Chapter 18.200


18.200.010    Purpose.

18.200.020    General provisions.

18.200.030    Applicability.

18.200.040    Location considerations.

18.200.050    Application requirements.

18.200.060    Development standards.

18.200.070    Conditional use findings.

18.200.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to set forth the regulations for the placement, development, permitting, and removal of wireless communications facilities, including support structures and antennas. The purposes are to:

A.    Minimize the adverse visual, aesthetic and safety impacts of wireless communications facilities.

B.    Establish clear and objective standards for the placement of wireless communications facilities.

C.    Ensure that such standards allow competition and do not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services.

D.    Encourage the design of such facilities to be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the surrounding built and natural environments.

E.    Encourage the location of wireless communications support structures in nonresidential areas.

F.    Encourage the collocation or attachment of wireless communications antennas on existing support structures or to help minimize the total number and impact of such structures throughout the community. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.200.020 General provisions.

A.    Wireless telecommunication facilities shall not be considered nor regulated as essential public facilities.

B.    Wireless telecommunication facilities may be either a principal or secondary use. A different use of an existing structure on the same lot shall not preclude the installation of a wireless telecommunication facility. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.200.030 Applicability.

A.    Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be permitted as established in the underlying zoning district use table.

B.    The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

1.    Wireless communication facilities utilized by a governmental agency for governmental purposes and not for resale or lease to the public within its area of jurisdiction.

2.    Amateur radio towers and antenna arrays to the full extent necessary to entitle the holder of the license to utilize the rights granted by the Federal Communications Commission; provided, that this exemption applies only if an antenna and supporting structure which must be greater than thirty-five feet in height in order for the full enjoyment of licensed activity is of a telescoping or crank-up configuration and which, when not in use, is fully retracted to a level at or below thirty-five feet in height.

3.    Television antennas, television dish antenna array and similar small-scale communication antenna array less than ten feet in height. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.200.040 Location considerations.

The location priority for new wireless telecommunication facilities shall be in the following order:

A.    In all zoning districts, co-locate on existing wireless telecommunication facilities.

B.    In all zoning districts, co-locate antennas within rights-of-way and existing structures (i.e., power poles); or other existing structures, such as buildings, water towers.

C.    Place new wireless telecommunication facilities over twenty-one feet in height in districts zoned C-2, C-3, C-4, OCI, BP or LI.

D.    Place within residential zoning districts only when co-locating or an applicant has proven that:

1.    There is a significant gap in the applicant’s service coverage that will be left unfilled if the facility is not located in the residential zoning district; and

2.    Alternative facilities or sites in higher priority areas have been investigated and determined not to be technically feasible, as demonstrated by an alternative sites evaluation prepared by the applicant and submitted to the city as provided in Section 18.200.050(J). (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)

18.200.050 Application requirements.

In addition to other applicable requirements, applications shall include the following:

A.    Site and landscape plans drawn to scale, including the location of existing structures, trees, and other significant site features; proposed color of the facility; method of fencing; finished color and, if applicable, the method of camouflage and illumination.

B.    A report including description of the facility with technical reasons for its design.

C.    Documentation establishing the structural integrity for the facility’s proposed use.

D.    The general capacity of the tower and information necessary to assure that ANSI standards are met.

E.    A statement of intent on whether the excess space on the facility will be leased.

F.    Proof of ownership of the proposed site or authorization to utilize it.

G.    Copies of any easements necessary.

H.    An analysis of the area containing existing topographical contours.

I.    Photo simulations of the proposed facility from affected properties and public rights-of-way at varying distances.

J.    When proposed not to co-locate, an alternative sites evaluation outlining all potential sites investigated, including at a minimum all priority locations as listed in Section 18.200.040. The evaluation shall address how co-locating on all existing wireless facilities within a one-mile radius, or locating on other facilities or structure/building locations within one-half-mile radius of the proposed facility location, does not satisfy the operational requirements of the application.

1.    The city may retain, at the applicant’s expense, an independent consultant to review the alternative sites evaluation submitted by the applicant. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013: Ord. 2003-10 § 1 (Exh. A, III(X)), 2003. Formerly 18.48.240)

18.200.060 Development standards.

A.    Landscaping and Screening.

1.    In all zones, equipment shelters, cabinets and other on-the-ground ancillary equipment shall be constructed with a use separation buffer of a minimum of twenty feet in R zones and ten feet in all other zones. The review authority may increase the width of this buffer if it is determined additional buffering is necessary to further mitigate the impact of the ground equipment. Further, the buffer shall be contained in a recorded easement; vegetation shall not be removed without approval by the city.

2.    Fencing shall be required around the ground facilities and be located within the required separation buffer. The fence shall be a nonobtrusive material such as a dark coated chain link fence to blend in with the surroundings.

3.    In R zones, and in other zones where the wireless telecommunication facility over twenty feet in height is proposed and is within three hundred feet of an R zone, the ground level view of support structures shall be mitigated by the retention of existing trees with sufficient height that will provide a functional screen of a substantial portion of the facility. Additional landscaping and screening may be required by the review authority to mitigate the visual impact of the ground level view of the support structure, if the existing trees do not provide an adequate functional screen or if no trees are on the subject site to provide the functional screen. Existing trees on adjacent properties or within right-of-way cannot be utilized to meet this requirement.

4.    A performance and/or maintenance bond is required for all landscaping and screening plantings to ensure the required screening remains intact.

B.    Visual Impact.

1.    Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be camouflaged by employing the best available technology. This may be accomplished by use of compatible materials, location, color, stealth technologies, and/or other strategies to achieve minimum visibility of the facility as viewed from public streets or residential properties. When attached to an existing building, the wireless telecommunication facility shall be placed and colored to blend into the architectural detail and coloring of the structure.

2.    New wireless telecommunication facilities above twenty feet shall not be considered compatible with surrounding land uses if within a one-mile radius it results in more than a moderate visual impact upon a significant viewscape, such as mountain views, views of Liberty Bay, and/or open expansive views, such as valleys. Visual impact on typical Pacific Northwest viewscape of mature evergreen trees does not constitute more than moderate visual impact. The assessment for compatibility will be made through review of a visual impact analysis.

3.    A visual impact analysis will be required when a new wireless telecommunication facility is proposed to be located within an R zone or within three hundred feet of an R zone, or if the facility is anticipated to constitute more than a moderate visual impact as described above. The impact analysis will be accomplished through: (a) erection of a crane; (b) a balloon (of a size not less than four feet); or (c) similar device used to simulate the proposed dimensions and height of the structure.

4.    Ten working days prior to the demonstration, the applicant shall notify the city and provide a courtesy informational notice to properties within three hundred feet of the subject site upon which the visual impact test will be conducted. The potential impact shall be documented through submittal of maps, photographs, photo-simulation, and other appropriate methods.

C.    Color and Lighting.

1.    Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be painted in a nonreflective, earth tone color that best allows them to blend into the surroundings.

2.    Flashing red, solid red, or white strobe lighting shall not be allowed on any support structure except those included in permanent 911 public safety communication facilities, located at ground elevations above seven hundred feet, and more than one-half mile from any residential zone. Any structure subsequently determined by the FAA to require flashing red, solid red, or white strobe lighting shall be altered to avoid the lighting requirements.

3.    Security lighting which is appropriately down shielded and is directed away from adjoining properties is permitted for the equipment shelters, cabinets, and/or other ground ancillary equipment. No more than one foot-candle of illumination may leave the property boundaries.

D.    Electromagnetic Field/Radio-Frequency Radiation Standards. Installation of wireless telecommunication facilities shall conform to the standards required by the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) regulations and the Telecommunication Act of 1996.

E.    Co-Location of Facilities. All new wireless telecommunication facilities shall be designed to accommodate co-location of at least two additional carriers. Further, an approved wireless telecommunication provider cannot deny a wireless provider the ability to co-locate on an approved facility at a fair market value or at another cost agreed to by the affected parties.

F.    Discontinuation of Use. Any wireless telecommunication facility that is no longer needed and its use is discontinued shall be reported immediately by the service provider to the city. Discontinued facilities shall be completely removed by the service provider or the property owner within six months from the time of discontinuance. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013: Ord. 2003-10 § 1 (Exh. A, III(X)), 2003. Formerly 18.48.240)

18.200.070 Conditional use findings.

In addition to the conditional use findings required in Section 18.230.060, the following findings relative to wireless telecommunication facilities are hereby required:

A.    An evaluation of the provider’s service coverage area has adequately demonstrated that there is a significant gap in the provider’s coverage that will be filled by the proposed wireless telecommunication facility.

B.    The proposed wireless telecommunication facility is co-locating or is located in a nonresidential zoning district.

C.    That the proposed wireless telecommunication facility located within an R zone is co-locating; or has adequately evaluated locational priorities, and has demonstrated that there is no technically feasible alternative facility or site in a higher priority area that will fill an existing significant gap in the provider’s coverage.

D.    The proposed wireless telecommunication facility and ground facilities have been reviewed appropriately, have satisfied all the provisions of this chapter and have been adequately mitigated. (Ord. 2013-04 § 2 (Exh. A (part)), 2013)