Chapter 18.60


18.60.010    Purpose.

18.60.020    Applicability.

18.60.030    Definitions.

18.60.040    Application and review procedures.

18.60.050    General siting criteria and provisions.

18.60.060    Design standards.

18.60.070    Wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way.

18.60.080    Waiver.

18.60.090    Removal of abandoned towers and antennas.

18.60.100    Enforcement.

18.60.110    Penalties.

18.60.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the placement, construction and modification of wireless communication facilities, in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, while not unreasonably interfering with the development of the competitive wireless telecommunications marketplace in the town. This purpose includes the following objectives:

A. Encourage collocation of wireless communication facilities and location on existing structures to the greatest extent possible in order to reduce cumulative negative impact on the town;

B. Encourage providers of wireless communication services to locate facilities, to the extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community is minimal;

C. Establish clear and nondiscriminatory local regulations concerning wireless telecommunications providers and services that are consistent with federal laws and regulations;

D. Enhance the ability of wireless communication providers to provide such services to the community quickly, effectively, and efficiently;

E. Provide for the prompt removal of wireless communication facilities that are abandoned or out of compliance with building safety codes and requirements, and provide a mechanism for the town to cause these abandoned wireless communication facilities to be removed;

F. Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure, through strict compliance with all applicable adopted building safety codes; and

G. Provide a means for public input on the placement, construction, and design of certain wireless communication facilities. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.020 Applicability.

A. Applicability. Except as provided herein, all wireless communication facilities shall comply with the provisions of this chapter. The standards and process requirements of this chapter supersede all other standards and process requirements of the Sahuarita Town Code.

B. The following are exemptions from the provisions of this chapter. Zoning clearance review, except as provided herein, and compliance with applicable safety codes is required:

1. Amateur (HAM) antennas which do not exceed 40 feet in height measured from the existing grade level which are used for hobby purposes by a residential owner or tenant of the property on which the antenna is located, subject to the following conditions:

a. The tower and equipment shall be located only in the rear yard; alternative locations may be approved by the town upon sufficient demonstration that another location is necessary for reception purposes.

b. There shall be a setback ratio of 1:1 (one foot for each foot in height) from all buildings, property lines and overhead wires.

c. The equipment shall be operated only by a federally licensed amateur operator.

d. The base of the equipment shall not exceed a size greater than four feet by four feet.

2. Citizen band (CB) or other similar types of antennas, television or radio broadcast towers and antennas which do not exceed 20 feet in height measured from the existing grade level.

3. Wireless communication facilities used exclusively for emergency services such as police and fire.

4. Indoor wireless communication facilities, such as indoor distributed antenna systems (DAS) or small cell systems.

5. Communication tower, temporary:

a. The temporary tower shall be in place for a maximum of 90 days;

b. The temporary tower shall be removed within 72 hours following the termination of testing or emergency communication needs or at the end of the 90-day period, whichever is shorter; and

c. Temporary towers requiring longer durations shall be subject to a temporary use permit per Chapter 18.93 STC.

6. Residential satellite dishes that are less than one meter in diameter are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and do not require zoning clearance, provided they are not mounted on the roof or located in the front of the house.

7. Eligible facilities modifications in accordance with Chapter 18.62 STC are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and shall be reviewed in accordance with procedures set forth in Chapter 18.62 STC. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.030 Definitions.

“Amateur radio operator” means a federally licensed member of the amateur radio service, which is a voluntary, noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

“Antenna” means a rod, panel, or disc or similar device used for the transmission or reception of radio frequency signals, which may include omni-directional antenna (rod), directional antenna (panel), and parabolic antenna (disc).

“Camouflage” means the designing of a wireless communication facility to alter its appearance in such a manner as to hide its true character while integrating the facility with a building or the landscape.

“Collocation” means a condition that exists when more than one wireless communication provider mounts equipment (antennas, dishes or similar devices) on a single support structure.

“Communication tower” means a mast, pole, monopole, guyed tower, lattice tower, freestanding tower or other structure designed and primarily used to support antennas, used for transmitting, receiving and/or relaying of radio frequencies, such as used with cellular telephones, radio, telephone, microwave, short wave, paging, video and/or television signals.

“Communication tower, temporary” means a portable communication tower that is intended or used to provide wireless communication services on a temporary or emergency basis and that is not permanently affixed to the site on which it is located. Such towers include, but are not limited to, cells-on-wheels (COW), site-on-wheels (SOW), cell on light trucks (COLT), or other portable devices.

“Equipment enclosure” means an unstaffed structure attached to or made part of a wireless communication facility and used to house equipment needed to operate and maintain a wireless communication facility.

“Existing pole” for the purpose of this chapter shall include previously erected utility or light poles or the replacement of such a pole with a pole identical in height and similar in width and color to the original, and within six feet of the original pole location, but structurally suitable for both the original use and the wireless communication use.

“Industrial, business or residential zones,” as used in STC 18.07.030, also includes rural area and an area within an approved specific plan which is designated for industrial, business, rural or residential use.

Site. For the purposes of this chapter, the “site” for a wireless communication facility may consist of one lot or an area on a lot or within a right-of-way which is legally described on a lease.

“Small wireless facility” means smaller antennas and compact radio equipment deployed in order to provide mobile voice and broadband services. Such facilities include distributed antenna systems (DAS), small cells, and other low-powered radio access nodes, including those that operate in licensed spectrum and unlicensed carrier-grade wi-fi. Small wireless facilities typically have a range from 10 meters to several hundred meters and can be deployed on a variety of nontraditional structures such as utility poles, as well as on rooftops and inside buildings, to enhance capacity or fill in coverage gaps. The terms shall be construed to include supporting lines, cables, wires, braces, masts, or other appurtenances.

“Support structure” means a component of a wireless communication facility, which is often a tower or other structure of sufficient verticality, used to support one or more antennas at a needed height for effective operation of the facility.

“Wireless communication” means any personal wireless services as defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which includes FCC-licensed commercial wireless communication services including cellular, personal communication services (PCS), specialized mobile radio (SMR), enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR), paging, and similar services.

“Wireless communication facility” means an unstaffed facility designed for the transmission and/or reception of wireless communication services, usually consisting of antennas or microwave dishes, a support structure to achieve the necessary elevation for the antennas or dishes, equipment enclosure, equipment cabinets, and other accessory development such as parking or landscaping.

“Wireless communication provider” means the entity which provides the wireless communication service. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.040 Application and review procedures.

A. Staff Decision. The following are subject to an administrative review process using forms provided by the planning and zoning department and shall comply with the requirements of this chapter:

1. Facade-mounted wireless communication facilities on nonresidential structures, provided the equipment does not extend beyond 24 inches from the face of the building, and is painted to match the building or is hidden behind a camouflage wall panel or other architectural element.

2. Rooftop-mounted wireless communication facilities on nonresidential structures, provided the equipment is 10 feet or less in height.

3. Locations and collocations on existing light poles, traffic poles, or utility poles that cumulatively add no more than six feet in height to the pole as originally installed, and the antenna array width is three feet or less.

4. Locations and collocations on existing electrical utility lattice towers with a minimum of 69 kilovolts that extend no more than three feet from the tower.

5. Locations and collocations on existing flagpoles that are no more than 16 inches in diameter, and all pole-mounted equipment is located inside the pole.

6. Camouflaged facilities no greater than 70 feet in height in nonresidential zones.

B. Conditional Use Permit.

1. Wireless communication facilities in B-1, B-2, MX and industrial zones and not specified in subsection A of this section require a Type 1 conditional use permit.

2. Wireless communication facilities in MR and NC zones and not specified in subsection A of this section require a Type 2 conditional use permit.

3. Wireless communication facilities in rural and residential zones and not specified in subsection A of this section are subject to the following:

a. Facilities located on sites of 10 acres or more are subject to:

(1) A Type 3 conditional use permit if not camouflaged; or

(2) A Type 2 conditional use permit if camouflaged.

b. Facilities located on sites of less than 10 acres are subject to a Type 3 conditional use permit and must be camouflaged.

c. Facilities located in the right-of-way are subject to:

(1) A Type 2 conditional use permit if overall height is 40 feet or less and if located in a business or industrial zone; or

(2) A Type 3 conditional use permit if greater than 40 feet in overall height or if located in a rural or residential zone.

4. In reviewing applications for wireless communication facilities, the town will consider the visual impact on the proposed site and adjacent sites, and compare it to the alternative sites presented by the applicant. If the town determines that the visual impact on any of the alternative sites will be less than on the proposed site, the town may require the facility to be located on one of the alternative sites. Visual impact will be evaluated according to the following:

a. How well the tower is camouflaged from view from roadways and residential districts.

b. Compatibility with surrounding landscape and/or buildings in terms of materials, color, scale, shape and height.

c. Proximity to significant views, natural features, scenic routes and existing or proposed major transportation corridors.

C. The following shall be included with all applications for a wireless communication facility. Additional information may be requested of the applicant when necessary for adequate review.

1. A completed application form;

2. A site plan, in accordance with STC 18.91.030(F)(1)(b), showing the location and dimensions of all antennas, equipment enclosures, structures, landscaping, screening, site improvements, access, and utility easements;

3. Before and after photo simulations of the project, showing the addition of the wireless communication facility and all appurtenant structures and equipment to the site and demonstrating the visual impacts of such from at least three different angles;

4. Photo simulation showing the proposed wireless communication facility with all potential eligible facilities modifications;

5. Scaled elevation drawings of the wireless communication facility, antennas, and equipment enclosures showing the dimensions, colors, and configuration of the facility, including any camouflage being proposed;

6. If not a location or collocation on an existing vertical element, the application shall include the following:

a. A comprehensive list of all existing vertical elements within a one-mile radius of the proposed site which are of sufficient height to be used for collocation and which are eligible for collocation under town requirements;

b. A written narrative statement explaining why collocation on the existing vertical elements as identified above was not pursued or is not a viable alternative to the proposed site;

c. The provider’s policy for the mitigation and/or reduction of existing and proposed towers and antennas to avoid the proliferation of such facilities;

d. The provider’s policy on collocation of antennas on their own facilities or on ones from other providers or on other structures which provide the verticality required for the antennas. The policy shall also stipulate that the provider shall not enforce any requirement by any owner which would prohibit collocation;

e. Map exhibits displaying the existing gap in signal coverage which the new facility will remediate, and the projected signal coverage of the new facility, or, in the event the applicant seeks to address service capacity concerns, a written explanation identifying the existing facilities with service capacity issues together with competent evidence to demonstrate the inability of those facilities to meet capacity demands; and

f. A report from a professional engineer describing the capacity of the tower, including the number and type of antennas that it can accommodate;

7. A certification from a licensed engineer that the facilities will comply with all Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other applicable regulations, or that the facility is exempt from those regulations. The certification shall specifically address the areas regarding protection of the public health and those protecting any historic districts;

8. In addition to the submittal requirements provided above, wireless communication facility applications requiring a conditional use permit shall include:

a. A completed conditional use permit application and all items as required by Chapter 18.97 STC;

b. A map that shows all other wireless communication facilities within two miles of the proposed site;

c. A description of possibilities for camouflage that have been explored, and why the proposed option was chosen;

d. A description of a minimum of three potentially viable alternative sites, and for each of these sites a plan showing site boundaries, antenna and equipment location and dimensions, photo simulations, a gap coverage analysis map exhibit for each site, and a detailed narrative explaining why each of these alternative sites was not chosen;

9. Any facility that requires a generator or other device which will create noise audible beyond the boundaries of the site must submit a noise report prepared by an acoustical engineer.

D. The town may require that all technical reports be reviewed by a third party expert at the expense of the applicant. No permit shall be issued to any applicant that has not fully reimbursed the town for the consultant’s cost. The review is intended to be a review of technical aspects of the proposed wireless communication facility and shall address any or all of the following:

1. Compliance with applicable radio frequency emission standards;

2. Whether any requested waiver is necessary to close a significant gap in coverage and is the least obtrusive means of doing so;

3. The accuracy and completeness of submissions;

4. Technical demonstration of the unavailability of alternative sites or configurations and/or coverage analysis;

5. The applicability of analysis techniques and methodologies;

6. The validity of conclusions reached or claims made by applicant;

7. The viability of alternative sites and designs; and

8. Any other specific technical issues identified by the third-party expert or designated by the town.

E. Staff Consultation. Prior to the application submittal, the applicant is strongly encouraged to consult with town staff to receive informal feedback on the proposed location, design, alternative site selection, and application materials. The staff consultation is intended to identify potential concerns and streamline the formal application review process after submittal.

F. Variances. Wireless communication facilities that are governed under this chapter shall not be eligible for variances under Chapter 18.93 STC. Any request to deviate from this chapter shall be based solely on the exceptions set forth within this chapter.

G. Fees. Fees for review of wireless communication facilities shall be as established in Chapter 3.10 STC and assessed according to the following:

1. Applications requiring a conditional use permit shall be subject to the wireless communication facility fee in addition to the appropriate conditional use permit fees.

2. Applications requiring a development plan shall be subject to the development plan fee in addition to the appropriate conditional use permit fee and wireless communication facility fee.

3. The wireless communication facility fee includes the first and second submittal site plan fee and staff review of site landscaping. Site plans requiring more than two reviews shall incur fees per Chapter 3.10 STC for third and subsequent submittals of site plans.

H. Nonconforming Towers. Collocation of additional antennas on permitted nonconforming towers is not considered to increase the nonconformity of the tower and is therefore allowed; provided, no increase to the height of a nonconforming tower is allowed.

I. Notice of “Shot Clock” Expiration. The town acknowledges that there are federal and state “shot clocks” which may be applicable to a proposed wireless communication facility. As such, the applicant is required to provide the town written notice of the expiration of the “shot clock,” which the applicant shall ensure is received by the town, no later than 20 days prior to the expiration. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.050 General siting criteria and provisions.

The following general provisions apply to all wireless communication facilities:

A. Compatibility with Surrounding Area. Site location and development shall preserve the existing character of the surrounding community, buildings, land uses and zoning district. Wireless communication facilities shall be integrated through location and design to blend with the existing characteristics of the site. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved or improved and disturbance of the existing topography shall be minimized.

B. Location Restrictions.

1. In keeping with the purpose of this chapter, the town finds that certain areas are more preferable for the location of wireless communication facilities. In order from most preferred to least preferred, those areas are:

a. Private or town-owned property in business or industrial zones.

b. Private or town-owned property in rural or residential zones on parcels 10 acres or greater.

c. Private or town-owned property in rural or residential zones on parcels less than 10 acres in size.

d. Public right-of-way in business or industrial zones.

e. Public right-of-way in rural or residential zones.

2. Wireless communication facilities are strongly disfavored in the following areas:

a. Rural or residentially zoned parcels of less than five acres.

b. Public right-of-way of local streets in rural or residentially zoned or used areas.

c. Public right-of-way if mounted to a new pole that is not replacing an existing pole of similar dimensions in an otherwise permitted location.

3. For wireless communication facilities proposed in a strongly disfavored area as described in this section, except for those areas listed in subsections (B)(2)(a) and (b) of this section, the applicant shall demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence all of the following:

a. A clearly defined technical service objective and a clearly defined potential site search area;

b. A meaningful comparative analysis that includes the factual reasons why the proposed location and design are the least obtrusive location and design necessary to reasonably achieve the applicant’s reasonable technical service objectives; and

c. A meaningful comparative analysis that includes the factual reasons why any alternative location(s) or design(s) suggested by the town or otherwise identified in the administrative record, including but not limited to potential alternatives identified at any public meeting or hearing, are not technically feasible or potentially available. An applicant may reject an alternative tower site for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) Preclusion by structural limitations;

(2) Inability to obtain authorization by the owner;

(3) Failure to meet the service coverage objectives of the applicant;

(4) Failure to meet other engineering requirements for such things as location, height, and size;

(5) Zoning constraints, such as the inability to meet setbacks;

(6) Physical or environmental constraints, such as unstable soils or floodplain; and/or

(7) Being a more obtrusive location despite being a more preferred location as provided in this subsection.

C. Building Permit. A building permit is required for all facilities, new or collocation, and accessory structures, except for those located in the right-of-way.

D. Structural Engineering. All communication towers, poles, and collocation structures must be structurally engineered to show they are capable of supporting the proposed facilities and will meet the requirements of the building code.

E. Collocation. Collocation of new communication facilities and antennas with existing facilities, structures, and towers is strongly preferred. New communication facilities shall not be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the town of Sahuarita that no existing tower or structure can accommodate the applicant’s proposed antenna. New towers shall be designed in a manner that will allow for collocation of at least one additional antenna array on the facility.

F. Interference. Any new antenna or any other related communication equipment shall not interfere with existing communications.

G. Access. Wireless communication facilities shall have access to a publicly maintained road.

H. Separation. No wireless communication tower that is readily visible from off site shall be installed closer than one mile from another wireless communication facility unless it is an antenna installed on an existing vertical element in accordance with the applicable requirements of this section. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.060 Design standards.

The following design standards apply to all wireless communication facilities:

A. Form. Only monopole-type towers, building-mounted facilities, or camouflaged facilities are permitted, unless location or collocation on an existing nonmonopole-type facility may be approved pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

B. Color.

1. The color of wireless communication facilities shall be compatible with the surrounding environment. Muted colors, earth tones, and subdued hues, such as light green, brown, gray, or light blue, or a color that is more compatible with the surrounding architecture or environment as approved by the town shall be used. All associated structures, such as equipment enclosures, shall be of earth tone colors.

2. Equipment, cables, and antennas mounted on an existing structure shall be painted or otherwise designed to match the existing pole and any other equipment mounted on the pole, or shall be concealed within the pole.

C. Equipment Enclosures.

1. Screening. Ground-mounted mechanical equipment shall be screened from adjacent properties and public streets by a solid masonry wall of not less than six feet above finished grade level and high enough to conceal all equipment contained within. Alternate screening methods may be approved by the planning and building director if determined to be more compatible with the surrounding environment.

2. Landscaping. Landscaping surrounding equipment enclosures shall be provided as follows. These requirements can be modified when the planning and building director concludes that the goals of the town are better served thereby.

a. Ground equipment facilities shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of the equipment enclosure from rural, residential, and commercially zoned property or viewable from the public right-of-way. The standard buffer shall consist of a landscaped strip at least eight feet wide outside the perimeter of the compound and any other areas disturbed during construction.

b. Every 20 lineal feet of the enclosure of the building shall be landscaped with drought tolerant plants at a rate of one 24-inch box tree and 10 10-gallon size shrubs. All landscaping shall be irrigated for a minimum period of one year. Landscaping shall be maintained throughout the life of the facility.

c. Additional landscaping may be required at the discretion of the planning and building director to effectively blend certain applications with the natural environment.

d. Existing mature plant growth and natural land forms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.

3. Exemption. Ground-mounted equipment not greater than three feet in height and occupying a footprint of no greater than 10 square feet is not required to provide a screen wall but shall be of a nonreflective material designed to blend into the environment by means of color, materials, etc. Shrubs shall be planted to visually screen the equipment from neighboring properties. If existing landscaping on the site provides sufficient screening as determined by the planning and building director, that landscaping may be used to meet this requirement.

D. Security Wire. Barbed, razor or other types of wire as approved by the town may be used on fences and walls for security purposes in nonresidential areas if the wire is a minimum of six feet above finished grade level. When used, barbed, razor, or other types of wire as approved by the town shall be mounted to the top or interior surface of masonry screen walls.

E. Lighting. Wireless communication facilities shall not be lighted, other than security lighting or unless required by the FAA, FCC or other government entity. The light source of any outdoor security lighting shall not be visible from adjoining properties, shall comply with the provisions of the town lighting code, and shall be fully shielded and arranged to eliminate glare towards adjoining properties.

F. Parking. A minimum of one parking space designed to town standards must be provided on site. This requirement can be modified by the planning and building director when hard surfaced parking already exists, or when the planning and building director concludes that the goals of the town are better served by the proposed modification.

G. Signs. Signage is limited to small, nonilluminated warning and identification signs. No other type of signage or advertising is permitted.

H. Minimum Setbacks.

1. In addition to minimum setback requirements of this chapter, all wireless communication facilities shall meet minimum setbacks of the building and fire code of the town.

2. A wireless communication facility not exceeding the maximum main building height of the zone in which it is located shall be required to meet the setback requirements for main buildings of the zone in which they are located, unless otherwise specified herein.

3. If a facility exceeds the maximum main building height of the zone in which it is located, the facility shall be set back:

a. From property lines adjacent to land located in rural or residential zones: One foot for every one foot in height of the facility.

b. From property lines adjacent to land located in zones other than rural or residential zones: One foot for every one foot in height above the maximum main building height permitted in the zone in which the facility is located.

c. From public right-of-way: The facility shall be located a minimum of one foot for every one foot in height of the facility from any rural or residentially zoned parcel separated from the wireless communication facility site by a public or private road and a minimum of 10 feet from the public right-of-way.

4. New wireless communication towers or structures located in the public right-of-way shall be located a minimum of one foot from any rural or residentially zoned parcel for every one foot in height of the facility.

5. Wireless communication facilities located on existing vertical elements, such as utility or light poles, whether located in the right-of-way or not, shall be located a minimum of one foot from any rural or residentially zoned parcel for every one foot that the existing vertical element is increased in height to accommodate the wireless communication use.

6. Equipment enclosures shall conform to underlying zoning setbacks for accessory buildings.

I. Camouflage. A camouflaged facility shall be designed and constructed in a scale substantially in conformity with and/or architecturally integrated with surrounding building designs or natural settings to minimize the adverse visual impact and ensure the facility is compatible with the environment in which it is located. Methods of camouflage design include:

1. Design that mimics surrounding vegetation such as palm trees (monopalms), pine trees (monopines), and saguaro cacti.

a. Monopalm facilities shall conform to the following development standards:

(1) Not to exceed 55 feet in height;

(2) Antennas shall be located within the palm frond cluster and painted a green color to match palm fronds;

(3) No antennas shall extend beyond the palm frond coverage;

(4) Monopalms shall contain a minimum of 55 palm fronds;

(5) The trunk of the monopalm shall be clad with faux bark starting at the base (at grade) to the height of the first palm frond;

(6) Collocation on a monopalm facility shall be limited to antennas located within the trimmed leaf cluster (often referred to as the “pineapple” or “bulb”) of the monopalm trunk, located below the base of the palm fronds;

(7) The diameter of the pole shall not exceed 26 inches at its widest point, with the exception of the trimmed leaf cluster;

(8) No climbing pegs are permitted on the pole structure; and

(9) There shall be no unpainted metal on the monopalm facility.

(10) If used on sites where palm trees are not present, two palm trees shall be planted on the site. Each palm tree shall be equal to at least one-half the height of the monopalm at planting and must be of a species that will grow to a minimum height of 30 feet. These trees shall be maintained in a state of good health at all times.

b. Monopine facilities shall conform to the following development standards:

(1) Not to exceed 70 feet in height;

(2) Antennas shall be mounted within the foliage of the monopine and all branches at the height of the antennas shall extend beyond the panels and mounting hardware;

(3) All branches shall be arranged in a natural order with the widest branches at the lowest portion of the monopine tapering to the shortest branches at the top of the monopine;

(4) Antennas shall have camouflaged foliage covers;

(5) The monopine branches shall have a density of two and one-half branches for each one vertical foot of pole;

(6) The monopine branches shall begin at no greater than 12 feet above finished grade and continue to the top of the pole;

(7) The monopine shall be painted a color to match the appearance of the surrounding pine trees;

(8) The trunk of the monopine facility shall be constructed to incorporate full bark cladding provided on the tree trunk starting at the base (at grade) to the top of the monopine;

(9) The diameter of the pole structure shall not exceed 36 inches at the base and shall taper to no greater than 28 inches at the top of the monopine;

(10) All cables shall be concealed within the pole structure;

(11) No climbing pegs are permitted on the monopine structure; and

(12) There shall be no unpainted metal on the monopine facility.

(13) If used on sites where pine trees are not present, two pine trees shall be planted on the site. Each pine tree shall be equal to at least one-half the height of the monopine at planting and must be of a species that will grow to a minimum height of 50 feet. These trees shall be maintained in a state of good health at all times.

c. Saguaro cacti facilities shall conform to the following development standards:

(1) Not to exceed 40 feet in height;

(2) The diameter of the pole structure shall not exceed 30 inches at its widest point;

(3) The saguaro cactus facility shall be painted and designed to mimic a natural saguaro cactus;

(4) Antenna panels and cables shall be entirely concealed within the cactus structure;

(5) No climbing pegs are permitted on the pole structure; and

(6) There shall be no unpainted metal on the saguaro cactus facility.

(7) If used on sites where saguaro cacti are not present, two saguaro cacti shall be planted on the site. Each saguaro shall be a minimum of 10 feet in height at the time of planting and shall be maintained in a state of good health at all times.

2. Use of steeples, clock towers, bell towers, water towers, flag poles, roof features, or other such vertical architectural elements to conceal antennas and equipment.

a. All antennas, mounting hardware, and cables shall be completely concealed within the structure.

b. Height of the vertical architectural element shall not exceed 150 percent of the maximum main building height otherwise allowable for the zone.

c. Equipment cabinets, service panels, and service connections shall be screened by a solid wall, painted to match the structure.

3. Other camouflage designs may be proposed. The planning and building director shall determine whether the proposed alternative camouflage design meets the intent of this section prior to the applicant’s official submittal for facility review.

J. Building-Mounted Wireless Facility Standards. Wireless communication facilities located on the roof or on the facade of a building shall be integrated to the maximum possible degree with building design and placed and/or screened to minimize the visual impact of the facility. Building-mounted wireless communication facilities shall be painted with nonreflective colors to match the existing surface where the antennas are mounted.

1. Equipment Enclosure. Equipment enclosures for building-mounted facilities shall be located within the building on which the facility is located when possible. However, if an equipment enclosure within the building is reasonably unavailable, then an equipment enclosure may be incorporated into the roof design. If no reasonable location exists within the building or on the roof, the equipment must be enclosed within an accessory structure which meets the setbacks and pertinent design standards for the zone.

2. Feed Lines and Cables. Feed lines and cables shall be located below the parapet of the rooftop, if present. If the feed lines and cables are visible from a public right-of-way or adjacent property, they must be painted to match the color scheme of the building.

K. Maximum Height. The maximum height of wireless communication facilities shall be determined as detailed in Table 1 below.

Table 1


Maximum Height

Rural and residential zones

70 feet

Business and industrial zones: tower located within 400 feet of a rural or residential zone

100 feet

Business and industrial zones: tower located greater than 400 feet from a rural or residential zone

150 feet

[Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1.]

18.60.070 Wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way.

This section provides standards necessary for the preservation of the public right-of-way in the town for the maximum benefit and use for the public and applies to the siting, construction or modification of any and all wireless communications facilities proposed to be located in the public right-of-way.

A. Any application for a wireless communication facility to be located in the public right-of-way is subject to approval by the town engineer in addition to other requirements and processes specified in this chapter. Location or collocation of wireless equipment on town-owned poles shall be at the discretion of the town engineer.

B. Eligible Applicants. Only applicants who have been granted the right to enter the public right-of-way pursuant to state or federal law, or who have entered into a franchise agreement with the town permitting them to use the public right-of-way, shall be eligible to apply to install or modify a wireless communication facility or a collocation of such a facility in the right-of-way. A valid right-of-way use permit shall also be required prior to construction.

C. Speculative Equipment Prohibited. The town finds that the practice of “preapproving” wireless equipment or other improvements that the applicant does not presently intend to install but may wish to install at some undetermined future time does not serve the public’s best interest. The town shall not approve any equipment or other improvements in connection with a wireless communication facility application when the applicant does not actually and presently intend to install such equipment or construct such improvements.

D. No applicant seeking to install wireless antennas shall seek a right-of-way use permit for fiber or coaxial cable only. Applicants shall simultaneously apply for fiber installation or other cable installation when seeking to install antennas in the right-of-way.

E. Application. Applications for a wireless communication facility in the right-of-way shall include, in addition to other application requirements as stated in this chapter, the following:

1. Detailed engineering plans of the proposed facility and related report prepared by a professional engineer registered in the state documenting the following:

a. Technical engineering specifications.

b. Evidence that demonstrates that the proposed facility has been designed to be the least visible equipment within the particular technology the carrier chooses to deploy.

c. A photograph and model name and number of each piece of equipment to be used.

d. Power output and operating frequency for the proposed antenna.

e. Total anticipated capacity of the structure, indicating the number and types of antennas and power and frequency ranges which can be accommodated.

f. Sufficient evidence of the structural integrity of the pole or other supporting structure as required by the town.

g. Electrical and mechanical engineering documents for the facility and all appurtenant equipment, including support equipment such as equipment cabinets and backup power.

2. A statement providing the basis for the applicant’s claimed right to enter the public right-of-way. If the applicant has a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) issued by the Arizona Corporation Commission, it shall provide a copy of its CCN.

F. Additional Design and Performance Standards. In addition to other standards of this chapter, the following design and performance standards apply to wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way:

1. The applicant shall employ screening, undergrounding and camouflage design techniques in the design and placement of wireless communication facilities in order to ensure that the facility is as visually screened as possible, to prevent the facility from dominating the surrounding area and to minimize significant view impacts from surrounding properties all in a manner that achieves compatibility with the community.

2. Screening shall be designed to be architecturally compatible with surrounding structures using appropriate techniques to camouflage, disguise, and/or blend into the environment, including landscaping, color, and other techniques to minimize the facility’s visual impact.

3. Facilities shall be located such that views from an adjacent residential structure are not significantly impaired.

4. Traffic Safety. All facilities shall be designed and located in such a manner as to avoid adverse impacts on traffic safety, including, but not limited to, being located outside of sight visibility triangles and clear zones.

5. All facilities shall be of subdued colors and nonreflective materials that blend with the materials and colors of the surrounding area and structures.

6. The applicant shall use the least visible equipment possible. Antenna elements shall be flush mounted, to the extent feasible. All antenna mounts shall be designed so as not to preclude possible future collocation by the same or other operators or carriers. Unless otherwise provided in this section, antennas shall be situated as close to the ground as possible.

7. Poles.

a. Only pole-mounted antennas shall be permitted in the right-of-way. All other telecommunications towers are prohibited, and no new poles are permitted that are not replacing existing poles, unless:

(1) Such new poles shall be designed to resemble existing poles in the right-of-way near that location, including size, height, color, materials, and style, with the exception of any existing pole designs that are scheduled to be removed and not replaced.

(2) Such new poles that are not replacement poles shall be located at least 90 feet from any existing pole to the extent feasible.

(3) A new pole analysis shall be submitted to demonstrate that the new pole is designed to be the minimum functional height and width required to support the proposed facility.

(4) All cables, including, but not limited to, electrical and utility cables, shall be run within the interior of the pole and shall be camouflaged or hidden to the fullest extent possible.

(5) No new wooden poles shall be permitted. For collocations on existing wooden poles wherein interior installation is infeasible, antennas, conduit, cables, and any other appurtenances attached to the exterior of the poles shall be mounted flush thereto and painted to match the pole.

b. The maximum height of any antenna shall not exceed:

(1) Four feet above the height of the existing pole.

(2) Nor shall any portion of the antenna or equipment mounted on a pole be less than 24 feet above any driveable road surface for utility poles or 16 feet above any driveable road surface for light poles.

c. No portion of any antenna shall project greater than 24 inches from the pole.

d. Pole-mounted equipment, exclusive of antennas, shall not exceed six cubic feet in dimension.

8. Each facility shall be designed to occupy the least amount of space in the right-of-way that is technically feasible.

9. Each facility shall be properly engineered to withstand wind loads as required by the adopted building code or any duly adopted or incorporated code. An evaluation of high wind load capacity shall include the impact of modification of an existing facility.

10. Each component part of a facility shall be located so as not to cause any physical or visual obstruction to pedestrian, bicycle, or vehicular traffic, inconvenience the public’s use of the right-of-way, or create safety hazards to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, and shall not be located within sight visibility triangles.

11. A facility shall not be located within any portion of the public right-of-way interfering with access to a fire hydrant, fire station, fire escape, water valve, underground vault, valve housing structure, or any other public health or safety facility.

12. All ground-mounted facilities, pole-mounted equipment, or walls, fences, landscaping or other screening methods shall be installed outside of the clear zone as determined by the town engineer, or at least 18 inches from the curb line or edge of nearest travel lane where there is no curb, whichever is greatest.

13. Not including the electric meter, all accessory equipment shall be located underground, unless town staff determines there is no room in the public right-of-way for undergrounding, or that undergrounding is not feasible.

a. When above-ground is the only feasible location for a particular type of accessory equipment and will be ground-mounted:

(1) Such accessory equipment shall be enclosed within a structure and shall not exceed a height of five feet and a total footprint of 15 square feet, and shall be fully screened and/or camouflaged, including the use of landscaping, architectural treatment, or acceptable alternate screening. Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened and/or camouflaged.

(2) In locations with rural or residential zoning only along one side of a street, above-ground accessory equipment shall not be installed on that side of the street. Such above-ground accessory equipment shall be installed along the side of the street that is not rurally or residentially zoned.

b. While pole-mounted equipment is generally the least favored installation, should pole-mounted equipment be sought, it shall be installed as required in this chapter.

14. Where appropriate, each facility shall be installed so as to maintain and enhance existing landscaping on the site, including trees, foliage, and shrubs. Additional landscaping shall be planted, irrigated, and maintained by applicant where such landscaping is deemed necessary by the town to provide screening or to conceal the facility.

15. Where facility lighting is required by the FAA, FCC, or other government entity, a lighting study shall be provided, prepared by a qualified lighting professional, to evaluate potential impacts to adjacent properties and traffic.

16. Backup generators shall not be permitted in the right-of-way.

17. At no time shall equipment noise from any facility exceed an exterior noise level of 65 dBA three feet from the source of the noise if the facility is located in the public right-of-way adjacent to a business or industrial zone. Any facility located within 500 feet of any rural or residential zone, or a residential or school use, shall not exceed 55 dBA three feet from the source of the noise.

18. Each facility shall be designed to be resistant to, and minimize opportunities for, unauthorized access, climbing, vandalism, graffiti, and other conditions that would result in hazardous situations, visual blight, or attractive nuisances. The director may require the provision of warning signs, fencing, anti-climbing devices, or other techniques to prevent unauthorized access and vandalism.

19. Modification. Consistent with current federal laws, and if permissible under the same, at the time of modification of a wireless communication facility, existing equipment shall, to the extent feasible, be replaced with equipment that reduces visual, noise, and other impacts, including, but not limited to, undergrounding the equipment and replacing larger, more visually intrusive facilities with smaller, less visually intrusive facilities.

20. The installation and construction shall begin within 180 days after the facility’s approval or it will expire without further action by the town. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1]

18.60.080 Waiver.

A. A waiver of any requirement of this chapter may be granted through a Type 3 conditional use permit. The waiver shall be granted only if the town council finds that the waiver substantially:

1. Is in the best interest of the town as a whole;

2. Will not jeopardize public health, safety, or welfare;

3. Will either ameliorate the adverse impacts of wireless communication facility proliferation or the adverse impact of requiring new construction of communication facilities; and

4. Will better serve the purposes of this chapter.

B. The facts to be considered in reviewing an application for a waiver shall include:

1. The height of the proposed facility;

2. The proximity of the facility to rural or residential zones and uses;

3. The nature of uses on adjacent and nearby properties;

4. The surrounding topography;

5. The surrounding vegetation and foliage;

6. The design of the facility, with particular reference to design characteristics that have the effect of reducing or eliminating any visual obtrusiveness;

7. The proposed ingress and egress;

8. The availability of suitable existing towers or other structures; and

9. Such other factors as may be relevant. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1. Formerly 18.60.070.]

18.60.090 Removal of abandoned towers and antennas.

A. Any wireless communication facility, communication facility tower or equipment thereof that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such facility shall remove the same, including any antennas, attachments, foundation, fences, concrete slabs, other related appurtenances, and equipment enclosure, within 90 days of receipt of notice from the town notifying the owner of such abandonment. In addition, the property shall be restored to its original condition prior to the construction of the wireless communication facility, all at the expense of the provider. The town may require financial assurances to ensure compliance with this provision.

B. If there are two or more service providers using a single tower, then the abandonment period shall not begin until all such service providers have ceased using the tower.

C. If, within the 90-day notice period, the abandoned wireless communication facility is not removed, the town of Sahuarita shall have the authority to remove said facility. In this instance, the town of Sahuarita shall bill the owner for all costs associated with the removal, plus a 10 percent penalty fee. Said charges shall be paid by the owner within 10 days of receipt of the bill.

D. Nothing in this section shall prevent the town from acquiring the facility through a purchase agreement or condemnation action. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1. Formerly 18.60.080.]

18.60.100 Enforcement.

In addition to the general manner of enforcement provided in Chapter 18.95 STC (Compliance and Enforcement), the following provisions shall apply:

A. Noninterference with Public Safety. No wireless communication transmitter, receptor, or other facility shall interfere with police, fire, and emergency public safety communications. The town is authorized to determine whether any transmitter, receptor, or other facility has interfered with public safety communications or is reasonably believed to be an imminent threat to public safety communications.

1. If such a determination is made, the planning and building director shall notify the provider immediately and the provider shall have five days to remedy the interference.

2. The town may obtain a temporary restraining order from a court of competent jurisdiction with or without notice to enforce this section provided a hearing is scheduled within five days of the court’s order. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1. Formerly 18.60.090.]

18.60.110 Penalties.

Any violations of this chapter shall be penalized in accordance with Chapter 18.95 STC. [Ord. 2017-120 § 1; Ord. 2016-110 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1998-05 § 1. Formerly 18.60.100.]