Skip to code content (skip section selection)
1. The intent of this section is to establish general guidelines for the siting of towers and other structures used for the provision of communication services, including but not limited to wireless telecommunications and associated antenna, ground equipment, and accessory structures related to wireless telecommunications infrastructure, and to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the public from:
a. Potential injury to citizens and damage to property from falling towers or items falling from a tower;
b. Potential injury to people while playing around towers and their appurtenant compounds;
c. Potential aesthetic harm to residential communities; and
d. Potential negative economic impacts on the scenic tourist industry.
1. The goals of this Section are to encourage the location of towers in nonresidential areas and minimize the total number of towers throughout the community; strongly encourage the joint use of new and existing tower sites; encourage users of towers and antennas to locate them, to the extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community is minimal; encourage users of towers and antennas to configure them in a way that minimizes the adverse visual impact of the towers and antennas; establish review procedures to ensure that applications for telecommunications facilities are acted upon within a reasonable period of time; and enhance the ability of the providers of telecommunication services to provide such services to the community quickly, effectively and efficiently.
1. Accessory Antennas: A facility that is an accessory to an existing use or structure, and is clearly incidental to or subordinate in terms of purpose, area and extent.
2. Alternative Structure: A structure that is not primarily constructed for the purpose of supporting antennas but on which one or more antennas may be mounted. Alternative structures include, but are not limited to, buildings, water tanks, light stanchions, pole signs, billboards, church steeples and electric power transmission towers.
3. Amateur Radio Antenna: An arrangement of wires or metal rods used in the sending and receiving of electromagnetic waves and as authorized by the issuance of an amateur radio license by the FCC, provided that the transmission and reception of such electromagnetic waves is compliant with all FCC regulations.
4. Ancillary Structure: Equipment, devices and structures associated with a wireless communications facility, including but not limited to: concrete slabs on grade, guy anchors, generators, feed lines, mounting hardware, pedestals, electrical risers and transmission cable supports; however, specifically excluding fencing, equipment cabinets, towers, alternative structures, and antenna elements.
5. Antenna: Any exterior apparatus designed for communications through the sending and/or receiving of electromagnetic waves.
6. Camouflage Techniques: Sometimes referred to as a concealed or stealth facility. A tower or antenna designed to unobtrusively blend into the existing surroundings, be disguised so as to not have the appearance of a communications facility, or be designed or located in such a manner that the tower or antenna is not easily discernable from surrounding properties. These types of facilities may be attached or freestanding. Attached facilities may be camouflaged through the use of paint to match the building or structure, and through the use of faux windows, dormers or other architectural features that blend in with the building or structure. Examples of freestanding facilities include the form and shape of a tree, bell tower, steeple, clock tower, light standard, flagpole and other techniques which serve to diminish the visual impact of the tower or antenna.
7. Co-Location: The practice of installing and operating multiple antenna systems, owned or controlled by multiple wireless service providers, and/or radio common carrier licensees on the same tower, antenna support structure, or alternative structure using different and separate antenna, feed lines, equipment cabinets, generators and other radio frequency generating equipment.
8. Communication Facilities: is the general term used to collectively describe all the various communication towers, antennas, networks, systems, arrays, equipment, devices and structures defined in this Section.
10. Equipment Compound: The fenced area surrounding the ground-based wireless communication facility that includes the following: the tower or antenna support structure’s framework and ancillary structures such as equipment necessary to operate the antenna, cabinets, shelters, pedestals, emergency generators and other similar structures.
11. FAA: Federal Aviation Administration.
12. FCC: Federal Communications Commission.
13. Geographic Service Area: An area designated by a wireless provider or operator for a new base station and antenna elements, produced in accordance with generally accepted principles of wireless engineering.
14. Height: The distance measured from ground level to the ultimate highest point on the tower or other structure, even if the highest point on the tower or structure is the antenna.
15. Monopole Tower: A style of free-standing tower consisting of a single shaft usually composed of two or more hollow sections used to conceal all feed lines that are in turn attached to a foundation. This type of tower is designed to support itself without the use of guy wires or other stabilization devices.
16. Primary Use: The predominant use of the land or structure.
17. Substantial Change: A modification that substantially changes the physical dimensions of an eligible support structure if it meets any of the following criteria:
a. For towers other than towers in the public rights-of-way, it increases the height of the tower by more than ten (10) percent or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed twenty (20) feet, whichever is greater; for other eligible support structures, it increases the height of the structure by more than ten (10) percent or more than ten (10) feet, whichever is greater.
b. For towers other than towers in the public rights-of-way, it involves adding an appurtenance to the body of the tower that would protrude from the edge of the tower more than twenty (20) feet, or more than the width of the tower structure at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater; for other eligible support structures, it involves adding an appurtenance to the body of the structure that would protrude from the edge of the structure by more than six (6) feet;
c. For any eligible support structure, it involves installation of more than standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, but not to exceed four (4) cabinets, or for towers in the public rights-of-way and base stations, it involves installation of any new equipment cabinets on the ground if there are no pre-existing ground cabinets associated with the structure, or else involves installation of ground cabinets that are more than ten (10) percent larger in height or overall volume than any other ground cabinets associated with the structure. Please refer to Chapter 92, Wireless Facilities in Public Right-of- Way, of the City Code of Ordinances for specific development and submittal requirements for wireless facilities within the right-of-way;
d. It entails any excavation or deployment outside the current site;
e. It would defeat the concealment elements of the eligible support structure; or
f. It does not comply with conditions associated with the siting approval of the construction or modification of the eligible support structure or base station equipment, provided however that this limitation does not apply to any modification that is non-compliant only in a manner that would not exceed the thresholds in paragraphs a. through d. of this definition.
18. Tower: Any structure designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one (1) or more antennas, including self-supporting lattice towers, guy towers, or monopole towers. The term includes radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common-carrier towers, cellular telephone towers, alternative tower structures and the like.
C. Inventory of Existing Sites and Geographic Service Area; Other Information Required
1. Every applicant for a telecommunications antenna and/or tower shall provide an inventory of its existing facilities within the City and within one-quarter (¼) mile beyond the City limits. This inventory shall include specific information about location, height, design and service limitation of each facility.
2. Each applicant shall also include a description of the geographic service area of the proposed facility.
3. If requested by the City, the applicant shall provide whatever technical and other information the City deems necessary to determine issues such as whether these regulations prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting service to the community or would interfere with existing service. At a minimum, this information should include a radio frequency propagation plot plan indicating the coverage of existing facilities, coverage prediction, and design radius, together with an analysis from the applicant's RF Engineer that the coverage cannot be provided by an existing telecommunications (including co-locations), structure, utility distribution tower or other site, including a review of existing structures within the proposed service area, and why they were found to be unacceptable.
D. Accessory Telecommunications Antenna and Ancillary Structure
1. An accessory telecommunications antenna and/or ancillary structure shall be permitted by right in all zoning districts subject to the following requirements:
a. The antenna is installed as accessory to any existing tower or other alternative structure appropriate for antenna location; including, but not limited to, a multi- storied building (with the exception of any residential building containing fewer than five units), sign, light pole, water tower, steeple, or transmission tower located outside of the public right-of-way; and
b. The antenna shall not add more than twenty (20) feet in height to the existing tower or alternative structure; and
c. Other supporting equipment used in conjunction with the antenna shall be allowed as an accessory structure provided the equipment is appropriately screened or camouflaged; and
d. The antenna and supporting equipment must be of a neutral color that is identical to, or closely compatible with the color of the supporting structure to make the facility as visually unobtrusive as possible. Where the antenna is attached to an existing structure other than a co-location on an existing communications or electric transmission tower, alternative materials, textures and camouflage techniques shall be utilized to conceal the facility; and
e. Artificial lighting shall not be utilized unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority. Any required lighting shall be designed to minimize disturbance to adjoining properties and views; and
f. A building permit from the City shall be required; and
g. For antenna that co-locates on existing towers or support structures, outside of the public right-of-way, a licensed professional engineer shall certify that the tower or support structure can support the number of shared users without structural or technological interference.
1. Essential communication facilities for emergency, police, and medical service dispatch shall be permitted by right on public property and may be exempt from the requirements of this Section.
F. Telecommunications Towers
1. Telecommunications Towers shall be permitted by right as an accessory use on non- residentially zoned or used property, including City-owned property, or as a primary use on property located within the General Commercial, Light Industrial, Industrial Park and Heavy Industrial zoning districts; provided, however, any telecommunications tower located within 150 feet of a property zoned or used for residential purposes shall be subject to the conditional use review and approval procedures under Article 151.26 of this Code.
2. The minimum setback distance from the property line shall be equal to 110 percent of the height of the proposed tower; provided, however, when the subject property adjoins a property zoned or used for residential purposes, the minimum setback distance shall be equal to twice the height of the proposed tower from the residentially zoned property line, excluding the property on which the proposed tower is located. The Development Review Committee may reduce the required setback for towers that do not adjoin residentially zoned property and are constructed using breakpoint design technology as certified by a registered professional engineer which in that case the minimum setback distance shall be equal to 110 percent of the distance from the top of the structure to the breakpoint level of the structure, or the minimum side and rear yard requirements, whichever is greater.
3. Any tower proposed to exceed sixty (60) feet in height shall be subject to the conditional use review and approval procedures provided under Article 151.26 of this Code.
4. Towers shall be engineered and constructed to encourage and allow for future co- location by other service providers. All towers taller than sixty (60) feet in height shall be engineered and constructed to accommodate no less than three (3) antenna arrays.
5. Tower guys and accessory facilities must satisfy the minimum setback requirements as set forth in this Code for the particular district.
6. Towers shall either maintain a galvanized steel finish, or subject to any standards of the FAA, and be painted a neutral color to reduce visual obtrusiveness. Camouflage techniques shall be utilized where feasible and, and if determined infeasible, the applicant shall submit a written justification as to the reason.
7. Towers shall not be artificially lighted, unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority. All lights on towers and antennas of any height shall be up-shielded.
8. Supporting equipment shall be designed to blend in with the natural setting or built environment through the use of color, screening, materials, textures or other technique.
9. Supporting equipment shall be fully concealed behind a masonry wall enclosure painted a neutral color.
10. The exterior perimeter of the masonry wall enclosure shall contain a minimum fifteen (15) foot wide landscape perimeter buffer containing at least one (1) row of large species trees with a minimum twelve (12) foot tall and two and one-half (2.5) inch diameter (caliper) and five (5) foot spread, twenty-five (25) foot on center. Shrubs capable of creating a continuous hedge and obtaining a height of at least six (6) feet shall be planted, minimum three (3) gallon and twenty-four (24) inches at the time of planting, five (5) foot on center. The City may administratively modify these requirements based on site constraints where the alternate landscape plan will fulfill the intent of this screening requirement.
11. Towers shall not be used for advertising.
12. Signage is required to be placed on the antenna support structure, equipment cabinets, or fence for the purpose of identifying the antenna support structure (either by the ASR registration number or other identifying information) as well as the party responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility.
13. Towers shall only be permitted where the applicant has provided substantial competent evidence demonstrating that existing towers or structures cannot accommodate and provide the proposed telecommunications service for any of the following reasons:
a. No existing towers or structures are located within the geographic area required to meet applicant's engineering requirements.
b. Existing towers or structures are not of sufficient height to meet applicant's engineering requirements.
c. Existing towers or structures do not have sufficient structural strength to support applicant's proposed antenna and related requirements.
d. Existing towers or structures would cause electromagnetic interference to existing or proposed antenna.
e. The costs or contractual provisions to adapt an existing tower or structure exceed the development costs for a new tower.
f. The applicant demonstrates that there are other limiting factors that render existing towers and structures unsuitable or unable to provide adequate telecommunications service.
g. A visual line of site analysis, including photo-simulated post construction renderings shall be submitted to enable the City to assess the visual impact upon surrounding properties.
G. Amateur Radio Antennas
1. Amateur radio antennas and any ancillary structures shall be permitted by right as an accessory use in all Single-Family Residential Zoning Districts, provided the principal residence is a single-family detached structure.
2. Amateur radio antennas shall meet the following installation standards if they meet both of these criteria: 1) The antenna is connected to a permanent mounting or support structure; 2) The base diameter of the antenna is greater than 2.5 inches.
a. The height shall not exceed 70 feet above ground level, measured from the base of the support structure or other structure or building to which an amateur radio antenna array is attached.
b. The antennas and ancillary structures shall be located within the rear yard and must be located on the same lot as the principal structure.
c. The antenna ancillary structures shall be made of corrosion-resistant materials.
d. The antenna and ancillary structures shall be setback from a property line a distance equal to 50 percent of the antenna's height as measured in subsection 2 above.
e. A building permit shall be required containing appropriate engineering data confirming compliance with all regulations set forth in the building code in effect at the time of the application submission.
f. Any proposed antenna that exceeds the maximum height requirement as stated in subsection 2 above, shall be subject to the conditional use review and approval procedures provided under Article 151.26 of this Code.
H. Federal Requirements and Safety Standards
1. All towers and antennas must meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FAA and FCC, and any other agency of the federal government with authority to regulate towers and antennas. If such standards are changed, the owners of the towers and antennas governed by this Code shall bring such towers and antennas into compliance with the revised standards and regulations within six (6) months of the effective date of such standards and regulations, unless a more stringent compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling federal agency. Failure to bring towers and antennas into compliance with such revised standards and regulations shall constitute a violation of this Code.
2. If upon inspection, the City Building Official at any time finds that the structural integrity of the tower or antenna constitutes a danger to persons or property, the owner of the tower or antenna shall be given written notice of the condition and shall have fifteen (15) days to make the tower or antenna structurally sound in accordance with the standard set forth in the applicable codes.
1. The owner of any communication facility is responsible for maintaining all required landscaping and ancillary structures in good condition and in accordance with permit conditions as determined by the City. The City will notify the owner to replace or repair any portion of the communication facility that falls in disrepair or fails to maintain the approved design aesthetic. The owner shall correct any violation under this section within 60 days. Any violation of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided under Section 151.32.004 and may result in the revocation of the original permit.
J. Removal of Abandoned Towers and Antennas
1. Any tower or antenna that is not operated for a continuous period of six (6) months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such tower or antenna shall remove same within sixty (60) days of receipt from the City notifying the owner of such abandonment. If such tower or antenna is not removed within sixty (60) days, the facility shall be in violation of this Code. If there are two (2) or more users of a single tower, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the tower or antenna.
K. Variance Procedures
1. Any request to deviate from the requirements of this Section shall be processed in accordance with the requirements of Article 151.30 of this Code.
2. In addition to the standards of Section 151.30.005 of this Code, the applicant shall be required to demonstrate that the regulation prevents the applicant from providing service to the area, and that other options for providing service are not available or reasonable.
L. Approval Process
1. All applications for telecommunications antenna and towers shall be reviewed for completeness. If any item required by this Section 151.04.018, or as required elsewhere by this Code, is not provided, the application shall be deemed incomplete.
2. Applicants shall be notified within 20 business days whether the application is complete. If the application is determined to be incomplete, the City shall identify the missing items or deficiencies that the applicant must correct and/or resubmit. After the information is resubmitted, the City shall have an additional 20 days to make a determination of completeness.
3. Once a determination has been made that an application is complete, applications for accessory telecommunications antenna shall be processed within 45 business days, and applications for telecommunications towers as a primary use shall be processed within 90 business days, unless the application is scheduled for City Council action at the regularly scheduled meeting following the 90-day period.
4. The applicant and the City may mutually agree upon a modification or waiver of these timeframes.
M. Permit Levels
1. Level 1. The development order (building permit) issued by the City to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of:
a. An accessory telecommunications antenna or ancillary structure.
b. Amateur radio antennas installed with permanent mounting or support, or antennas that have a base diameter greater than 2.5 inches.
c. A modification to an existing, lawfully constructed tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station, involving:
(1) Collocation of new transmission equipment;
(2) Removal of transmission equipment; or
(3) Replacement of transmission equipment.
2. Level 2. The development order (modified site plan and/or building permit) issued by the City to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of:
a. A telecommunications tower that is 60 feet or less in height .
3. Level 3. The conditional use permit issued by the City Council, pursuant to the public hearing process and requirements set forth in Article 151.26 of this Code, to an individual, corporation, partnership, or other entity to engage in the creation of:
a. A telecommunications tower that exceeds 60 feet in height or is located within 150 feet of a property zoned or used for residential purposes.
b. Amateur radio antennas that exceed 70 feet or antennas with a base diameter that exceed 12 inches.
(Ord. 2016-002, passed 2-25-16; Am. Ord. 2018-005, passed 3-22-18; Am. Res. 2021-056, passed 8-12-21; Am. Ord. 2021-008, passed 9-23-21)