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(a) Purpose. These regulations governing telecommunications towers are established to provide for the construction, execution, extension and removal of such towers in districts permitting residential uses in the Village and are related to certain applications of technology and engineering in the field of telecommunications. The purpose of these regulations is to balance the competing interests created by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-104) and the interests of the Village in regulating telecommunications towers and related facilities for the following reasons:
(1) To provide for orderly development within the Village;
(2) To protect property values;
(3) To maintain the aesthetic appearance of the Village, including, but not limited to, its residential character, local business areas, and scenic views;
(4) To protect residential properties, parks, open spaces and the commercial and institutional zoning districts from the adverse effects of towers and related facilities;
(5) To promote collocation of telecommunications towers in order to decrease the total number of towers in the Village; and
(6) To provide for and protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents and visitors of the Village.
(b) Applicability. No person shall locate, erect, construct, reconstruct, change, alter, remove or enlarge a telecommunications tower in the Village without compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
(c) Use Regulations.
(1) A telecommunications tower shall only be permitted as a conditional use in the MU District. A telecommunication tower is not permitted in any other zoning district in the Village.
(2) The installation of a telecommunication antenna(s), and the expansion of an existing equipment shelter to serve such antenna(s), may be permitted as a conditional use on an existing telecommunication tower in any district.
(3) The installation of a telecommunications antenna where the construction or erection of a tower is not proposed by the applicant, shall be permitted as an accessory use on existing towers, buildings or structures. To the extent the remaining standards of this section are applicable to the situation involving the installation of a telecommunications antenna(s) on an existing tower, building or structure, such standards shall govern the installation.
(1) All applicants for construction or erection of telecommunications towers shall be required to construct on a base tower structure and structure foundation that is designed to be buildable, up to, but not including, 200 feet above grade. Such structure shall be designed to have sufficient structural loading capacity to accommodate at least four antenna platforms or antenna arrays of equal loading capacity for four separate providers of service to be located on the structure when constructed to the maximum allowable height. The telecommunications facility shall also be designed to show that the applicant has enough space on its site plan for an equipment shelter large enough to accommodate at least four separate users of the facility. If an equipment shelter is initially constructed to accommodate only one user, space shall be reserved on site for equipment shelter expansions to accommodate up to at least four separate users.
Agreement to the provisions of this subsection must be included in the applicant's lease with the landowner, if different from the owner/user of the tower. Written documentation must be presented to the Commission evidencing that the landowner of the property on which the tower is to be located has agreed to the terms of this subsection. As an additional condition of issuing a conditional use permit, the owner/user shall respond in writing to any inquiries regarding collocation of another user of the facility within 30 days after receipt of a written inquiry. Copies of all written requests to collocate and all written responses shall be sent to the Commission.
(2) The applicant requesting permission to install a new tower shall provide evidence that there is no technically suitable space for the applicant's antenna(s) and related facilities reasonably available on an existing tower, building or structure within the geographic area to be served. With its application, the applicant shall identify the location of every tower, building or structure that could support the proposed antenna(s) or area where it would be technically suitable to locate so as to allow it to serve its intended function. As part of its application, the applicant shall provide a scaled map of all of its existing, proposed or planned antenna locations within a five-mile radius of the site which is the subject of the application.
The applicant must demonstrate that a technically suitable location is not reasonably available on an existing tower, building or structure. If an existing tower, building or structure is technically suitable, the applicant must demonstrate that it has made written request to collocate on the existing tower, building or structure and the request was rejected by the owner of the tower, building or structure. In all circumstances, owners of existing towers shall promptly respond in writing to requests for collocation, but in no event shall they respond more than thirty days from the date of receipt of a written request for collocation. If another telecommunications tower is technically suitable, the applicant must further show that it has offered to allow the owner of that other tower to collocate an antenna(s) on another tower within the Village which is owned or controlled by the applicant, if available, on commercially reasonable terms and the offer was not accepted.
(e) Spacing. There shall be a separation of a minimum of one-half mile between telecommunications towers.
(f) Height. Notwithstanding the height requirements of the underlying zoning district, the maximum height of a free-standing telecommunication tower, including its antenna and all appurtenances, shall be less than 200 feet above grade. The height of any equipment shelter shall not exceed eighteen feet from grade.
(g) Setbacks. The tower and related facilities shall comply with the required setbacks in the zoning district in which they are located. In no event shall a telecommunications tower or facility be located in front of the principal building on the lot, if any.
(1) All telecommunications towers should be monopole design, and shall be painted light gray in color unless otherwise required by state or federal law.
(2) Where conditionally permitted, all telecommunications facilities shall be subject to review by the Commission for the purpose of enhancing the compatibility of the facilities with their surroundings.
(3) The telecommunications antennas shall be of a panel design and mounted flush to the tower, building, or structure which elevates the antennas, unless the applicant can demonstrate that it is not feasible from an engineering standpoint to use such antennas or to mount them in such a fashion.
(i) Landscaping. A landscaped buffer area of not less than fifteen feet in depth shall be placed between the telecommunications facilities and the public rights-of-way and any adjacent properties from which a direct view can be had of the facilities, other than the tower itself. The fifteen-foot landscaped buffer shall have a tight screen fence of hardy evergreen shrubbery not less than six feet in height at the time of planting. The landscaping shall be continuously maintained and promptly restored, if necessary.
(j) Engineering Report. A report shall be prepared and submitted by a qualified and licensed professional engineer and shall provide proof of compliance with all applicable federal, State, County and Village regulations. The report shall include a detailed description of the telecommunications tower, antenna(s), equipment shelter, and appurtenances, and shall certify that radio frequency (electromagnetic) emissions are in compliance with the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
(1) Upon the provision of a notice, the applicant shall submit a plan documenting how the telecommunications facility will be maintained on the site in an ongoing manner that meets industry standards.
(2) On each biennial anniversary of the issuance of the zoning permit for a telecommunications facility, or not more than 90 days prior thereto, the owner/user shall submit to the Zoning Officer a report prepared by a licensed professional engineer(s) which shall verify continued compliance of the facility with all governmental requirements including, but not limited to, the structural integrity and stability of any towers or antennas, electrical safety standards, and auxiliary power source safety standards.
(l) Lighting. Except as required by law, an antenna or a tower shall not be illuminated and lighting fixtures or signs shall not be attached to the antenna or tower. If lighting is required by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, the most visually unobtrusive "start-of-the- art" lighting available shall be used, unless otherwise required by the FAA.
(1) A security fence, not less than eight feet in height, shall fully enclose those portions of the telecommunications facility which come in contact with the ground. Gates shall be locked at all times.
(2) A permanent warning sign with a minimum size of two square feet and a maximum size of six square feet shall be posted on the site. In addition, the sign shall specify an emergency telephone number of the owner/user of each set of antennas on the site. The owner/user shall also provide the Zoning Officer and the Fire Chief with information on whom to contact, an address, and a telephone number in the event of an emergency.
(n) Advertising Prohibited. No advertising sign(s) or devices shall be permitted anywhere on a telecommunications tower site.
(o) Outdoor Storage. There shall be no outdoor storage of equipment or other items on the telecommunications facility site except during the facility construction period and to supply emergency power to the facility only during a power outage.
(p) Access to Facility. The access driveway to the telecommunications facility shall, whenever feasible, use circulation driveways of the existing use on the lot, if any. Where use of an existing driveway is not feasible, the driveway to the facility shall be a minimum of eighteen feet in width with a minimum overhead clearance of eleven feet and shall be set back a minimum of 20 feet from the nearest side or rear lot line. This driveway shall meet the load limitations for fire equipment. If the access road to the facility is more than 1,500 feet from the public right-of-way, a turnaround shall be provided for emergency vehicles at the site and a by-pass, adequate for emergency vehicles, with an approachable access shall be provided for each additional 1,500 feet of the driveway. There shall be a maximum of one off-street parking space on the facility site.
(q) Accessory Equipment Shelter. The maximum cumulative total size of all equipment shelters accessory to a telecommunications tower or antenna on a lot shall be 1,000 square feet, and their maximum height shall not exceed eighteen feet above grade. Only one equipment shelter, or the configuration of more than one shelter appearing as one shelter, shall be permitted on a lot. Where it is technically feasible and reasonably practical, an existing building or structure on a lot shall be used to shelter the equipment associated with a telecommunications facility.
(r) Underground Utilities. All utility lines from the utility source to the telecommunications facility shall be underground.
(s) Time Limit for Commencement and Completion. After issuance of a zoning permit to construct a telecommunications facility, the applicant shall commence construction within six months and shall complete construction within one year or the zoning permit shall expire.
(t) Abandonment and Removal of Facilities.
(1) If at any time the use of the telecommunications facility is discontinued for 180 consecutive days, said facility shall be deemed abandoned. The Zoning Officer shall notify the owner/user in writing and advise that the facility must be reactivated within ninety days or it must be dismantled and removed from the site within that same ninety ninety-day period at the cost of the owner/user. The owner/user of the telecommunications facility shall, on no less than an annual basis from the date of issuance of the zoning permit, file a declaration with the Zoning Officer as to the continuing operation of each of its facilities within the Village.
(2) The applicant for the telecommunications facility shall be required as a condition of issuance of a zoning permit to post a cash or surety bond acceptable to the Village Solicitor of not less than $100.00 per vertical foot from grade of the telecommunications facility, which bond shall insure that an abandoned, obsolete or destroyed telecommunications antenna or tower shall be removed within ninety days of cessation of use or abandonment. Any successor-in-interest or assignee of the applicant shall be required to additionally execute such bond, as principal, to ensure that the bond will be in place during the period of time that the successor-in-interest or assignee occupies the facility.
(u) Exemption of Certain Village Property. Regardless of the provisions of this chapter, a telecommunications facility may be permitted on any property owned or controlled by the Village and used for public services and shall be constructed, erected, maintained, extended and removed under such conditions, standards and regulations as required by the Council.
(Ord. 21-2020. Passed 12-14-20.)