Chapter 17.94


17.94.010    Purpose And Intent

17.94.020    Permit Requirements And Exceptions

17.94.030    Exemptions

17.94.040    Development Standards

17.94.050    Operation And Maintenance Standards

17.94.060    Removal Provisions

17.94.070    Transfer Of Operations

17.94.080    Effects Of Development

17.94.010 Purpose And Intent:

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the installation of antennas and other wireless communication facilities consistent with federal law. The city acknowledges the community benefit associated with the provision of wireless communication service and potential public benefit from leasing of publicly owned properties. It is also recognized that unrestricted installations are contrary to the city’s efforts to promote safety and aesthetic considerations. It is not the intent of this chapter to unreasonably limit the reception or transmission of signals or to add excessive permit costs. Rather, it is the intent of this chapter to permit antennas and wireless communication facilities where they can be installed without creating adverse economic, safety and aesthetic impacts on abutting and nearby properties and the overall community. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.020 Permit Requirements And Exceptions:

A.    Permit Required: Unless exempt from permit requirements pursuant to section 17.94.030, "Exemptions", of this chapter, all wireless communication facilities require a conditional use permit pursuant to section 17.16.060 of this title. A collocation facility shall be a permitted use not subject to a city or county discretionary permit if is satisfies the requirements set forth in California Government Code 65850.6.

B.    Permit Processing: Permits shall be processed in accordance with applicable provisions of division II of this title.

C.    Permit Fees: Any permit fee imposed by a city, including a chartered city, a county, or a city and county, for the placement, installation, repair, or upgrading of telecommunications facilities such as lines, poles, or antennas by a telephone corporation that has obtained all required authorizations to provide telecommunications services from the public utilities commission and the federal communications commission, shall not exceed the reasonable costs of providing the service for which the fee is charged and shall not be levied for general revenue purposes pursuant to section 50030 of the California Government Code.

D.    Conditions: The designated approving authority for each of the listed permits may impose conditions on the wireless communication facility applications to ensure compliance with all provisions and purposes of this chapter. While, as a condition of approval of an application for a permit for construction or reconstruction for a development project for a "wireless telecommunications facility", as defined in section 17.98.020 of this title, a city or county shall not do any of the following, pursuant to section 65964 of the California Government Code:

1.    Require an escrow deposit for removal of a wireless telecommunications facility or any component thereof. However, a performance bond or other surety or another form of security may be required, so long as the amount of the bond security is rationally related to the cost of removal. In establishing the amount of the security, the city or county shall take into consideration information provided by the permit applicant regarding the cost of removal.

2.    Unreasonably limit the duration of any permit for a wireless telecommunications facility. Limits of less than ten (10) years are presumed to be unreasonable absent public safety reasons or substantial land use reasons. However, cities and counties may establish a build out period for a site.

3.    Require that all wireless telecommunications facilities be limited to sites owned by particular parties within the jurisdiction of the city or county.

E.    Findings For Denial: Findings to deny any permit for a wireless communication facility as regulated herein shall be done in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in the written record. Denial shall not be based on the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions that comply with the federal communication commission emission regulation. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.030 Exemptions:

The following wireless communication facilities are exempt from the requirements of this chapter as specified below and are subject to compliance with other provisions of this title:

A.    A wireless communication facility shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter if and to the extent that a permit issued by the California public utilities commission (CPUC) or the rules and regulations of the federal communication commission (FCC) specifically provide that the antenna is exempt from local regulation.

B.    Satellite earth station (SES) antennas, which are two meters (2 m) (6.5616 feet) or less in diameter or in diagonal measurement, located in any nonresidential zoning district. In order to avoid the creation of an attractive nuisance, reduce accidental tripping hazards and maximize stability of the structure, such antennas shall be placed whenever possible on top of buildings and as far away as possible from the edges of rooftops.

C.    Parabolic antennas, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) antennas and multipoint distribution service (MDSI antennas, which are one meter (1 ml (3.2808 feet) or less in diameter or diagonal measurement and television broadcast service (TVBS) antennas, so long as said antennas are located entirely on private property and are not located within the required front yard setback area. This locational requirement is necessary to ensure that such antenna installations do not become attractive nuisances and/or result in accidental tripping hazards if located adjacent to a street or other public right of way.

D.    Amateur radio antenna structures provide a valuable and essential telecommunication service during periods of natural disasters and other emergency conditions and are therefore exempt from permit provisions of this chapter in compliance with the following standards:

1.    Height Limits: In residential zoning districts, the height limit is forty five feet (45') and in nonresidential zoning districts, the height limit is sixty feet (60'). However, amateur radio antennas in any district may extend to a maximum height of seventy five feet (75'), provided that the tower is equipped with a lowering device (motorized and/or mechanical) capable of lowering the antenna to the maximum permitted height when not in operation.

2.    Location Parameters: All antenna structures shall be located outside of required front and street side yard areas. Antenna structures shall also be set back a minimum distance of five feet (5') from interior property lines. If any portion of the antenna overhangs any property line, a design review permit is required to obtain the authorized signature of all affected property owners on the required application form.

3.    Tower Safety: All antennas shall be located within an enclosed fenced area or have a minimum five foot (5') high tower shield at the tower base to prevent climbing. All active elements of antennas shall have a minimum vertical clearance of eight feet (8').

4.    Modifications: Minor modifications (emergency or routine) provided there is little or no change in the visual appearance as determined by the planning director. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.040 Development Standards:

A.    General Development Standards: Unless otherwise exempt pursuant to section 17.94.030, "Exemptions", of this chapter, the following general development standards shall apply to all wireless communication facilities:

1.    All wireless communication facilities shall comply with all applicable requirements of the current uniform codes as adopted by the city and shall be consistent with the general plan, this title, as well as other standards and guidelines adopted by the city.

2.    All conditional use permit applications for wireless communication facilities shall include a description of services proposed and documentation certifying applicable licenses or other approvals required by the federal communications commission to provide services proposed in connection with the application.

3.    All conditional use permit applications for wireless communications facilities shall include a map and narrative description of all telecommunication sites existing, proposed or planned by the applicant in the city and within a one mile radius of the city border. Such applications shall also include an analysis of all reasonable and technically feasible alternative locations and/or facilities (including collocations) which could provide the proposed communication service.

4.    All conditional use permit applications for wireless communication facilities shall include a propagation map. The propagation map will identify the existing coverage area and the proposed coverage area for the new wireless facility.

5.    To minimize the overall visual impact, new wireless communication facilities shall be collocated with existing facilities, with other planned new facilities, and with other facilities such as water tanks, light standards, and other utility structures whenever feasible and aesthetically desirable. To facilitate collocation when deemed appropriate, conditions of approval for conditional use permits shall require all service providers to cooperate in the siting of equipment and antennas to accommodate the maximum number of operators at a given site when found to be feasible and aesthetically desirable. The applicant shall agree to allow future collocation of additional antennas and shall not enter into an exclusive lease for the use of the site.

6.    At least ten feet (10') of horizontal clearance shall be maintained between any part of the antenna and any power lines unless the antenna is installed to be an integral part of a utility tower or facility.

7.    Development standards for antennas (excluding amateur radio antennas). Unless otherwise exempt pursuant to section 17.94.030, "Exemptions", of this chapter, the following development standards shall apply to receive only antennas (ground and building mounted), parabolic antennas, and satellite earth stations as defined in division VI, "Zoning Definitions", of this title:

a.    Maximum Number: One wireless facility per parcel, unless the applicant can demonstrate the service need for additional antenna.

b.    Antenna Location: Parabolic antenna and satellite earth stations shall be ground mounted in residential zoning districts. In all nonresidential zoning districts, the preference is for building mounted antenna. No antenna shall be located in the required front or street side yard of any parcel unless entirely screened from pedestrian view of the abutting street rights of way (excluding alleys). In all zoning districts, ground mounted antennas shall be situated as close to the ground as possible to reduce visual impact without compromising their function and all portions of the structure/antenna shall be set back a minimum of five feet (5') from any property line.

c.    Height Limit: The height limit for ground mounted antenna is six feet (6'). However, the height may be increased to a maximum of twelve feet (12') if the setback distance from all property lines is at least equal to the height of the antenna and if the structure is screened in accordance with subsection A7d, "Screening", of this section. Building mounted antenna shall not extend above the roofline, parapet wall, or other roof screen or project beyond a maximum of eighteen inches (18") from the face of the building or other support structure.

d.    Screening: Ground mounted antenna shall be screened with a fence, wall or dense landscaping so that the antenna is not visible from the public right of way and to minimize the visual impact on abutting properties. Building mounted antenna shall be screened as follows:

(1)    Wall mounted equipment shall be flush mounted and painted or finished to match to building with concealed cables.

(2)    Roof mounted equipment shall be screened from view of public rights of way by locating the antenna below the roofline, parapet wall, or other roof screen and by locating the antenna as far away as physically feasible and aesthetically desirable from the edge of the building.

e.    Color: Antennas shall have subdued colors and nonreflective materials which blend with the materials and colors of the surrounding area or building.

B.    Development Standards For Amateur Radio Antennas: Amateur radio antennas as defined in section 17.98.020, "Definitions", of this title may exceed the height limit and/or amend the setback provisions of the exempt amateur radio antenna structures (section 17.94.030, "Exemptions", of this title) only when said regulation will result in unreasonable limitations on, or prevent, reception or transmission of signals. The designated approving authority may issue the design review permit subject to any conditions necessary or appropriate to minimize the safety or aesthetic impacts of antenna installations, provided the conditions do not unreasonably prevent or limit transmission or reception of signals.

C.    Development Standards For Towers: The following development standards shall apply to towers (including collocation facilities) as defined in section 17.98.020, "Definitions", of this title:

1.    Site Design: All facilities (including related equipment) shall be designed to minimize the visual impact to the greatest extent feasible, considering technological requirements, by means of placement, screening, camouflage, to be compatible with existing architectural elements, landscape elements, and other site characteristics. The applicant shall use the smallest and least visible antennas possible to accomplish the owner/operator’s coverage objective. A visual impact analysis is required to demonstrate how the proposed facility will appear from public rights of way (including public trails).

2.    Safety Design: All facilities shall be designed so as to be resistant to and minimize opportunities for unauthorized access, climbing, vandalism, graffiti, and other conditions that would result in hazardous conditions, visual blight, or attractive nuisances.

3.    Location: Towers shall not be located in any required front or street side yard in any zoning district. The setback distance from any abutting street right of way, residential property line, or public trail shall be equal to the height of the facility (tower and related equipment). Otherwise, the minimum setback distance from all other property lines shall be at least equal to twenty percent (20%) of the height of the tower.

4.    Height Limit: The height limit for towers shall be consistent with the maximum building height of the zoning district of the subject parcel. Exceptions to the height limit may be granted when the designated approving authority finds that reasonable alternatives do not exist to provide the necessary service. There is no height limit specified for collocations on existing structures, provided facilities are screened from view of abutting street rights of way or camouflaged by matching the color(s) and/or material(s) of the structure to which it is attached.

5.    Lighting: Towers and related equipment shall be unlit except as provided below:

a.    A manually operated or motion detector controlled light above the equipment shed door may be provided, except that the light shall remain off except when personnel are present at night;

b.    The minimum tower lighting required under FAA regulation; and

c.    Where tower lighting is required, said lighting shall be shielded or directed downward to the greatest extent possible to ensure that such light does not spillover onto abutting properties, especially residential zoning districts or uses.

6.    Landscape: Where appropriate, facilities shall be installed so as to maintain and enhance existing landscaping on the site, including trees, foliage and shrubs, whether or not utilized for screening. Additional landscaping shall be planted around the tower and related equipment and along street frontages to buffer abutting residential zoning districts or uses, and to buffer public trails in accordance with the following standards:

a.    Perimeter Of Facility: Landscaping around the perimeter of the facility shall include dense tree and shrub plantings with necessary irrigation. Wireless communication facilities shall be developed with an immediate landscape screen. Trees shall be fast growing evergreen species, a minimum of twenty four inch (24") box in size. Shrubs shall be a minimum fifteen (15) gallon size covering a minimum planter area depth of five feet (5') around the facility. Trees and shrubs shall be planted no farther apart on center than the mature diameter of the proposed species.

b.    Street Frontage: Along all street frontages abutting the subject parcel, trees shall be fast growing evergreen species, a minimum of twenty four inch (24") box in size, planted no farther apart on center than the mature diameter of the proposed species.

c.    Buffer To Residential Zoning Districts Or Uses And Public Trails: Along the entire length of all residential property lines and public trails abutting the subject parcel, twenty four inch (24") box, fast growing evergreen trees shall be planted no farther apart on center than the mature diameter of the proposed species. Additionally, shrub planting along public trails shall be a minimum five (5) gallon size and species shall be consistent with the native or other plantings along the trail in that same area.

7.    Design/Finish: The tower and related equipment shall have subdued colors and nonreflective materials that blend with the colors and materials of surrounding areas.

8.    Advertising: The tower and related equipment shall not bear any signs or advertising devices other than certification, warning or other required seals or signs.

9.    Parking: The off street parking for wireless communication facilities shall be determined by the designated approving authority in conjunction with required development permits. All required parking shall be provided in accordance with chapter 17.58, "Parking", of this title. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.050 Operation And Maintenance Standards:

A.    Noise: All wireless communication facilities shall comply with section 17.60.030, "Noise Standards", of this title at all times. When facilities are located within one hundred feet (100') of any residential property, a noise analysis shall be required to ensure that all proposed equipment either complies with or employs noise attenuation measures in compliance with the city’s maximum noise level standards. Backup generators shall only be operated during power outages and for testing and maintenance purposes.

B.    Nonionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (NIER) Exposure: No wireless communication facility shall be sited or operated in such a manner that it poses, either by itself or in combination with other such facilities, a potential threat to public health. To this end, no facility or combination of facilities shall produce, at any time, power densities in any inhabited area that exceed the FCC’s maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits for electric and magnetic field strength and power density for transmitters or any more restrictive standard subsequently adopted or promulgated by the city, county, state, or the federal government. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.060 Removal Provisions:

In the event one or more antennas, towers, or related equipment are not operated for the provision of wireless telecommunication services for a continuous period of three (3) months or more, such antenna, tower, and/or related equipment shall be deemed abandoned. The owner of same shall remove all such items within thirty (30) days following the mailing of written notice that removal is required. If two (2) or more providers of wireless telecommunication services use the antenna support structure or related equipment, the period of nonuse under this section shall be measured from the cessation of operation at the location by all such providers. Failure to remove shall constitute a public nuisance and shall be enforced as such. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.070 Transfer Of Operations:

Any carrier/service provider authorized by the city to operate a specific wireless communication facility may assign the operation of the facility to another carrier licensed by the FCC for that radio frequency provided that such transfer is made known to the planning director in writing prior to the transfer and all conditions of approval for the subject installation are carried out by the new carrier/service provider. However, the carrier/service provider may, without written notification, transfer operations of the facility to its general partner or any party controlling, controlled by or under common control with the carrier/service provider. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)

17.94.080 Effects Of Development:

The city shall not be liable if development within the city, after installation of the antenna, impairs antenna reception. (Ord. 473 §3, 2007)