Section 155.7.18  Wireless Facilities and Wireless Support Structures.
   155.7.18.1  Purpose and Intent. The purpose of this section is to ensure that residents and businesses in the Town of Wrightsville Beach have reliable access to wireless telecommunications networks and state of the art communications services while also ensuring that this objective is achieved in a fashion that preserves the intrinsic aesthetic character of the community and is accomplished according to the Town of Wrightsville Beach's zoning, planning and design standards. The Telecommunication Act of 1996, the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the N.C. General Statutes (particularly G.S. § 160A-400.50, et seq.) preserved, with certain limitations, local government land use and zoning authority concerning the placement, construction, and modification of wireless facilities. The Town of Wrightsville Beach recognizes that facilitating the development of wireless service technology can be an economic development asset to the Town of Wrightsville Beach and a significant benefit to residents. This section establishes parameters for the siting of wireless telecommunications facilities. It is the intent of this section to:
   (A)   Ensure access to reliable wireless telecommunications services throughout all areas of the Town of Wrightsville Beach;
   (B)   Encourage the use of existing monopoles, towers, utility poles and other structures for the collocation of telecommunications facilities;
   (C)   Encourage the location of new monopoles and towers in non-residential areas;
   (D)   Minimize the number of new monopoles and towers that would otherwise need to be constructed by providing incentives for the use of existing structures;
   (E)   Encourage the location of monopoles and towers, to the extent possible in areas where the adverse impact on the community will be minimal;
   (F)   Minimize the potential adverse effects associated with the construction of monopoles and towers through the implementation of reasonable design, landscaping and construction practices;
   (G)   Ensure public health, safety, welfare and conveniences; and
   (H)   Conform to federal and state laws that allow certain antennas to be exempt from local regulations.
   This section is divided into sub-sections, one for each type of wireless facility listed in section 155.6.4, Table of Permitted/Conditional Uses. The three types of facilities as defined in Appendix A are:
      (1)   Wireless facility and substantial modifications (See section 155.7.18.3 below.);
      (2)   Small wireless facility (See section 155.7.18.4 below.); and
      (3)   Stealth wireless facility and collocation on existing structures. (See section 155.7.18.5 below.); Stealth wireless facilities may be small wireless facilities. Stealth wireless facilities that do not meet the definition of small wireless facility must meet the standards of this section. This section is also mandatory for collocations that do meet the definition of a small wireless facility.
   The fifth sub-section discusses non-conforming situations.
   155.7.18.2. General Requirements.
   (A)   Requirements for all applications.
      (1)   Applications will be deemed abandoned if left incomplete for more than ninety (90) days from the date the applicant was notified in writing that the application was incomplete or deficient.
      (2)   No work of any kind may begin until all the required permits have been approved. Collocations on existing structures and small wireless facilities require a Certificate of Zoning Compliance and a building permit, unless constructed in a town public right-of-way (PROW). Small wireless facilities constructed in a PROW also require an encroachment permit. Stealth facilities require a certificate of zoning compliance and a building permit. Stealth facilities located on town property require an encroachment permit. All other wireless facilities, including substantial modifications, require a conditional use permit, Certificate of Zoning Compliance and building permit(s).
      (3)   The applicant must provide a deed, lease, or in the case of siting in the PROW, an application for an encroachment permit substantiating that it has the right to use the property for a wireless facility.
      (4)   All wireless support structures and their accessory structures shall use building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with the structure to which it may be affixed and to harmonize with the natural surroundings. The use of stealth camouflage or concealment is encouraged.
      (5)   Any technical information must be provided in such a manner, detail and form that the content and any conclusions are able to be verified by a third party using the information provided by the applicant.
   (B)   Exemptions.
      (1)   Ordinary maintenance of existing telecommunications facilities and wireless support structures, shall be exempt from zoning and permitting requirements.
      (2)   In addition, the following facilities are not subject to the provisions of this subsection:(a) antennas used by residential households solely for broadcast radio and television; (b) satellite antennas used solely for residential or household purposes; (3) cells on wheels (COWS) placed for a period of not more than 120 days at any location within the town after a declaration of an emergency or a disaster by the Governor or by the responsible official of the Town of Wrightsville Beach.
      (3)   The replacement of one facility with another like facility. For example, the replacement of a small wireless facility with another small wireless facility.
      (4)   Installation, placement, maintenance or replacement of micro wireless facilities that are suspended between existing utility poles or town utility poles.
      (5)   Communication services providers authorized to occupy town rights-of-way who are paying taxes under G.S. §§ 105-164.4 (a) (4c) or (6).
   (C)   Abandonment and removal.
      (1)   Wireless services providers are required to remove an abandoned wireless facility within 180 days of abandonment. Should the wireless services provider fail to timely remove the abandoned wireless facility, the town may cause such wireless facility to be removed and may recover the actual cost of such removal, including legal fees, if any, from the wireless services provider. For purposes of this subsection, a wireless facility shall be deemed abandoned at the earlier of the date that the wireless services provider indicates that it is abandoning such facility or the date that is 180 days after the date that such wireless facility ceases to transmit a signal, unless the wireless services provider gives the town reasonable evidence that it is diligently working to place such wireless facility back in service.
      (2)   This section applies to rights-of-way controlled by the N.C. Dept. of Transportation and the town.
      (3)   Any wireless support structure or part of a tower that ceases to be used for communications broadcasting and/or broadcast receiving shall be removed by the tower owner at the tower owner's expense, along with any and all associated structure. The owner of the wireless facility or wireless support structure shall remove the wireless facility within six months of its abandonment. Upon removal, the site shall be revegetated to blend with the existing surrounding vegetation. In the event that a wireless support structure is not removed by its owner in the specified time, the tower and associated structures may be removed by the town and the costs of removal assessed against the tower or property owner. The Town of Wrightsville Beach shall ensure and enforce removal by means of its existing regulatory authority.
   (D)   Multiple uses on a single parcel or lot telecommunications facilities and support structures may be located on a parcel containing another principal use on the same site.
   (E)   All work on wireless facilities shall be done in accordance with the current applicable technical, safety and safety-related codes of the town, the state or U.S. government including, but not limited to the most recent edition of the TIA ANSI Code, the recommended practices of the National Assoc. of Tower Erectors and accepted and responsible workmanlike industry practices. In the event of a conflict between any codes or regulations, the most stringent shall apply.
   155.7.18.3  Wireless Facility and Substantial Modifications Scope: All wireless facilities NOT meeting the definitions of Small wireless facility, micro wireless facility, collocation or stealth are subject to this section.
   (A)   Conditional use permit. New wireless facilities and Substantial modifications up to 50 feet in height shall be permitted in the C-3, CA, and C-5 Commercial Districts and the Public and Semi-Public Zoning District (G-1) after Planning Board review and upon the granting of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the Board of Aldermen in accordance with the standards set forth in this Ordinance.
   (B)   Time limits: Applications may be rejected if they are incomplete 90 days from the date of application. Applications deemed incomplete shall be returned to the applicant with a written explanation of the deficiencies and measures needed to remedy the deficiency. Applications not rejected by the town within 90 days of receipt are deemed to be complete. The Board of Aldermen shall issue a final decision on complete applications in no more than 150 days. If a final decision has not been reached in 150 days from the date of application, the application shall be deemed approved.
   (C)   All conditional use permit applications for wireless facilities and wireless support structures and substantial modifications must contain the following:
      (1)   Conditional use permit application form signed by applicant (refer to Section 155.4.5).
      (2)   A copy of lease or letter of authorization from the property owner evidencing applicant's authority to pursue zoning application.
      (3)   Written description and scaled drawings of the proposed wireless support structure, including structure height, ground and structure design, and proposed materials.
      (4)   Number and type of proposed antennas and their height above ground level, including the proposed placement of antennas on the support structure.
      (5)   When locating adjacent to a residential area, a written technical and operational analysis of why a wireless support structure at a height of less than 50 feet cannot be used.
      (6)   Line-of-sight diagram or photo simulation, showing the proposed wireless support structure set against the skyline and viewed from at least four directions within the surrounding areas.
      (7)   A statement justifying why collocation, or a stealth communications facility is not feasible. Such statement shall include:
         (a)   Such technical information and other justification as is necessary to document the reasons why collocation is not a viable option; and
         (b)   The applicant shall provide a list of all existing structures considered as alternatives to the proposed location. The applicant shall provide a written explanation why the alternatives considered were either unacceptable or infeasible due to technical, physical, or financial reasons. If an existing tower was listed among the alternatives, applicant must  specifically address why the modification of such tower is not a viable option.
         (c)   A statement that the proposed Wireless Support Structure will be made available for Collocation to other service providers at commercially reasonable rates.
      (8)   Conditional use permit application fee.
   (D)   General standards and design requirements.
      (1)   Design.
         (a)   Wireless support structures shall be subject to the following:
            (i)   Wireless support structures shall be monopoles designed to accommodate at least two telecommunications providers.
            (ii)   The compound area surrounding the wireless support structure must be of sufficient size to accommodate accessory equipment for at least two telecommunications providers.
            (iii)   Unless otherwise required by the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration, or the Town of Wrightsville Beach, wireless support structures shall be galvanized silver or gray finish.
            (iv)   Except for omni-directional antennas, all new or replacement antennas shall be flush mounted, or as close to flush mounted on the wireless support structure as is functionally possible unless it can be demonstrated by clear and convincing technical evidence that flush mounting has the effect of prohibiting the provision of service to the intended service area, or unless the applicant proves that flush mounting is technologically impracticable.
            (v)   If mounted on a building, all antennas shall be flush mounted on the building's fascia and camouflaged so as to match the color and, if possible, the texture of the building, or in a manner to make the antennas as undetectable as is reasonably possible given the facts and circumstances.
         (b)   Stealth telecommunications facilities shall be designed to accommodate the collocation of other antennas whenever feasible.
         (c)   Upon request of the applicant, the Board of Aldermen may waive the requirement that new wireless support structures accommodate the collocation of other service providers if it finds that collocation at the site is not essential to the public interest, or that the construction of a shorter wireless support structure with fewer Antennas will promote community compatibility.
      (2)   Setbacks.
         (a)   Properly lines. Unless otherwise stated herein, wireless support structures shall be setback from all property lines a distance equal to their height measured from the base of the structure to its highest point, excluding antennas.
         (b)   Residential dwellings. Unless otherwise stated herein, wireless support structures shall be setback from all off-site residential dwellings a distance equal to the height of the structure, excluding antennas. There shall be no setback requirement from dwellings located on the same parcel as the proposed structure. Existing or replacement utility poles shall not be subject to a setback requirement.
         (c)   Unless otherwise stated herein, all accessory equipment shall be located in the equipment compound. The equipment compound shall be setback from all property lines in accordance with the minimum setback requirements in the underlying zoning district. Accessory equipment associated with an existing or replacement utility pole shall not be subject to a setback requirement.
         (d)   The Board of Aldermen shall have the authority to reduce or waive any required setback upon the request of the applicant if the wireless facility or wireless support structure will be less visible as a result of the diminished setback. The Board of Aldermen must also find that the reduction or waiver of the setback is consistent with the purposes and intent of this Ordinance. The structure must still meet the underlying setback requirements of the zoning district.
      (3)   Height. Height shall be measured from the natural undisturbed ground surface below the center of the tower base to the top of the tower, excluding the highest antenna or piece of equipment attached thereto.
         (a)   In non-residential districts, support structures shall not exceed a height of 50 feet from the base of the structure to the top of the highest point. Any proposed support structure shall be designed to be the minimum height needed to meet the service objectives of the applicant.
         (b)   Support structures and antennas located on buildings shall not exceed 15 feet in height. Roof-mounted antennas extending over five feet above the principle building shall be located behind a facade that blends with the principal building.
         (c)   In all districts, the Board of Aldermen shall have the authority to reduce or waive the height restrictions listed in this section upon a satisfactory showing of the need for a greater height. With its request the applicant shall submit such technical information or other justification as are necessary to document the need for the additional height to the satisfaction of the Board of Aldermen.
      (4)   Aesthetics.
         (a)   Lighting and marking. Wireless facilities or wireless support structures shall not be lighted or marked unless required by the Federal Communications Commission or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Any additional lighting beyond minimum FAA requirements must be approved by the Board of Aldermen. If approved, the lighting shall be shielded and oriented so as not to project directly onto adjacent property, and so as to minimize glare onto adjacent property and streets.
         (b)   Signage. Signs on any portion of a tower and/or related accessory building, fence, or wall shall be prohibited with the following exceptions:
            (i)   A two square foot sign located at the telecommunications facility shall be limited to ownership and contact information, FCC antenna registration number (if required) and any other information as required by government regulation. Commercial advertising is strictly prohibited.
            (ii)   Warning signs may be placed on the premises. Equipment information signs may be placed at appropriate locations as determined by the Town Manager or his/her designee.
            (iii)   A freestanding sign may be permitted only if the lot also contains the main business office of the telecommunications server.
            (iv)   A sign permit is required whenever a sign is allowed.
      (5)   Landscaping. In all districts, the Board of Aldermen shall have the authority to impose reasonable landscaping requirements surrounding the equipment compound or accessory equipment. Required landscaping shall be consistent with surrounding vegetation and shall be maintained by the facility owner. The Board of Aldermen may choose to not require landscaping for sites that are not visible from the public rights-of-way or adjacent property or in instances where in the judgment of the Board of Aldermen, landscaping is not appropriate or necessary.
      (6)   Equipment compounds and/or accessory equipment, including any buildings, cabinets or shelters, shall be used only to house equipment and other supplies in support of the operation of the wireless facility or wireless support structure. Any equipment not used in direct support of such operation shall not be stored on the site. Ground mounted accessory equipment, wireless facilities and wireless support structures shall be secured and enclosed with fence not less than six feet in height as deemed appropriate by the Board of Aldermen and must comply with the UDO. Barbed wire, razor ribbon, concertina wire and other similar security measures shall be prohibited. The Board of Aldermen may waive the fencing requirement if it is deemed that a fence is not appropriate or needed at the proposed location.
         (a)   An equipment building, shelter or cabinet must not exceed 560 square feet and 12 feet in height, including the support structure for the equipment.
         (b)   Equipment buildings must comply with local, state and federal flood zone restrictions.
         (c)   Exception to height restriction. Upon the applicant's request, the Board of Aldermen may waive the height restriction to allow for the stacking of equipment on top of each other. The Board of Aldermen must find that there is a practical necessity for the stacking of the equipment and that any resulting impact on adjoining properties is minimal or may be minimized by requiring appropriate screening. The Board of Aldermen may also waive the height restriction where a higher support structure is needed to raise the equipment above a slope or floodplain.
         (d)   If the equipment compound and/or accessory equipment is adjacent to or visible from a residential zone, the Board of Aldermen may require that the building or shelter be faced with brick or other suitable material on all sides and that the compound area is surrounded by landscaping providing a screen of at least three feet in height at installation. The equipment compound and/or accessory equipment must conform to the setback standards of the applicable zone. In the situation of stacked equipment buildings, additional screening/landscaping measures may be required by the Board of Aldermen.
   155.7.18.4  Small Wireless Facility.
   (A)   Approval criteria. Applications for Certificates of Zoning Compliance for small wireless facilities may be approved under this subsection only if the application meets the following requirements:
      (1)   The small/micro wireless facility meets the definitions Appendix A, § 3, Definitions; and
      (2)   The proposed facility meets the height requirement of Table 1.
 
Table 1: Small Wireless Facility Height Requirements
In PROW?
Zoning District Permitted
New, Modified or Replacement Utility Pole Town Utility Pole (Height in Feet)
Height of Small Wireless Facility Above Utility Pole, Wireless Support Structure or Town Utility Pole
Total Height (in feet)
YES
R1, R2, C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, G1, PC, P1
50 above ground level
10 feet
60
NO
C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, G1, PC, P1
50 above ground level
10 feet
60
Yes, and utilities located underground
R1, R2
40 above ground level
10 feet
50
 
      (3)   The proposed facility is located NC DOT or town-owned rights-of-way or outside of the PROW on property that is not zoned R-1, R-2, or in any historic district.
      (4)   Unless otherwise required by the FCC, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or the town, wireless support structures shall be galvanized silver or gray finish.
      (5)   Unless proven unfeasible by clear and convincing evidence, in lieu of installing new poles, any wireless installation in the PROW shall replace a pre-existing distribution pole, secondary pole or streetlight.
      (6)   Wireless installations shall be on poles that meet or exceed current NESC standards and wind and ice loading requirements of ANSI 222 Version G for essential services.
      (7)   Any new poles installed shall be environmentally "green" and not leach any volatile organic compounds or toxic materials into the ground.
      (8)   To avoid unsightly rust and corrosion, any new or replacement pole installed shall not be metal or reinforced concrete.
      (9)   All antennas shall be undiscernible by an average person from 250 feet away.
      (10)   Wireless installations shall utilize a "concealed" design, including all cabling being inside the support structure.
      (11)   All radios, network equipment and batteries will be enclosed in a pedestal cabinet near the pole, or in a pole-mounted cabinet or under a pole-mounted shroud.
      (12)   All small wireless facilities shall be designed to accommodate the collocation of other antennas whenever feasible.
         (a)   Upon request of the applicant, the Town Manager or designee may waive the requirement that new small wireless facility accommodate the collocation of other service providers if it finds that collocation at the site is not essential to the public interest, or that the construction of a shorter wireless support structure with fewer antennas will promote community compatibility, or that collocation of other service providers is technically unfeasible.
      (13)   Signage. Signs on any portion of a small wireless facility shall be prohibited with the following exceptions:
         (a)   A two square foot sign located at the telecommunications facility shall be limited to ownership and contact information, FCC antenna registration number (if required), warning information and any other information as required by government regulation. Commercial advertising is strictly prohibited.
         (b)   A sign permit is required whenever a sign is allowed.
      (14)   Landscaping. Outside of the PROW in all districts, the Town Manager or designee shall have the authority to impose reasonable landscaping requirements surrounding the equipment compound or accessory equipment. Required landscaping shall be consistent with surrounding vegetation and shall be maintained by the facility owner. The Town Manager or designee may choose to not require landscaping for sites that are not visible from the public rights-of-way or adjacent property or in instances where landscaping is not appropriate or necessary.
      (15)   Equipment compounds are not permitted in the PROW.
      (16)   Equipment compounds and/or accessory equipment, including any buildings, cabinets or shelters, shall be used only to house equipment and other supplies in support of the operation of the small wireless facility. Any equipment not used in direct support of such operation shall not be stored on the site. Ground mounted accessory equipment and small wireless facilities may be secured and enclosed with fence not less than six feet in height and must comply with the UDO. Barbed wire, razor ribbon, concertina wire and other similar security measures shall be prohibited. The Town Manager or designee may waive the fencing requirement if it is deemed that a fence is not appropriate or needed at the proposed location.
         (a)   An equipment building, shelter or cabinet must not exceed 560 square feet and 12 feet in height, including the support structure for the equipment.
         (b)   Equipment buildings must comply with local, state and federal flood zone restrictions.
         (c)   Exception to height restriction. Upon the applicant's request, the Town Manager or designee may waive the height restriction to allow for the stacking of equipment on top of each other. The Town Manager or designee must find that there is a practical necessity for the stacking of the equipment and that any resulting impact on adjoining properties is minimal or may be minimized by requiring appropriate screening. The Town Manager or designee may waive the height restriction where a higher support structure is needed to raise the equipment above a slope or floodplain.
         (d)   If the equipment compound is adjacent to or visible from a residential zone, the building or shelter shall be faced with brick or other suitable material on all sides and that the compound area is surrounded by landscaping providing a screen of at least three feet in height at installation. The equipment must conform to the setback standards of the applicable zone. In the situation of stacked equipment buildings, additional screening/landscaping measures may be required by the Town Manager or designee.
   (B)   Approval process. Applications for Certificates of Zoning Compliance to collocate small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way (PROW) or on new, existing or replacement wireless support structures, or in the non-residential zoning districts are subject to the approval process required by G.S. Chapter 160A, Art. 19, Part 3E. Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.
      (1)   Time of review of applications for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. Review and processing shall be completed within 45 days of the town's receipt of a completed application. The town shall provide written notice that an application is incomplete within 30 days of the receipt of the application.
      (2)   Standard of review. Applications for Certificates of Zoning Compliance for small wireless facilities shall be reviewed for conformance with this UDO, including the applicable site plan and state building code requirements.
      (3)   Reasons for denial of application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. The town may deny an application for a small wireless facility only on the basis that it does not meet any of the following:
         (a)   The town's applicable codes;
         (b)   Town code provisions or regulations that concern public safety, objective design standards for decorative utility poles, town utility poles, or reasonable and nondiscriminatory stealth and concealment requirements, including screening or landscaping for ground-mounted equipment;
         (c)   Public safety and reasonable spacing requirements concerning the location of ground-mounted equipment in a right-of-way; or
         (d)   The requirements of any historic district.
      (4)   Contents of application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. In addition to the requirements of Section 155.1.12.4, the application for a small wireless facility must include a sworn, notarized attestation that the small wireless facilities shall be:
         (a)   Activated for use by a wireless services provider to provide service no later than one year from the permit issuance date;
         (b)   Collocation shall commence within six months of the permit issuance date; and
         (c)   If not, the permit may be revoked.
      (5)   Applicants option to file a "consolidated application". Applicants for Certificates of Zoning Compliance for small wireless facilities may file a consolidated application for no more than 25 separate facilities and receive a permit for the collocation of all the small wireless facilities meeting the requirements of this Ordinance. Town may remove small wireless facility collocations from a consolidated application and treat separately small wireless facility collocations:
         (a)   For which incomplete information has been provided; or
         (b)   That are denied.
         The town may issue a separate permit for each collocation that is approved.
      (6)   Applications for small wireless facilities to be located in town rights-of-way shall meet the requirements of Chapter IX, Streets and Sidewalks.
   155.7.18.5  Collocation and Stealth Communications Facility.
   (A)   Scope. Applications certificates of Zoning Compliance for collocated antenna and stealth telecommunications facilities ("stealth facility") are permitted by the Town Manager or designee if the conditions of this section are met. This section applies to stealth facilities and to collocations that meet the definitions of small or micro wireless facilities. This section does not apply to substantial modifications. (Collocated antennas and stealth facilities are sometimes referred to together in this subsection as "the facility".)
   (B)   Additional approval criteria for Certificates of Zoning Compliance. Collocations may only be approved if all the following criteria are met:
      (1)   The additional antenna(s) does not exceed the number of wireless facilities previously approved for the wireless support structure on which the collocation is proposed and meet all the other requirements of the original approval; or
      (2)   The application meets all the following requirements:
         (a)   The collocation does not exceed a height of ten feet above the utility pole and the width of the tower or wireless support structure to which the wireless facilities are to be attached;
         (b)   The collocation does not increase the ground space area approved in the site plan for equipment enclosures and ancillary facilities;
         (c)   The wireless telecommunications facilities in the proposed collocation comply with applicable regulations, restrictions, or conditions, if any, applied to the initial wireless facilities placed on the tower or other wireless support structure;
         (d)   The additional wireless facilities comply with all federal, State and local safety requirements; and
         (e)   The collocation does not exceed the applicable weight limits for the wireless support structure; or
         (f)   The collocation is not a substantial modification.
      (3)   The collocation and/or stealth facility meets the definitions Appendix A, § 3, Definitions.
      (4)   The proposed facility meets the height requirement of 40 feet or less.
      (5)   Unless otherwise required by the FCC, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or the town, the facilities shall not be lighted.
      (6)   All stealth facilities shall be designed to accommodate the collocation of other antennas whenever feasible. Upon request of the applicant, the Town Manager or designee may waive the requirement that new stealth facilities accommodate the collocation of other service providers if it finds that collocation at the site is not essential to the public interest, or that the construction of a shorter wireless support structure with fewer antennas will promote community compatibility, or that collocation of other service providers is technically unfeasible.
      (7)   Signage. Signs on any portion of the facility shall be prohibited with the following exceptions:
         (a)   A two square foot sign located at the telecommunications facility shall be limited to ownership and contact information, FCC antenna registration number (if required), warning information and any other information as required by government regulation. Commercial advertising is strictly prohibited.
         (b)   A sign permit is required whenever a sign is allowed.
      (8)   Landscaping. The Town Manager or designee shall have the authority to impose reasonable landscaping requirements surrounding the equipment compound or accessory equipment. Required landscaping shall be consistent with surrounding vegetation and shall be maintained by the facility owner. The Town Manager or designee may choose to not require landscaping for sites that are not visible from the public rights-of-way or adjacent property or in instances where landscaping is not appropriate or necessary.
      (9)   Equipment compounds and/or accessory equipment, including any buildings, cabinets or shelters, shall be used only to house equipment and other supplies in support of the operation of the small wireless facility. Any equipment not used in direct support of such operation shall not be stored on the site. Ground mounted accessory equipment and small wireless facilities may be secured and enclosed with fence not less than six feet in height and must comply with the UDO. Barbed wire, razor ribbon, concertina wire and other similar security measures shall be prohibited. The Town Manager or designee may waive the fencing requirement if it is deemed that a fence is not appropriate or needed at the proposed location.
         (a)   An equipment building, shelter or cabinet must not exceed 560 square feet and 12 feet in height, including the support structure for the equipment.
         (b)   Equipment buildings must comply with local, state and federal flood zone restrictions.
         (c)   Exception to height restriction. Upon the applicant's request, the Town Manager or designee may waive the height restriction to allow for the stacking of equipment on top of each other. The Town Manager or designee must find that there is a practical necessity for the stacking of the equipment and that any resulting impact on adjoining properties is minimal or may be minimized by requiring appropriate screening. The Town Manager or designee may waive the height restriction where a higher support structure is needed to raise the equipment above a slope or floodplain.
         (d)   If the equipment compound is adjacent to or visible from a residential zone, the building or shelter shall be faced with brick or other suitable material on all sides and that the compound area is surrounded by landscaping providing a screen of at least three feet in height at installation. The equipment must conform to the setback standards of the applicable zone. In the situation of stacked equipment buildings, additional screening/landscaping measures may be required by the Town Manager or designee.
      (10)   Setbacks.
         (a)   Property lines. Unless otherwise stated herein, the facility shall be setback from all property lines the distance required for the existing wireless support structure or the use the stealth facility is mimicking.
         (b)   Unless otherwise stated herein, all accessory equipment shall be located in an equipment compound. The equipment compound shall be setback from all property lines in accordance with the minimum setback requirements in the underlying zoning district. Accessory equipment associated with an existing or replacement utility pole shall not be subject to a setback requirement.
         (c)   The Town Manager or designee shall have the authority to reduce or waive any required setback upon the request of the applicant if the facility will be less visible as a result of the diminished setback. A stealth facility must also meet the underlying setback requirements of the zoning district.
   (C)   Approval process for Certificates of Zoning Compliance. Applications for the facilities are subject to the approval process required by the FCC regulations and G.S. Chapter 160A, Art. 19, Part 3E, Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.
   (D)   Time of review of Certificates of Zoning Compliance for collocations. Staff review and processing shall be completed within 45 days of the town's receipt of a completed application. The town shall provide written notice that an application is incomplete within 45 days of the receipt of the application. Applications for Certificates of Zoning Compliance for stealth applications shall be reviewed by the Technical Review Committee and approved within 90 days of the town's receipt of a completed application.
   (E)   Standard of review. Applications for Certificates of Zoning Compliance for stealth facilities or collocations shall be reviewed for conformance with this UDO, including the applicable site plan and state building code requirements.
   (F)   Contents of application for Certificate of Zoning Compliance. In addition to the requirements of Sections 155.1.12.4, and 155.7.18.2, an application for a facility must include a sworn, notarized attestation that the Wireless Facilities shall be:
      (1)   Activated for use by a wireless services provider to provide service no later than one year from the permit issuance date;
      (2)   Collocation (or construction of a stealth facility) shall commence within six months of the permit issuance date; and
      (3)   If not, the permit may be revoked.
   155.7.18.6   Telecommunications Facilities and Support Structures in Existence on the Date of Adoption of this Ordinance.
   (A)   Wireless facilities and wireless support structures that were legally permitted on or before the date this Ordinance was enacted shall be considered a permitted nonconforming use.
   (B)   Non-conforming wireless facility, including wireless support structures.
      (1)   Non-conforming wireless facilities including accessory equipment: ordinary maintenance may be performed on non-conforming wireless facilities and accessory equipment.
      (2)   Minor modifications to non-conforming wireless facilities may be permitted upon the granting of approval by the Town Manager or designees (including the Public Works Director).
      (3)   Substantial modifications to non-conforming wireless facilities may be permitted only upon the granting of conditional use permit approval by the Board of Aldermen.
(Ord. 1796, passed 7-9-20)