(a) All wireless telecommunication facilities shall be subject to the requirements of this section, as well as any other applicable provisions of this article and the Flint City Code. If at any time a wireless telecommunication facility does not meet the provisions and regulations of this article, the facility must be removed as provided in subsection (l).
(b) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
CO-LOCATION. The ability to attach wireless antenna to existing structures which could include towers, rooftops, utility lines, church spires and the like.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION ANTENNA. The device through which wireless telecommunication signals, as authorized by the Federal Communications Commission, are transmitted or received. Not included are AM/FM radio antenna, television antenna, satellite dishes and licensed amateur radio facilities.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT SHELTER. The structure in which the electronic receiving and transmitting equipment for a wireless telecommunications is housed.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITY. A facility consisting of all structures and equipment involved in transmitting and/or receiving telecommunication signals from mobile communication sources and transmitting those signals to a central switching computer, which connects the mobile unit to the land-based telephone system. These facilities include but are not limited to private and commercial mobile radio service facilities, personal communication services (PCS) towers, and cellular telephone towers. Not included in this definition are AM/FM radio towers, television towers, satellite dishes and federally licensed amateur radio facilities.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION STEALTH DESIGN. Telecommunication facilities, including towers and antennas camouflaged in ways to minimize visibility and blend with their surroundings.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION TOWER. A structure intended to support equipment used to transmit and/or receive telecommunication signals including, but not limited to, monopoles, freestanding lattice structures and guyed lattice structures.
(c) Zoning district requirements. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be permitted with the following conditions.
(1) No new wireless telecommunication towers shall be permitted in the single-family districts (A districts), two-family or townhouse districts (B districts), multifamily districts (C districts), office districts (D-1 districts), neighborhood business districts (D-2 districts), community business districts (D-3 districts), metropolitan business districts (D-4 districts) and metropolitan commercial-service districts (D-5 districts). Stealth design of wireless facilities, towers and antennas shall be permitted as a special regulated land use. Co-locations on existing wireless telecommunication facilities or existing structures that do not require any additional height shall be a permitted use.
(2) Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be permitted as a special regulated land use in the general and highway commercial service district (D-6 district), heavy commercial districts (E districts), intermediate manufacturing districts (F districts) and the heavy manufacturing districts (G districts).
(3) All telecommunication wireless facilities shall be prohibited in the parking district as defined in Article XV-A.
(4) New wireless telecommunication facilities, towers or antennas located within a historic district shall be prohibited. Stealth design of wireless facilities, towers or antennas shall be permitted as a special regulated land use upon review and approval of the Flint Historic District Commission and the regulations set forth in this section. Co-location on existing wireless telecommunication facilities or existing structures that do not require additional height shall be a permitted use upon review and approval by the Flint Historic District Commission.
(5) New wireless telecommunication towers located within a City park shall be prohibited. Stealth design of wireless facilities, including towers and antennas, shall be permitted as a special regulated land use. Co-locations on existing wireless telecommunication facilities or existing structures that do not require any additional height shall be a permitted use.
(d) Compliance with Federal regulations.
(1) All telecommunication facilities shall comply with current regulations of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or any other Federal or State agency with authority to regulate telecommunication facilities, including towers and/or antennas.
(2) In the event of a change in Federal or State regulation, the owner of the telecommunication facility shall bring it into compliance with the revised regulations within six months of the effective date of such regulations, unless a different compliance schedule is mandated by the State or Federal agency.
(e) Compliance with building codes. All wireless telecommunication shall be constructed in compliance with all applicable building codes, including the Electronic Industries Association/Telecommunication Industry (EIA/TIA) standards for the construction of facilities including towers, antenna and support structures.
(f) (1) General site location requirements. No new wireless telecommunication towers shall be permitted within a radius of 1,000 feet of an existing wireless telecommunication tower unless the applicant can demonstrate that the existing telecommunication tower is unsuitable for technical or structural reasons.
(2) Setback requirements.
a. In nonresidential zoning districts, wireless telecommunication towers shall be set back at least 50% of the tower height from any adjoining property zoned for nonresidential use.
b. In residential zoning districts, wireless telecommunication towers shall be set back at least 50% of the tower height from all adjoining property zoned for residential use.
c. Other structures associated with the wireless telecommunication tower (such as equipment shelters, guy wire anchors) shall comply with the setback requirements of the district in which the tower is located.
d. The setback requirements of this section are minimums. The Planning Commission may require additional setback distance as part of a special land use approval.
(3) Co-location requirements. Unless made technically infeasible as a result of the use of stealth design, new wireless telecommunication towers shall be designed to permit co-location by at least two additional entities and proposed locations for wireless telecommunication facilities shall be adequately sized and configured to allow the placement of at least two additional telecommunication equipment shelters.
(4) Tower design. Wireless telecommunication towers that are not of stealth design shall be constructed as freestanding structures (monopole or lattice towers, as approved by the Planning Commission) and shall have a neutral surface finish color to reduce visual obtrusiveness, except as otherwise required by a State or Federal agency.
(5) Signs. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall not be used for advertising purposes. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall display one sign, not to exceed two square feet, which identifies the service provider and an emergency telephone number. These restrictions shall not apply to any safety signs placed on the security fence or tower.
(6) Fencing. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be enclosed by a solid screening fence not less than six feet in height. The Planning Commission shall review the need for the installation of anti-climbing devices and make a determination based on adjacent land use and zoning patterns.
(7) Screening. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be effectively screened with a landscape buffer, approved by the Planning Commission, to obscure views of the tower base, equipment shelter, security fencing, or guy wire anchors from adjacent uses and public rights-of-way. Locations where the visual impact of the tower will be minimal or where existing vegetation provide an effective natural screen or where the security requirements of the principal use prevent screening (utility substations), the Planning Commission may modify this requirement.
(8) Lighting. Wireless telecommunication towers shall not be artificially lighted unless required by the FAA, FCC or other agency with jurisdictional authority. If lighting is required by Federal regulation, the applicant shall use the least intrusive form of lighting acceptable under the controlling regulation.
(9) Equipment shelter design. The design and materials used in the construction of the equipment shelter shall, to the extent possible, blend the structure with the surrounding built or natural environment. The equipment shelter shall not exceed 15 feet in height.
(10) Off-street parking. New wireless telecommunication facilities of non-stealth design shall provide one off-street parking space to accommodate maintenance vehicles if practicable. Driveways and parking spaces serving such facilities may have a gravel surface provided the surface is maintained in a dust-free condition and graded to maintain proper drainage.
(g) Permitted additional antenna. Wireless telecommunication antenna shall be considered a permitted accessory use when placed on or attached to any existing wireless telecommunication structure, provided that all other applicable ordinance requirements are complied with. Any initial wireless telecommunication antenna placed on an alternative tower structure shall be subject to the same review and approval procedures as a new wireless telecommunications facility. Subsequent antennas on alternative tower structures shall be considered permitted accessory uses in all districts.
(h) Permitted tower placement. An existing wireless telecommunication tower may be placed for the purposes of accommodating the co-location of additional wireless telecommunication antennas subject to the following review and approval process:
(1) Tower replacements that result in the addition of 50 or fewer feet of additional tower height shall require site plan view and approval by the Planning Commission;
(2) Tower replacements that result in the addition of more than 50 feet in height shall require special land use review and approval by the Planning Commission; and
(3) Tower replacements that require the installation of tower lights shall require special land use review and approval by the Planning Commission.
(i) Site plan procedures. As shown in § 50-8.3.
(j) Application requirements. In addition to any other applicable requirements of Article XXIX, the following information shall be provided in support of an application to initially construct a wireless telecommunication tower:
(1) Certification from a Michigan licensed professional engineer as to the manner in which the proposed wireless telecommunication tower is designed to collapse;
(2) A report that addresses the review criteria contained in subsection (k) below. This report shall include a map depicting the existing and known proposed location of telecommunication including telecommunication wireless towers, wireless telecommunication antenna attached to alternative tower structures, within a one-mile radius of the proposed site. This includes wireless telecommunication towers located within adjacent jurisdictions within the one-mile radius;
(3) The name, address and telephone number of the person to contact regarding site maintenance or other notification purposes. The tower owner shall periodically update this information; and
(4) A statement that indicates the applicant’s intent to allow the co-location of other antenna, provided that the cost of modifying the existing tower is borne by the co-locating entity and reasonable compensation is paid by the co-locating entity.
(k) Review criteria. A wireless telecommunication tower shall not be approved unless it can be demonstrated by the applicant that there is a need for the tower which cannot be met by placing wireless telecommunication antenna on an existing tower or other suitable structure, or placement of an existing tower:
(1) No existing towers or alternative tower structures have the structural capacity to support the proposed antenna, nor can existing towers or alternative tower structures be reinforced to support the proposed antenna;
(2) No existing towers or alternative tower structures are located within the geographic a that meets the system’s engineering requirements;
(3) The cost of using an existing tower or other suitable structure or replacing an existing tower exceeds the cost of constructing a new wireless telecommunication tower; or
(4) The installation or use of an alternative communication technology is unsuitable or infeasible.
(l) Removal of abandoned facilities. Any wireless telecommunication tower or antenna that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned and the owner of such tower or antenna shall remove the same within 90 days of receiving an abandonment notification from the City. Failure to remove an abandoned tower or antenna within 90 days shall be grounds for the removal of the tower or antenna at the owner’s sole expense.
(m) Bond. Applicant shall provide the City with proof of an annual performance bond in the amount of $7,500.00 to ensure that the applicant will comply with the provisions set forth in subsection (l) regarding the removal of an abandoned tower and/or antenna.
(n) Inspection. An inspection of the wireless telecommunication facility shall be required every two years after the completion of improvements. The inspection shall be carried out by the owner of the facility and shall certify the structural integrity of the wireless telecommunication facility. The inspection certification shall be submitted to the department budget, grants and development and filed with the site permit documents. If the Department of Budget, Grants and Development determines that an inspection has not been completed within the two-year time period, a notice will be sent to the owner. The owner shall have 30 days in which to comply with this requirement. If the inspection is not completed within the 30 days, the permit for the wireless telecommunication facility will be revoked.
(Ord. 3501, passed 10-14-2002; Ord. 3669, passed 11-28-2005)