Chapter 18.76


18.76.020    Purpose.

18.76.040    Permit required.

18.76.060    Exemptions.

18.76.080    Review procedures.

18.76.100    General criteria.

18.76.120    Special exceptions.

18.76.140    Co-location requirements.

18.76.160    Development standards.

18.76.180    Maintenance requirements.

18.76.200    Discontinuation of use and removal.

18.76.220    Application submission.

18.76.020 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to provide for the telecommunication needs of the region and to assure greater compatibility between communication facilities and adjacent land uses by encouraging creative approaches in locating telecommunication facilities, including broadcast and relay towers, telecommunications monopoles, satellite dish antenna(s) and related equipment. This chapter specifically addresses standards for their siting, co-location, and related issues specific to the communication needs and surrounding properties. The siting of facilities on existing buildings or structures, co-location of telecommunication facilities on a single support structure, and visual mitigation tactics are encouraged to preserve natural viewsheds and reduce visual clutter in the county. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.040 Permit required.

It is unlawful for a person or individual, company, corporation or association or any other entity to engage in or construct a telecommunication facility without first having obtained a permit in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The permit shall not be transferred, nor shall it be valid at any address or property other than the one appearing on the permit. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.060 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

A.    Telecommunication facilities or antenna(s) which are reviewed in conjunction-with a site development plan, conditional use permit, or general commercial or industrial development permit, except as enumerated in DCC Section 18.76.160;

B.    Dish antenna(s) used for residential purposes;

C.    Amateur radio towers, CB radio and radio transmitters for personnel use;

D.    VHF and UHF receive-only television antenna(s), provided they are fifteen feet or less above the existing or proposed roof;

E.    Telecommunication facilities located within public road rights-of-way, provided such facility or structure is not located within the clear-view triangle pursuant to DCC Chapter 18.16 and the structure does not exceed a height of forty-two inches;

F.    Small telecommunication devices or antenna(s) used to communicate with intelligent devices related to the operation of public utilities, except main control reception facilities and towers. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.080 Review procedures.

The request for authorization, construction, modification or amendment of a permit for a telecommunications facility shall be processed in the following manner:

A.    Limited administration review pursuant to DCC Section 14.10.020, except telecommunication facilities located within one mile of an aviation facility:

1.    Co-location of antenna(s) and/or small satellite dish attached to an existing broadcast, relay tower or other nonresidential support structure where adequate provisions for antenna(s) and ground-mounted equipment exist;

2.    Telecommunication antenna(s), satellite dish or other similar devices as an attachment to an existing support structure or building when located within a commercial or industrial district or on a public facility such as a school, fire station or police station;

3.    Co-location of telecommunication tower structures when located within one quarter mile radius of a tower farm as measured from the median point of the tower farm pursuant to DCC Section 18.76.100(E).

B.    Full administrative review pursuant to DCC Section 14.10.030:

1.    Telecommunication facilities including antenna(s) or support structures located within one mile of an aviation facility, provided the telecommunication facility meets the applicable aviation criteria set forth in Section 18.76.160(F);

2.    Co-location of telecommunication facilities that include antenna(s), dishes, and support towers exceeding the height limit of the district within an urban growth area or rural service center.

C.    Quasi-judicial review pursuant to DCC Section 14.10.040:

1.    Telecommunication facilities, support structures and other related devices located within an urban growth area or rural service center, except as provided in subsection A or B of this section. Telecommunication towers and support structures exceeding the height of the district shall be prohibited within residential areas;

2.    Special exception pursuant to the criteria set forth in DCC Section 18.76.120. (Ord. TLS 15-14-50B Exh. A (part): Ord. TLS 08-03-05 Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.100 General criteria.

The location and development of telecommunication facilities or antenna(s) shall meet the applicable provisions of the DCC and the following criteria:

A.    All telecommunication support structures shall be available for use by the owner or initial user thereof, together with as many other telecommunication (wireless) communication service providers as can be technically accommodated.

B.    Telecommunications service providers shall cooperate with other telecommunication service providers in co-locating additional antenna(s) on antenna support, other alternative support structures, or sharing of antenna sites when located within a tower farm consistent with DCC Section 18.76.140, when technically feasible.

C.    Telecommunication service providers should in good faith share technical information with other service providers to evaluate the feasibility of co-location.

D.    The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed location was selected pursuant to the siting criteria set forth in subsection E of this section and DCC Section 18.76.140. Placement of telecommunication facilities shall be denied if an alternative placement of the antenna(s) on a building or other existing structure or other facilities can reasonably accommodate the communications needs. Applications shall be required to provide documentation that reasonable efforts to identify alternative locations were made.

E.    The following sites shall be considered by applicants as the preferred location of proposed telecommunication facilities including antenna(s), equipment and equipment shelters. As determined feasible, and in order of preference, they are as follows:

1.    Co-location.

a.    Support structures or facilities attached to buildings or structures located within rural or agricultural districts in accordance with DCC Section 18.76.160(E), Tower Farm;

b.    Antenna(s), dish antenna(s) or other similar devices attached to existing telecommunication support structures and/or facilities;

c.    Antenna(s), dish antenna(s) or other similar devices attached to water tanks, fire stations, resource industry structures, buildings within a commercial and industrial district, except telecommunication devices or structures located within one mile of an aviation facility shall be reviewed pursuant to DCC Section 18.76.160(F);

2.    Telecommunication facilities and towers located within rural and agricultural districts greater than ten miles from an urban growth area, master planned resort or rural service center, provided they are located in an area that provides natural screening such as vegetation or geological formations. Telecommunication facilities located in a tower farm are excluded from this provision;

3.    Telecommunication facilities and towers located within commercial or industrial districts, except when located within one mile of an aviation facility;

4.    Telecommunication facilities located within residential areas located within an urban growth area, master planned resort or rural service center;

5.    Broadcast and relay towers, or wireless monopoles, exceeding the height standard of the district shall be prohibited within residential areas. (Ord. TLS 08-03-05 Exh. B (part): Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.120 Special exceptions.

When adherence to all development standards of this chapter would result in a physical barrier which would block signal reception or transmission or prevent effective communication in all permissible locations, a special exemption may be permitted provided the criteria enumerated below is met. Exceptions do not apply to variations from the International Codes.

A.    The applicant shall provide documentation that demonstrates that the obstruction or inability to receive a communication signal is the result of factors beyond the property owner’s or applicant’s control. Documentation shall consider potential permitted development on adjacent and neighboring lots with regard to future reception window obstructions.

B.    The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed materials, shape and color of the antenna(s) will minimize negative visual impacts on adjacent or nearby residential uses to the greatest extent possible. The use of certain materials, shapes and colors may be required in order to minimize visual impacts. (Res. TLS 06-13 § 1 (part); Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.140 Co-location requirements.

A.    Licensed carriers shall share personal telecommunication facilities and sites when feasible, thereby reducing the number of stand-alone facilities.

B.    All freestanding mounts shall be designed so as not to preclude co-location.

C.    Applicants shall demonstrate a good faith effort to co-locate with other carriers. Such good faith effort includes demonstration by the applicant of:

1.    Contact with other licensed carriers for commercial mobile radio services operating in Douglas County;

2.    Sharing information necessary to determine if co-location is feasible under the design configuration most accommodating to co-location;

3.    In the event co-location is found not to be feasible, a written statement shall be provided indicating the reasons why the telecommunication project is not feasible as a co-location site;

4.    If co-location is found to be feasible, the applicant shall include provisions for co-location of telecommunication facilities.

D.    In the event co-location is represented not to be feasible, the county may retain a technical expert in the field of RF engineering to verify if co-location at the site is not feasible or is feasible given the design configuration most accommodating to co-location. The cost for such a technical expert will be at the expense of the applicant.

E.    A land use permit may be denied for failure to demonstrate a good faith effort to provide for co-location. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.160 Development standards.

The following standards shall be addressed when locating a telecommunication facility:

A.    General.

1.    Broadcast and relay towers shall not be used for signage, symbols, flags, banners, or other devices or things attached to or painted or inscribed upon any telecommunication facility for the purposes of displaying a message of any kind, except as required by a governmental agency.

2.    Facilities shall not be used for purposes other then the intended use approved by the review authority, and other local and state agencies.

3.    The construction and installation of antenna support structures, antennas, antenna arrays, the installation or placement of antenna arrays on buildings, and the placement of antennas on alternate antenna support structures, shall be subject to the requirements of the International Building Code (IBC).

4.    Telecommunication facilities shall be designed in a manner that would not require artificial lighting, except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other governmental agency.

B.    Setback and Yard Areas.

1.    Where permitted, broadcast and relay towers shall be constructed and installed as far away from existing off-site buildings as is reasonably possible, and in no event nearer to any public road, alley, off-site primary or accessory structure, railroad track, or public park than a minimum distance of one hundred fifteen percent of the height of the tower.

2.    Telecommunication facilities reviewed under this chapter shall not be located within any required building setback or yard area.

C.    Minimum Lot Size. The minimum lot size of the district may be waived by the review authority on finding that the waiver will not result in adverse impact from noise, light, glare, drainage or other detrimental effects to adjacent property. This waiver shall not be construed as an exemption from the requirements of DCC Title 17 and Chapter 58.17 RCW.

D.    Design Considerations.

1.    To the extent technically feasible and in compliance with safety regulations, specific colors of paint, camouflage or other means may be required for the broadcast and relay tower in order to blend better with its natural surroundings.

2.    Applications shall document that the proposed tower and any mounting bases are designed to withstand wind and seismic loads as established by the International Building Code and the DCC.

3.    Facilities located within rural or agricultural districts (except devices co-located on existing tower or facility structures, rural service centers or master planned resorts) and not located within a tower farm shall be screened from public view with one or a combination of the following methods: natural geographical features such as ridgetops or topography, vegetation, fencing, walls or structures.

4.    Unmanned shelters located within a residential district shall not exceed two hundred forty square feet of gross floor area and a maximum height of ten feet for a singular telecommunications facility or a total combined coverage of five hundred square feet of gross floor area when co-locating facilities. Exterior building materials and colors shall be consistent with adjacent uses in the surrounding area and shall meet residential performance standards pursuant to DCC Chapter 18.16.

5.    Telecommunication facilities located within an urban growth area, master planned resort or rural service center shall be screened with Type 1 landscaping located on all sides of the facility, including encompassing any parking lot area. Type 2 landscaping shall be planted adjacent to any public rights-of-way. The Type 2 landscaping shall not be used to replace the Type 1 landscaping standard, but incorporated as a component of the overall landscaping theme. Landscaping shall be in accordance with the provisions of DCC Chapter 20.40.

E.    Tower Farm.

1.    Tower farms are defined as an area located within a rural or agricultural district, except rural service centers or master planned resorts where two or more existing telecommunication facility towers are located within one-quarter mile radius of an adjacent telecommunication facility as measured from the median point of the tower farm.

2.    Telecommunication facilities located within a tower farm shall meet all applicable criteria and regulations set forth in this chapter.

F.    Aviation Criteria.

1.    Proposed telecommunication devices, structures or objects shall be reviewed to ensure they do not penetrate any of the airspace surfaces on or near a public or private airport. Any telecommunication device, structure or object that is determined to penetrate or otherwise obstruct airspace surfaces shall be denied by the review authority. Special attention shall be given to the following:

a.    Approach Surface. Land lying beneath the approach surface which extends outward uniformly to a width of one thousand two hundred fifty feet at a horizontal distance of five thousand feet from the runway end.

b.    Transitional Surface. The transitional surface begins at the runway end and on either side of the runway surface and slopes upward and outward at a 7:1 slope meeting the horizontal surface at one hundred fifty feet above the elevation of the airport.

c.    Horizontal Surface. The horizontal surface begins by swinging arcs of five thousand feet from the center end of the runway surface, creating an elongated oval above the runway. The height of the horizontal surface is one hundred fifty feet above the elevation of the airport.

d.    Conical Surface. The conical surface begins at the edge of the horizontal surface and extends upward and outward for a distance of four thousand feet at a slope of 20:1 with an initial elevation of one hundred fifty feet above the airport elevation. (Ord. TLS 08-03-05 Exh. B (part): Res. TLS 06-13 § 1 (part); Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.180 Maintenance requirements.

A.    The property owner, applicant and/or co-applicant shall maintain the telecommunication facility and the site in good repair. Such maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to, painting, structural integrity and landscaping.

B.    Failure to maintain the facility may result in enforcement action pursuant to DCC Chapter 14.92, including permit revocation. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.200 Discontinuation of use and removal.

Any telecommunications support structure that has been discontinued for a period of one hundred eighty successive days, or if the antenna(s) mounted thereon are not operated for a period of one hundred eighty successive days, shall be considered abandoned, and the owner thereof shall remove such structure and any accompanying equipment enclosure within ninety days. If such structure and equipment enclosure are not removed, the county may seek and obtain a court order directing such removal and impose a lien upon the real property upon which such structure is situated in an amount equal to the cost of the removal. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))

18.76.220 Application submission.

Telecommunication facilities, broadcast and relay towers, wireless monopoles or other devices subject to this chapter shall meet the minimum provisions set forth in DCC Title 14, and the following. Antenna(s) or small dish satellite(s) are exempt from these provisions when co-located on existing broadcast and relay towers or wireless monopoles:

A.    Site Plan Representation.

1.    A line map to scale showing the subject property and all properties within one thousand feet and the location of all buildings, including accessory structures, on all properties,

2.    Lines representing the sight line showing viewpoint (point from which view is taken) and visible point (point being viewed) from sight lines,

3.    Sight line representation and photographs; 18.76.220

B.    A sight line representation shall be drawn from the closest facade of each surrounding building (viewpoint) included on the vicinity plan to the highest point (visible point) of the telecommunication facility. Each sight line shall be depicted in profile, drawn to one inch equals forty feet. The profiles shall show all intervening trees and buildings;

C.    Existing (Before Condition) Photographs. Each sight line shall be illustrated by one four-inch by six-inch color photograph of what can currently be seen from the surrounding building(s);

D.    Proposed (After) Condition Photographs. Each of the existing condition photographs shall have the proposed personal wireless facility superimposed on it to show what will be seen from surrounding buildings if the proposed facility is built;

E.    Siting elevation, or views at-grade from the north, south, east and west for a fifty-foot radius around the facility plus from all existing public and private roads that serve the subject property;

F.    A map identifying any existing telecommunication towers or facilities within a twenty-five mile radius of the proposed site. (Ord. TLS 00-45 (part): Ord. TLS 98-03-30B Exh. A (part))