SECTION 36
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

Subsections:

36.01    Purpose

36.02    Permitted Locations of WCFs

36.03    WCFs Permitted by Use Permit

36.04    Site and Construction Standards

36.05    Co-Location

36.06    Radio Frequency Standards; Interference; Noise

36.07    Applicant’s Submittal Requirements

36.08    Approval Process

36.09    Permit Term and Limitations

36.10    Renewal of Permit

36.11    Applicability

36.01 Purpose

The purpose of this section is to establish appropriate regulation of wireless communications facilities within the city. The regulations are intended to encourage competition in the telecommunications industry and remove regulatory barriers consistent with the city’s responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of its residents. It is further the purpose of this section to preserve the city’s residential character and uncluttered appearance, ensure compliance with federal radio frequency emissions standards, provide for nondiscriminatory treatment of substantially equivalent telecommunications providers and allow for the provision of telecommunications services within the city. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.02 Permitted Locations of WCFs

Wireless communications facilities (WCFs) are an allowed use upon obtaining a use permit in compliance with this section, in the following locations:

a.    Resort (RT), Neighborhood Commercial (NC), Community Commercial (CS), and Regional Commercial (RS) zoning districts;

b.    Any zoning district, if the WCF is located on property owned by a governmental entity, including a school district or community college district, so long as such property is used for its governmental purposes, or owned by a church and used for its worship or social purposes. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.03 WCFs Permitted by Use Permit

a.    The city council may issue a use permit subject to all the conditions of this section and Section 33 of the Litchfield Park Zoning Code. In granting a use permit, the city council may impose conditions to the extent it concludes such conditions are necessary to minimize any adverse effect of the proposed WCF on adjacent properties.

b.    The city council may allow placement of a monopole in the city or waive or modify requirements of this section only upon finding that strict compliance with the provisions of this section would result in noncompliance with applicable federal or state law. The city council may require such conditions as will, in its judgment, secure substantially the objectives of the standards or requirements waived or modified. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.04 Site and Construction Standards

a.    Support Structures

Support structures for WCFs shall be any of the following:

1.    Building

As used in this section, a building means an existing nonresidential building.

2.    An Existing Structure

An existing structure including but not limited to, light poles, water towers, smokestacks, and flag poles. This term does not include a lattice tower or buildings.

3.    An Alternative Tower Structure

Clock towers, steeples, functioning security or recreational light poles and similar alternative-design support structures that camouflage or conceal the WCFs.

b.    Height Regulations

1.    Building-mounted WCFs shall not exceed a height of ten feet measured from the top of the WCF to the point of attachment to the building.

2.    WCFs mounted on an existing structure shall be limited to the height of the existing structure, unless adequately camouflaged.

3.    Alternative tower structures shall be limited to sixty-five feet in height above the original grade except a functioning security or recreational light pole shall have a height consistent with existing light poles or height usually allowed for such light poles. A greater height may be permitted by the city council upon further review.

c.    Setback Regulations

For the purpose of determining whether a WCF complies with setback requirements, the dimensions of the entire lot shall control, even though the WCF may be located on leased parcels within such lot. Support structures must comply with all of the following:

1.    All WCF antennae, other than WCF antennae placed on existing structures in the public rights-of-way along major streets, shall be set back from all residentially zoned property lines a minimum distance of seventy-five feet.

2.    For WCF antennae placed on existing structures in the public rights-of-way along major streets, defined for the purposes of this section, as any of the following streets: Bird Lane, Green Tree Drive, Litchfield Road, Litchfield Road Bypass, Villa Nueva, and Indian School Road/Wigwam Boulevard, no setback requirement applies.

3.    Any equipment cabinet or building used in conjunction with a WCF shall comply with the required setbacks for buildings of the zoning district in which it is located.

d.    Screening/Aesthetics

1.    Building-mounted WCFs shall be screened from residential views and public rights-of-way in a manner architecturally compatible with the building.

2.    WCFs mounted on an existing structure shall be camouflaged from residential views and public rights-of-way in a manner architecturally compatible with the structure.

3.    The design, screening or camouflaging and site-specific location of WCFs mounted on an alternative tower structure shall be subject to review and approval by the city council.

4.    WCFs including all components thereof shall be painted when this would serve the purposes of architectural compatibility or camouflage. The city shall approve the paint colors which must be nonreflective.

5.    Artificial lighting of a WCF, including its components, is prohibited, unless otherwise required by the Federal Aviation Administration. A motion-sensor light may be used, if the beam is directed downwards and shielded from adjacent properties.

6.    A maximum of one WCF antenna may be placed on any one street light pole in the public rights-of-way. Any antenna placed on a street light pole shall be a maximum size of thirteen inches in length, seven inches in width, and five inches in height, except that a receiving wire with a maximum diameter of three-fourths inch and maximum length of twenty-four inches may be attached thereto. Any antenna placed on a street light pole in the public rights-of-way in a manner architecturally compatible with the structure. Nothing herein shall be construed to preempt additional screening or design requirements established by contractual agreement.

e.    Equipment Cabinets and Buildings

1.    Equipment cabinets shall be located within the building upon which antennae are placed if technically feasible. Otherwise, equipment cabinets shall be screened from view by a wall or landscaping, as approved by the city. Any wall shall be architecturally compatible with the building or immediate surrounding area.

2.    An equipment cabinet shall not exceed eight feet in height and a building shall not exceed one story.

f.    Security Fencing

Security fencing, if any, shall not exceed six feet in height, except fencing shall be eight feet in height if screening a cabinet of such height. Fencing shall be effectively screened from view through the use of landscaping. No chain link fences shall be visible from public view.

g.    Anti-Climbing Features

Anticlimbing features shall be incorporated into the WCF, as needed, to reduce potential for trespass and injury.

h.    Building Codes; Safety Standards

All WCFs must be constructed and maintained in a structurally sound manner and comply with applicable local building codes and standards of the Electronic Industries Association. If, upon inspection, the city determines that a WCF fails to comply with said codes and standards, the city shall provide a notice to the owner, and the owner shall have thirty days to bring such facility into compliance. If the owner fails to bring the facility into compliance, then the city may remove the facility and charge such costs to the owner or property owner where the facility is located. (Ord. 99-49 § 1; Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.05 Co-Location

a.    Applicants shall cooperate and exercise good faith in co-locating WCFs on the same support structures or site. Good faith shall include sharing technical information to evaluate the feasibility of co-location, and may include negotiations for erection of a replacement support structure to accommodate co-location. A competitive conflict to co-location or financial burden caused by sharing such information normally will not be considered as an excuse to the duty of good faith.

b.    In the event a dispute arises as to whether a permittee has exercised good faith in accommodating other users, the city may require the applicant to obtain a third party technical study at applicant’s expense. The city may review any information submitted by applicant and permittee(s) in determining whether good faith has been exercised.

c.    No co-location may be required where the shared use would or does result in significant interference in the broadcast or reception capabilities of the existing telecommunications facilities or failure of the existing WCFs to meet federal standards for emissions.

d.    Failure to comply with co-location requirements when feasible may result in denial of a permit request or revocation of an existing permit. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.06 Radio Frequency Standards; Interference; Noise

a.    The WCF shall comply with federal standards for radio frequency emissions. Failure to meet federal standards may result in termination or modification of the permit.

b.    The permittee shall ensure that the WCF will not cause interference with the reception of existing WCF devices, cable television, community antennae television systems, or satellite broadcast television systems. If at any time the city finds that the WCF interferes with such reception, and if such interference is not cured within thirty days, the city may revoke or modify the permit.

c.    A WCF and any related equipment, including backup generators and air conditioning units, shall not generate continuous noise in excess of forty decibels (dBa) measured at the property line of any residential property, and shall not generate continuous noise in excess of fifty decibels (dBa) during the hours of seven a.m. to ten p.m. and forty decibels (dBa) during the hours of ten p.m. to seven a.m. measured at the property line of any non-residential property. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.07 Applicant’s Submittal Requirements

An applicant shall submit the following items to the planning and zoning department:

a.    Inventory: An inventory list and map of existing WCFs operated by the applicant and other providers within two miles of the proposed site (“service area”). The inventory list must include specific information as to location, height and design of each facility. The city may share such information with other applicants seeking to locate WCFs within the service area, in order to encourage co-location.

b.    Report on Alternatives: A report explaining why the WCF is needed a the requested location. If applicant is seeking to construct a new monopole pursuant to Section 36.03(b), applicant shall explain why co-location or location on another kind of support structure is not feasible, including efforts made to develop such an alternative. If the city has requested that applicant co-locate its WCF on a site, applicant shall explain why collocation is not feasible, including efforts made to develop such an alternative. If the city has requested applicant to consider location of the WCF in possible alternative sites in adjacent cities, applicant shall include in its report efforts made to develop such alternatives, and a discussion of the feasibility of such alternatives. Failure to make a report on alternatives and develop viable alternatives when so requested may result in denial of a permit.

c.    Structural plans for the WCF: Plans should include a diagram of the proposed facility and antennae, including height, shape, size and nature of construction. The plans should include a diagram showing the separation between the proposed WCF and any existing WCF(s) on the same support structure or site, if co-location is planned.

d.    A site/landscaping plan showing the specific placement of the WCF on the site, including setbacks from adjacent property lines; showing the location of existing structures, trees, and other significant site features; and indicating type and locations of plant materials used to screen WCF components and the proposed color(s) for the WCF.

e.    Photosimulations of the view of the proposed facility from residential properties and public rights-of-way at varying distances.

f.    A signed statement stating that:

1.    The applicant agrees to allow co-location of additional WCF equipment by other providers on the applicant’s support structure or within the same site location, when feasible; and

2.    If the applicant locates its WCF on leased property, the applicant agrees it will not request the landowner to exclude other providers from co-locating a WCF on such site when co-location may be feasible.

g.    Prior to beginning operations, the permittee shall submit a verified report which provides a calculation of its installed peak radio frequency (“RF”) emissions capacity at the site, the cumulative installed peak RF emissions capacity at the site (including a description of any co-location providers). and compares the results with established federal standards.

h.    Any other information required by the city for issuance of a use permit pursuant to Section 33 of the Litchfield Park Zoning Code.

i.    If applicant seeks a waiver or modification of any requirement herein, the city will request applicant to submit additional information to determine whether strict compliance with this section is feasible.

j.    Applicants shall pay a permit fee as established by resolution of the council, which fee shall include all consulting costs as may be required by the city to review the application. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.08 Approval Process

a.    The city shall act on any application for authorization to place, construct or modify a WCF within a reasonable period of time after such application is duly filed with the city, taking into account the nature and scope of such request.

b.    The planning and zoning department shall be the first to review any application submitted, and shall forward any recommendation to approve or deny the application request and any other relevant information to the planning and zoning commission.

c.    Any final decision to approve or deny a request shall be in writing and set forth the reasons and substantial evidence for the decision. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.09 Permit Term and Limitations

a.    A use permit for a WCF shall expire fifteen years after the effective date of the permit approval.

b.    Any permitted facility must be constructed and placed into use within twelve months of the date of the city council’s approval or the approval shall expire, pursuant to Section 33.05 of this code.

c.    Upon failure to comply with conditions of approval or discontinuance of the WCF use for over one year, the permit may be revoked pursuant to Section 33.04 of this code and permittee must remove the facility or the city may cause the facility to be removed at the expense of the permittee or property owner where the facility is located.

d.    Permittee shall maintain the WCF, including paint and landscaping, to standards imposed by the city at the time of granting the permit. If the permittee fails to maintain the facility, the city may undertake maintenance at the expense of the applicant or terminate the permit, at its sole option.

e.    The applicant/permittee shall notify the city in writing of all changes in ownership of the facility within sixty days of the change. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.10 Renewal of Permit

A permittee may apply for a renewal of its permit within six months prior to expiration. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))

36.11 Applicability

The requirements of this section apply to all new WCFs and the expansion and/or alteration of any existing WCFs; provided that an in-kind or smaller replacement transmission equipment will only require a written notification to the city. (Ord. 97-44 § 1 (part))