts with safety and safety-related codes and requirements;
(2) Conflict with traffic needs or traffic ordinances, or definitive plans for changes in traffic flow or traffic ordinances;
(3) Conflict with the historical nature of a neighborhood or historical district;
(4) The use or construction of wireless telecommunications facilities is contrary to an already-stated purpose of a specific zoning or land use designation;
(5) The placement and location of wireless telecommunications facilities that would create an unacceptable risk, or the probability of such, to residents, the public, employees and agents of the City, or employees of the service provider or other service providers;
(6) Conflicts with the provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. 41-1997. Passed 2-18-97; Eff. 3-18-97; Ord. 119-2004. Passed 6-21-04; Ord. 15-2017. Passed 2-21-17.)