Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Visual impact preview. Because aesthetics are a major concern relating to wireless telecommunications facilities, all applicants for a special use permit to construct a new telecommunications tower shall comply with the following visual impact requirements.
(1) Comparative height illustration. The purpose of this requirement is to show the relative height of a proposed telecommunications tower as compared to landmarks familiar to Middletown residents.
(a) Applications to construct or substantially modify a communications tower shall include an architectural drawing or scaled photo simulations showing the proposed tower as it would look if it were constructed on the same site with the World War I Memorial Tower in Miantonomi Park and the chapel tower at St. Georges's School. Each structure shall be drawn to scale and situate at a level that corresponds to the actual level of that structure as measured from sea level, so that the drawing or photo simulation will take into account the different elevations of land at the site of the proposed tower and at the site of the existing structures.
(b) A copy of the drawing required by division (A)(1)(a) shall be published in the newspaper advertisement with the notice of all public hearings in connection with the application and shall be made available to the public on request. In addition, an enlarged copy of this drawing, not less than six square feet in area, shall be on display at all public hearings and shall be kept at the Town Hall available for inspection until the conclusion of all hearings on the application.
(2) Crane demonstration. After publication of the newspaper notice of an application for a new telecommunications tower, but before the first public hearing on the applicant, the applicant shall arrange for the following demonstration:
(a) A crane shall be positioned as near as possible at the exact location of the proposed tower and extended to the height of the proposed tower for two consecutive days, including one weekend day, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., after the advertisement of the Zoning Board hearing has been advertised and before the hearing is held.
(b) In addition to the advertised notice of the Zoning Board hearing, the applicant shall publish a display advertisement, not less than eight column inches in size, in the same newspaper as the notice advertisement, stating the dates and times of the crane demonstration.
(B) Anti-proliferation requirement. No new telecommunications tower shall be recommended by the Planning Board unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the Board that the proposed wireless telecommunications facility cannot be co-located on an existing tower or established as a building-mounted facility, pole-mounted antenna, or disguised facility.
(C) Certification of continued operation. On or before February 1 of each year the owner of a wireless telecommunications facility shall file a certification with the Planning Department as to the continued operation of the facility, including all co-located facilities. Failure to file the certification shall create a rebuttable presumption that the facility has been abandoned. Such certification shall be on a form provide by the Planning Department and shall contain, to the extent possible:
(1) An affirmation that each telecommunications tower and antenna in the facility is currently in operation or, if not, the owner's plans with respect to renewed operation or removal of the tower or antenna;
(2) A statement whether any tower or antenna is expected to cease operation within the next year;
(3) A current list of all tower user names, and the name and mailing address of an agent of each user authorized to receive communications from the town;
(4) A description of the insurance coverage on all facilities, including the name and mailing address of a claims agent for each insures; and
(5) Any other information which the Planning Department believes is relevant to monitor compliance with the provisions of this subchapter.
(D) Certification of continued structural integrity. Every five years, or within 60 days after a catastrophic act of nature or other emergency that might effect the structural integrity of the tower, the owner shall file with the Town Engineer a certification of continued structural integrity prepared and signed by a licensed engineer. The certification shall affirm that a thorough and complete inspection of the tower was conducted and that the tower and all accessory structures are and will continue to perform as originally designed.
(E) Insurance. Liability insurance in an amount not less than $1,000,000 shall be maintained by the owner and operator of a wireless telecommunications tower until the tower is dismantled and removed from the site. Failure to maintain insurance coverage shall continue a violation of this chapter and grounds for revocation of a permit.
(F) Performance bond. The owner or operator of a wireless telecommunications tower shall obtain and keep in force as long as the tower is located on the site a performance bond payable to the town in the amount of not less than $50,000, or such other greater amount as found by the Town Engineer to cover the estimated reasonable costs of removal of the tower, including direct and administrative costs associated with demolition, dismantling, removal and disposal of the tower by the town or its contractor, if the owner of operator fails to comply with the requirements of division (G).
(G) Abandonment. A wireless telecommunications facility shall be removed by the owner within 365 days after it ceases to be operated, unless at the time the owner has a signed agreement for the facility to be re-activated within an additional 60-day period. Upon removal the site shall be restored to its previous appearance and, where appropriate, re-vegetated to blend with the surrounding area. A facility not removed in accordance with this division shall be considered abandoned and may be removed by the town at the owner's expense.
(Ord. passed 10-30-06)