(A)   Site selection.
      (1)   As a fundamental element of this subchapter, the telecommunications company proposing to construct an antenna support structure or mount an antenna on an existing structure is required to demonstrate, using technological evidence, that the antenna must go where it is proposed in order to satisfy its function in the company’s grid system. Further, the company must demonstrate by technological evidence that the height requested is the minimum height necessary to fulfill the communications facilities function in the grid system.
      (2)   Given the unquestioned visual impact of communications towers on their surrounding environment, no antenna support structure may be constructed on a speculative basis. Applications for necessary permits will only be processed when the applicant has in place agreements with an FCC licensed telecommunications provider for lease/utilization of the support structure space, written proof of which must be offered by the applicant.
      (3)   (a)   Telecommunications facilities must be located and designed to minimize any adverse effect they may have on residential property values. Sites shall be placed in locations where the existing topography, vegetation, buildings or other structures provide the greatest amount of screening. Location and design of all sites shall consider the impact of the site on the surrounding neighborhood. In residential districts and residential land use areas, the minimum lot size for commercial communications tower shall be three acres, except for government owned properties.
         (b)   Specific locations will be evaluated using the following criteria which are not listed in order of priority:
            1.   Topography as it relates to line of sight transmissions for optimum efficiency in service.
            2.   Availability of road access.
            3.   Availability of electrical power.
            4.   Availability of land based telephone lines or microwave link capability.
            5.   Leasable lands and landlords who want facilities to be located on their property.
            6.   Screening of potential and existing vegetation, structures and topographic features.
            7.   Compatibility with adjacent land uses.
            8.   The least number of sites to cover the desired area.
            9.   The greatest amount of coverage, consistent with physical requirements.
            10.   Opportunities to mitigate possible visual impact.
            11.   Availability of suitable existing structures for antenna mounting.
   (B)   Protocols.  The following establishes the planning order of priorities for locating new communications facilities:
      (1)   Place towers and antennas on commercial or government property.
      (2)   Place towers and antennas on other non-residential property.
      (3)   Place antennas on other appropriate existing structures such as buildings, communication towers, water towers and smoke stacks.
      (4)   Place new communication towers in residential districts only if locations for which a need has been demonstrated are not available on existing structures or in non-residential districts. The telecommunications company is required to demonstrate that it contacted, in writing, the owners of other more appropriate properties and was denied, in writing, for reasons other than economic ones.
(Ord. 807, passed 10-2-02)