Chapter 19.256
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION FACILITIES

Sections:

19.256.010    Introduction and exemptions.

19.256.020    Definitions.

19.256.040    Federal regulatory requirements.

19.256.050    Small cell deployment.

19.256.060    Design and concealment standards for the deployment of small cell facilities on utility poles in the right-of-way.

19.256.070    Small cell facilities attached to existing buildings.

19.256.080    Small cell facilities general requirements.

19.256.100    Ground-mounted equipment – ADA compliance required.

19.256.110    Designated design zones.

19.256.130    Wireless communication facilities and monopoles located outside of the right-of-way.

19.256.140    New poles and undergrounded areas or design zones.

19.256.150    Concealment element plan.

19.256.160    Major impact wireless communication facilities.

19.256.170    Development standards.

19.256.180    Nonconformance.

19.256.190    Temporary wireless communication facilities.

19.256.200    Application requirements.

19.256.210    Collocation.

19.256.220    Removal of facility.

19.256.230    Revocation of permit.

19.256.010 Introduction and exemptions.

(1) This chapter is intended to provide a regulatory structure that acknowledges telecommunication service providers’ rights and obligations under federal law. This chapter provides standards for the review of applications to install wireless communication facilities (“WCFs”) outside of the public right-of-way, and design standards for new and replacement structures as well as significant deviations from designs approved pursuant to the franchise and right-of-way use (small cell permit) approvals established by Chapters 4.22 and 4.23 FWRC. The provisions of this chapter shall be interpreted and applied in a manner consistent with state and federal law.

(2) Exemptions. The following antennas and facilities are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and shall be permitted in all zones consistent with the applicable development standards outlined in the use zone charts, FWRC Title 19, Division VI, Zoning Regulations:

(a) WCFs used by federal, state, or local public agencies for temporary emergency communications in the event of a disaster, or emergency preparedness, and for any other public health or safety purpose, including, by way of illustration and not limitation, any communications systems utilized by first responders such as police or fire.

(b) Industrial processing equipment and scientific or medical equipment using frequencies regulated by the FCC; provided such equipment complies with all applicable provisions of FWRC 19.110.050, Compliance generally; 19.110.060, Exceptions; and 19.110.070, Rooftop appurtenances – Required screening.

(c) Citizen band radios or antennas operated by federal licensing amateur (“ham”) radio operators; provided such antennas comply with all applicable provisions of FWRC 19.110.050, Compliance generally, 19.110.060, Exceptions, and 19.110.070, Rooftop appurtenances – Required screening.

(d) Satellite dish antennas less than two meters in diameter, including direct-to-home satellite services, when used as secondary use of the property; provided such antennas comply with all applicable provisions of FWRC 19.110.050; Compliance generally; 19.110.060, Exceptions; and 19.110.070 Rooftop appurtenances – Required screening.

(e) Automated meter reading (“AMR”) facilities for collecting utility meter data for use in the sale of utility services, except for WIP and other antennas greater than two feet in length; so long as the AMR facilities are within the scope of activities permitted under a valid franchise agreement between the utility service provider and the city.

(f) Eligible facilities requests and routine maintenance or repair of a WCF and related equipment excluding structural work or changes in height, dimension, or visual impacts of the antenna, tower, transmission equipment, equipment cabinet and/or transmission equipment; provided, however, that compliance with the standards of this title is maintained. See Chapter 4.24 FWRC for procedures related to eligible facilities request.

(g) Equipment cabinet additions or upgrades within existing equipment structures or buildings so long as there is no material expansion of the equipment enclosure or building, or change to the improved design or concealment element plan for the WCFs. See Chapter 4.24 FWRC, Eligible Facilities Requests – Federally Required Review Periods.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter as well as Chapters 4.23 and 4.24 FWRC, the following terms shall have the meaning ascribed to them below. Terms not defined in this section shall be defined as set forth in Chapter 19.05 FWRC:

“Antenna” means any exterior apparatus designed for telephonic, radio, data, internet or other communications through the sending and/or receiving of radio frequency signals including, but not limited to, equipment attached to a tower, pole, light standard, building or other structure for the purpose of providing wireless services.

“Antenna height” means the vertical distance measured from average building elevation to the highest point of the antenna, or if on a rooftop or other structure, from the top of the roof or structure to the highest point of the antenna. For replacement structures, antenna height is measured from the top of the existing structure to the highest point of the antenna or new structure, whichever is greater.

“Approved small cell facility” means any small cell facility that has received all required permits.

“Base station” means a structure or equipment at a fixed location that enables FCC-licensed or authorized wireless communication between user equipment and a communications network. The term does not encompass a tower as defined herein nor any equipment associated with a tower. “Base station” includes, without limitation:

(a) Equipment associated with wireless communication services as well as unlicensed wireless services and fixed wireless services such as microwave backhaul.

(b) Radio transceivers, antennas, coaxial or fiber-optic cable, regular and backup power supplies, and comparable equipment, regardless of technological configuration (including distributed antenna systems (“DAS”) and small cell networks.)

(c) Any structure other than a tower that, at the time the relevant application is filed with the city under this section, supports or houses equipment described in subsections (a) and (b) of this definition that has been reviewed and approved under the applicable zoning or siting process, or under another state or local regulatory review process, even if the structure was not built for the sole or primary purpose of providing that support.

The term does not include any structure that, at the time the relevant application is filed with the city under this section, does not support or house equipment described in subsections (a) and (b) of this definition.

Collocation. For purposes of an eligible facilities request under the provisions of Chapter 4.24 FWRC, “collocation” means the mounting or installation of transmission equipment on an eligible support structure for the purpose of transmitting and/or receiving radio frequency signals for communication purposes. “Collocation” is further defined in FWRC 19.05.030 in the application of the provisions of this title.

“Concealment elements” means transmission facilities designed to look like some feature other than a wireless tower or base station or which minimizes the visual impact of an antenna by use of nonreflective materials, appropriate colors, and/or a concealment canister.

“Eligible facilities request” means any request for modification of an existing tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station, involving:

(a) Collocation of new transmission equipment;

(b) Removal of transmission equipment; or

(c) Replacement of transmission equipment.

“Eligible support structure” means any tower or base station as defined in this section; provided, that it is existing at the time the relevant application is filed with the city.

“Equipment structure” means a facility, shelter, cabinet, or vault used to house and protect electronic or other associated equipment necessary for processing wireless communication signals. “Associated equipment” may include, for example, air conditioning, backup power supplies, and emergency generators.

“Existing” means a constructed tower or base station is existing if it has been reviewed and approved under the applicable zoning or siting process, or under another state or local regulatory review process; provided, that a tower that has not been reviewed because it was not in a zoned area when it was built, but was lawfully constructed, is existing for purposes of this definition.

“Microcell” shall be defined in accord with RCW 80.36.375.

“Service provider” shall be defined in accord with RCW 35.99.010(6). Service provider shall include those infrastructure companies that provide telecommunications services or equipment to enable the deployment of wireless communications.

“Small cell” shall mean “small cell facility.”

“Small cell facility” and “small cell network” shall be defined in accord with RCW 80.36.375.

Substantial Change. A modification substantially changes the physical dimensions of an eligible support structure if it meets any of the following criteria:

(a) For towers other than towers in the public rights-of-way, it increases the height of the tower by more than 10 percent or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed 20 feet, whichever is greater; for other eligible support structures, it increases the height of the structure by more than 10 percent or more than 10 feet, whichever is greater;

(b) For towers other than towers in the public rights-of-way, it involves adding an appurtenance to the body of the tower that would protrude from the edge of the tower more than 20 feet, or more than the width of the tower structure at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater; for other eligible support structures, it involves adding an appurtenance to the body of the structure that would protrude from the edge of the structure by more than six feet;

(c) For any eligible support structure, it involves installation of more than the standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, but not to exceed four cabinets; or, for towers in the public rights-of-way and base stations, it involves installation of any new equipment cabinets on the ground if there are no pre-existing ground cabinets associated with the structure, or else involves installation of ground cabinets that are more than 10 percent larger in height or overall volume than any other ground cabinets associated with the structure;

(d) It entails any excavation or deployment outside the current site;

(e) It would defeat the concealment elements of the eligible support structure; or

(f) It does not comply with conditions associated with the siting approval of the construction or modification of the eligible support structure or base station equipment; provided, however, that this limitation does not apply to any modification that is noncompliant only in a manner that would not exceed the thresholds identified above.

“Telecommunications service” shall be defined in accord with RCW 35.99.010.

“Tower” means any structure built for the sole or primary purpose of supporting any FCC-licensed or authorized antennas and their associated facilities, including structures that are constructed for wireless communication services including, but not limited to, private, broadcast, and public safety services, as well as unlicensed wireless services and fixes wireless services such as microwave backhaul and the associated site.

“Traffic signal pole” means any structure designed and used primarily for support of traffic signal displays and equipment whether for vehicular or nonmotorized users.

“Transmission equipment” means equipment that facilitates transmission for any FCC-licensed or authorized wireless communication service, including, but not limited to, radio transceivers, antennas, coaxial or fiber-optic cable, and regular and backup power supply. The term includes equipment associated with wireless communication services including, but not limited to, private, broadcast, and public safety services, as well as unlicensed wireless services and fixed wireless services such as microwave backhaul.

“Undergrounded areas” means public rights-of-way in which wireline utilities have been located or relocated underground.

“Utility pole” means a structure designed and used primarily for the support of electrical wires, telephone wires, television cable, or lighting for streets, parking lots, or pedestrian paths. The term may include traffic signal poles when authorized by lease for the installation of small cell facilities.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.040 Federal regulatory requirements.

Eligible facilities requests, as defined in FWRC 19.256.020, shall be processed in accordance with the time limits established by Chapter 4.24 FWRC.

(1) These provisions shall be interpreted and applied in order to comply with the provisions of federal law. By way of illustration and not limitation, any WCF that has been certified as compliant with all FCC and other government regulations regarding the human exposure to radio frequency emissions will not be denied on the basis of RF radiation concerns.

(2) WCFs shall be subject to the requirements of this code to the extent that such requirements:

(a) Do not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and

(b) Do not have the effect of prohibiting wireless communications within the city.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.050 Small cell deployment.

Small cell deployment includes small cell facilities and small cell networks. The following provisions establish design and concealment standards for wireless communication facilities and in appropriate situations, criteria for the establishment of standards for small cell deployments; provided, however, that any small cell, microcell, or small cell network component that is not exempt from SEPA review shall comply with FWRC Title 14.

Small cell facilities other than microcells in the rights-of-way are permitted in all zones subject to Chapter 4.23 FWRC.

Small cell facilities, including microcells outside of the rights-of-way, are permitted as minor facilities in all zones subject to Process I review pursuant to Chapter 19.55 FWRC.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.060 Design and concealment standards for the deployment of small cell facilities on utility poles in the right-of-way.

Eligible small cell facilities in areas other than design zones and undergrounded areas opting in under the concealment provisions in FWRC 4.23.030(2) shall satisfy the design and concealment standards set forth below.

(1) Small cell facilities attached to non-wooden poles. Small cell facilities attached to existing or replacement non-wooden light poles and other non-wooden poles in the right-of-way or poles outside of the right-of-way shall conform to the following design criteria:

(a) Antennas and the associated equipment enclosures shall be sited and installed in a manner which minimizes the visual impact on the streetscape by fully concealing the antennas and associated equipment fully within the pole to the full extent technologically feasible. This requirement shall be applied in a manner that neither dictates the technology employed by the service provider nor unreasonably impairs the technological performance of the equipment chosen by the service provider.

(b) All conduit, cables, wires, and fiber must be routed internally in the light pole. Electrical wiring shall be separated from communication wiring via interduct or other means that comply with state and federal electrical codes. Full concealment of all conduit, cables, wires, and fiber is required within mounting brackets, shrouds, canisters, or sleeves if attaching to exterior antennas or equipment. When electrical service is to be supplied by the city as the pole owner, the city may require an electrical meter-grade control module to track the additional small cell electrical use.

(c) An antenna on top of an existing pole may not extend more than six feet above the height of the existing pole and the diameter may not exceed 16 inches, measured at the top of the pole, unless the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the director that more space is reasonably needed. The antennas shall be integrated into the pole design so that it appears as a continuation of the original pole, including being colored or painted to match the pole, and shall be shrouded or screened to blend with the pole except for canister antennas which shall not require screening. All cabling and mounting hardware/brackets from the bottom of the antenna to the top of the pole shall be fully concealed and integrated with the pole.

(d) Any replacement pole shall substantially conform to the design of the pole it is replacing or the neighboring pole design standards utilized within the contiguous right-of-way.

(e) The height of any replacement pole may not extend more than 10 feet above the height of the existing pole.

(f) The diameter of a replacement pole shall comply with the city’s setback and sidewalk clearance requirements, ADA requirements, and if a replacement light standard, then with the city’s lighting requirements.

(g) The use of the pole for the siting of a small cell facility shall be considered secondary to the primary function of the pole. If the primary function of a pole serving as the host site for a small cell facility becomes unnecessary, the pole shall not be retained for the sole purpose of accommodating the small cell facility, and the small cell facility and all associated equipment shall be removed.

(h) A mock-up of a prototype for the replacement pole shall be constructed for review and approval by the city prior to final pole construction and deployment; provided, however, that the director may waive this requirement when the applicant establishes that an identical small cell facility has been successfully installed in another local jurisdiction in a non-wooden pole identical to that approved for use by the city.

(i) Deviations from this subsection (1) are permitted when required to address the pole owner’s requirements for adequate safety clearance and other design standards, so long as the deviation is the minimum necessary required to comply with the pole owner’s safety and design standards.

(2) Small cell facilities attached to wooden poles. Small cell facilities attached to wooden poles shall conform to the following design criteria:

(a) The wooden pole at the proposed location may be replaced with a taller pole for the purpose of accommodating a small cell facility; provided, however, that the replacement pole shall not exceed a height that is a maximum of 10 feet taller than the existing pole, unless a further height increase is required and confirmed in writing by the pole owner and that such height extension is the minimum extension possible to provide sufficient separation and/or clearance from electrical and wireline facilities.

(b) A pole extender may be used instead of replacing an existing pole, but may not increase the height of the existing pole by more than 10 feet, unless a further height increase is required and confirmed in writing by the pole owner and that such height increase is the minimum extension possible to provide sufficient separation and/or clearance from electrical and wireline facilities. A “pole extender” as used herein is an object affixed between the pole and the antenna for the purpose of increasing the height of the antenna above the pole. The pole extender shall be painted to approximately match the color of the pole and shall substantially match the diameter of the pole measured at the top of the pole.

(c) Replacement wooden poles may either match the approximate color and materials of the replaced pole or shall be the standard new wooden pole used by the pole owner in the city.

(d) Antennas, equipment enclosures, and all ancillary equipment, boxes, and conduit shall be colored or painted to match the approximate color of the surface of the wooden pole on which they are attached.

(e) Panel antennas shall not be mounted more than 12 inches from the surface of the wooden pole.

(f) Antennas should be placed in an effort to minimize visual clutter and obtrusiveness. Multiple antennas are permitted on a wooden pole provided that each antenna enclosure shall not be more than three cubic feet in volume, with a cumulative total antenna volume not to exceed nine cubic feet, unless additional volume is deemed technically necessary at the discretion of the director; provided, however, that in such cases the total volume may not exceed 12 cubic feet.

(g) A canister antenna may be mounted on top of a wooden pole, which may not exceed the height requirements described in subsection (2)(b) of this section. A canister antenna mounted on the top of a wooden pole shall not exceed 16 inches in diameter, measured at the top of the pole, and shall be colored or painted to match the pole. The canister antenna must be placed to look as if it is an extension of the pole. In the alternative, the applicant may propose a side mounted canister antenna, so long as the inside edge of the antenna is no more than 12 inches from the surface of the wooden pole. All cables shall be concealed either within the canister antenna or within a sleeve between the antenna and the wooden pole.

(h) An omnidirectional antenna may be mounted on the top of an existing wooden pole, provided such antenna is no more than four feet in height and is mounted directly on the top of a pole or attached to a sleeve made to look like the exterior of the pole as close to the top of the pole as technically feasible. All cables shall be concealed within the sleeve between the bottom of the antenna and the mounting bracket.

(i) All related equipment, including but not limited to ancillary equipment, radios, cables, associated shrouding, microwaves, and conduit, that are mounted on wooden poles shall not be mounted more than six inches from the surface of the pole, unless a further distance is technically required, and is confirmed in writing by the pole owner.

(j) Equipment for small cell facilities must be attached to the wooden pole or located in an underground vault. The equipment must be placed in the smallest enclosure possible for the intended purpose. The equipment enclosure may not exceed 17 cubic feet. Multiple equipment enclosures may be acceptable if designed to more closely integrate with the pole design and does not cumulatively exceed 17 cubic feet. The applicant is encouraged to place the equipment enclosure behind any banners or road signs that may be on the pole, if such banners or road signs are allowed by the pole owner.

(k) An applicant who desires to enclose its antennas and equipment within a unified enclosure may do so, provided that such unified enclosure does not exceed four cubic feet. To the extent possible, the unified enclosure shall be placed so as to appear as an integrated part of the pole or behind banners or signs. The unified enclosure may not be placed more than six inches from the surface of the pole, unless a further distance is technically required and confirmed in writing by the pole owner.

(l) The visual effect of the small cell facility on all other aspects of the appearance of the wooden pole shall be minimized to the greatest extent possible.

(m) The use of the wooden pole for the siting of a small cell facility shall be considered secondary to the primary function of the pole. If the primary function of a pole serving as the host site for a small cell facility becomes unnecessary, the pole shall not be retained for the sole purpose of accommodating the small cell facility and the small cell facility and all associated equipment shall be removed.

(n) All cables and wires shall be routed through conduit along the outside of the pole. The outside conduit shall be colored or painted to match the pole. The number of conduit shall be minimized to the number technically necessary to accommodate the small cell.

(3) Strand mounted small cell facilities. Small cell facilities mounted on cables strung between existing utility poles shall conform to the following standards:

(a) Each strand mounted facility shall not exceed three cubic feet in volume;

(b) Only one strand mounted facility is permitted per cable between any two existing poles;

(c) The strand mounted devices shall be placed as close as possible to the nearest utility pole, in no event more than five feet from the pole unless a greater distance is technically necessary or required by the pole owner for safety clearance;

(d) No strand mounted device shall be located in or above the portion of the roadway open to vehicular traffic;

(e) Ground mounted equipment to accommodate such strand mounted facilities is not permitted, except when placed in pre-existing equipment cabinets;

(f) Pole mounted equipment shall meet the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) of this section; and

(g) Such strand mounted devices must be installed to cause the least visual impact and with the minimum excess exterior cabling or wires (other than the original strand) necessary to meet the technological needs of the facility.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.070 Small cell facilities attached to existing buildings.

Small cell facilities attached to existing buildings shall conform to the following design criteria:

(1) Small cell facilities may be mounted to the sides of a building if the antennas do not interrupt the building’s architectural theme.

(2) The interruption of architectural lines or horizontal or vertical reveals is discouraged.

(3) New architectural features such as columns, pilasters, corbels, or other ornamentation that conceal antennas may be used if it complements the architecture of the existing building.

(4) Small cells shall utilize the smallest mounting brackets necessary in order to provide the smallest offset from the building.

(5) Skirts or shrouds shall be utilized on the sides and bottoms of antennas in order to conceal mounting hardware, create a cleaner appearance, and minimize the visual impact of the antennas. Exposed cabling/wiring is prohibited.

(6) Small cell facilities shall be painted and textured to match the adjacent building surfaces.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.080 Small cell facilities general requirements.

(1) Ground mounted equipment in the rights-of-way is prohibited, unless such facilities are placed underground or the applicant can demonstrate that pole mounted or undergrounded equipment is technically infeasible. If ground mounted equipment is necessary, then the applicant shall submit a concealment element plan. Generators located in the rights-of-way are prohibited.

(2) No equipment shall be operated so as to produce noise in violation of Chapter 7.10 FWRC.

(3) Small cell facilities are not permitted on traffic signal poles.

(4) Replacement poles and new poles shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), city construction and sidewalk clearance standards, and state and federal regulations in order to provide a clear and safe passage within the rights-of-way.

(5) Replacement poles shall be located as near as possible to the existing pole with the requirement to remove the abandoned pole.

(6) The design criteria as applicable to small cell facilities described herein shall be considered concealment elements and such small cell facilities may only be expanded upon an eligible facilities request described in Chapter 4.24 FWRC, when the modification does not defeat the concealment elements of the facility.

(7) No signage, message, or identification other than the manufacturer’s identification or identification required by governing law is allowed to be portrayed on any antenna, and any such signage on equipment enclosures shall be of the minimum amount possible to achieve the intended purpose; provided, that signs are permitted as concealment element techniques where appropriate.

(8) Antennas and related equipment shall not be illuminated except for security reasons, required by a federal or state authority, or unless approved as part of a concealment element plan.

(9) Side arm mounts for antennas or equipment are prohibited.

(10) The preferred location of a small cell facility on a pole is the location with the least visible impact.

(11) Antennas, equipment enclosures, and ancillary equipment, conduit, and cable, shall not dominate the building or pole upon which they are attached.

(12) The city may consider the cumulative visual effects of small cells mounted on poles within the rights-of-way when assessing proposed siting locations so as to not adversely affect the visual character of the city. This provision shall neither be applied to limit the number of permits issued when no alternative sites are reasonably available nor to impose a technological requirement on the service provider.

(13) These design standards are intended to be used solely for the purpose of concealment and siting. Nothing herein shall be interpreted or applied in a manner which dictates the use of a particular technology. When strict application of these requirements would unreasonably impair the function of the technology chosen by the applicant, alternative forms of concealment or deployment may be permitted which provide similar or greater protections from negative visual impacts to the streetscape through development of a concealment element plan pursuant to FWRC 19.256.150.

(14) It is the stated policy of the city that utilities shall be underground. See e.g., FWRC 19.135.180. Accordingly, new utility poles in undergrounded areas shall be considered as major impact wireless communication facilities and may be installed only after Process II review for compliance with FWRC 19.256.140.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.100 Ground-mounted equipment – ADA compliance required.

In areas of the city in which have been undergrounded (undergrounded areas), in design zones, and where necessary to permit full use of the public right-of-way by pedestrians, bicycles and other users, all ground-mounted equipment shall be undergrounded in a vault meeting the city’s construction standards to the extent feasible. The location of ground-mounted equipment (to the extent undergrounding such equipment is not technologically feasible), a replacement pole and/or any new pole shall comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), city construction standards, and state and federal regulations in order to provide a clear and safe passage within the public right-of-way.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.110 Designated design zones.

Design zones. The following zones are designated as design zones for the purpose of the application of the provisions of Chapters 4.23, 4.24, and 19.256 FWRC:

(1) City center core (CC-C);

(2) City center frame (CC-F);

(3) Designated landmark districts;

(4) Shoreline jurisdiction.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.130 Wireless communication facilities and monopoles located outside of the right-of-way.

Monopoles and other wireless communication facilities located outside of the public rights-of-way shall be processed as Process II applications. See Chapter 19.60 FWRC.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.140 New poles and undergrounded areas or design zones.

New poles and small cell facilities to be constructed in any undergrounded area or design zone are permitted only when the applicant establishes that:

(1) The small cell facility cannot be located on an electrical transmission tower or on a site outside of the public right-of-way such as a public park, public property, or as a nonresidential use in a residential zone, whether by roof or panel-mount, or separate structure; and

(2) The proposed facility complies with an approved concealment element plan for an undergrounded area or design zone; and

(3) The proposed facility complies with critical areas requirements and SEPA, to the extent applicable; and

(4) For a new utility pole in the public rights-of-way, that a site-specific agreement exists to locate the new utility pole.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.150 Concealment element plan.

(1) Concealment element plan required. Applications for proposed small cell installations in undergrounded areas and design zones that deviate from existing city design standards (or if the city has not created a design standard for that particular district zone area) shall be required to submit a concealment element plan. Such plan shall include the design of the screening, fencing, or other concealment technology for a base station, tower, utility pole, or equipment structure, and all related transmission equipment or facilities associated with the proposed wireless communication facility, including but not limited to fiber and power connections.

(2) Purpose of concealment element plans, generally. Concealment element plans should seek to minimize the visual obtrusiveness of installations using methods including, but not limited to, integrating the installation with architectural features or building design components, utilization of coverings or concealment devices of similar material, color and texture – or the appearance thereof – as the surface against which the installation will be seen or on which it will be installed.

Other concealment element approaches may include, but not be limited to, use of architectural concealment products, fencing or screening materials, and where appropriate, landscape design, or any other camouflage strategies appropriate for the type of installation. Additionally, the use of a concealment support or device, such as a clock tower, steeple, flagpole, tree, street sign, or other applicable concealment structure may be approved.

The director shall apply this section as well as all design guidelines applicable in the undergrounded area or design zone in which an installation is proposed.

(3) Review of concealment element plan for nonsubstantial change collocations. Where a proposed collocation does not constitute a substantial change, a concealment element plan shall be subject to review under Process I, Chapter 19.55 FWRC, to ensure the proposed collocation does not defeat the concealment features approved as part of the initial installation at that location.

(4) Review of concealment element plan for initial installations and substantial change collocations. For initial installations and substantial change collocations in undergrounded area and design zones, the director shall conduct an administrative review of concealment element plans for compliance with this section and all applicable city design guidelines under Process II, Chapter 19.60 FWRC.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.160 Major impact wireless communication facilities.

A major impact wireless communication facility (“major WCF”) includes all larger scale WCFs located outside of the public right-of-way not permitted by the processes established in FWRC 19.256.050 through 19.256.150. Such facilities include monopoles, lattice towers, micro and macro cells, roof mounted and panel antennas, and other similar facilities unless defined as eligible facilities requests subject to Chapter 4.24 FWRC.

The following sites shall be the required order of location for proposed major WCFs, including antenna and equipment structures. In proposing a major WCF in a particular location, the applicant shall analyze the feasibility of locating the proposed major WCF in each of the higher priority locations and document, to the city’s satisfaction, why locating the major WCF in each higher priority location and/or zone is not being proposed. In order of preference, the prioritized locations for major WCFs are as follows:

(1) Structures located in the BPA trail. A major WCF may be located on any existing support structure currently located in the easement upon which are located U.S. Department of Energy/Bonneville Power Administration (“BPA”) power lines regardless of underlying zoning.

(2) Existing broadcast, relay, and transmission towers. A major WCF may be located on an existing site or tower where a legal WCF is currently located regardless of underlying zoning. If an existing site or tower is located within a half-mile radius of a proposed major WCF location, the applicant shall document why collocation on the existing site or tower is not being proposed, regardless of whether the existing site or tower is located within the jurisdiction of the city.

(3) Institutional structures. If the city, institutional uses, or other public agency consents to such location, a major WCF may be located on existing structures, such as water towers, utility structures, fire stations, bridges, churches, schools, and other public buildings within all zoning districts, provided the public facilities are not located within public rights-of-way.

(4) Appropriate zoning districts. A major WCF may be located in or on other public or private property, buildings, or structures within nonresidential zoning districts as allowed by the zoning chart.

(5) If the applicant demonstrates to the city’s satisfaction that it is not technically possible to site in a prioritized location, or as expressly allowed by the zoning chart, the city reserves the right to approve alternative site locations if a denial would be in violation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, as determined by the city through a Process III review using the applicable test:

(a) Does the facility close a gap in service coverage or capacity; and

(b) Does the facility use the least intrusive means to do so?

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.170 Development standards.

The following development standards shall be followed in the design, siting, and construction of a wireless communication facility:

(1) Building- or structure-mounted major WCFs on existing buildings or structures outside of the public right-of-way. WCFs mounted on existing buildings and structures shall conform to the following development standards:

(a) A major WCF that exceeds the minor facility thresholds for number of antennas, dimensions, and/or area, but creates no more adverse impacts than a minor facility, as determined by the director, subject to meeting all of the following standards:

(i) The facility shall utilize the least intrusive means of closing a significant gap in service coverage or capacity;

(ii) The equipment cabinet for the major WCF shall meet all requirements of subsection (4) of this section; and

(iii) The maximum size of the major WCF panels and number of antennas shall be determined by the director, based on the specific project location, surrounding environment, and potential visual impacts; and

(iv) The major WCF shall comply with all other applicable standards of this code.

(b) The combined antennas and supporting structure may extend up to, but not exceed, 15 feet above the existing or proposed roof or other structure regardless of whether the existing structure is in conformance with the existing maximum height of the underlying zone as outlined in the use zone charts, FWRC Title 19, Division VI, Zoning Regulations. Antennas may be mounted to rooftop appurtenances, as identified in FWRC 19.110.070, provided they do not extend beyond 15 feet above the maximum height of the structure as defined per FWRC 19.05.080, H definitions.

(c) The antennas are mounted on the building or structure such that they are located and designed to minimize visual and aesthetic impacts to surrounding land uses and structures.

(d) It is the applicant’s responsibility to prove that the maximum size of the major WCF panels and number of antennas is the minimum size necessary.

(e) Within residential zones, equipment enclosures, and buildings to house equipment cabinets located above ground on properties adjacent to the public right-of-way shall meet all applicable setback requirements for residential development of the underlying zone. For developed sites in nonresidential zones, the setback requirements for the equipment enclosure shall be those of the principal use of the subject property. For undeveloped sites in nonresidential zones, the setback requirements for the equipment enclosure shall be 20 feet for front, side, and rear yards.

(2) New freestanding major WCFs. All requirements of the associated land use zoning charts must be met. Additionally, these structures shall conform to the following site development standards:

(a) Placement of a freestanding major WCF shall be denied if placement of the antennas on an existing structure can meet the applicant’s technical and network location requirements.

(b) Monopoles shall be the only freestanding structures allowed in the city; except that a lattice tower may be used to accommodate the collocation of four or more providers as part of a joint permit application.

(c) In no case shall a freestanding major WCF be located closer than 500 feet to an existing freestanding major WCF whether it is owned or utilized by the applicant or another provider.

(d) A freestanding major WCF, including the support structure and associated electronic equipment, shall comply with all required setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located. For developed sites, the setback requirements shall be those of the principal use of the subject property. For undeveloped sites, the setback requirements for new freestanding major WCFs shall be 20 feet for front, side, and rear yards.

(e) Freestanding major WCFs shall be designed and placed on the site in a manner that takes maximum advantage of existing trees, mature vegetation, and structures so as to:

(i) Use existing site features to screen as much of the total WCF as possible from prevalent views; and/or

(ii) Use existing site features as a background so that the total major WCF blends into the background with increased distances.

(f) In reviewing the proposed placement of a facility on the site and any associated landscaping, the city may condition the application to supplement existing trees and mature vegetation to more effectively screen the facility.

(3) Standards for electronic cabinets. Electronic cabinets shall either:

(a) Be placed in a new or existing completely enclosed building. It is the applicant’s responsibility to prove that the maximum size of the building is the minimum size necessary to house the equipment; or

(b) Be placed above ground in a new or existing equipment enclosure. It is the applicant’s responsibility to prove that the maximum size of the building is the minimum size necessary to house the equipment.

If the equipment cabinet is located within a new enclosed building, the building shall conform to all applicable development standards and design guidelines for the underlying zone. The enclosed building shall be architecturally designed and shall be compatible with existing buildings on the site. The enclosed building shall be screened to the greatest extent possible from any street and/or adjacent properties by landscaping and/or topography.

(4) Standards for equipment enclosures.

(a) Electronic equipment enclosures shall not be allowed within the right-of-way, except for small cell facilities conforming to the design and concealment standards of FWRC 19.256.060 and mounted on utility poles.

(b) In residential zones, equipment enclosures located above ground on properties adjacent to the public right-of-way shall meet all applicable setback requirements for residential development of the underlying zone. For developed sites in nonresidential zones, the setback requirements for the equipment enclosure shall be those of the principal use of the subject property. For undeveloped sites in nonresidential zones, the setback requirements for the equipment enclosure shall be 20 feet for front, side, and rear yards; however, for undeveloped sites in nonresidential zones, if the applicant can demonstrate that the equipment enclosure can blend in harmoniously with the existing site and complement the landscape buffer requirements of the underlying zone, as determined appropriate by the director of community development, the equipment enclosure can be located inside of the 20-foot setback but outside of the required landscaping buffer of the underlying zone.

(c) Equipment enclosures shall be designed, located, and screened to minimize adverse visual impacts from the public right-of-way and adjacent properties.

(d) Equipment enclosures shall be designed, located, and screened to minimize adverse visual and functional impacts on the pedestrian environment.

(e) Equipment enclosures and screening shall not adversely impact vehicular sight distance.

(5) Security fencing.

(a) No fence shall exceed six feet in height as stipulated in FWRC 19.125.160(5).

(b) Security fencing shall be effectively screened from view through the use of appropriate landscaping materials.

(c) Chain-link fences shall be painted or coated with a nonreflective color.

(6) Cumulative effects. The city shall consider the cumulative visual effects of WCFs mounted on existing structures and/or located on a given permitted site in determining whether additional permits may be granted so as to not adversely affect the visual character of the city.

(7) Signage. No wireless equipment shall be used for the purpose of mounting signs or message displays of any kind, except for small signs used for identification, hazard warning, and name of provider.

(8) Use zone charts, height and permit process.

(a) Except for approval of new poles in the public rights-of-way, the final approval authority for applications made under this section shall be defined by the appropriate permit process as outlined in the use zone charts, FWRC Title 19, Division VI, Zoning Regulations. New pole requests in the public rights-of-way shall be reviewed pursuant to Process II, Chapter 19.60 FWRC, utilizing the criteria in this section, and are not land use actions subject to review under Chapter 36.70C RCW.

(b) Allowed heights shall be established relative to appropriate process as outlined in the use zone charts, FWRC Title 19, Division VI, Zoning Regulations.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.180 Nonconformance.

Permit applications made under this section to locate a WCF on property on which a nonconformance is located shall be exempt from the requirements of Chapter 19.30 FWRC, Nonconformance, to bring the property into conformance as follows:

(1) To provide the public improvements required by Chapter 19.135 FWRC, Development Improvements, as stipulated in FWRC 19.30.110.

(2) To bring the property into conformance with the development regulations prescribed in FWRC Title 16 relating to water quality as stipulated in FWRC 19.30.120(1)(g). All other requirements of FWRC 19.30.120 to bring the property into conformance with the development regulations prescribed in FWRC Title 16 relating to water quality shall apply.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.190 Temporary wireless communication facilities.

As determined by the director of community development, a temporary wireless communication facility, or cell-on-wheels, may be deployed and operated as follows:

(1) For a period of 90 days during the construction of a freestanding WCF which has been approved through the appropriate permit process; provided, however, that the temporary wireless communication facility or cell-on-wheels creates no more adverse impacts than the WCF which was approved through the appropriate permit process. Only one temporary wireless communication facility or cell-on-wheels shall be permitted for a single site.

(2) For a period of time determined to be appropriate by the director, during an emergency declared by the city, state, or federal government.

(3) Prior to installation of the temporary WCF, the applicant shall provide the city with a cash bond in an amount to be determined by the director of community development in order to guarantee performance of future removal and restoration of the site.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.200 Application requirements.

(1) Except for temporary WCFs, permit applications for major WCFs made under this chapter shall include the following minimum information in addition to that required for the underlying permit review process:

(a) A diagram or map showing the primary viewshed of the proposed facility.

(b) Photo simulations of the proposed facility from affected properties and public rights-of-way at varying distances. These photo simulations should include examples of camouflage and stealth installation options.

(c) Architectural elevations of proposed facility and site.

(d) A coverage chart of the proposed major WCF at the requested height and an explanation of the need for that facility at that height and in that location.

(e) An inventory of other major WCF sites operated by the applicant or other providers within a half-mile radius of the proposed major WCF location.

(f) A site/landscaping plan showing the specific placement of the major WCF on the site; showing the location of existing structures, trees, and other significant site features; and indicating type and locations of plant materials used to screen WCF components.

(g) If the major WCF electronic equipment cabinet is proposed to be located above ground, an explanation of why it is impracticable to locate the cabinet underground.

(h) Documentation of efforts to collocate on existing facilities.

(i) The city may require the applicant, at the applicant’s expense, to provide any additional information, mapping, studies, materials, inspections, or reviews that are reasonably necessary to implement this chapter and to require that such information, studies, mapping, materials, inspections, and reviews be reviewed by a qualified professional under contract to the city, also at the applicant’s expense.

(2) Permit applications for temporary WCFs shall include the following minimum information:

(a) Documentation of previously permitted facility, if applicable.

(b) Site plan showing proposed location of temporary WCF in relationship to the location of the previously permitted facility and property boundaries, including dimensions from the property lines and height of proposed facility.

(c) Mockups or other visual representations of the proposed facility.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.210 Collocation.

(1) A permittee shall cooperate with other WCF providers in collocating additional antennas on support structures and/or on existing buildings and sites, provided said proposed collocatees have received a permit for such use at said site from the city. A permittee shall allow other providers to collocate and share the permitted site, provided such shared use does not give rise to a substantial technical level impairment of the permitted use (as opposed to a competitive conflict or financial burden). In the event a dispute arises as to whether a permittee has exercised good faith in accommodating a new applicant, the city may require a third party technical study at the expense of the permittee. Failure to comply with this provision may result in a revocation of the permit.

(2) A signed statement indicating that the applicant agrees to allow for the potential collocation of additional major WCF equipment by other providers on the applicant’s structure or within the same site location shall be submitted by the applicant as part of the permit application. If an applicant contends that future collocation is not possible on their site, they must submit a technical study documenting why.

(3) Collocation requirements shall not apply to major WCFs or small cell facilities located in the public rights-of-way.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.220 Removal of facility.

(1) Abandonment and removal. The owner or operator of a WCF shall provide the city with a copy of the notice of intent to cease operations required by the FCC at the time it is submitted to the FCC. Additionally, the owner or operator of a WCF shall notify the city in writing of the abandonment of a particular facility within 30 days of the date the WCF is abandoned. The abandoned WCF shall be removed by the facility owner within 90 days of the date the WCF is abandoned, the permit is revoked, or if the facility falls into disrepair and is not maintained, as determined by the city. Disrepair includes structural features, paint, landscaping, or general lack of maintenance that could result in adverse safety or visual impacts. If there are two or more users of a single tower, then the city’s right to remove the tower shall not become effective until all users abandon the tower.

(2) Partial abandonment and removal. If the abandoned antennas on any major WCF are removed or relocated to a point where the top 20 percent or more of the height of the supporting structure is no longer in use, the major WCF shall be considered partially abandoned. The owner or operator of any partially abandoned major WCF shall notify the city in writing of the partial abandonment of a particular facility within 30 days of the date the major WCF is partially abandoned. The owner of the WCF shall have 120 days from the date of partial abandonment to collocate another service on the major WCF. If another service provider is not added to the major WCF within the allowed 120-day collocation period, the owner shall in 210 days of partial abandonment, dismantle and remove that portion of the supporting structure that exceeds the point at which the highest operational antenna is mounted.

(3) Removal and lien. If the provider fails to remove the abandoned or partially abandoned facility upon 210 days of its abandonment or partial abandonment, the responsibility for removal falls upon the property owner on which the abandoned or partially abandoned facility is located. The city may enforce this subsection using the procedures as set forth in Chapter 1.15 FWRC.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)

19.256.230 Revocation of permit.

A permit issued under this chapter may be revoked, suspended or denied for any one or more of the following reasons:

(1) Failure to comply with any federal, state, or local laws or regulations;

(2) Failure to comply with any of the terms and conditions imposed by the city on the issuance of a permit;

(3) When the permit was procured by fraud, false representation, or omission of material facts;

(4) Failure to cooperate with other major WCF providers in collocation efforts as required by this chapter;

(5) Failure to comply with federal standards for EMF emissions; and

(6) Pursuant to FWRC 19.05.300(3), the city, as the applicant, shall use the same process to determine if the permit shall be revoked as it used to grant the permit.

(Ord. No. 18-850, § 9, 6-5-18.)