Chapter 19.26


19.26.010    Purpose and goals.

19.26.020    Exemptions and applicability.

19.26.030    Permits required.

19.26.040    General siting criteria.

19.26.050    General development standards for all zoning districts.

19.26.060    Development standards for freestanding WCF with support structures.

19.26.070    Additional conditional use permit submittal requirements for freestanding wireless support structures.

19.26.080    Additional conditional use permit criteria for wireless support structures (e.g., monopole and lattice towers).

19.26.090    Removal of abandoned wireless communication facilities (WCFs).

19.26.100    Technological change and periodic review.

19.26.110    Federal and state preemptions.

19.26.010 Purpose and goals.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish appropriate locations, site development standards, and permit requirements to allow wireless communication facilities within the city of Enumclaw, in a manner which provides for a wide range of locations and options for wireless communication providers while minimizing the unsightly characteristics associated with wireless communication facilities (WCFs) and to encourage creative approaches in locating wireless communication facilities which will blend in with the surroundings of such facilities.

The goals of this chapter are to:

A. Encourage the location of towers in nonresidential areas and minimize the total number of towers throughout the community;

B. Encourage strongly the joint use of new and existing tower sites;

C. Encourage users of towers and antennae to locate them, to the extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community is minimal;

D. Encourage users of towers and antennae to configure them in a way that minimizes the adverse visual impact of the towers and antennae; and

E. Enhance the ability of the providers of telecommunications services to provide such services to the community quickly, effectively, and efficiently. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.020 Exemptions and applicability.

A. This chapter shall not govern the installation of:

1. Amateur radio facilities owned and operated by federally licensed amateur radio station operators or used exclusively for receiving-only antenna(e); or

2. Small satellite dishes (i.e., one meter or less in any land use category and two meters or less in any industrial or commercial zoning districts).

B. This chapter supersedes all conflicting chapters regarding the locating and permitting of WCFs. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.030 Permits required.

A. Wireless communication facilities (WCFs) not exempted in the above section shall require a building permit, which shall not be issued unless the proposed facility complies with this chapter.

B. A conditional use permit is required for any WCF requiring the construction of a wireless support structure. The conditional use permit application shall be reviewed for consistency with the criteria established in this chapter and in Chapter 18.38 EMC. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.040 General siting criteria.

A. Siting criteria for WCFs is necessary to encourage the siting of those facilities in locations most appropriate based on land use compatibility, neighborhood characteristics, and aesthetic considerations. No general siting criteria are necessary for small satellite dishes or amateur ratio towers because these facilities are allowed within all zoning districts.

B. Generally, co-locating on existing WCF towers is encouraged by fewer standards and less complex permit procedures. Further, attachment of antenna(e) to existing nonresidential structures and buildings primarily within light industrial and commercial zoning districts is preferable to new wireless support structures. The city may request feasibility studies which demonstrate that locations on existing structures have been explored as the preferred siting alternative.

C. The following sites shall be considered by applicants as the preferred order of location of proposed WCFs including antenna(e), equipment, and equipment shelters. As determined feasible, and in order of preference, the sites are:

1. Existing Towers. On any existing site or tower where a legal WCF is currently located regardless of underlying zoning.

2. Publicly Used Structures. Attached to existing public facilities such as water towers, utility poles, utility structures, fire stations, and other public buildings within all zoning districts not utilized primarily for recreational uses.

3. Light Industrial. Structures or sites used exclusively for industrial and manufacturing uses within the light industrial zoning districts. These are areas for more intensive land use and where a full range of public facilities is expected.

4. Commercially Zoned Sites. Structures or sites used exclusively for commercial and office uses. These are areas of more intensive land uses where a full range of public facilities is expected. These districts in order of priority are: HCB, CB-1, CB-2, GO, and NB.

5. Residential Zones. Structures or sites which are not used wholly for residential use, including residential accessory structures (e.g., detached garages). Where the WCF complies with all FCC regulations and standards, institutional structures, places of worship and other nonresidential sites may be considered.

D. WCFs with support structures shall be minimized by co-locating wireless facilities on existing towers. New WCFs with support structures are most appropriately located within certain public (P) zoning districts, light industrial (LI) zoning districts, and highway and commercial business (HCB) zoning districts, followed in order by commercial (CB-1 and CB-2), and business (GO, NB, H) zoning districts. Approved public zoning districts include the vacated railroad property between Battersby Avenue and Chinook Avenue, Boise Creek Park, and the King County transfer station. All new wireless support structures, including monopoles and lattice towers, require a conditional use permit. New WCFs with support structures are not allowed within the agricultural (AG), and low density single-family residential (R-1), moderate density single-family residential (R-2), mixed residential (R-3), multifamily residential (R-4), residential manufactured home park (RMHP) and planned unit development (PUD) zoning districts and that area south and east of Roosevelt Avenue (SR 410). (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.050 General development standards for all zoning districts.

The following standards shall apply to all wireless equipment, such as antennae and equipment shelters. Wireless support structures other than buildings shall, in addition, meet the design regulations of Chapter 19.12 EMC.

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

B. The combined antenna(s) and supporting structure shall not extend more than 15 feet above the existing or proposed wireless support structure (i.e., existing tower or building).

C. No wireless equipment shall be used for the purpose of signing or message display of any kind.

D. Location of wireless communication antenna(s) on existing buildings shall be screened or camouflaged to the greatest practical extent possible by the use of compatible materials, location, color, and/or other stealth tactics to maximize compatibility of the antenna(s) with its wireless support structure.

E. Screening of wireless equipment shall be provided with one or a combination of the following materials: fencing, walls, landscaping, structures, or topography which will block the view of equipment and structures as practicable from any street and from the yards and main floor living areas of residential properties within approximately 500 feet. Screening may be located anywhere between the base and the above-mentioned viewpoints.

F. A WCF shall be removed by the facility owner within 12 months of the date it ceases to be operational or if the facility falls into disrepair and is not maintained. Disrepair includes structural features, paint, landscaping, or general lack of maintenance which could result in safety or visual impacts. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.060 Development standards for freestanding WCF with support structures.

A. Placement of a freestanding WCF (a WCF other than an attached WCF) shall be denied if placement of the antenna(s) on an existing structure can accommodate the operator’s communication needs. The co-location of a proposed antenna(s) on an existing wireless support structure shall be explored and documented by the operator in order to show that reasonable efforts were made to identify alternative locations.

B. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposal location was selected pursuant to the siting criteria established in this chapter. Wireless support structures shall be denied if an alternative placement of the antenna(s) on a building or other existing structure can accommodate the communication needs. Applications shall be required to provide documentation that reasonable efforts to identify alternative locations were made.

C. Owners and operators of a proposed wireless support structure shall provide information regarding the opportunity for the co-location of their antenna(s) on pre-existing structures. If feasible, provisions for future co-location may be required.

D. Wireless support structures reviewed under this section shall not be located within any required building setback areas.

E. To the extent possible and in compliance with FAA safety regulations, specific colors of paint may be required to allow the wireless support structure to blend better with its setting.

F. The highest point of a freestanding wireless support structure, excluding the antenna(s), shall be a maximum of 60 feet above the finished grade within the NB, GO, CB-1, and CB-2 zoning districts and 150 feet in LI, HCB and the approved public zoning districts.

G. Wireless support structures shall meet the setback requirements of the underlying zoning district unless otherwise established in this chapter. WCFs with support structures within the CB-1 and CB-2 zoning districts shall be set back 20 feet from all fronting streets and 10 feet from all other property lines. WCFs with support structures within public zoning districts shall be set back 10 feet from all property lines.

H. A landscaping plan is required for all new freestanding wireless communication facilities (WCFs) with support structure. The plan shall meet the criteria established in EMC 19.08.060 Buffer 2. In addition to the Buffer 2 requirements, all wireless support structures shall be surrounded by a minimum six-foot-high security fence.

I. A Washington State licensed professional engineer shall certify in writing, over his or her seal, that both the construction plans and final construction of the wireless support structures are designed to reasonably withstand wind and seismic loads established by the International Building Code and the EMC Title 16 (Buildings and Construction).

J. All wireless support structures shall be removed by the facility owner within 12 months of the date it ceases to be operational, or if the facility falls into disrepair and is not maintained. Disrepair includes structural features, paint, landscaping, or general lack of maintenance which could result in safety or visual impacts.

K. Guyed wireless support structures (those steadied by wire guys in a radical pattern around the tower) are prohibited within all zoning districts. (Ord. 2216 § 8, 2004; Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.070 Additional conditional use permit submittal requirements for freestanding wireless support structures.

In addition to the information normally required for a conditional use permit application, the following items shall be required for a WCF application:

A. A site plan which shows existing and proposed transmission structures, warning signs, fencing and access restrictions;

B. A diagram or map showing the visual impact of the proposed structure on that area within a minimum radius of 500 feet from the site;

C. A map showing the service area of the proposed WCF and an explanation of the need for that facility at the proposed site. The explanation shall also include technological evidence that the height of the proposed facility is the minimum height necessary to fulfill the cell site’s function;

D. Landscape plan in accordance with EMC 19.08.060 Buffer 2 requirements;

E. A signed statement indicating:

1. The telecommunications company holds a valid license as required by state and federal law;

2. The applicant agrees to allow for the potential co-location of additional WCF equipment by other providers on the applicant’s structure or within the sane site location;

3. That the applicant agrees to remove the WCF within 12 months after that site’s use is discontinued;

4. A notarized signed affidavit by the property owner, if different from the WCF owner, that the WCF owner has a legal lease agreement, or option to lease agreement, or grant easement. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.080 Additional conditional use permit criteria for wireless support structures (e.g., monopole and lattice towers).

A. Antennae may not extend more than 15 feet above their supporting structure, monopole, lattice tower, building or other structure.

B. Site location and development shall preserve the pre-existing character of the surrounding buildings and land uses and the zone district to the extent consistent with the functions of the communications equipment. Wireless communication towers shall be integrated through the location and design to blend on with the existing characteristics of the site to the extent practical. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the extent possible and/or improved, and disturbance of the existing topography shall be minimized, unless such disturbance would result in less visual impact of the site to the surrounding area.

C. Accessory equipment for WCFs should be located within buildings or placed underground when possible. When accessory equipment cannot be located in buildings, equipment shelters shall be screened and landscaped in conformance with Chapter 19.08 EMC (Landscape Regulations).

D. Except as specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), transition structures shall:

1. Use colors which reduce their visual impacts; provided wooden poles do not have to be painted; and

2. Not be illuminated, except transmitter building may use lighting for security reasons which is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood; and

3. Not have obstructing lighting systems unless an aeronautical study has been completed, stating the lights are required. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.090 Removal of abandoned wireless communication facilities (WCFs).

Any WCF that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such WCF shall remove the same within 90 days of notice to the governing authority that the WCF is abandoned. If such WCF is not removed within the said 90 days, the governing authority may remove such WCF at the owner’s expense. If there are two or more users of a single WCF, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the WCF. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.100 Technological change and periodic review.

The city recognizes that WCFs and communication technologies in general are currently subject to rapid change. Innovations in such things as switching hardware and software, transmission/receiving equipment, communication protocols, and development hybrid cable/wireless systems may result in reducing the impacts of individual facilities and to render specific portions of this chapter obsolete. Therefore, the city shall review this chapter at least once every five years or upon request of the city council, city administrator, or planning commission. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).

19.26.110 Federal and state preemptions.

In any proceeding regarding the issuance of a conditional use permit under the terms of this chapter, federal law prohibits consideration of environmental effects of radio frequency emissions to the extent that the proposed facilities comply with the Federal Communications Commission regulations concerning such emissions. Additionally, ESHB 2828 exempts certain WCFs from the State Environmental Policy Act review process. (Ord. 1962 § 1, 1998; Ord. 1960 § 3, 1998).