Chapter 18.68


18.68.010    Purpose.

18.68.020    Definitions.

18.68.030    Permit required.

18.68.040    Application requirements.

18.68.050    Permit conditions.

18.68.060    Permit enforcement.

18.68.070    Prioritized locations.

18.68.080    Development standards.

18.68.090    Electromagnetic field (EMF) standards compliance.

18.68.100    Facility removal.

18.68.010 Purpose.

This chapter addresses the issues of location and appearance associated with wireless communication facilities (WCFs). It provides adequate siting opportunities through a wide range of locations and options which minimize safety hazards and visual impacts sometimes associated with wireless communications technology. The chapter encourages siting of facilities on existing buildings or structures, collocation of several providers’ facilities on a single support structure, and visual mitigation measures are encouraged to maintain neighborhood appearance and reduce visual clutter in the city. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.020 Definitions.

A. “Antenna(s)” means any system of electromagnetically tuned wired, poles, rods, reflecting discs or similar devices used to transmit or receive electromagnetic waves between terrestrial and/or orbital based points, including, but not limited to:

1. Omni-directional (or “whip”) antenna(s), which transmits and receives radio frequency signals in a 360-degree radial pattern;

2. Directional (or “panel”) antenna(s), which transmits and receives radio frequency signals in a specific directional pattern of less than 360 degrees;

3. Parabolic antenna(s) (or “dish”) antenna(s), which is a bowl-shaped device for the reception and/or transmission of communications signals in a specific directional pattern;

4. Ancillary antenna(s), which is an antenna less than 12 inches in its largest dimension and is not directly used to provide personal wireless communications services, such as a global positioning satellite (GPS) antenna. 

B. “Collocation” means placing and arranging multiple providers’ antennas and equipment on a single support structure or equipment pad area.

C. “Electromagnetic field (EMF)” means the field produced by the operation of equipment used in transmitting and receiving radio frequency signals.

D. “Equipment facility” means any structure used to house electronic equipment, cooling systems and back-up power systems associated with a WCF, including shelters, enclosures, cabinets and other similar structures.

E. “Microcell” means a wireless communication facility consisting of an antenna that is either: (1) four feet in height and with an area of not more than 580 square inches; or (2) if a tubular antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and no more than six feet in length.

F. “Minor facility” means a wireless communication facility consisting of up to three antennas, each of which is a microcell with associated equipment facilities six feet or less in height and no more than 48 square feet in floor area.

G. “Support structure” means any structure, designed and constructed specifically to support an antenna array, including a monopole, self-supporting (lattice) tower, guy-wire support tower and any other similar structures. Any device (attachment device) used to attach a WCF to an existing structure or building (attachment structure) shall be excluded from the definition of and regulations applicable to support structures.

H. “Wireless communication facility (WCF)” means a wireless communication facility, including a microcell, that is a facility for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals, including antennas, equipment shelter or cabinet, transmission cables, a support structure required to achieve the necessary elevation, and reception and transmission devices and antennas.

I. “Wireless communication services” means commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless services, and common carrier wireless exchange access services, as defined by federal laws and regulations. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.030 Permit required.

A wireless communication facility (WCF) permit shall be required for the location, installation or construction of any WCF or modification to an existing WCF.

A. The city planning department may grant permit approval for:

1. A microcell, minor facility or collocation located in a nonresidential zone that does not exceed the maximum height of the zone; or

2. A collocation in a nonresidential zone on an existing building or support structure that does not increase the height or visual impact of the existing building or structure; or

3. A microcell or minor facility in a multifamily, business, commercial, or town center zone on an existing building or structure; provided, that the microcell or minor facility is no higher than 12 feet above the existing building or structure or the permitted height for the zone, whichever is higher; or

4. A microcell or minor facility in a residential zone on a nonresidential building or structure; provided that the microcell or minor facility is no higher than 12 feet above the permitted height in the zone.

B. All other WCFs require conditional use permit review and approval by the city hearing examiner. (Ord. 924 § 12, 2005; Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.040 Application requirements.

All application for a WCF shall include:

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

B. A map showing the coverage area of the proposed WCF at the requested height.

C. An explanation of the need for the proposed WCF, including an analysis of alternative sites which supports the selected site over other possible locations, particularly locations in a higher priority zone.

D. An inventory of other WCF sites operated by the applicant that are either in the city or within one mile of its borders, including specific information about location, height and design of each facility.

E. A site/landscaping plan showing the specific placement of the 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.

F. Other information as deemed necessary by the city planner.

G. Documentation verifying that the proposed WCF complies with any applicable regulations and specifications in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

H. Applications for facilities other than microcells or minor facilities shall also contain:

1. Photosimulations of the proposed facility from affected properties and public rights-of-way at varying distances.

2. Documentation of efforts to collocate on existing facilities. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.050 Permit conditions.

Each permit issued by the city shall be conditioned to:

A. Expire 10 years after the effective date of the permit approval, subject to renewal for additional 10-year periods; provided that application for renewal is submitted six months before the permit expires, and that approval of the renewal application is subject to then applicable city ordinances.

B. Require that construction or installation of the WCF must commence within one year from the date of the permit, with opportunity for a one-year extension; otherwise, the permit shall be revoked without further action of the city and the rights and privileges appurtenant to the permit shall be void.

C. Require the permittee to allow collocation of proposed WCFs on the permittees’ site, unless the permittee establishes to the city’s satisfaction that collocation will impair technically the existing permitted use(s) to a substantial degree.

D. Require the permittee to maintain the WCF in a state of good repair and to maintain or replace, if necessary, vegetation and landscaping required as a condition of approving the permit.

E. Require the permittee to notify the city of any sale, transfer, assignment of a site or WCF within 60 days of such event.

F. Require the permittee to comply with the provisions of this title and all other applicable city ordinances and rules and regulations. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.060 Permit enforcement.

The director of the planning department, or that officer’s designee, may issue a citation to a permittee for failure to comply with the conditions of the permit. A citation issued under this section shall be filed in the city’s municipal court and if the permittee is found to have violated a condition of the permit, the court shall impose a fine not to exceed $250.00; provided, that upon a finding that the permittee has committed a second violation within the term of the permit, the court shall impose a fine not to exceed $500.00 and revoke the permit. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.070 Prioritized locations.

The following sites are prioritized in order of preference for locating proposed WCFs and permits shall be issued so that WCFs will be located on the highest priority site feasible:

A. Collocation.

B. Public buildings and structures located in nonresidential zones.

C. Buildings and structures in business and commercial zoned sites used for research and development, commercial and business uses.

D. Buildings and structures in residential zones not used entirely for residential use; provided, that WCFs will not be sited on vacant residential lots. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.080 Development standards.

All WCFs shall be constructed or installed according to the following development standards:

A. Applicable Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), state and city regulations and standards.

B. Antennas shall be located, mounted and designed so that visual and aesthetic impacts upon surrounding land uses and structures are minimized, and so that they blend into the existing environment. Panel and parabolic antennas shall be screened from residential views and public rights-of-way.

C. WCFs shall be screened or camouflaged employing the best available technology, such as compatible materials, location, color, artificial trees and hollow flagpoles, and other tactics to minimize visibility of the facility from public streets and residential properties.

1. A freestanding WCF shall not be allowed whenever an existing structure can meet technical and network location requirements.

2. Monopoles shall be the only freestanding support structures allowed in the city, and they are the preferred structure where any support structure is necessary.

3. A freestanding WCF shall comply with all required setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located.

4. A WCF shall be designed and placed or installed on the site in a manner that takes maximum advantage of existing trees, mature vegetation, and structures by:

a. Using existing site features to screen the WCF from prevalent views; and

b. Using existing site features as a background in a way that the WCF blends into the background.

5. As a condition of permit approval, the city may require the applicant to supplement existing trees and mature vegetation to screen the facility.

6. A WCF shall be painted either in a nonreflective color or in a color scheme appropriate to the background against which the WCF would be viewed from a majority of points within its viewshed, and which must be approved by the city.

D. Equipment facilities shall:

1. Be placed underground if practicable; or

2. If above ground, equipment facilities shall be screened from any street and adjacent property with fencing, walls, landscaping, structures or topography or a combination thereof; and

3. They shall not be located within required building setback areas.

E. Security fencing shall:

1. Not exceed six feet in height;

2. Be screened from view through the use of appropriate landscaping materials; and

3. Be camouflaged with appropriate techniques and painted or coated with a nonreflective color, if it is a chain-link fence.

F. 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 the additional permits can be granted so as to not adversely affect the visual character of the city.

G. A WCF shall not be used for mounting signs, billboards or message displays of any kind. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.090 Electromagnetic field (EMF) standards compliance.

All WCFs shall be operated:

A. In compliance with federal standards for EMF emissions. Within six months after the issuance of its operational permit, the applicant shall submit a project implementation report which provides cumulative field measurements of radio frequency (EMF) power densities of all antennas installed at the subject site. The report shall quantify the EMF emissions and compare the results with established federal standards. Said report shall be subject to review and approval by the city for consistency with the project proposal report and the adopted federal standards. If on review the city finds that the WCF does not meet federal standards, the city may revoke or modify the permit. The applicant shall be given a reasonable time based on the nature of the problem to comply with the federal standards. If the permit is revoked, then the facility shall be removed.

B. In a manner that the WCF will not cause localized interference with the reception of area television or radio broadcasts, garage door openers, portable phones and other similar FCC approved devices. If on review of a registered complaint the city finds that the WCF interferes with such reception, the city may revoke or modify the permit. The applicant shall be given a reasonable time based on the nature of the problem to correct the interference. If the permit is revoked, then the facility shall be removed. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)

18.68.100 Facility removal.

A WCF shall be removed:

A. Within 90 days of the date the site’s use is discontinued, it ceases to be operational, the permit is revoked; or if the facility falls into disrepair and is not maintained, within 90 days of a notice from the city to effect repairs and maintenance to the satisfaction of the city. The operator of a WCF shall notify the city upon the discontinued use of a particular facility; however,

B. Should the operator fail to remove the WCF as required herein, and the property owner fails to remove the WCF within 90 days of the date the city notifies the property owner to remove the WCF, then the WCF shall be a nuisance and subject to appropriate legal proceeding. (Ord. 773 § 3, 1999)