Chapter 17.85
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION FACILITIES

Sections:

17.85.010    Purpose.

17.85.020    Definitions.

17.85.030    Exemptions.

17.85.040    WCF locations.

17.85.050    General provisions.

17.85.060    Site development standards.

17.85.070    Co-location.

17.85.080    Facility removal.

17.85.090    Electromagnetic field (EMF) standards compliance.

17.85.100    Application requirements.

17.85.110    Permit limitations.

17.85.120    Fees.

17.85.130    Rules and regulations of the city.

17.85.140    Severability.

17.85.010 Purpose.

This chapter addresses the issues of location and appearance associated with wireless communication facilities (WCF). It provides adequate siting opportunities through a range of locations and options that minimize the visual impacts sometimes associated with wireless communications technologies. The siting of facilities on existing buildings or structures, co-location of several providers’ facilities on a single support structure or site, and visual mitigation measures are encouraged to maintain neighborhood appearance and reduce visual clutter in the city. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.020 Definitions.

A. “Abandonment” or “abandoned” means:

1. To cease operation for a period of 60 or more consecutive days;

2. To reduce the effective radiated power of an antenna by 75 percent for 60 or more consecutive days;

3. To relocate an antenna at a point less than 80 percent of the height of an antenna support structure; or

4. To reduce the number of transmissions from an antenna by 75 percent for 60 or more consecutive days.

B. “Antenna” means any system of electromagnetically tuned wires, poles, rods, reflecting discs or similar devices used to transmit or receive electromagnetic waves between terrestrial and/or orbital based points, including, but not limited to:

1. “Whip antenna” means an omni-directional antenna, which transmits and receives radio frequency signals in a 360-degree radial pattern. Typically four inches or less in diameter.

2. “Panel antenna” means a directional antenna which transmits and receives radio frequency signals in a specific directional pattern of up to 120 degrees, and which is typically thin and rectangular in shape.

3. “Tubular antenna” means a tube typically 12 inches in diameter containing either omnidirectional or directional antennas, depending on the specific site requirement. This is often used as a means to mitigate the appearance of antennas on top of light standards and power poles.

4. “Parabolic (or dish) antenna” means a bowl-shaped device for the reception and/or transmission of communications signals in a narrow and specific direction.

5. “Ancillary antenna” means an antenna that is less than 12 inches in its largest dimension and that is not directly used to provide personal wireless communications services. An example would be a global positioning satellite (GPS) antenna.

C. “Co-location” means the placement and arrangement of multiple providers’ antennas and equipment on a single support structure or equipment pad area.

D. “Electromagnetic field (EMF)” means the field produced by the operation of equipment used in transmitting and receiving radio frequency signals.

E. “Equipment shelter” means the structure associated with a WCF that is used to house electronic switching equipment, cooling systems, and back-up power systems.

F. “Microcell” means a wireless communication facility consisting of a single antenna that is either:

1. A panel antenna four feet in height and with an area of not more than 580 square inches; or

2. A whip antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and no more than six feet high; or

3. A tubular antenna no more than 18 inches in diameter and six feet in height.

G. “Minor facility” means a wireless communication facility consisting of up to three antennas, each of which is either:

1. Four feet in height and with an area of not more than 580 square inches; or

2. A whip antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and no more than six feet in length;

3. A tubular or panel antenna no more than 18 inches in diameter and six feet in height; and an associated equipment cabinet that is six feet or less in height and no more than 48 square feet in floor area.

H. “Property line” means the border of the property which defines its exterior.

I. “Setback” means the distance from the property line to the nearest structural component of a freestanding wireless communication facility.

J. Wireless Communication Facility (WCF). “Personal wireless service facility” or “wireless communication facility” or “wireless facility” or “facility” means a wireless communication facility, including a microcell, that is a facility for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals, and which may include antennas, equipment shelter or cabinet, transmission cables, a support structure to achieve the necessary elevation, and reception and transmission devices and antennas.

K. “Personal wireless services” means commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services, as defined in Title 47, United States Code, Section 332 (c)(7)(C).

L. “Support structure” means any built structure, including any guy wires and anchors, to which antenna and other necessary associated hardware is mounted. Support structures may include the following:

1. “Lattice tower” means a support structure which consists of a network of crossed metal braces, forming a tower which is usually triangular or square in cross-section.

2. “Guy tower” means a support structure such as a pole or narrow metal framework which is held erect by the use of guy wires and anchors.

3. “Monopole” means a support structure that consists of a single steel or wood pole sunk into the ground and/or attached to a concrete pad.

M. “Existing nonresidential structure” means existing structures identified in this chapter to which wireless facility components may be attached with certain mitigating conditions. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.030 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and shall be permitted in all zones:

A. Industrial processing equipment and scientific or medical equipment using frequencies regulated by the FCC;

B. Antennas and related equipment no more than three feet in height that are being stored, shipped, or displayed for sale;

C. Facilities used for purposes of public safety, such as, but not limited to, police and the regional 911 system;

D. Wireless radio utilized for temporary emergency communications in the event of a disaster;

E. Licensed amateur (ham) radio stations;

F. Satellite dish antennas less than two meters in diameter, including direct to home satellite services, when used as a secondary use of the property;

G. Wireless communication facilities (WCF) which legally existed or had a vested application on or prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter; except that this exemption does not apply to modifications of existing facilities;

H. Routine maintenance or repair of a personal wireless service facility and related equipment, (excluding structural work or changes in height or dimensions of antennas, towers, or buildings); provided, that compliance with the standards of this chapter are maintained; and

I. Subject to compliance with all other applicable standards of this chapter and the Toppenish Municipal Code, a building permit application need not be filed for emergency repair of a personal wireless service facility until 30 days after the completion of such emergency activity. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.040 WCF locations.

A. Zoning District and Height. Freestanding WCFs may be located in any B1, B2, M1, or M2 zoning district not to exceed the following:

1. B1 – 100 feet;

2. B2 – 150 feet;

3. M1 – 50 feet;

4. M2 – 150 feet.

B. Existing Structures. Wireless facilities may be placed in any zoning district on the following existing structures subject to administrative approval of the proposal subject to a maximum height of 150 feet:

1. Any freestanding support structure currently used by a permitted WCF; and

2. Nonresidential buildings including, but not limited to, office buildings, retail buildings, industrial buildings, and clubhouses; but not including structures considered accessory structures to a residential use; and

3. Minor facilities located on nonresidential buildings and structures including, but not limited to, water towers, government or public buildings, churches, light standards, bridges, power poles, and towers.

C. Rights-of-Way. Subject to prior approval of the city, wireless facilities may be placed in the city right-of-way provided the WCF is a microcell consisting of a whip or tubular antenna placed on a light standard or power pole and the equipment cabinet is placed in the ground. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.050 General provisions.

A. Principal or Accessory Use. A WCF will be considered either a principal or an accessory use. A different use of an existing structure on the same lot shall not preclude the installation of a WCF on that lot.

B. FCC Licensing. The applicant must demonstrate that it is licensed by the FCC if it is required to be licensed under FCC regulations. If the applicant is not the telecommunications service provider, it shall submit proof of lease agreements with an FCC-licensed telecommunications provider if it is required to be licensed by the FCC.

C. Lot Size. For purposes of determining whether the installation of a wireless telecommunications facility complies with district development standards, such as, but not limited to, setback and lot coverage requirements, the dimensions of the entire lot shall control, even though a wireless telecommunications facility is located on a leased parcel within that lot.

D. Signs. No wireless telecommunications equipment shall be used for the purpose of mounting signs or message displays of any kind.

E. Lighting. Wireless facilities shall not be artificially lighted unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority.

F. Permanent Mounting Required. All commercial wireless telecommunications facilities shall be installed, erected, or mounted in a manner that is intended to be permanent. Temporary and mobile commercial facilities are not allowed.

G. Cumulative Effects. The city shall consider the cumulative visual effects of wireless facilities mounted on existing structures and/or located on a given permitted site in determining whether the additional permits can be granted so as to not adversely affect the visual character of the city.

H. Business License Registration. All approved WCFs shall obtain and maintain a city of Toppenish business license prior to issuance of any permits or approvals. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.060 Site development standards.

All wireless facilities shall be constructed, erected or built in accordance with the following site development standards:

A. Wireless facilities shall be screened or camouflaged by employing the best available technology. This may be accomplished by use of compatible materials, location, color, stealth technologies, and/or other tactics to achieve minimum visibility of the facility as viewed from public streets or residential properties.

B. Wireless facilities may be mounted on certain nonresidential buildings and structures in any zoning district in accordance with the limitations in TMC 17.85.040(B)(2); provided, that the following conditions are met:

1. The WCF is co-located on an existing wireless facility and conforms to TMC 17.85.040 (A); or

2. The WCF consists of a microcell or a minor facility as follows:

a. The combined antenna(s) and supporting hardware shall not extend more than 15 feet above the existing or proposed roof structure. Antenna(s) may be mounted to rooftop appurtenances provided they do not extend beyond 15 feet above the roof proper; and

b. The antenna(s) are mounted on the building such that they are located and designed to minimize visual and aesthetic impacts to surrounding land uses and structures and shall, to the greatest extent practical, blend into the existing environment.

C. WCFs shall conform to all of the following site development standards:

1. Monopoles shall be the only freestanding support structures allowed in the city unless the applicant can present evidence and the reviewing body agrees in written findings that such evidence supports another type of wireless facility support structure;

2. Installation of a freestanding facility shall be denied if placement of the antennas on an existing structure can meet the applicant’s technical and network location requirements;

3. The applicant shall demonstrate that the WCF is the minimum height required to function satisfactorily. No freestanding facility that is taller than the maximum allowed height shall be approved. Height shall be measured to the top of the antenna(s);

4. A freestanding WCF, including the support structure and associated electronic equipment, shall comply with all required setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located; except when on a lot adjacent to a residential use, then the minimum setback from the property line(s) of the adjacent residential use(s) shall be no less than the distance equal to the height of the WCF;

5. Freestanding wireless facilities shall be designed and placed on the site in a manner that takes maximum advantage of existing trees, mature vegetation, and structures so as to:

a. Use existing site features to screen as much of the total facility as possible from prevalent views; and/or

b. Use existing site features as a background so that the total facility blends into the background with increased sight distances;

6. In reviewing the proposed placement of a wireless facility on the site and any associated landscaping, the city may make a condition of the permit that the applicant supplement existing trees and mature vegetation to more effectively screen the facility; provide ongoing maintenance of trees and vegetation, including replacement of dead or diseased plants and trees; and

7. Support structures, antennas, and any associated hardware shall be painted a nonreflective color or color scheme appropriate to the background against which the facility would be viewed from a majority of points within its viewshed. A proposed color or color scheme shall be approved by the reviewing body.

D. Electronics equipment enclosures shall conform to the following:

1. Screening of WCF equipment enclosures shall be provided with one or a combination of the following: underground, fencing, walls, landscaping, structures, or topography which will block the view of the equipment shelter as much as practicable from any street and/or adjacent properties. Screening may be located anywhere between the enclosure and the above mentioned viewpoints. Landscaping for the purposes of screening shall be maintained in a healthy condition; and

2. No wireless equipment reviewed under this section shall be located within required building setback areas.

E. Security fencing, if used, shall conform to the following:

1. No fence shall exceed six feet in height without prior issuance of a permit by the city;

2. Security fencing shall be effectively screened from view through the use of appropriate landscaping materials; and

3. Chain-link fences shall be painted or coated with a nonreflective color, and shall have a minimum three-foot-deep area to be planted with approved plant species in a manner that will completely screen the fencing. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.070 Co-location.

The intent of co-location is to encourage several providers to use the same structure or site to keep the number of wireless facilities sites to a minimum as a means of reducing the overall visual effects throughout the community. The following procedures are required to further the intent of WCF co-location:

A. A permittee shall cooperate with other WCF providers in co-locating additional antennas on support structures and/or on existing buildings and sites provided said proposed co-locatees have received a permit for such use at said site from the city. A permittee shall allow other providers to co-locate and share the permitted site, provided such shared use does not give rise to a substantial technical level impairment of the permitted use (as opposed to a competitive conflict or financial burden).

B. A signed statement indicating that the applicant agrees to allow for the potential co-location of additional WCF equipment by other providers on the applicant’s structure or within the same site location shall be submitted by the applicant as part of the permit application. If an applicant contends that future co-location is not possible on its site, the applicant must submit a technical study documenting that such co-location is not possible. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.080 Facility removal.

In instances where a WCF is to be removed, the removal shall be in accordance with the following procedures:

A. The operator of a WCF shall notify the city upon the discontinued use of a particular facility. The WCF shall be removed by the facility owner within 90 days of the date the site’s use is discontinued, it ceases to be operational, the permit is revoked, or if the facility falls into disrepair or is abandoned. Disrepair includes structural features, paint, landscaping, or general lack of maintenance which could result in safety or visual impacts; and

B. If the provider fails to remove the facility upon 90 days of its discontinued use, the responsibility for removal falls upon the landholder on which the facility has been located. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.090 Electromagnetic field (EMF) standards compliance.

All WCFs shall be operated in compliance with the following standards:

A. The applicant shall comply with federal standards for EMF emissions. If on review the city finds that the WCF does not meet federal standards, the city may revoke or modify the permit. The applicant shall be given a reasonable time based on the nature of the problem to comply with the federal standards. If the permit is revoked, then the facility shall be removed pursuant to TMC 17.85.080.

B. The applicant shall ensure that the WCF will not cause localized interference with the reception of area television or radio broadcasts. If the city finds that the WCF interferes with such reception, the city may revoke or modify the permit. The applicant shall be given a reasonable time based on the nature of the problem to correct the interference. If the permit is revoked, then the facility shall be removed pursuant to TMC 17.85.080. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.100 Application requirements.

Applications for a WCF shall be in a form prescribed by the city of Toppenish and include the information described below. Applications shall be processed in accordance with the city’s ordinances and regulations as presently constituted or hereafter amended, and a public hearing on the application shall be held pursuant to the provisions of TMC 17.20.040. In addition to the information provided in the application form, the applicant must provide any combination of site plans, maps, surveys, technical reports, or written narratives that operate to convey all of the following information:

A. Photosimulations of the proposed facility as viewed from affected residential properties and public rights-of-way at varying distances;

B. A signed statement indicating that:

1. The applicant and landowner agree they will diligently negotiate in good faith to facilitate co-location of additional wireless communication facilities by other providers on the applicant’s structure or within the same site location; and

2. The applicant and/or landlord agree to remove the facility within 90 days after abandonment;

C. Copies of any environmental documents required by any federal agency, if applicable. These shall include the environmental assessment required by FCC Para. 1.13-07, or, in the event that an FCC environmental assessment is not required, a statement that describes the specific factors that obviate the requirement for an environmental assessment;

D. A full site plan shall be required for all sites, showing the tower, antenna, antenna support structure, building, fencing, buffering, access, and all other items required in this chapter. The site plan shall clearly indicate the location, the specific placement of the facility on the site, the type and height of the proposed WCF, on-site land uses and zoning, adjacent land uses and zoning, adjacent roadways, proposed means of access, setbacks from property lines, elevation drawings of the proposed facility, the location of existing structures, trees, and other significant site features, the type and location of plant materials used to screen the facility, fencing, proposed color(s), and any other proposed structures. The site plan may not be required if the antenna is to be mounted on an existing structure;

E. A current map showing the location and service area of the proposed WCF, and a map showing the locations and service areas of other wireless communication facilities operated by the applicant and those proposed by the applicant that are close enough to impact service within the city;

F. A legal description and county assessor tax parcel number of the lot upon which the WCF is to be located;

G. The approximate distance between the proposed tower and the nearest residential unit, platted residentially zoned properties, and unplatted residentially zoned properties;

H. The method of fencing, the finished color, and, if applicable, the method of camouflage and illumination, if required;

I. A letter signed by the applicant stating the WCF will comply with all FAA regulations and EIA standards and all other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations;

J. A statement by the applicant as to whether construction of the WCF will accommodate co-location of additional antennas for future users;

K. Certification that the antenna usage will not interfere with other adjacent or neighboring transmission or reception functions. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.110 Permit limitations.

Approved permits issued by the city for WCFs shall be restricted by the following permit limitations:

Construction of a WCF shall commence within one year from the date of the city’s approval, with opportunity for a six-month extension. If not used within one year, or within the extension period, the permit shall become null and void. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.120 Fees.

A. Fees associated with permits and reviews required under this chapter shall be as established by resolution of the city council, as amended from time to time.

B. In addition to the application fee, the applicant shall reimburse the city for costs of professional engineers and other consultants hired by the city to review and inspect the applicant’s proposal when the city is unable to do so with its existing staffing resources. The city may require the applicant to deposit an amount with the city to cover anticipated costs of retaining professional services or consultants. (Ord. 2017-01 § 1, 2017; Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.130 Rules and regulations of the city.

Nothing in this chapter shall operate to restrict or limit the city’s ability to adopt and enforce all appropriate ordinance requirements for telecommunications carriers’ and providers’ use of the rights-of-way and public property, procedures for application and approval of telecommunication business registrations, telecommunications rights-of-way use authorizations, franchises and facilities leases, and describing violations and establishing penalties. Nothing in this chapter shall operate to release in whole or in part any applicant for a WCF facility from the obligation to comply with such ordinances, rules and regulations of the city of Toppenish. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).

17.85.140 Severability.

If any section, clause or phrase of this chapter should be held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of any other section, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter. (Ord. 99-18 § 1, 1999).