Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Application. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, and in addition to other applicable provisions, wireless telecommunications facilities, when such are permitted by federal law and the laws of the state, shall be regulated and governed by the use regulations and requirements of this section. However, this section shall not apply, nor be construed to apply, to amateur radio operators who are licensed to operate a radio or transmitter by the Federal Communications Commission under Part 97 of the Federal Communications Commission’s rules.
(1) Wireless telecommunication facilities are hereby declared special exception uses in all districts contained in this chapter.
(2) The applicant for a wireless telecommunication facility special exception shall demonstrate that they have exhausted all efforts to locate the proposed telecommunications antennas upon existing buildings or structures in the geographical area of the proposed telecommunications antennas. The applicant shall submit a master plan for its wireless telecommunication facilities throughout the town. The master plan shall demonstrate efforts to minimize the size and number of telecommunications antenna locations throughout the geographical area, taking into consideration existing technology.
(3) The placement of telecommunications antennas upon existing telecommunications towers may be administratively approved by the Building Commissioner.
(C) Development standards.
(1) In addition to complying with the requirements for a special exception use for the zoning district of the property, all wireless telecommunications facilities shall comply with the following additional requirements.
(a) The maximum height of a telecommunications tower, including antenna array, shall not exceed 120 feet above grade.
(b) No new telecommunications towers shall be located within 5,000 feet from another telecommunications tower.
(c) All guys and guy anchors shall be located within the buildable area of the lot and shall not be located within any front, side or rear yard setback or front, side or rear bufferyard setback and, in any event, no closer than five feet to any lot line.
(d) The base of a telecommunications tower and all guy anchors shall be enclosed by security fencing.
(e) Equipment buildings must be similar in color and character to the main or adjoining building or structure or blend with the landscaping and other surroundings immediately adjacent to the equipment building and shall be screened by a chain link or wrought iron fence with landscaping installed in compliance with the provisions of § 194.109 of this chapter for Level B landscaping requirements.
(f) A telecommunications tower shall be erected and operated in compliance with the most current Federal Communication Commission and Federal Aviation Administration rules and regulations and other applicable federal and state standards.
(g) A telecommunications tower shall be used by three or more wireless communications providers; or providers including providers such as cellular or PCS providers using Antenna with no more than three degrees of twist and sway at the top elevation and the owner of the telecommunications tower and the property on which it is located must certify to the town that the antenna is available for use by another wireless telecommunications provider on a reasonable and non- discriminatory basis and at a cost not exceeding the market value for the use of the facilities. If a portion of the telecommunications tower is to be leased to other wireless communications providers, the portions of the actual or proposed lease that demonstrate compliance with the requirements of this division (C)(1) shall be submitted with the application for special exception.
(h) All telecommunications towers shall be of a tapering monopole construction, except that another type telecommunications tower may be allowed upon showing that the alternate type of telecommunications tower would cause less visual impact on surrounding property than a similar monopole structure.
(i) No lettering, symbols, images, trademarks, signs or advertising shall be placed on or affixed to any part of a telecommunications tower, antenna array or antenna, other than as required by FCC regulations regarding Telecommunications Tower registration or other applicable law.
(j) The need for the requested site and the nature of any existing sites shall be documented and the manner in which the placement will promote the town’s telecommunications policies shall be demonstrated.
(k) Telecommunications towers shall be constructed to minimize potential safety hazards. Telecommunications towers shall be constructed so as to meet or exceed the most recent EIA-222 standards, and prior to issuance of a building permit, the Building Inspector shall be provided with an engineer’s certification that the telecommunications tower’s design meets or exceeds those standards. Guyed telecommunications towers shall be located in such a manner that if the telecommunications tower should fall along its longest dimension, the telecommunications tower will remain within the lot lines and avoid habitable structures, public streets, utility lines and other telecommunications towers.
(l) Telecommunications towers and equipment buildings shall be located: to minimize their number, height and obtrusiveness; to minimize visual impacts on the surrounding area; and, in accordance with the following town’s telecommunications policies:
1. Ensure that the height of telecommunications towers have the least visual impact and is no greater than required to achieve service area requirements and potential) collocation, when visually appropriate;
2. Demonstrate that the selected site for a new telecommunications tower provides the least visual impact on residential areas or the public way and illustrate that the selected site provides the best opportunity to minimize the visual impact of the proposed facility;
3. Site telecommunications towers to minimize being visually solitary or prominent when viewed from residential areas or the public way. The telecommunications tower should be obscured by vegetation, tree cover, topographic features and buildings or other structures to the maximum extent feasible;
4. Place telecommunications towers to ensure that historically significant landscapes are protected. The views of and vistas from architecturally or historically significant structures should not be impaired or diminished by the placement of telecommunications towers; and
5. The Board of Zoning Appeals may grant a special exception which does not fully comply with the telecommunications policies contained herein for telecommunications towers when the Board of Zoning Appeals determines that such a grant better accomplishes the telecommunications policies set out in this division (C)(1) than would a strict application of these telecommunication policies. Such deviations from the town’s telecommunications policy shall be no greater than necessary to accomplish those policies.
(m) No signals or lights or illumination shall be permitted on telecommunications towers unless required by the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Aviation Administration or the town.
(n) If any additions, changes or modifications are to be made to a telecommunications tower, the Building Commissioner shall have the authority to require proof, through the submission of engineering and structural data, that the addition, change or modification conforms to structural wind load and all other requirements of the current Building Code adopted by the town.
(o) Telecommunications towers which have not been used for a period of one year shall be removed. The last telecommunication service provider to use a telecommunications tower shall notify the Building Commissioner or his or her designee within 30 days that use of a telecommunications tower has been discontinued.
(p) All telecommunications towers shall comply with all ordinances of the town not in conflict with this section.
(2) Antennas mounted on existing buildings or structures.
(a) Roof-mounted telecommunications antennas are allowed on non-residential buildings in all zoning districts without further zoning proceedings; provided, a non-whip antenna does not exceed the height of the building by more than ten feet and is screened from view from any adjacent public right-of-way and provided a whip antenna does not exceed the height of the building by more than 15 feet and is located no closer than 15 feet to the perimeter of the building. Prior to installation of a roof mounted telecommunications antenna, the Building Inspector shall be provided with an engineer’s certification that the roof will support the proposed telecommunications antenna and associated roof-mounted equipment. Roof-mounted telecommunications antenna and associated equipment shall be screened with enclosures or facades having an appearance that blends with the building on which they are located or by locating them so that they are not visible from an adjacent public right-of-way.
(b) Building-mounted telecommunications antennas of the non-whip antenna type are allowed on non-residential buildings in all zoning districts without further zoning proceedings; provided, the non-whip antenna is mounted flush with the exterior of the building so that it projects no more than 30 inches from the surface of the building to which it is attached and the non-whip antenna’s appearance is such as to blend with the surrounding surface of the building.
(c) Associated equipment shall be placed either within the same building or in a separate building which matches the existing building in character and building materials or blends with the landscaping and other surroundings immediately adjacent to the separate building housing the equipment. Associated equipment for roof-mounted telecommunications antennas may be located on the roof of the building if it is screened from view from any adjacent public right-of-way.
(d) Telecommunications antennas are allowed without further zoning proceeding on existing utility. Lighting, telecommunications towers and sign structures exceeding 50 feet in height above grade; provided that, the telecommunications antenna does not exceed the height of the structure by more than ten feet if a non-whip antenna or 15 feet if a whip antenna. Existing structures may be rebuilt if necessary to support the load of the new telecommunications antenna without further zoning proceedings if the rebuilt structure is substantially similar in appearance to the existing structure it replaces.
(e) Telecommunications antennas located on existing buildings or structures are not subject to the 5,000-foot separation requirement.
(f) When an application for an improvement location permit to locate a telecommunications antenna on an existing building or other structure is made, the Director shall be provided with color photo simulations showing the site of the existing structure with a photorealistic representation of the proposed telecommunications antenna and the existing structure or any proposed reconstruction of the structure as it would appear viewed from the closest residential property and from adjacent public right-of-way. The applicant shall also submit photographs of the same views showing the current appearance of the site without the proposed telecommunications antenna.
(3) Telecommunications antennas shall not be constructed or used within the town without all approvals and permits first having been secured.
(4) Within 30 days of the enactment of this chapter, and during each January thereafter, providers of personal wireless services, as that term is defined by federal law, operating in the town shall provide the town with their respective master plan for wireless telecommunications facilities, including detailed maps, showing the precise locations and characteristics of all telecommunications antennas and telecommunications towers serving any portion of the town and indicating coverage areas for current and future telecommunications antennas and telecommunications towers and shall provide the town with any updates to the above documents. Updated documents shall be provided to the town within three months of their creation.
(Ord. 2000-16, passed 8-28-2000, § 3.8)