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(A) Basic requirements. The design and development standards set forth in this section apply to all wireless telecommunications facilities no matter where they are located. Wireless telecommunications facilities shall be designed and maintained so as to minimize visual, noise, and other impacts on the surrounding community and shall be planned, designed, located, and erected in accordance with the design and development standards in this section.
(B) Build-out period. Approvals will automatically expire six months from the issuance date, unless the permittee obtains all other permits and approvals required to install, construct and operate the approved wireless facility, which includes, without limitation, permits required pursuant to Title 15, and any other permits or approvals required by any federal, state, or local public agencies with jurisdiction over the subject property, the wireless facility, or its use and constructs the approved facility. The Zoning Administrator may grant one written extension to a date certain when the permittee shows good cause to extend the limitations period in a written request for an extension submitted at least 30 days prior to the automatic expiration date in this division (B). No further extensions may be granted but the permittee may resubmit a complete application, including all application fees for the same or substantially similar project.
(C) General guidelines.
(1) The applicant shall employ screening and camouflage design techniques in the design and placement of wireless telecommunications facilities in order to ensure that the facility is as visually inconspicuous as possible, to prevent the facility from dominating and disrupting the surrounding area, and to hide the facility from predominant views from surrounding properties, all in a manner that achieves compatibility with the community.
(2) For open space or hillside locations that would be generally viewed from a distance, innovative design solutions may be appropriate where the screening potential of a site is low (i.e., disguise facility as a landscape element, public art and the like).
(3) Facilities should not be located on historically or architecturally significant structures unless the Secretary of Interior's guidelines determine that facilities can be visually and architecturally integrated with the structure; historical landscapes shall be avoided.
(4) Facilities should be sited to avoid adverse impacts to existing views from surrounding residences.
(D) Traffic safety; roads. All facilities shall be designed and located in such a manner as to avoid adverse impacts on traffic safety. Whenever feasible, existing roads and parking areas should be used to access, build and service new telecommunications facilities. Any new access roads or parking areas constructed shall be shared with subsequent telecommunications facilities and/or other permitted uses to the extent feasible. New access roads constructed in open space areas shall have the minimum width and surfacing necessary to meet fire safety and access requirements, and shall be graded and drained consistent with Town Code Chapter 8.32, Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention. The size of new parking areas shall be limited to the minimum necessary to accommodate vehicles associated with periodic maintenance of the facility.
(E) Antennas. The applicant shall use the least visible antennas possible to accomplish the coverage objectives. Antenna elements shall be flush mounted, to the extent reasonably feasible. All antenna mounts shall be designed so as not to preclude possible future collocation by the same or other operators or carriers. Antennas shall be situated as to reduce visual impact without materially compromising their function. Whip antennas need not be screened.
(F) Landscaping; vegetation.
(1) Where appropriate, facilities shall be installed so as to maintain, protect, and enhance existing landscaping on the site, including trees, foliage, and shrubs, whether or not utilized for screening. Additional landscaping shall be planted, irrigated, and maintained where such vegetation is deemed necessary by the town to provide screening or to block the line of sight between facilities and adjacent uses.
(2) Applications for wireless facilities shall be accompanied by a landscape plan that shows existing vegetation, indicates any vegetation proposed for removal or trimming, and identifies proposed planting by type, size and location. The emphasis of the landscape plan should be to visually screen the proposed facility and stabilize soils on sloping sites. Introduced vegetation shall be native, drought tolerant species compatible with the predominant natural setting of the project area.
(3) Existing trees and other screening vegetation in the vicinity of the proposed facility and associated accessways shall be protected from damage both during and after construction. Submission of a tree protection plan may be required to ensure compliance with this requirement.
(4) All vegetation disturbed during project construction shall be replanted with compatible vegetation and soils disturbed by development shall be reseeded to control erosion.
(5) No vegetation shall be removed subsequent to project completion, except to comply with local and state fire safety regulations, to prevent the spread of disease as required by the state's Food and Agriculture Department, or to prevent safety hazards to people and property.
(6) The carrier shall enter into a landscape performance and maintenance agreement with the town to ensure the installation and establishment of required landscaping. This agreement shall be secured by financial securities in an amount equal to 150 percent of estimates to cover the cost of materials and labor for required improvements. The duration of the landscape maintenance agreement shall be for a minimum period of no less than one year and may be extended for an additional period of up to two additional years upon renewal of the permit applications.
(7) Antennas and associated structures and equipment shall be painted to blend with the structures, vegetation, sky or landscape against which they will be primarily viewed.
(8) Wireless telecommunications facilities are not permitted on ridgelines.
(G) Signage. Wireless telecommunications facilities and wireless telecommunications collocation facilities shall not bear any signs or advertising devices other than certification, warning, or other signage required by law or permitted by the town.
(H) Lighting. No wireless telecommunications facility may be illuminated, unless either specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other government agency or in association with the illumination of an athletic field on town or school property. Lightning arresters and beacon lights are not permitted, unless required by the Federal Aviation Administration, FCC or other applicable regulations for health and safety. Legally-required lightning arresters and beacons shall be included when calculating the height of facilities. If lighting is permitted, the following requirements apply to such lighting:
(1) Mechanically-operated, low wattage, hooded and downward directed exterior lighting shall be permitted for safety purposes only and shall be kept off, except when maintenance or safety personnel are present at night.
(2) Tower lighting required under FAA regulations should, to the greatest extent feasible, be shielded or directed to minimize light and glare impacts visible from publicly accessible areas.
(3) Nighttime lighting of warning signs required near publicly accessible facilities must consist of low-wattage fixtures, and must be directed downward and hooded to mitigate impacts visible from publicly accessible areas.
(1) Each wireless telecommunications facility and wireless telecommunications collocation facility shall be operated in such a manner so as to minimize any possible disruption caused by noise.
(2) Normal testing and maintenance activities shall not take place weekends, holidays or between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., excluding emergency repairs. Normal testing and maintenance activities, which do not involve the use or operation of telecommunications and maintenance equipment that is audible from residences and other nearby sensitive receptors, may occur at all other times.
(3) Backup generators shall only be operated during periods of power outages or emergency occurrences, and shall not be tested on weekends, holidays, or between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
(4) At no time shall equipment noise from any facility exceed an exterior noise level of 50 dBA at the facility's property line if the facility is located in a business or commercial zone that permits those uses; provided, however, that for any such facility located within 500 feet of any property zoned residential or improved with a residential use, such equipment noise shall not exceed an exterior noise level of 40 dBA at the property line of any such residential property. For any facility located within a residential zone, such equipment noise shall at no time be audible at the property line of any residentially-improved or residential zoned property.
(5) Any equipment, including, but not limited to, air conditioning units, that may emit noise that would be audible from either beyond three feet from the facility in the case of a facility located in the right-of-way, or the facility's property line in the case of other facilities, shall be enclosed or equipped with noise attenuation devices to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with applicable noise limitations under the Fairfax Municipal Code.
(J) Security. Each wireless telecommunications facility shall be designed to be resistant to, and minimize opportunities for, unauthorized access, climbing, vandalism, graffiti, and other conditions that would result in hazardous situations, visual blight, or attractive nuisances. The reviewing authority may require the provision of warning signs, fencing, anti-climbing devices, or other techniques to prevent unauthorized access.
(K) Modification. At the time of modification of a wireless telecommunications facility, existing equipment shall, to the extent feasible, be replaced with equipment that reduces visual, noise, and other impacts, including but not limited to undergrounding the equipment and replacing larger, more visually-intrusive facilities with smaller, less visually-intrusive facilities.
(Ord. 833, passed 8-7-2019)