Chapter 18.24
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES*

Sections:

18.24.010    Purpose.

18.24.020    Applicability.

18.24.030    Receive-only antennas permit exemptions.

18.24.040    Permitted use.

18.24.050    Use permit and permitting fees required.

18.24.060    Application requirements – Contents of permit application.

18.24.070    Review of permit application – Noticing.

18.24.080    General requirements.

18.24.090    Design standards.

18.24.100    Required findings for approval.

18.24.110    Section 6409(a) modification applications.

18.24.120    Small wireless facility applications.

18.24.130    Time to act on application.

18.24.140    Standard permit conditions.

18.24.150    Compliance report.

18.24.160    Operational regulations.

18.24.170    Modifications of a WCF permit.

18.24.180    Revocation of a WCF permit.

18.24.190    Abandonment, removal, or relocation of facilities.

18.24.200    Transfer of an interest.

18.24.210    Violations are infractions.

18.24.220    Controlling provisions.

18.24.230    Definitions and acronyms.

*Prior legislation: Ords. 1429, 1438 and 1480.

18.24.010 Purpose.

A.    The purpose of this chapter is to establish comprehensive requirements and standards for the development, siting, installation, and operation of wireless communications antennas and related facilities. These regulations are intended to protect and promote public safety, community welfare, and the aesthetic quality of the City, consistent with the goals, objectives, and policies of the General Plan, while providing for managed development of wireless communications infrastructure in compliance with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and related requirements in Federal and State law.

B.    The specific objectives of this chapter are to:

1.    Maintain an aesthetically pleasing community environment by ensuring that antenna support structures and associated communications equipment will not create excessive visual clutter, unreasonably block or degrade views, or diminish the architectural character of buildings and neighborhoods;

2.    Protect the safety and welfare of persons who live and work in the City by regulating the erection and maintenance of commercial and private satellite dishes and large antenna support structures to reduce the potential property damage or personal injury that these items may cause during weather incidents and periods of high-velocity wind;

3.    Discourage the location of antennas and related facilities for cellular and mobile phones and personal communication systems in residential zoning districts because they are a commercial use that is usually separate from and rarely accessory to the primary use of residential property, unless the City is required to permit them in such locations to avoid violating State or Federal law and the facilities are designed to minimize degradation of the residential character of the neighborhood;

4.    Minimize the number of antenna structures in the City by promoting collocation and encouraging small cell facilities as a less intrusive alternative;

5.    Establish a review and approval process that provides greater certainty to both applicants and the public and improves the ability of wireless communications providers to offer services quickly, effectively, and efficiently, while ensuring compliance with all applicable requirements;

6.    Support the provision of wireless communications to maintain and enhance personal and public health and safety, provide for economic growth, and promote the general welfare and convenience of persons living, working, and visiting in the City;

7.    Establish and maintain telecommunications facilities that are components of a wireless telecommunications infrastructure designed to enhance the City’s emergency response capacity; and

8.    Require wireless communications providers to use the best available design and technology to mitigate adverse impacts caused by antennas, support structures, and associated equipment.

C.    It is not the purpose or intent of this chapter to:

1.    Prohibit or to have the effect of prohibiting wireless communications services; or

2.    Unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent wireless communications services; or

3.    Regulate the placement, construction or modification of WCFs on the basis of the environmental effects of radio frequency (“RF”) emissions where it is demonstrated that the WCF does or will comply with the applicable FCC regulations; or

4.    Prohibit or effectively prohibit collocations or modifications that the City must approve under State or Federal law. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.020 Applicability.

The provisions in this chapter shall apply to all permit applications to install, operate, or modify a WCF, including, without limitation, applications to collocate, modify, replace, or remove any new or existing wireless tower or base station within the City. Nothing in this chapter is intended to allow the City to preempt any State or Federal law or regulation applicable to a WCF. This chapter does not apply to WCFs owned by or exclusively operated for government agencies.

WCFs installed or operated at the direction of the City for the sole use of the City, regardless of where located in the City, shall be exempt from this chapter, but as a matter of policy shall be designed and located consistent with the design requirements of this chapter.

The provisions of this chapter are in addition to, and do not replace, any obligations a WCF permit holder may have under any franchises, licenses, or other permits issued by the City. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.030 Receive-only antennas permit exemptions.

Receive-only radio or television antennas and other over the air reception device (OTARD) antennas are subject to the requirements of this chapter. However, those receive-only antennas that do not exceed the maximum height in a zoning district are permitted by this chapter and do not require a permit, so long as the diameter of the support pole on which it is affixed does not exceed eight inches and conforms to the following requirements:

A.    Residential and Mixed-Use Districts.

1.    Satellite Dish One Meter or Less. A satellite dish not exceeding one meter (39.37 inches) in diameter that is for the sole use of a resident occupying the same parcel is permitted. Antennas extended vertically shall be no higher than ten feet and six inches in height and must be placed on the ground between the rear of the main structure and the rear property line or on the rear half of the roof, and not located in any required parking or loading area. Antennas may not be located in the area between a building and the front or corner side property line or within five feet or the required setback, whichever is less, of any interior property line without approval of a use permit.

2.    Other Antennas. A receive-only antenna other than a satellite dish that is for the sole use of a resident occupying the same parcel is permitted if it does not exceed twelve feet above the height of the roof.

3.    Additional Requirements. In addition to the other requirements of this section, antennas in residential and mixed-use zoning districts shall meet all the following criteria:

a.    Roof- or building-mounted antenna support structures shall be no higher than needed to receive adequate reception of localized signals, not to exceed thirty feet above the roof line unless approved by the Planning Commission;

b.    A television satellite dish antenna shall be screened, to the degree feasible, by structures or landscaping so it is not readily visible from public right-of-way and neighboring properties;

c.    Antenna support structures and appurtenant structural surfaces shall have subdued colors that blend with surroundings; and

d.    In addition to being screened from view from public right-of-way and neighboring properties, ground-mounted television satellite dish antennas shall be within a fenced area. The fence shall be at least four feet in height, and shall have no openings, holes or gaps larger than four inches in any dimension to prevent climbing. All gates and doors through the fence shall be equipped with a self-closing latching device capable of keeping the door or gate securely closed when not in actual use. If the entire yard is enclosed by a fence higher than four feet in height with a self-closing gate, this provision will be satisfied.

B.    Commercial, Industrial, and Airport Districts.

1.    Satellite Dish Two Meters or Less. Two satellite dish antennas each of which does not exceed two meters (78.74 inches) in diameter that are for the sole use of a permitted business occupying the same parcel are permitted if not located between the front of the building and the front property line, in any required side or rear yard, or in any required parking or loading area. A roof-mounted antenna shall be located as close to the center of the roof as practical and may not exceed three feet in height when extended vertically. Antennas may not be located in the area between a building and the front or corner side property line or in a required interior rear yard without approval of a minor use permit.

2.    Other Antennas. A receive-only antenna other than a satellite dish that is for the sole use of a permitted business occupying the same parcel is permitted if it is not located between the front of the building and the front property line, in any required side or rear yard, or in any required parking or loading area or exceeding thirty feet above the height of the roof, without approval of a minor use permit.

C.    Amateur Radio Facilities. One amateur radio antenna structure and one whip antenna that meet the following requirements and are operated by a Federally licensed amateur radio station operator who resides on the same property if the facility is located in a residential district.

1.    No part of the antenna shall exceed sixty-five feet in height or thirty feet above the height of the roof, when fully extended.

2.    Any antenna that is capable of a maximum extended height exceeding forty feet, with the exception of whip antennas, shall be equipped with a motorized or hand-cranked device to allow the antenna to be easily lowered when it is not in operation.

3.    When an amateur radio facility is not in operation, no part of any antenna, except for whip antennas, shall extend to a height that exceeds the maximum height permitted in the district.

4.    No part of the antenna shall be located in the area between a building and the front or corner side property line, in a required interior yard, or in any parking or loading area.

5.    An antenna that exceeds these height limits or is located in a required setback may be allowed with approval of a use permit. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.040 Permitted use.

Subject to compliance with this chapter and other applicable provisions of this Code and other laws, WCFs are a permitted use in all zoning districts, as defined in Section 18.01.070. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.050 Use permit and permitting fees required.

A.    A WCF may not be installed, collocated, or modified without a use permit, except as provided herein. A building permit must be obtained prior to performing any work to remove a WCF.

B.    A permit shall not be issued:

1.    Unless the applicant shows that it has the necessary permission from the owner of private property, including a homeowners’ association, to place the WCF as proposed on private property or from the public entity owning public property that it proposes to occupy (including the authority to make modifications to any support structure or wireless tower associated with the installation or modification); and

2.    In the case of a WCF in the right-of-way unless the applicant holds a franchise, license, or similar authorization from the City or the State that entitles it to occupy the right-of-way to install or modify a WCF.

C.    A permit shall not be effective and shall not authorize installation, collocation, or modification of any WCF or installation or modification of a support structure or wireless tower unless the conditions of this subsection are satisfied:

1.    Applicant must obtain all other required permits, authorizations, approvals, or declarations that may be required for installation or modification of the WCF or for installation or modification of the support structure under Federal, State, or local law, including but not limited to building permits, CEQA declarations, or FCC approvals. A WCF use permit is not in lieu of any other permit required under this Code, except as specifically provided herein, nor is it a franchise, license, or other authorization to occupy the right-of-way, or a license, lease or agreement authorizing occupancy of any other private or public property. It does not create a vested right in occupying any particular location, and a permittee may be required to move and remove facilities at its expense consistent with other provisions of applicable law.

2.    Applicant must provide proof to the City that it has obtained all insurance and/or security required by this Code, and must pay any fees owed to the City.

D.    A permit issued in error, based on incomplete or false information submitted by an applicant, or that conflicts with the provisions of this chapter, is not valid.

E.    The applicant shall pay all applicable fees as enacted by the City Council prior to the issuance of a permit.

F.    Permit Classifications. No WCF shall be constructed or erected without first obtaining approval by the Planning Commission, Zoning Administrator, or the Planning Director pursuant to the requirements of this chapter and any permits required under the California Building Code unless exempt pursuant to Section 18.24.030. Applications for approval of a WCF will be processed and reviewed by the Planning Director, Zoning Administrator, or the Planning Commission based on their classification as defined in this section. The Planning Director has the authority to refer any application that is not exempt from the requirements of this chapter for review and approval by the Zoning Administrator.

1.    Conditional Use Permit. Review and approval of a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission is required for all facilities that do not meet one or more of the criteria listed in subsections (F)(2) and (F)(3) of this section for a minor use permit and decision by the Zoning Administrator or Planning Director or are exempt from review pursuant to this chapter or applicable Federal or State statutes and regulations.

2.    Minor Use Permit. The following facilities may be approved by the Zoning Administrator subject to the requirements of Chapter 18.30, Use Permits, and Section 18.24.100, Required findings for approval:

a.    A new wireless facility that will be located more than six hundred feet outside of all residential and mixed-use districts.

b.    Collocation applications that propose to alter the size and/or shape of the existing facility’s support structure.

c.    On structures in mixed-use districts that are not readily visible or are completely concealed from view because of integration into the design of a building or structure constructed and approved for use other than as wireless communications support structure, except for power poles and other structures in the right-of-way.

d.    On existing power poles or other structures in the right-of-way in nonresidential districts.

e.    A distributed antenna system (DAS) that is comprised of antennas installed on more than one of the support structures listed in subsections (F)(2)(a) through (d) of this section.

f.    A small wireless facility or group of small wireless facilities within six hundred feet of or inside a residential or mixed-use district.

g.    A 6409(a) modification application for an applicant that does not currently hold a permit for a WCF at the proposed site.

3.    The Planning Director may administratively approve a minor use permit for:

a.    Permit modifications for 6409(a) modification applications submitted by an applicant who holds an existing permit for the WCF to be modified at the proposed site.

b.    Collocation applications that do not propose to alter the size or shape of the existing facility’s support structure.

c.    A small wireless facility or group of small wireless facilities which are not within six hundred feet of or inside a residential or mixed-use district. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.060 Application requirements – Contents of permit application.

A.    In all cases, an applicant for a WCF permit shall utilize the form of application required by the City. The Planning Director is authorized to prepare application forms and submittal checklists and may develop application forms that distinguish between different types of installations and modifications in order to streamline processing of applications, and to comply with legal requirements. These generally applicable requirements shall be available for review in the City’s Planning Department during normal business hours and shall be provided to an applicant upon request. The Planning Director may also from time to time require additional application materials and/or information in any publicly stated format. An application will not be considered complete until the applicant has submitted all forms and supporting documents or items as required by the Planning Director. Notwithstanding the foregoing, an application shall not be deemed complete unless it includes the following:

1.    Installer Statement. A statement from the installer stating the method used to determine the desired height and placement, a statement of the signals desired, manufacturer’s specifications showing installation specifications, a statement noting what prior testing was done to determine the location of the installation, and a statement mentioning if alternative placements were considered.

2.    Map and Inventory of Existing Sites. Each applicant for a WCF antenna or wireless tower shall provide to the Planning Division an inventory of the service provider’s existing facilities that are either within the jurisdiction of the City or within one-quarter mile of the City’s border, including a map showing the location of the provider’s existing facilities that serve customers in San Carlos and the specific site that is the subject of the application. The inventory shall include specific information about the location, height, power rating, frequency range, signal coverage, drive test data, and design of each facility or tower structure. The Planning Division may share such information with other applicants applying for administrative approvals or use permits under this chapter or other organizations seeking to locate antennas within the jurisdiction of the City; provided, however, that the Planning Division is not, by sharing such information, in any way representing or warranting that such sites are available or suitable.

3.    Compliance Verification.

a.    Copies of, or a sworn statement by an authorized representative that the applicant holds, all applicable licenses or other approvals required by the FCC, the PUC, and any other agency of the Federal or State government with authority to regulate wireless communications facilities that are required in order for the applicant to construct the proposed facility.

b.    Documentation of, or a sworn statement by an authorized representative that applicant is in, compliance with all conditions imposed in conjunction with such licenses or approvals, a description of the number, type, power rating, frequency range, and dimensions of antennas, equipment cabinets, and related WCF proposed to be installed, and engineering calculations demonstrating that the proposed facility will comply with all applicable FCC requirements and standards.

4.    Description of Proposed Facility.

a.    A site plan, plans, and elevations drawn to scale that identify all antennas by type (e.g., microcell; ground-, building-, or roof-mounted, etc.) and all related equipment. Elevations shall include all structures on which facilities are proposed to be located.

b.    A description of the proposed approach for screening or camouflaging all facilities from public view including plans for installation and maintenance of landscaping, sample exterior materials and colors, and an explanation of the measures by which the proposed facility will be camouflaged or rendered not readily visible. If any part of the proposed facility would be readily visible, the application shall include an explanation as to why it cannot be rendered not readily visible. Any representation that the use of state of the art design techniques and technology is not feasible shall be supported by technical and financial analysis and may, at the discretion of the Planning Director, be subject to technical review in subsection (A)(5) of this section.

c.    When an applicant proposes a lower ranked design approach and location according to the preferences in Section 18.24.090(A), the application must include technical information demonstrating that a higher ranked option is not technically feasible in light of the provider’s service objectives and may at the discretion of the Planning Director be subject to technical review in subsection (A)(5) of this section.

d.    If any part of the facility will be readily visible from the public right-of-way or from neighboring properties, a visual impact analysis including scaled elevation diagrams within the context of the building, before and after photo simulations, and a map depicting where the photos were taken. The Planning Director may require the submission of photo overlays, scaled models, renderings, or mockups to document the effectiveness of techniques proposed to minimize visibility.

e.    If a ground-mounted or freestanding tower is proposed, the application must include an explanation as to why collocation or other facility types are not a feasible means of meeting the provider’s service objectives.

5.    Technical Review. The application shall include sufficient information for an approved radio frequency engineer or licensed electrical engineer specializing in EMF or RF studies (hereinafter, “an approved engineer”) retained by the City to review the information provided in response to technological considerations described in this section.

a.    The application shall also include an agreement to pay the reasonable actual cost and an administrative fee for hiring an approved engineer to provide technical review if such review is required.

b.    Any proprietary information disclosed to the City and/or the approved engineer in confidence shall not be a public record and shall remain confidential and not be disclosed to any third party without the express consent of the applicant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to designate what information it considers proprietary, and the City shall assume any information not explicitly designated as such is public record. The City and/or the approved engineer shall return all proprietary information to the applicant and not retain any copies of such information once its decision is final.

6.    Financial Assurances. A statement that, prior to obtaining a building permit to erect or install the proposed facility, the applicant shall either secure a bond or provide financial assurances, in a form acceptable to the City Manager, for the removal of the facility in the event that its use is abandoned or the approval is otherwise terminated.

7.    Other Information. Any other information the Planning Director deems necessary to process the application in compliance with the requirements of this chapter. This may include, but is not limited to, information concerning noise that might be generated by equipment associated with a WCF, such as air conditioning equipment, if the physical circumstances of the proposed facility suggest that such noise may be detrimental. For downtown core and residential districts, the Planning Director may also request that the applicant simulate the appearance of the proposed facility through renderings, story poles, mock-ups, or similar display.

B.    Where a WCF is part of a network of WCFs that will be installed contemporaneously or sequentially, such as a distributed antenna system (DAS), the applications for each of the facilities in the proposed network shall be submitted simultaneously.

C.    In addition to the requirements of this chapter, applications to construct, modify, upgrade, or otherwise alter a WCF in a public right-of-way require an encroachment permit subject to the provisions of Chapter 12.01.

D.    Proof of Neighborhood Outreach. For facilities proposed in R districts, the applicant shall be required to conduct neighborhood outreach and provide proof of outreach to all property owners no less than three hundred feet from the proposed facility site as part of the required WCF application submittal package as set forth by the Planning Director. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.070 Review of permit application – Noticing.

A.    All persons submitting an application for a WCF permit shall also submit an application for a building permit at the time that the WCF permit application is submitted. The WCF permit application shall be deemed incomplete if not accompanied by a building permit application. All persons wishing to submit an application for a WCF permit shall schedule an appointment with the Planning Division to submit the application and perform an initial check to determine whether the application appears to meet all required application submittal requirements as set forth by the Planning Director. Applications shall only be accepted at a scheduled meeting.

B.    Unless the application is deemed incomplete at the initial check pursuant to subsection A of this section, the Planning Director shall review all WCF permit applications for completeness with applicable submittal requirements and compliance with the provisions of this chapter and other applicable laws and regulations.

C.    If the application submitted by the applicant is incomplete, the Planning Director shall notify the applicant in writing within ten days. Said notice shall include a list of items missing from the application and the Municipal Code section(s) and/or submittal checklist item(s) which require additional submittals to deem an application complete.

D.    When an application is deemed incomplete, the applicant may submit additional materials to complete the application. An applicant may only submit a revised application or supplemental materials to a previously deemed incomplete application by appointment. The Planning Director shall schedule an applicant’s appointment for resubmission within five business days of the applicant’s request.

E.    When an applicant resubmits an application with the additional required materials, the Planning Director will determine whether the resubmitted application is complete within ten days of submission. If the resubmitted application is not complete, the Planning Director will provide notice to the applicant within ten days and include a list of items missing from the application and the Municipal Code section(s) which require the items in order to deem an application complete.

F.    Once the WCF permit application has been deemed complete, notice of any public hearing at which the Zoning Administrator or Planning Commission will consider the proposed WCF shall be provided by the City to all owners of real property any part of which is located within three hundred feet of the real property, or if the WCF is to be located in the City’s right-of-way within three hundred feet of the proposed WCF location, consistent with the City’s standard noticing times and methods. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.080 General requirements.

The following requirements apply to all WCFs that are not exempt from regulation under this chapter unless the decision-making authority approves a waiver or modification based on the findings required in Section 18.24.100:

A.    State or Federal Requirements. All towers and antennas must meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FCC, the Federal Aviation Administration, and any other agency of the State or Federal government with the authority to regulate towers and antennas. If such standards and regulations are changed, the owners of the towers and antennas governed by this chapter shall bring such towers and antennas into compliance with such revised standards and regulations within six months of the effective date of such standards and regulations, unless a different compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling State or Federal agency. Failure to bring towers and antennas into compliance with such revised standards and regulations shall constitute grounds for the removal of the tower or antenna at the owner’s expense.

B.    Building Codes and Safety Standards. To ensure the structural integrity of towers, the owner of a tower shall ensure that it is maintained in compliance with standards contained in applicable State or local building codes and the applicable standards for towers that are published by the Electronic Industries Association, as amended from time to time. If, upon inspection, the City concludes that a tower fails to comply with such codes and standards and constitutes a danger to persons or property, then upon notice being provided to the owner of the tower, the owner shall have thirty days to bring such tower into compliance with such standards. Failure to bring such tower into compliance within said thirty days shall constitute grounds for the removal of the tower or antenna at the owner’s expense.

C.    Collocated Facilities. A WCF proposed to be collocated on a facility that was subject to a discretionary permit issued on or after January 1, 2007, is not subject to discretionary review if an environmental impact report was certified, or a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration was adopted for the wireless communications collocations facility in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act and the collocation facility incorporates required mitigation measures specified in that environmental impact report, negative declaration, or mitigated negative declaration.

D.    Setbacks and Separation. Facilities shall comply with the setback requirements specified for the zoning district, except as provided in this chapter. For the purposes of this section, all distances shall be measured in a straight line without regard to intervening structures, from the nearest point of the proposed major WCF to the nearest point of another major WCF. For purposes of measurement, tower setbacks and separation distances shall be calculated and applied to all facilities located in the City irrespective of jurisdictional boundaries.

1.    Setbacks from Property Lines. Ground-mounted WCFs shall comply with the applicable setback requirements in the zoning district or be sited at least five feet from all property lines, whichever distance is greater.

2.    Minimum Separation Required. In commercial, industrial, and airport districts, a tower more than sixty-five feet in height shall not be located within one-quarter mile from any other tower that is more than sixty-five feet in height.

3.    Roof Setbacks. Roof-mounted facilities, except for satellite dish antennas, shall meet all of the following requirements unless the decision-maker finds that alternative placement or design would more effectively reduce the visual impact of the facility:

a.    Maintain a one-to-one ratio for equipment setback (example: ten-foot-high antenna requires ten-foot setback from facade);

b.    Avoid or minimize interference with significant view corridors;

c.    Facilities shall not be mounted on the front half of any building facing a public street, except for standard UHF/VHF antenna support structures, which shall be permitted on the rear two-thirds of the building facing a public street when attached to a chimney for support. On corner lots, facilities shall not be mounted on the front one-third of the building adjacent to the narrowest frontage facing a public street.

4.    Encroachment onto Adjacent Property Not Permitted. Booms, elements, and other parts of the antenna support structure shall not extend onto an adjacent lot under the same or different ownership.

E.    Conditions of Approval. In approving a minor use permit or conditional use permit pursuant to this chapter, the reviewing authority may impose any conditions allowed by applicable Federal and State law that are deemed necessary to ensure compliance with the findings required in Section 18.24.100, including but not limited to requiring:

1.    Future modification of an installation that is not a stealth facility to further reduce or eliminate its aesthetic impacts based on the results of a review process, which shows that new technology is available and could be employed to reduce the facility’s visual and aesthetic impacts.

2.    Periodic review, at the permittee’s expense, by a qualified independent engineer, approved by the City, to ensure compliance with the most current Federal and State regulatory and operational standards including, but not limited to, FCC radio frequency emission standards and Federal Aviation Administration height standards.

3.    Periodic review to verify that the permittee and any authorized representative of the permittee are in full compliance with this Code, the California Vehicle Code and OSHA standards with regard to noise, construction, vehicles, property maintenance and other such codes and regulations that are applicable to the operation, maintenance, construction and management of the facility and site.

4.    Allow collocation with other existing WCFs and accommodate the future collocation of other future facilities, where technically, practically, and economically feasible. The City reserves the right to notify other registered wireless communications providers of new WCF applications to promote collocation.

5.    Evidence of a removal bond or other documentation ensuring removal of the wireless communications antennas.

F.    Maintenance. All facilities shall be operated and maintained in compliance with the following requirements:

1.    WCFs and sites shall be kept clean and free of litter and debris. Lighting, fences, shields, cabinets, and poles shall be maintained in good repair and free of graffiti and other forms of vandalism, and any damage from any cause, including degradation from wind and weather, shall be repaired as soon as reasonably possible to minimize occurrences of dangerous conditions or visual blight. Graffiti shall be removed from any facility or equipment as soon as practicable, and in no instance more than forty-eight hours from the time of notification by the City.

2.    The owner or operator of a WCF shall be responsible for maintaining landscaping in accordance with the approved landscape plan and for replacing any damaged or dead trees, foliage, or other landscaping elements shown on the approved plan. A landscape performance and maintenance agreement with the City may be required to ensure the installation and establishment of the landscaping. Amendments or modifications to the landscape plan shall be submitted to the Planning Director for approval.

3.    WCFs shall be operated in a manner that will minimize noise impacts to surrounding residents and persons using nearby parks, trails, and similar recreation areas.

a.    Except for emergency repairs, testing and maintenance activities that will be audible beyond the property line shall only occur between the hours of eight a.m. and seven p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

b.    All air conditioning units and any other equipment that may emit noise that would be audible from beyond the property line shall be enclosed or equipped with noise attenuation devices to the extent necessary to ensure compliance with applicable noise limitations under Chapter 9.30, Noise Control.

c.    Backup generators shall only be operated during periods of power outages or for testing.

G.    City Business License. The permittee shall report to the City annually, in conjunction with permittee’s business license, contact information for the permittee and the agent responsible for maintenance of the wireless communications facility. Emergency contact information shall be included. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.090 Design standards.

The purpose of this section is to identify preferences and requirements for the location and design of WCFs, to provide guidance to prospective applicants as they seek appropriate WCF locations within the City, and to provide guidance to the Planning Commission and Planning Director in determining whether to grant, grant with conditions, or to deny a WCF application.

This section applies to all new WCFs and to all collocations and modifications to existing WCFs, except collocations and modifications to existing WCFs that qualify as a Section 6409(a) modification.

A.    Design and Location Preferences. Based on their potential effect on the aesthetic character of residential and mixed-use areas, the alternatives for design and siting of new antennas, new and existing antenna support structures, and new and existing cabinets and associated equipment have been ranked by preference as indicated in the following lists. When an applicant proposes a lower ranked alternative, the applicant must demonstrate that a higher ranked option is not feasible.

1.    Design Preferences.

a.    Building- or structure-mounted antennas and associated cabinets and equipment that are not readily visible or are completely concealed from view because of placement and/or integration into design of nonresidential buildings or structures erected and approved for use other than as wireless telecommunications support.

b.    Building- or structure-mounted antennas and associated cabinets and equipment set back from roof edge and/or not visible from the public right-of-way or from surrounding properties.

c.    On existing nonresidential structures located more than six hundred feet from a residential district such as buildings, communication towers, existing signal, power, light or similar kinds of permanent poles, or utility facilities not subject to the City’s franchise agreements or on new nonresidential buildings where the facility is incidental to the building or property use.

d.    On new nonresidential structures such as buildings, communication towers, existing signal, power, light or similar kinds of permanent poles, or utility facilities not subject to the City’s franchise agreements and located more than six hundred feet from a residential district.

2.    Location Preferences.

a.    In an industrial or airport district and collocated with existing WCFs that conform to the requirements of this chapter.

b.    In any other nonresidential district and collocated with existing conforming facilities.

c.    In industrial or airport districts.

d.    In commercial districts.

e.    On nonresidential structures in mixed-use districts.

f.    On nonresidential structures in residential districts.

g.    On nonresidential use sites in mixed-use or residential districts.

h.    In public districts.

B.    Siting on Residential Parcels. Wireless communications facilities shall not be permitted on properties zoned and used for residential purposes or undeveloped parcels intended for residential use, unless the residential property owner provides written consent and:

1.    The applicant demonstrates that all alternative nonresidential sites (including collocation) have been explored and the proposed site is the less intrusive of the feasible alternative sites; and

2.    No significant visual impacts would result from the proposed facility.

C.    Visual Impact. WCFs should be collocated with existing WCFs if within one thousand five hundred feet of an existing visible WCF, unless the City determines that the collocation would create excessive visual clutter or would otherwise create harms the City may ameliorate.

D.    Tower-Mounted WCFs. Tower structures shall be sited to maximize screening by existing environmental features such as topography, vegetation, buildings, or other structures. Any visible components and accessory facilities shall be painted or coated with subdued and nonreflective colors and textures that will blend with the visual environment.

1.    The decision-making authority may require the facility to be enclosed in a structure such as a clock tower, cupola, sign, or other facility.

2.    Installations that are designed to replicate trees, rocks, or other natural features shall match the scale, color, type, and appearance of existing or typical natural features.

E.    A WCF located in the right-of-way:

1.    Shall, with respect to its pole-mounted components, be located on an existing streetlight pole when feasible;

2.    If it is not feasible to install the pole-mounted components on an existing streetlight pole, then those components shall be located on an existing utility pole serving another utility;

3.    Shall be concealed and/or shall be painted to be consistent with other existing natural or manmade features in the right-of-way near the location where the WCF is to be located; and

4.    With respect to its pole-mounted components, if installing on an existing utility pole is not feasible and there are no reasonable alternatives, the applicant may propose to construct a new utility pole or unipole.

F.    The pole-mounted components of a WCF on a utility pole, shall, whether in or outside of the right-of-way:

1.    Comply with CPUC General Order 95 and General Order 128 as they may be amended or replaced;

2.    Shall be located, designed, and installed to cause as little visual intrusion as possible to views from habitable structures and publicly accessible areas;

3.     To the extent feasible, shall be located on a pole located at intersections (i.e., near corner lots); and

4.    Be consistent with the size and shape of pole-mounted equipment installed by communications companies on utility poles near the WCF.

G.    The ground-mounted components of a WCF, including but not limited to utility boxes, whether in or outside of the right-of-way:

1.    Shall be located underground to the maximum extent feasible; and

2.     If not underground, shall be located flush to grade where necessary to avoid incommoding the public, or creating a hazard; and

3.    To the extent permitted aboveground, shall otherwise be appropriately screened, landscaped and camouflaged to blend in with the surroundings, and nonreflective paints shall be used. All equipment associated with the WCF must be screened.

H.    The support equipment associated with a WCF, whether in or outside the right-of-way:

1.    Shall be designed to be architecturally compatible with surrounding structures and/or screened using appropriate techniques to camouflage, disguise, and/or blend into the environment including shelters, buildings, landscaping, fencing, color, and other techniques to minimize their visual impact; and

2.    If an equipment cabinet cannot be adequately screened from surrounding properties or from public view or architecturally treated to blend in with the environment, it shall be placed underground or inside the existing building where the antenna is located or in a new equipment shelter that meets the requirements of this chapter.

I.    Height Restrictions. All applicable height restrictions contained within this Code regarding building height for structures, including but not limited to poles, towers, and buildings, shall apply to all base stations and wireless towers, except in the following circumstances:

1.    The applicant demonstrates the necessity to build above the applicable height restriction, and that no alternative equipment exists that would allow the WCF to operate without need to build above the applicable height restriction;

2.    The application proposes a Section 6409(a) modification to an existing structure; or

3.    The application proposes to collocate WCF equipment at an existing site whose structure is nonconforming with the applicable height restriction and the application does not propose to increase the height of the existing structure.

J.    Maintenance of City Character. A WCF shall be designed and located to minimize the impact on the surrounding neighborhood, and to maintain the character and appearance of the City, consistent with other provisions of this Code. To that end, WCFs should:

1.    Employ the least intrusive design for the proposed location in terms of size, mass, visual and physical impact, and effects on properties from which the WCF is visible; and

2.    Accommodate collocation consistent with the other design requirements of this chapter; and

3.    Where proposed to be located on an existing pole or other structure, and where location is feasible at multiple sites, be located on the site that provides the greatest consistency with these design standards and is least visibly intrusive; and

4.    Use the best available technology and design techniques to eliminate or reduce noise, vibration, heat, or other adverse impacts to the surrounding community, and to reduce or eliminate intrusion to publicly accessible areas; and

5.    Be consistent with the General Plan.

K.    Camouflage. Without limiting the foregoing, all portions of a WCF affixed to a support structure shall be designed to blend in architecturally or be screened from view in a manner consistent with the support structure’s architectural style, color, and materials when viewed from any part of the City. WCFs shall be painted and textured or otherwise camouflaged to match the color and texture of the support structure on which they are mounted. Where the support structure is a building, the WCF, including without limitation base station cabinets, remote transmitters and receivers, and antenna amplifiers, shall be placed within the building or mounted behind a parapet screened from public view unless that is not feasible. If the Planning Director determines that such in-building placement is not feasible, the equipment shall be roof-mounted in an FRP screen or similar enclosure or otherwise screened from public view as approved by the Planning Commission or Planning Director.

L.    Lighting. WCFs shall not be lighted except in one of the following instances and when the lowest feasible intensity lighting is used:

1.    For proximity-triggered and/or timer-controlled security lighting;

2.    To comply with regulations for the illumination of any flag attached to a WCF; or

3.    Where such lighting is required by the Planning Director to protect public health or welfare, or as part of the camouflage for a particular design.

M.    Signage. No advertising signage shall be displayed on any WCF except for government required signs shown in the WCF permit application. Additionally, site identification, address, warning, and similar information plates may be permitted where approved by the Planning Commission or Planning Director.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, each equipment cabinet shall have a sign visible from a publicly accessible area, identifying the name, address, twenty-four-hour local or toll-free contact telephone number for both the permittee and the party responsible for maintenance of the facility. Information shall be updated in the event of any changes.

N.    Americans with Disabilities Act. The WCF shall comply with all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) as may be amended or replaced.

O.    Obstructions. The WCF shall not incommode the public (including, without limitation, persons with disabilities) in its use of any structure, or any portion of the right-of-way.

P.    Camouflage of Wireless Towers and Base Stations. All wireless towers and base stations shall be concealed. The installation of an uncamouflaged wireless tower or base station is prohibited.

Q.    Additional Requirements for Dish-Type Antennas. Dish-type antennas visible from any public or private street or any neighboring property shall meet the following standards and criteria in addition to any other applicable provisions of this chapter:

1.    Diameter and Height. Television satellite dish antennas shall meet the following requirements:

a.    Industrial, Commercial, and Airport Districts. Antennas shall not be larger than twelve feet in diameter and twelve feet six inches in height above the ground when extended vertically (if ground-mounted) or twelve feet six inches in height above the roof line when extended vertically (if roof-mounted). If another diameter dish is used under twelve feet in diameter, the dish shall not be more than the dish diameter plus six inches in height above the ground when extended vertically (if ground-mounted) or the dish diameter plus six inches in height above the roof when extended vertically (if roof-mounted).

b.    Residential and Mixed-Use Districts. Antennas shall not be larger than ten feet in diameter and ten feet six inches in height above the ground when extended vertically. If roof-mounted, a satellite dish antenna shall not exceed the height permitted in the district.

2.    Location. No dish-type antenna shall be located in a required parking or loading area or in a driveway area.

3.    Screening and Design. Antennas shall be designed and screened to minimize their appearance:

a.    The dish shall be constructed of open mesh, rather than solid material, unless the use of mesh is not feasible for technical or other reasons.

b.    The antenna and supporting structure shall be a neutral color that blends with the surrounding dominant color, helps camouflage the dish antenna, and is neither bright nor metallic.

c.    No advertising shall be permitted on any part of a dish antenna, except for a six-inch square displaying the manufacturer’s or distributor’s name.

d.    The antenna shall be screened by recessing the antenna into the roof line or by constructing a screen out of similarly textured roofing, or exterior wall material, or microwave transparent material.

e.    No more than twenty-five percent of the dish antenna shall be visible from surrounding streets and properties at ground level. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.100 Required findings for approval.

A.    It is the applicant’s burden to show that a permit should be granted. In reviewing an application, the Planning Commission or Planning Director may consider the WCF as proposed and as it may be modified as a matter of right, through a Section 6409(a) modification application or otherwise, should the application be granted. When considering an application, the Planning Commission or Planning Director may consider any matter it is entitled to or required to consider as a matter of law. In addition to any other findings that this chapter requires, in order to approve any use permit for a facility subject to regulation under this chapter, the Planning Director or the Planning Commission must make all of the following findings that are applicable to the facility based on substantial information in the record, including, where required, technical analysis by a radio frequency engineer, calculations by a State-licensed structural engineer, or other evidence:

1.    The application was deemed complete by the Planning Director and proper notice has been provided pursuant to Section 18.24.070;

2.    The application and proposed WCF are consistent with the general requirements and design standards set forth in Sections 18.24.080 and 18.24.090;

3.    The WCF and support structure additions and modifications proposed are consistent with the General Plan and will not adversely affect the policies and goals set forth therein or alter the character of the community;

4.    The WCF and support structure modifications and additions proposed comply with the design standards herein, and other applicable provisions of this Code;

5.    The WCF and support structure modifications and additions proposed comply with applicable safety codes and laws (including without limitation the ADA);

6.    The WCF and support structure modifications and additions do not interfere with the public’s use of right-of-way, or create undue risks to persons or property;

7.    The applicant has made the required affirmation regarding compliance with the FCC’s RF regulations, as the same may be amended;

8.    If the facility is located on any property that is a historic resource pursuant to the California Public Resources Code, that it has been designed and sited to avoid any adverse effect on the historic character of the building, structure, or site and will not affect its eligibility for designation;

9.    The applicant was authorized to file the application;

10.    The applicant has or will have necessary local, State, or Federal regulatory approvals required in connection with the WCF (including but not limited to necessary CEQA approvals, if any; and approvals for structures on private property);

11.    The proposed design is consistent with the General Plan and otherwise minimizes the impact of the WCF and support structure modifications and additions to the greatest extent possible;

12.    If a modification of height, separation, setback, landscaping, or other requirements of this chapter is requested, that the proposed modification is consistent with the purposes of this chapter, will be the least intrusive feasible means of meeting the provider’s service objectives, is sited and designed compatible with the aesthetic character of the surroundings, and is necessary to ensure reasonable and effective transmission; and

13.    If the facility is a satellite dish or parabolic antenna that exceeds applicable width and height standards:

a.    A smaller or different type of facility could not meet the technical requirements necessary to provide reasonable signal access; or

b.    The cost of complying with the applicable requirements would exceed the cost of the purchase and installation of the facility.

B.    Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, if in the opinion of the Planning Director, in consultation with the City Attorney, any of the provisions of this section are preempted or superseded by Federal or State law, the Planning Commission or Planning Director may approve an application which does not comply with the design standards and/or required findings for approval which are determined to be preempted or superseded.

C.    A WCF located on private property shall also be subject to any design review provisions of this Code to the extent that it involves a modification to a support structure which is subject to separate review under this Code and shall complement the surrounding structures and/or improvements. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.110 Section 6409(a) modification applications.

A.    For applications designated by the applicant as a Section 6409(a) modification, or if determined by the Planning Director that the applicant is proposing a Section 6409(a) modification, the review process and approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the application shall be made by the Planning Director.

B.    Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a), the Planning Director shall approve a Section 6409(a) modification except when:

1.    The collocation or modification would result in a substantial change (as defined in Section 18.24.230(EE)) to the existing wireless tower or base station;

2.    The collocation or modification would violate any applicable building code, electrical code, structural code, fire code or any other law, regulation, rule or prior condition of approval based on objective factors and reasonably related to public health and safety;

3.    The collocation or modification involves the replacement of the wireless tower or other support structure; or

4.    47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a) does not apply to the collocation or modification for any lawful reason.

C.    Any denial of a Section 6409(a) modification shall be without prejudice. Subject to subsection D of this section, the applicant may submit the same or substantially the same permit application, together with all required fees and deposits, for either a WCF permit or a Section 6409(a) modification permit.

D.    The City shall be entitled to recover the reasonable costs for its review of any Section 6409(a) modification permit application, whether approved, deemed granted or denied without prejudice. In the event that the Planning Director denies a Section 6409(a) modification permit, the City shall return any unused deposit fees within sixty days after a written request from the applicant. If the fees in the deposit account do not cover the reasonable cost for the City’s review, an applicant shall not be allowed to submit an application for the same or substantially the same change unless all fees for the prior-denied permit application are paid in full. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.120 Small wireless facility applications.

A.    For applications designated by the applicant as a small wireless facility application or modification, or if determined by the Planning Director that the applicant is proposing a small wireless facility application or modification, the review process and approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the application shall be made by the Zoning Administrator. Applicants may include multiple proposed small cells in one application; however, required fees are calculated per site. An application that proposes both small cell and non-small cell installations shall be handled as separate applications, and all proposed non-small cell facilities shall be subject to individual requirements, review criteria, and fees, as their own applications.

B.    If a small cell is installed on or affixed to a City-owned support structure, the owner of the small cell/permit holder shall obtain a license for use of the structure from the City prior to or in conjunction with the permitting process, shall pay an additional processing fee for the license, and shall pay an annual fee for such use. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.130 Time to act on application.

A.    Except in instances where the City has entered into a tolling agreement with the applicant, the Planning Commission or Planning Director shall act to approve, approve with conditions, or deny all applications within the following periods:

1.    Within sixty days for:

a.    Section 6409(a) modification applications; and

b.    Small wireless facilities proposed to be collocated or attached to existing support structures.

2.    Within ninety days for:

a.    Collocations of non-small cell WCFs;

b.    Installations of non-small cell WCFs onto existing support structures; and

c.    New small wireless facilities (including new support structure).

3.    Within one hundred fifty days for new non-small cell WCFs (including new support structure).

B.    Tolling Periods. If the applicant is timely notified that its application is incomplete pursuant to Section 18.24.070, the time to act on the application as defined by this section shall toll from the day after such notice is given to the applicant in writing to the day that the applicant submits additional documents to render the application complete. Should that supplemental submission fail to render the application complete, the time to act on the application shall again toll on the day after written notice to the applicant that the supplemental submission was insufficient until the day that the applicant submits additional documents to render the application complete.

C.    Small Cell Time Reset. Notwithstanding the above, if the applicant submits an incomplete application that proposes to install a small wireless facility and is timely notified that the application is incomplete, the period in which the application must be acted upon shall not run until the applicant makes a supplemental submission to complete the application. Should the subsequent submittal still fail to complete the application and the applicant is notified timely, the tolling periods provisions above shall apply. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.140 Standard permit conditions.

A.     As a condition of every permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the City may establish a reasonable construction build-out period for a WCF.

B.    The WCF permit holder shall also comply with all other applicable requirements of this Code, including but not limited to building codes and provisions related to work in rights-of-way.

C.    The WCF permit holder shall obtain and maintain all other applicable permits, approvals, and agreements necessary to install and operate the WCF in conformance with Federal, State, and local laws, rules and regulations.

D.    The City may inspect permitted facilities and property and may enter onto a site to inspect facilities upon reasonable notice to the WCF permit holder. In case of an emergency or risk of imminent harm to persons or property within the vicinity of permitted facilities, the City reserves the right to enter upon the site of the WCF and to support, disable, or remove those elements of the WCF posing an immediate threat to public health and safety.

E.    The WCF permit holder shall maintain on file with the City and on site at the WCF contact information of all parties responsible for maintenance of the WCF, including without limitation contact information for a representative of the facility operator, representatives of all wireless carriers utilizing the WCF, and representatives of all contractors and subcontractors responsible for maintaining the WCF.

F.    The WCF permit holder and, if applicable, the private property owner shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless the City of San Carlos, its agents, officers, officials, and employees (1) from any and all damages, liabilities, injuries, losses, costs and expenses and from any and all claims, demands, lawsuits, writs of mandamus, and other actions or proceedings brought against the City or its agents, officers, officials, or employees to challenge, attack, seek to modify, set aside, void or annul the City’s approval of the WCF permit, and (2) from any and all damages, liabilities, injuries, losses, costs and expenses and any and all claims, demands, lawsuits, or causes of action and other actions or proceedings of any kind or form, whether for personal injury, death or property damage, arising out of or in connection with the activities or performance of the WCF permit holder or, if applicable, the private property owner or any of each one’s agents, employees, licensees, contractors, subcontractors, or independent contractors (subsections (F)(1) and (2) of this section collectively are “actions”). Further, WCF permit holders shall be strictly liable for interference caused by their WCFs with the City’s communications systems. The WCF permit holder shall be responsible for costs of determining the source of the interference, all costs associated with eliminating the interference, and all costs arising from third party claims against the City attributable to the interference (“claims”). In the event the City becomes aware of any such actions or claims the City shall promptly notify the WCF permit holder and the private property owner and shall reasonably cooperate in the defense. It is expressly agreed that the City shall have the right to approve, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld, the legal counsel providing the City’s defense, and the property owner and/or WCF permit holder (as applicable) shall reimburse City for any costs and expenses directly and necessarily incurred by the City in the course of the defense.

G.    A permit may be terminated if the City determines that the permit was granted based on false, misleading, or incomplete information; if a material provision of the permit is no longer enforceable; or if the permit holder violates a condition of the permit, or modifies the WCF or support structures without permission.

H.    The WCF permit holder shall make a good faith effort to minimize project-related disruptions to adjacent properties. Site improvement and construction work, including set-up, loading or unloading of materials or equipment, performed as part of this project is subject to all provisions of this Code related to permitted work. Emergency maintenance and repairs are exempt from the restricted hours. Violation of this condition may result in issuance of a stop work order or administrative citations.

I.    In addition to all other standard conditions of approval required under this section, and to all conditions of approval permitted under State and Federal law that the Zoning Administrator, Planning Commission, or Planning Director may deem appropriate for a specific WCF, all Section 6409(a) modifications, whether granted by the Planning Director under the Federal directive in 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a), or deemed granted by the operation of law, shall automatically include all the conditions of approval as follows:

1.    Grant, deemed-grant or acceptance of a Section 6409(a) modification permit shall not renew or extend the permit term for the underlying WCF;

2.    In the event that a court of competent jurisdiction invalidates or limits, in part or in whole, 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a), such that such statute would not mandate approval for the collocation or modification granted or deemed granted under a Section 6409(a) modification permit, such permit shall automatically expire twelve months from the date of that opinion;

3.    Grant, deemed-grant or acceptance of Section 6409(a) modification permit shall not waive and shall not be construed or deemed to waive the City’s standing in a court of competent jurisdiction to challenge 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a) or any Section 6409(a) modification permit issued pursuant to 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a) or this Code. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.150 Compliance report.

A.    Within thirty days after installation of a WCF, the applicant shall deliver to the City a written report that demonstrates that its WCF, as constructed and normally operating fully, complies with the conditions of the permit, including height restrictions, and applicable safety codes, including structural engineering codes. The demonstration shall be provided in writing to the Planning Director containing all technical details to demonstrate such compliance, and certified as true and accurate by qualified professional engineers, or, in the case of height or size restrictions, by qualified surveyors. This report shall be prepared by the applicant and reviewed by the City at the sole expense of the applicant, which shall promptly reimburse the City for its review expenses. The Planning Director may require other RF emission compliance proof at his or her discretion, including additional study upon construction and/or regular compliance reports during the operation of the WCF.

B.    If the initial report required by this section shows that the WCF does not so comply, the permit shall be deemed suspended, and all rights thereunder of no force and effect, until the applicant demonstrates to the City’s satisfaction that the WCF is compliant. Applicant shall promptly reimburse the City for its compliance review expenses.

C.    If the initial report required by this section is not submitted within the time required, the Planning Director or his or her selected and qualified professionals may, but are not required to, undertake such investigations as are necessary to prepare the report described in subsection A of this section. The applicant shall, within five days after receiving written notice from the City that the City is undertaking the review, deposit such additional funds with the City to cover the estimated cost of the City obtaining the report. Once said report is obtained by the City, the City shall then timely refund any unexpended portion of the applicant’s deposit. The report shall be provided to the applicant. If the report shows that the applicant is noncompliant, the City may suspend the permit until the applicant demonstrates to the City’s satisfaction that the WCF is compliant. During the suspension period, the applicant shall be allowed to activate the WCF for short periods, not to exceed one hundred twenty minutes during any twenty-four-hour period, for the purpose of testing and adjusting the site to come into compliance.

D.    If the WCF is not brought into compliance promptly, and in no case within sixty days, the City may revoke the permit and require removal of the WCF. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.160 Operational regulations.

A.    All WCFs within the City shall be designed, maintained, and shall be operated at all times to comply with the provisions of this chapter and the following other requirements:

1.    Conditions in any permit or license issued by a local, State, or Federal agency, which has jurisdiction over the WCF;

2.    Rules, regulations, and standards of the State and Federal governments and the City, including without limitation the FCC, the CPUC, and this Code;

3.    Easements, covenants, conditions, and/or restrictions on or applicable to the underlying real property;

4.    Rules, regulations, and standards of the City governing underground utilities;

5.    All other laws, codes, and regulations applicable to a WCF, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

B.    Without limiting the foregoing, all WCFs shall be maintained in good working condition and to the visual standards established at the time of approval over the life of the WCF permit. The WCF and surrounding area shall remain free from trash, debris, litter, graffiti, and other forms of vandalism. Any damage shall be repaired as soon as is practicable, and in no instance more than ten days from the time of notification by the City or after discovery by the WCF permit holder. If landscaping was required, the landscaping must be maintained by the permittee. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.170 Modifications of a WCF permit.

A.    The City may modify a permit before its termination date where necessary to protect public health and safety, or where the permit as issued is no longer enforceable in accordance with its terms.

B.    A permit holder may modify a permit by seeking either a Section 6409(a) modification or other modification. Modifications other than Section 6409(a) modifications shall be treated the same as requests for a new WCF and require Planning Commission or Planning Director approval.

C.    Requests for modifications will be reviewed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter at the time modification is sought, and not at the time the permit initially issued. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.180 Revocation of a WCF permit.

A.    A WCF permit may be revoked if permittee is not in compliance with permit conditions, if the permit conditions are not enforceable, or for a failure to comply with any provision of this Code relating to the permit, or relating to the WCF associated with the permit (“default event”). By way of example and not limitation, a refusal to timely remove facilities located in the right-of-way where required in connection with a public works project would be a default event.

B.    The City may revoke a WCF permit only after:

1.    Written notice of the default event has been provided to the WCF permit holder; and

2.    The WCF permit holder has been afforded at least thirty days to cure and comply with its permit, or demonstrate that no default event occurred.

C.    If the WCF permit holder fails to cure, the City Council may revoke the permit consistent with Section 18.27.140.

D.    Upon revocation, the City may require the removal of the WCF or take any other legally permissible action or combination of actions necessary to protect the health and welfare of the City. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.190 Abandonment, removal, or relocation of facilities.

A.    Any WCF permit holder who abandons or discontinues use of a WCF for a continuous period of ninety days shall so notify the City by certified mail within thirty days after the ninety-day period.

B.    If the Planning Director believes a WCF has been abandoned or discontinued for a continuous period of ninety days, the Planning Director shall send a notice by certified mail of abandonment or discontinuation to the WCF permit holder stating why he or she believes the WCF to be abandoned or discontinued. Failure of the WCF permit holder to reply to this notice in writing within thirty days after receiving, rejecting, or returning the City’s certified letter shall entitle the Planning Director to make the determination that the WCF is, in fact, abandoned or discontinued.

C.    Upon declaration of the Planning Director that a WCF located on public property or in the public right-of-way is abandoned or discontinued, the City may remove the WCF and any supporting structures installed solely in connection with the WCF and restore the site to be consistent with the then-existing surrounding area. The City shall not be required to, but may at its discretion, store any removed equipment. The cost of this removal and restoration work and storage, if applicable, shall be paid by the permit holder, who shall be provided with an invoice by the City. Until the cost of removal, repair, restoration and storage is paid in full, a lien shall be placed on any related real or personal property owned by the permit holder, including but not limited to the removed equipment. The City Clerk shall cause the lien to be recorded with the San Mateo County recorder. No person or entity may apply for a new or renewed permit under this chapter if he/she/it owes any amounts invoiced by the City under this section.

D.    Upon declaration of the Planning Director that the WCF located on private property is abandoned or discontinued, the WCF permit holder or owner of the affected real property shall have ninety days from the date of the declaration or a further reasonable time as may be approved by the Planning Director, within which to complete one of the following actions:

1.    Reactivate use of the WCF, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable WCF permit;

2.    Transfer the rights to use the WCF to another entity (who shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter) and the entity immediately commences use of the WCF; or

3.    Remove the WCF and any supporting structures installed solely in connection with the WCF and restore the site to be consistent with the then-existing surrounding area.

E.    If ninety days after the declaration by the Planning Director that a WCF located on private property is abandoned or discontinued none of the required actions in subsections (D)(1) through (D)(3) of this section has occurred, the City Council at a noticed public hearing may declare that the WCF is abandoned. The City shall provide notice of such finding to the WCF permit holder and to the telecom carrier last known to use the WCF and, if applicable, to the owner of the affected private real property, providing thirty days from the date of the notice within which to complete one of the following actions:

1.    Reactivate use of the WCF, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable WCF permit;

2.    Transfer the rights to use the WCF to another operator (who shall be subject to all the provisions of this chapter); or

3.    Remove the WCF and any supporting structures installed solely in connection with the WCF and restore the site to be consistent with the then-existing surrounding area.

F.    Any cost incurred by the City to remove, repair, restore, or store a WCF site or WCF equipment shall be charged to and paid by the permit holder and/or the private real property owner. Until these costs are paid in full, a lien shall be placed on the WCF and any related personal property and any private real property on which the WCF was located for the full amount of the cost of removal, repair, restoration and storage. The City Clerk shall cause the lien to be recorded with the San Mateo County Recorder.

G.    After adequate written notice to the WCF permit holder, the City Council or Planning Director may require the relocation, at the WCF permit holder’s expense and according to the then-existing standards for WCFs, of any WCF located in the right-of-way, as necessary for maintenance or reconfiguration of the City’s right-of-way or for other public projects, or take any other action or combination of actions necessary to protect the health and welfare of the City.

H.    If an existing utility pole that hosts a WCF must be replaced, the WCF permit holder shall within thirty days after the installation of the replacement pole either relocate its WCF in the same configuration on the replacement pole or remove the prior-existing WCF rather than relocate it, and notify the City of the removal, and surrender its WCF permit for cancellation by the City.

I.    If the WCF permit holder fails to relocate or remove the WCF as required by this section, the City may elect to treat the WCF as a nuisance to be abated. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.200 Transfer of an interest.

A WCF permit holder shall not assign or transfer any interest in its permits for WCFs without advance written notice to the City. The notice shall specify the identity of the assignee or transferee of the permit, as well as the assignee’s or transferee’s address, telephone number, name of primary contact person(s), and other applicable contact information, such as an email address or facsimile number. The new assignee or transferee shall comply with all of the WCF’s terms and conditions of approval and shall submit to the City a written acceptance of the WCF permit’s terms and conditions and a written assumption of the obligations thereafter accruing under such permit prior to the date that such assignment or transfer is intended to take effect. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.210 Violations are infractions.

It is unlawful for any person to violate any provision or to fail to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter. Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation violating any provision herein or failing to comply with any of these requirements will be deemed guilty of an infraction and upon conviction thereof will be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars. Each such person, firm, partnership, or corporation will be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each and every day or any portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is committed, continued or permitted by such person, firm, partnership, or corporation, and will be deemed punishable therefor as provided in this chapter. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.220 Controlling provisions.

In the event of any inconsistency between the provisions of this chapter and any other provision of this Code, the more specific provision shall control. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, WCFs shall be governed by the permitting procedures and design standards set forth herein. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)

18.24.230 Definitions and acronyms.

Unless otherwise specified, the terms this chapter uses shall have the following meanings:

A.    “Antenna” shall mean a device used to transmit and/or receive radio or electromagnetic waves such as but not limited to panel antennas, reflecting discs, panels, microwave dishes, whip antennas, directional and nondirectional antennas consisting of one or more elements, multiple antenna configurations, or other similar devices and configurations.

B.     “Antenna array” shall mean two or more antennas having elements extending in one or more directions, and directional antennas mounted upon and rotated through a vertical mast or tower interconnecting the beam and antenna support, all of which are elements deemed to be part of the antenna.

C.    “Antenna equipment” means equipment, switches, wiring, cabling, power sources, shelters, or cabinets associated with an antenna, located in the same fixed location as the antenna.

D.    “Applicant” shall mean the owner(s) or the owner’s agent of property upon which wireless communications facilities are proposed to be located. In instances where wireless communication facilities are proposed to be located on public right-of-way, the applicant is the carrier or entity which will operate the facility or the newly added components of the facility upon its completion.

E.    “Base station” shall mean the transmission equipment and non-tower support structure at a fixed location that enable FCC-licensed or authorized wireless communications between user equipment and a communications network. A “non-tower support structure” means any structure (whether built for wireless purposes or not) that supports wireless transmission equipment under a valid permit at the time the applicant submits its application.

F.    “Camouflaged or concealed WCF” shall mean a wireless communications facility that (1) is integrated as an architectural feature of an existing structure such as (but not limited to) a cupola; or (2) is integrated in an outdoor fixture such as (but not limited to) a flagpole; or (3) uses a design and paint which mimics and is consistent with nearby natural or architectural features, or is incorporated into or replaces existing permitted facilities (including but not limited to stop signs or other traffic signs or freestanding light standards) so that the presence of the WCF is not readily apparent due to its design and/or color.

G.    “Carrier” shall mean a wireless communications service provider licensed by the FCC and/or by the California Public Utilities Commission.

H.    “City” shall mean the City of San Carlos, California.

I.    “City Council” shall mean the City Council of the City of San Carlos, California.

J.     “City Manager” shall mean the City Manager of the City of San Carlos, California, or his or her designee.

K.    “Code” shall mean the San Carlos Municipal Code.

L.    “Collocation” shall mean the placement or installation of transmission equipment on an existing wireless tower or base station for the purpose of transmitting or receiving radio frequency signals for communications purposes.

M.    “CPUC” shall mean the California Public Utilities Commission.

N.    “Distributed antenna system” or “DAS” shall mean a network of one or more antennas and related fiber optic nodes typically mounted to streetlight poles, or utility poles, which provide access and signal transfer for wireless service providers. A DAS also includes the equipment location, sometimes called a “hub” or “hotel” where the DAS network is interconnected with one or more wireless service provider’s facilities to provide the signal transfer services.

O.    “FCC” shall mean the Federal Communications Commission.

P.    “Feasible” means, in light of technical feasibility, radio signal transmitting and receiving requirements, aesthetics, electromagnetic fields, costs, landowner permission, facility owner permission, and all necessary approvals under this chapter and the California Building Code, as well as the common meaning of the term.

Q.    “FRP screening” shall mean screening using fibre-reinforced plastic or fibre-reinforced polymer.

R.    “Lattice tower” shall mean an open framework structure used to support one or more antennas, typically with three or four support legs.

S.    “Monopole” shall mean a single freestanding pole used to act as or support an externally mounted antenna or antenna arrays.

T.    “OTARD antennas” shall mean antennas covered by the “over-the-air reception devices” rule in 47 CFR Section 1.4000 et seq., as may be amended or replaced from time to time.

U.    “Outdoor fixture” shall mean any wall (excluding any retaining wall eighteen inches or less in height), utility box, fence, gate, column, pillar, post, flag pole, light post or similar lighting fixture, either freestanding or incorporated into a fence or wall.

V.    “Planning Director” shall mean the Planning Director of the City of San Carlos or his or her designee.

W.    “Public property” shall mean property owned or under the control of the City and specifically excludes the City’s right-of-way. By way of example and not limitation, public property includes structures and outdoor fixtures owned by the City.

X.    “Public Works Director” shall mean the Director of the City of San Carlos Public Works Department or his or her designee.

Y.    “Radome” shall mean a visually opaque, radio frequency transparent enclosure which may contain transmission equipment.

Z. “Readily visible” means an object that can be identified as a WCF when viewed with the naked eye from public right-of-way or neighboring property.

AA.    “RF or RF emissions” shall mean radio frequency emissions.

BB.    “Right-of-way” shall mean the public streets and rights-of-way.

CC.    “Screening” shall mean design features or architectural techniques that shield a WCF from sight. This may include, but is not limited to, FRP screening.

DD.    “Section 6409(a)” shall mean Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, codified as 47 U.S.C. Section 1455(a), as may be amended or interpreted in judicial or administrative decisions.

EE.    “Section 6409(a) modification” shall mean a collocation or modification of transmission equipment at an existing wireless tower or base station that does not result in a substantial change in the physical dimensions of the existing wireless tower or base station. For the purposes of a Section 6409(a) modification, the term “substantial change” means:

1.    For wireless towers outside the public right-of-way:

a.    The proposed collocation or modification increases the overall height more than ten percent or the height of one additional antenna array more than twenty feet (whichever is greater);

b.    The proposed collocation or modification increases the width more than twenty feet from the edge of the wireless tower or the width of the wireless tower at the level of the appurtenance (whichever is greater); or

c.    The proposed collocation or modification involves excavation outside the current boundaries of the leased or owned property surrounding the wireless tower, including any access or utility easements currently related to the site.

2.    For wireless towers within the public right-of-way and for all base stations:

a.    The proposed collocation or modification increases the overall height more than ten percent or ten feet (whichever is greater);

b.    The proposed collocation or modification increases the width more than six feet from the edge of the wireless tower or base station; or

c.    The proposed collocation or modification involves excavation outside the area in proximity to the structure and other transmission equipment already deployed on the ground.

3.    For all proposed collocations and modifications:

a.    The proposed collocation or modification involves more than the standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, but not to exceed four equipment cabinets;

b.    The proposed collocation or modification would defeat the concealment elements of the support structure; or

c.    The proposed collocation or modification violates a prior condition of approval; provided, however, that the collocation need not comply with any prior condition of approval that is inconsistent with the thresholds for a substantial change described in this section.

d.    The proposed collocation or modification involves excavation outside of the existing leased or licensed area upon which the existing WCF sits, and/or excavation outside of the existing pad upon which ground-mounted equipment is affixed.

The thresholds and conditions for a “substantial change” described in this section are disjunctive; the violation of any individual threshold or condition results in a substantial change. The height and width thresholds for a substantial change described in this section are cumulative for each individual wireless tower or base station. The cumulative limit is measured from the physical dimensions of the original structure for base stations and all sites in the public right-of-way, and from the smallest physical dimensions that existed on or after February 22, 2012, for wireless towers on private property.

FF.    “Small wireless facility” or “small cell” is a WCF which meets each of the following conditions:

1.    The support structure or wireless tower on which the facility’s antennas are mounted is:

a.    Fifty feet or less in height;

b.    No more than ten percent taller than adjacent structures; or

c.    In the case of collocation, not extended to a height of more than ten percent above its height prior to the collocation; and

2.    Each antenna is no more than three cubic feet in volume; and

3.    All antenna equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively no more than twenty-eight cubic feet in volume.

GG.    “Structure” shall mean anything constructed or erected that requires location on the ground or attached to something having location on the ground, but not including outdoor fixtures or hardscape. Examples of a structure include, but are not necessarily limited to, any dwelling, building, second unit, garage, carport, tool house, guest house, green house, pool house, satellite dish antenna, solar collector panel, tree house or other play structure, swimming pool, tennis court, play court, and deck. For purposes of this chapter, the definition of “structure” does not include utility poles or any other pole or structure otherwise defined within this section.

HH.    “Support equipment” shall mean the physical, electrical and/or electronic equipment included within a wireless communications facility used to house, power, and/or process signals from or to the antenna or antennas but specifically excluding the base station.

II.    “Support structure(s)” shall mean a structure, outdoor fixture, tower, or utility pole capable of safely supporting a WCF, but does not necessarily include a wireless tower or base station.

JJ.    “Tolling agreement” shall mean an agreement between the City and an applicant proposing a new or modified WCF to postpone the deadline to make a final determination on the permit application and waive any claims or rights against each other during that period.

KK.    “Transmission equipment” shall mean any equipment that facilitates transmission for any FCC licensed or authorized wireless communication service, including, but not limited to, radio transceivers, antennas and other relevant equipment associated with and necessary to their operation, including coaxial or fiber-optic cable and associated conduit housing, and regular and backup power supply.

LL.    “Unipole” shall mean a uniform width pole with one or more antennas and associated equipment and cables contained within the interior of the pole, and with a radome at the top of the pole being the same width as the pole.

MM.    “Utility box” shall mean any transformer, switch box, telephone, cable television box, service panel, meter or similar device, either ground-mounted or mounted to a support structure.

NN.    “Utility pole” shall mean a steel or wood pole or structure located in the right-of-way and dedicated to use by multiple utilities and providers of communications franchised by the State or City.

OO.    “Whip antenna” shall mean an omni-directional antenna.

PP.    “Wireless” shall mean any FCC licensed or authorized communication service transmitted over frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum.

QQ.    “Wireless communications facility” or “WCF” shall mean a facility used to “provide personal wireless services” as defined at 47 U.S.C. Section 332(c)(7)(C); or wireless information services provided to the public or to such classes of users as to be effectively available directly to the public via licensed or unlicensed frequencies; or wireless utility monitoring and control services; or any other FCC-licensed or authorized service. A WCF does not include a facility entirely enclosed within a permitted building outside of the right-of-way where the installation does not require a modification of the exterior of the building; nor does it include a device attached to a building, used for serving that building only and that is otherwise permitted under other provisions of this Code. A WCF consists of an antenna or antennas, including, but not limited to, directional, omni-directional and parabolic antennas, base station, support equipment, and (if applicable) a wireless tower. It does not include the support structure to which the WCF or its components are attached. The term does not include mobile transmitting devices used by wireless service subscribers, such as vehicle or handheld radios/telephones and their associated transmitting antennas, nor does it include other facilities specifically excluded from the coverage of this chapter.

RR.    “Wireless tower” or “tower” shall mean any structure built for the sole or primary purpose of supporting FCC-licensed antennas and their associated facilities. This does not include structures that were installed to replace or collocate upon existing power poles, light poles, energy transmission towers, or buildings. A support structure, which is modified or replaced to allow for the installation of transmission equipment, retains its prior use as its primary use, and the wireless use is only a secondary use thereof, even if the transmission equipment is the only attachment to the support structure. (Ord. 1539 (Exh. A (part)), 2019)