Chapter 18.61


18.61.010    Purpose.

18.61.020    Definitions specific to wireless communication facilities.

18.61.030    Towers.

18.61.040    Collocation of antennas, DAS, and small cells.

18.61.050    Tower sharing, collocation and preferred tower locations.

18.61.060    Application submittal requirements.

18.61.070    General development standards applicable to WCFs.

18.61.080    Regulations for facilities subject to a conditional use permit.

18.61.090    Exception from standards.

18.61.100    Final inspection.

18.61.110    FCC permit revocation.

18.61.120    Discontinuation of use.

18.61.130    Independent technical review.

18.61.140    Exempt facilities.

18.61.150    Indemnification.

18.61.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the development and operation of wireless communication facilities within the city and accommodate the balanced provision of wireless communication services that meet community’s needs while promoting and protecting the public health, safety and welfare, including the community’s natural beauty, visual quality and environmental health. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.020 Definitions specific to wireless communication facilities.

In addition to the definitions provided in Chapter 18.08 SMC, the definitions set forth below shall apply to this chapter:

A. “A” Definitions.

“Antenna” means one or more rods, panels, discs or similar devices used for wireless communication, which may include, but is not limited to, omni-directional antenna (whip), directional antenna (panel), and parabolic antenna (dish).

“Antenna array” means a single or group of antenna elements and associated mounting hardware, transmission lines, or other appurtenances which share a common attachment device such as a mounting frame or mounting support structure for the sole purpose of transmitting or receiving electromagnetic waves.

B. “B” Definitions.

“Base station” means a structure or equipment at a fixed location that enables Commission-licensed or authorized wireless communications between user equipment and a communications network. The term does not encompass a tower as defined in this chapter or any equipment associated with a tower.

1. The term includes, but is not limited to, equipment associated with wireless communications services such as private, broadcast, and public safety services, as well as unlicensed wireless services and fixed wireless services such as microwave backhaul.

2. The term includes, but is not limited to, radio transceivers, antennas, coaxial or fiber-optic cable, regular and backup power supplies, and comparable equipment, regardless of technological configuration (including distributed antenna systems and small cell networks).

3. The term includes 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 this section that has been reviewed and approved under the applicable zoning or siting process, or under Washington or local regulatory review process, even if the structure was not built for the sole or primary purpose of providing such support.

4. The term does not include any structure that, at the time the relevant application is filed with Washington or the city under this section, does not support or house equipment described in this section.

C. “C” Definitions.

“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 communications purposes.

“Commission” means the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).

D. “D” Definitions.

“Deemed approved” means and refers to an eligible facilities modification application that has been deemed approved upon the city’s failure to act, and has become effective, as provided pursuant the FCC Eligible Facilities Request Rules.

“Distributed antenna system” or “DAS” means a network consisting of transceiver equipment at a central hub site to support multiple antenna locations throughout the desired coverage area.

E. “E” Definitions.

“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 collocation of new transmission equipment, removal of transmission equipment, or 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 under this section.

“Existing” means a constructed tower or base station is existing for purposes of this chapter 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 section.

F. “F” Definitions. Reserved.

G. “G” Definitions. Reserved.

H. “H” Definitions. Reserved.

I. “I” Definitions. Reserved.

J. “J” Definitions. Reserved.

K. “K” Definitions. Reserved.

L. “L” Definitions. Reserved.

M. “M” Definitions. Reserved.

N. “N” Definitions. Reserved.

O. “O” Definitions. Reserved.

P. “P” Definitions. Reserved.

Q. “Q” Definitions. Reserved.

R. “R” Definitions. Reserved.

S. “S” Definitions.

“Site” means for towers other than towers in the public rights-of-way, the current boundaries of the leased or owned property surrounding the tower and any access or utility easements currently related to the site, and, for other eligible support structures, further restricted to that area in proximity to the structure and to other transmission equipment already deployed on the ground.

“Small cells” mean compact wireless base stations containing their own transceiver equipment and function like cells in a mobile network but provide a smaller coverage area than traditional macrocells. Small cells will meet the two parameters in subsections (1) and (2) of this definition. For purposes of these definitions, volume is a measure of the exterior displacement, not the interior volume of the enclosures. Antennas or equipment concealed from public view in or behind an otherwise approved structure or concealment are not included in calculating volume.

1. Small Cell Antenna. Each antenna shall be no more than three cubic feet in volume.

2. Small Cell Equipment. Each equipment enclosure shall be no larger than 17 cubic feet in volume. Associated conduit, mounting bracket or extension arm, electric meter, concealment, telecommunications demarcation box, ground-based enclosures, battery back-up power systems, grounding equipment, power transfer switch, and cut-off switch may be located outside the primary equipment enclosure(s) and are not included in the calculation of equipment volume.

“Stealth design” means technology that minimizes the visual impact of wireless communications facilities by camouflaging, disguising, screening, and/or blending into the surrounding environment. Examples of stealth design include but are not limited to facilities disguised as trees, flagpoles, bell towers, and architecturally screened roof-mounted antennas.

T. “T” Definitions.

“Tower” means any structure built for the sole or primary purpose of supporting any Commission-licensed or authorized antennas and their associated facilities, including structures that are constructed for wireless communications 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, and the associated site.

“Tower height” means the vertical distance measured from the base of the tower structure at grade to the highest point of the structure including the antenna.

“Transmission equipment” means equipment that facilitates transmission for any Commission-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 communications 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.

U. “U” Definitions.

“Utility support structure” means utility poles or utility towers supporting electrical, telephone, cable or other similar facilities; street light standards; pedestrian light standards; traffic light structures; traffic sign structures; or water towers.

V. “V” Definitions. Reserved.

W. “W” Definitions.

“Wireless communication facilities” or “WCF” means a staffed or unstaffed facility or location for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency (RF) signals or other wireless communications or other signals for commercial communications purposes, typically consisting of one or more antennas or group of antennas, a tower or attachment support structure, transmission cables and other transmission equipment, and an equipment enclosure or cabinets.

X. “X” Definitions. Reserved.

Y. “Y” Definitions. Reserved.

Z. “Z” Definitions. Reserved. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.030 Towers.

A. Towers shall be located only in those areas and pursuant to the process and standards prescribed in Table 18.61.0301; provided, that towers that are proposed to be located in a residential zone or within 150 feet of a residential zone shall be subject to the siting priorities set forth for preferred tower locations in SMC 18.61.050.

Table 18.61.0301 – Zones, Types/Heights, Setbacks, and Permit Type 

Plan District


Type and Max. Height

Setback: Non-ROW

Permit Type

Single-Family Residential


Stealth or DAS only; 30 feet

20 feet


Lifestyle District


Stealth or DAS only; 40 feet

20 feet


Neighborhood Center

NC (C-1)

Stealth or DAS only; 30 feet

20 feet


Community/General Business


Stealth or DAS only; 40 feet

20 feet




Stealth or DAS only; 40 feet



Regional Commercial


Stealth or DAS only; 35 feet

20 feet


Highway Commercial


100 feet / 150 feet

100 feet




Stealth or DAS only; 60 feet

20 feet


High Tech/Light Industry


Stealth or DAS only; 60 feet

20 feet


Heavy Commercial/Warehouse


100 feet / 150 feet

100 feet


Economic Opportunity Area


Stealth or DAS only; 60 feet



Planned Resort Community


Any (decided by master plan)



Major Parks/Open Space


Any (decided by contract)

Equal to tower height


[1] See adjusted standards for locations adjacent to a residence in SMC 18.61.070(B).

[2] If an applicant wants to construct a tower in a residential zone or within 50 feet of a residential zone, then stealth design is required.

[3] See exceptions for locations adjacent to a residence in SMC 18.61.070(B).

[4] An additional 20 feet in height is allowed if applicant uses stealth design.

(Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.040 Collocation of antennas, DAS, and small cells.

A. To the extent not otherwise covered by Chapter 18.61A SMC (Eligible Facilities Modifications), collocation and new wireless communication antenna arrays are permitted in all zones via administrative approval; provided, that they are attached to or inside of an existing structure that provides the required clearances for the array’s operation without the necessity of constructing a tower or other apparatus to extend the antenna array more than 15 feet above the structure; however, in no case shall the tower height exceed the maximum height allowance in the underlying zone.

B. Installation requires the granting of development permits prescribed by Chapter 20.01 SMC and SMC Title 15.

C. For antenna arrays on city-owned property, the execution of necessary agreements is also required.

D. If any support structure must be constructed to achieve the needed elevation or if the attachment adds more than 15 feet above the existing structure, the proposal is subject to Type A-1 review. The limitation to 15 feet applies to cumulative increases and any previously approved additions to height made under this section must be included in its measurement.

E. Any equipment shelter or cabinet and other ancillary equipment are subject to the general development standards of SMC 18.61.070.

F. Distributed Antenna Systems and Small Cells.

1. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells are allowed in all land use zones, regardless of the siting preferences listed in SMC 18.61.050.

2. DAS and small cells that meet the requirement of stealth technology as provided in SMC 18.61.030 are subject to approval via administrative review only if their installation requires the construction of a new utility support structure or building. Type A-1 review is always required when the applicant proposes a new utility support structure or building.

3. Multiple Site DAS and Small Cells.

a. A single permit may be used for multiple distributed antennas that are part of a larger overall DAS network.

b. A single permit may be used for multiple small cells spaced to provide wireless coverage in a contiguous area. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.050 Tower sharing, collocation and preferred tower locations.

A. Tower Sharing and Collocation. New WCF facilities must collocate on existing towers or other structures of a similar height to avoid construction of new towers, unless precluded by zoning constraints such as height, structural limitations, inability to obtain authorization by the owner of an alternative location, or where an alternative location will not meet the service coverage objectives of the applicant. Applications for a new tower must address all existing towers or structures of a similar height within one-half mile of the proposed site as follows: (1) by providing evidence that a request was made to locate on the existing tower or other structure, with no success; or (2) by showing that locating on the existing tower or other structure is infeasible.

B. Preferred Tower Locations. All new towers proposed to be located in a residential zone or within 150 feet of a residential zone are permitted only after application of the following siting priorities, ordered from most-preferred (1) to least-preferred (8):

1. City-owned or operated property and facilities, not including right-of-way and right-of-way facilities, that are not in residential zones or located within 150 feet of residential zones;

2. City-owned or operated property and facilities in any zone, as long as the tower is inconspicuous from a public street, public open areas, or property that is being used for residential purposes;

3. Regional commercial zone (RC);

4. Highway commercial (HC) and heavy commercial/warehouse (HC-W) zones;

5. Employment opportunity area (EOA) and planned resort community (PRC) pursuant to a sub-area plan;

6. Community business (CB) and high tech/light industry (HTLI) zones;

7. Other city-owned or operated property and facilities; and

8. Sites in residential zones.

The applicant for a tower located in a residential zone or within 150 feet of a residential zone shall address these preferences in an alternative sites analysis meeting the requirements of SMC 18.61.060. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.060 Application submittal requirements.

In addition to the application materials identified in SMC 20.01.120, applications submitted under this chapter shall include the following materials:

A. Requirement for FCC Documentation. The applicant shall provide a copy of:

1. Its documentation for FCC license submittal or registration; and

2. The applicant’s FCC license or registration.

B. Site Plans. Complete and accurate plans and drawings to scale, prepared, signed and sealed by a Washington-licensed engineer, land surveyor and/or architect, including (1) plan views and all elevations before and after the proposed construction with all height and width measurements called out; (2) a depiction of all proposed transmission equipment; (3) a depiction of all proposed utility runs and points of contact; and (4) a depiction of the leased or licensed area with all rights-of-way and/or easements for access and utilities in plan view.

C. Visual Analysis. A color visual analysis that includes to-scale visual simulations that show unobstructed before-and-after construction daytime and clear-weather views from at least four angles, together with a map that shows the location of each view.

D. Statement of Purpose/RF Justification. A clear and complete written statement of purpose shall minimally include: (1) a description of the technical objective to be achieved; (2) a to-scale map that identifies the proposed site location and the targeted service area to be benefited by the proposed project; and (3) full-color signal propagation maps with objective units of signal strength measurement that show the applicant’s current service coverage levels from all adjacent sites without the proposed site, predicted service coverage levels from all adjacent sites with the proposed site, and predicted service coverage levels from the proposed site without all adjacent sites. These materials shall be reviewed and signed by a Washington-licensed professional engineer or a qualified employee of the applicant. The qualified employee of the applicant shall submit his or her qualifications with the application.

E. Design Justification. A clear and complete written analysis that explains how the proposed design complies with the applicable design standards under this chapter. A complete design justification shall identify all applicable design standards under this chapter and provide a factually detailed reason why the proposed design either complies or cannot comply.

F. Collocation and Alternative Sites Analysis.

1. All Towers. All applications for a new tower will demonstrate that collocation is not feasible, consistent with SMC 18.61.050.

2. Towers in a Residential Zone or within 150 Feet of a Residential Zone.

a. For towers in or within 150 feet of a residential zone, the applicant must address the city’s preferred tower locations in SMC 18.61.050 with a detailed explanation justifying why a site of higher priority was not selected. The city’s tower location preferences shall be addressed in a clear and complete written alternative site analysis that shows at least five higher ranked, alternative sites considered that are in the geographic range of the service coverage objectives of the applicant, together with a factually detailed and comparative analysis between each alternative candidate and the proposed site that explains the substantive reasons why the applicant rejected the alternative candidate. An applicant may reject an alternative tower site for one or more of the following reasons:

i. Preclusion by structural limitations;

ii. Inability to obtain authorization by the owner;

iii. Failure to meet the service coverage objectives of the applicant;

iv. Failure to meet other engineering requirements for such things as location, height and size;

v. Zoning constraints, such as the inability to meet setbacks;

vi. Analysis or documented evidence of physical or environmental constraints, such as unstable soils or wetlands, that qualify sites as unsuitable critical areas; and/or

vii. Being a more intrusive location despite the higher priority in this chapter as determined by the community development director or hearing examiner, as applicable.

b. A complete alternative sites analysis provided under this subsection (F)(2) may include less than five alternative sites so long as the applicant provides a factually detailed written rationale for why it could not identify at least five potentially available, higher ranked, alternative sites.

3. Required Description of Coverage Objectives. For purposes of disqualifying potential collocations and/or alternative sites for the failure to meet the applicant’s service coverage objectives, the applicant shall provide (a) a description of its objective, whether it be to close a gap or address a deficiency in coverage, capacity, frequency and/or technology; (b) detailed technical maps or other exhibits with clear and concise RF data to illustrate that the objective is not met if using the alternative (whether it be collocation or a more preferred location); and (c) a written statement based on the site analyses of why the alternative (collocation or a more preferred location) does not meet the objective.

G. Radio Frequency Emissions Compliance Report. A written report, prepared, signed and sealed by a Washington-licensed professional engineer or a competent employee of the applicant, which assesses whether the proposed WCF demonstrates compliance with the exposure limits established by the FCC. The report shall also include a cumulative analysis that accounts for all emissions from all WCFs located on or adjacent to the proposed site, identifies the total exposure from all facilities and demonstrates planned compliance with all maximum permissible exposure limits established by the FCC. The report shall include a detailed description of all mitigation measures required by the FCC. Any report supplied by an applicant’s employee must also submit the qualifications for the employee responsible for the report. Such documentation must include a copy of the fully completed FCC form “A Local Government Official’s Guide to Transmitting Antenna RF Emission Safety: Rules, Procedures, and Practical Guidance: Appendix A” titled “Optional Checklist for Determination Of Whether a Facility is Categorically Excluded” for each frequency band of RF emissions to be transmitted from the proposed facility upon the approval of the application. All planned radio frequency emissions on all frequency bands must be shown on the Appendix A form(s) attached to the application. All planned radio frequency emissions are to be entered on each Appendix A form only in wattage units of “effective radiated power.”

H. Noise Study. A noise study, prepared, signed and sealed by a Washington-licensed engineer, for the proposed WCF and all associated equipment in accordance with the Sequim Municipal Code.

I. Collocation Consent. A written statement, signed by a person with the legal authority to bind the applicant and the property owner, allowing the applicant to collocate on facilities.

J. Collocation Engineering Requirements. All applications for collocations must include a site determination by an engineer licensed to conduct business within Washington State that the structure is designed to accommodate the additional load. The determination must take into account, at a minimum, all facilities currently located on the roof/structure, the cumulative load after accounting for all existing facilities, and the cumulative load with the proposed facilities, and any required engineering changes to the structure needed to accommodate additional load. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.070 General development standards applicable to WCFs.

The following criteria shall be applied in approving, approving with conditions or denying a WCF. Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, WCF construction shall be consistent with the development standards of the zoning district in which it is located.

A. Height. Refer to Table 18.61.0301.

B. Setback Requirements. Refer to Table 18.61.0301 for towers. All equipment shelters, cabinets or other on-the-ground ancillary equipment shall be buried or meet the setback requirement of the zone in which located. Notwithstanding the setbacks provided for in Table 18.61.0301, when a residence is located on an adjacent parcel, the minimum side setback from the lot line for a new tower must be equal to 110 percent of the height of the proposed antenna support structure, unless the following are met:

1. The tower is constructed with breakpoint design technology. If the tower has been constructed using breakpoint design technology, the minimum setback distance shall be equal to 110 percent of the distance from the top of the structure to the breakpoint level of the structure, or the applicable zone’s minimum side setback requirements, whichever is greater. (For example, on a 100-foot tall monopole with a breakpoint at 80 feet, the minimum setback distance would be 22 feet (110 percent of 20 feet, the distance from the top of the monopole to the breakpoint) or the minimum side yard setback requirements for that zone, whichever is greater.)

2. The issuance of building permits for the tower shall be conditioned upon approval of the tower design by a structural engineer.

C. Landscaping. All landscaping shall be installed and maintained in accordance with this chapter. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved and/or improved, and disturbance of the existing topography shall be minimized. The community development director may grant a minor deviation from the required landscaping based on written findings and conclusions that a different design better serves the intent of this chapter; provided, that the total landscape area is not reduced.

1. Tower bases, when fenced (compounds), or large equipment shelters (greater than three feet by three feet by three feet), shall be landscaped following the provisions of this section. In all R zones, all C zones (including HC and RC), downtown zones, and all other nonresidential zones, landscaping shall consist of a six-foot-wide strip of landscaping as described in SMC 18.24.130. Street frontage and perimeter property landscaping where required shall follow these standards:

a. The six-foot-wide strip of plantings shall provide a continuous three- to four-foot tall screen (the plants shall be evergreen when adjacent to parking areas in order to block headlights), while maintaining buffered views into and out of the site. Shrubs of a species that will achieve a minimum approximate height of three feet and maximum approximate height of four feet shall be included for the entire length of the planting area. Groundcovers shall be included as necessary to fill in the width of the planting area. Trees shall cover the length of the planting strip and be spaced at intervals resulting in touching of branches after 10 years of normal growth.

2. If fencing is installed, it shall meet the standards of SMC 18.24.140.

3. Applicant shall ensure the full establishment of plantings for two years.

4. Landscaping and buffering requires landscape design plans shall incorporate a mix of indigenous and native plants that are hardy and drought-tolerant, and shall include a minimum of 40 percent evergreen plantings (trees, shrubs, groundcovers, ornamental grasses, and evergreen herbs). Permanently installed irrigation systems are required.

5. Minimum planting specifications are:



Deciduous shade trees

2-1/2 to 3 inch caliper measured 6 inches above ground

Evergreen trees

6 to 8 feet in height

Small deciduous or ornamental trees

1 to 1-1/2 inch caliper measured 6 inches above ground

Multi-trunk clusters (3 or more trunks)

The smallest trunk shall be 3/4 inch

Deciduous and evergreen shrubs

24 inch high plant size. Spacing from 3 to 5 feet apart depending upon species

6. The developer, its successor and/or subsequent owners and their agents, shall maintain landscaping on the property on a continuing basis for the life of the development.

7. The property owner shall maintain landscape areas in good condition and in a way that presents a healthy, neat and orderly appearance. This maintenance shall include weeding, watering, fertilizing, pruning, mowing, edging, mulching or other maintenance, in accordance with acceptable horticultural practices. Plant materials which exhibit evidence of insect pests, disease and/or damage shall be appropriately treated. Dead plants shall be promptly removed and replaced within the next planting season after installation.

D. Visual Impact. All WCFs in residential zones and within 150 feet of residential zones, including equipment enclosures, shall be sited and designed to minimize adverse visual impacts on surrounding properties and the traveling public, consistent with the proper functioning of the WCF. Such WCFs and equipment enclosures shall be integrated through location and design to blend in with the existing characteristics of the site. Such WCFs shall also be designed to either resemble the surrounding landscape and other natural features where located in proximity to natural surroundings; be compatible with the urban, built environment, through matching and complimentary existing structures and specific design considerations such as architectural designs, height, scale, color and texture; and/or be consistent with other uses and improvements permitted in the relevant zone.

E. Use of Stealth Design/Technology. The applicant shall make an affirmative showing as to why they are not employing stealth technology. More specifically:

1. Stealth design is required in residential zones and to the extent shown in Table 18.61.0301. Stealth and concealment techniques must be appropriate given the proposed location, design, visual environment, and nearby uses, structures, and natural features. Stealth design shall be designed and constructed to substantially conform to surrounding building designs or natural settings, so as to be visually unobtrusive. Stealth design that relies on screening wireless communications facilities in order to reduce visual impact must screen all substantial portions of the facility from view. Stealth and concealment techniques do not include incorporating faux-tree designs of a kind that are not native to the Pacific Northwest.

F. Lighting. For new wireless communication support towers, only such lighting as is necessary to satisfy FAA requirements is permitted. All FAA-required lighting shall use lights that are designed to minimize downward illumination. Security lighting for the equipment shelters or cabinets and other on-the-ground ancillary equipment is also permitted as long as it complies with SMC 18.24.170 to keep light within the boundaries of the site.

G. Noise. At no time shall transmission equipment or any other associated equipment (including, but not limited to, heating and air conditioning units) at any wireless communication facility emit noise that exceeds the applicable limit(s) established in WAC 173-60-040 as currently enacted and as may be amended.

H. Signage. No facilities may bear any signage or advertisement(s) other than signage required by law or expressly permitted/required by the city.

I. Code Compliance. All facilities shall at all times comply with all applicable federal, state and local building codes, electrical codes, fire codes and any other code related to public health and safety.

J. Building-Mounted WCFs.

1. In residential zones, all transmission equipment shall be concealed within existing architectural features. Any new architectural features proposed to conceal the transmission equipment shall be designed to mimic the existing underlying structure, shall be proportional to the existing underlying structure or conform to the underlying use and shall use materials in similar quality, finish, color and texture as the existing underlying structure.

2. In residential zones, all roof-mounted transmission equipment shall be set back from all roof edges to preclude visibility from public streets and ground elevation of adjacent properties.

3. In all other zones, antenna arrays and supporting transmission equipment shall be installed so as to camouflage, disguise or conceal them to make them closely compatible with and blend into the setting and/or host structure.

K. WCFs in the Public Rights-of-Way.

1. Preferred Locations. Facilities shall be located as far from residential uses as feasible, and on main corridors and arterials to the extent feasible. Facilities in the rights-of-way shall maintain at least a 200-foot separation from other wireless facilities (except with respect to DAS or small cells), except when collocated or on opposite sides of the same street.

2. Pole-Mounted or Tower-Mounted Equipment. All pole-mounted and tower-mounted transmission equipment shall be mounted as close as possible to the pole or tower so as to minimize the overall visual profile to surrounding streets and properties. All pole-mounted and tower-mounted transmission equipment shall be painted with flat, nonreflective colors that blend with the visual environment.

3. For all WCFs to be located within the right-of-way, prior to submitting for a building permit, the applicant must have a valid municipal franchise or exemption otherwise granted by applicable law, to the extent consistent with RCW 35.21.860.

L. Accessory Equipment. In residential zones, all equipment shall be located or placed in an existing building, underground, or in an equipment shelter that is (1) designed to blend in with existing surroundings, using architecturally compatible construction and colors; and (2) located so as to be minimize obtrusiveness while maintaining proper functioning of the WCF.

M. Spacing of Towers. A tower over 40 feet in height shall maintain a minimum spacing of one-half mile from any other tower over 40 feet in height, unless it is proven that physical limitations (such as topography, terrain, tree cover or location of buildings) in the immediate service area prohibit adequate service by the existing facilities or that collocation is not feasible under SMC 18.61.050.

N. Site Design Flexibility. Individual WCF sites vary in the location of adjacent buildings, existing trees, topography and other local variables. By mandating certain design standards, there may result a project that could have been less intrusive if the location of the various elements of the project could have been placed in more appropriate locations within a given site. Therefore, the WCF and supporting equipment may be installed so as to best camouflage, disguise, or conceal them to make the WCF more compatible with and blend into the setting and/or host structure, upon approval by the planning director or the hearing examiner. The design flexibility allowed under this subsection includes additional height for a tower located within tall trees on (1) city property or (2) other parcels at least five acres in size, so that the impact of the tower may be minimized by the trees while still allowing for the minimum clearance needed for the tower to achieve the applicant’s coverage objectives. A formal exception from standards under SMC 18.61.090 is not required for proposals meeting this subsection by being a less intrusive design option.

O. Structural Assessment. The owner of a proposed tower shall have a structural assessment of the tower conducted by a professional engineer, licensed in the state of Washington, which shall be submitted with the application for a building permit. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.080 Regulations for facilities subject to a conditional use permit.

A. Approval Criteria. In addition to the development standards in this chapter and the approval criteria in SMC 20.01.170, the following additional approval criteria apply:

1. The need for the proposed tower shall be demonstrated if it is to be located in a residential zone or within 150 feet of an existing residential lot. An evaluation of the operational needs of the wireless communications provider, alternative sites, alternative existing facilities upon which the proposed antenna array might be located, and collocation opportunities on existing support towers within one-half mile of the proposed site shall be provided. Evidence shall demonstrate that no practical alternative is reasonably available to the applicant.

2. The proposed tower satisfies all of the provisions and requirements of this chapter.

B. Public Notice. In addition to the notice requirements of SMC 20.01.140, for proposals in residential zones and within 150 feet of a residential zone public notice shall include:

1. A black and white architectural elevation and color photo simulation rendering of the proposed WCF.

2. The sign required by SMC 20.01.140 shall include that same architectural elevation and color photo simulation combination selected by the city that depicts the visual impact of the WCF. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.090 Exception from standards.

A. Applicability. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter (under SMC 18.61.070(N), Site Design Flexibility), no WCF shall be used or developed contrary to any applicable development standard unless an exception has been granted pursuant to this section. These provisions apply exclusively to WCFs and are in lieu of the generally applicable variance and design deviation provisions in this title, provided this section does not provide an exception from this chapter’s visual impact and stealth design requirements or the approval criteria set forth in SMC 18.61.080.

B. Procedure Type. A wireless communications facility exception is a Type C-2 procedure.

C. Submittal Requirements. In addition to the general submittal requirements for a Type C-2 application, an application for a wireless communication facility exception shall include:

1. A written statement demonstrating how the exception would meet the criteria.

2. A site plan that includes:

a. Description of the proposed facility’s design and dimensions, as it would appear with and without the exception.

b. Elevations showing all components of the wireless communication facility as it would appear with and without the exception.

c. Color simulations of the wireless communication facility after construction demonstrating compatibility with the vicinity, as it would appear with and without the exception.

D. Criteria. An application for a wireless communication facility exception shall be granted if the following criteria are met:

1. The exception is consistent with the purpose of the development standard for which the exception is sought.

2. Based on a visual analysis, the design minimizes the visual impacts to residential zones through mitigating measures, including, but not limited to, building heights, bulk, color, and landscaping.

3. The applicant demonstrates the following:

a. A significant gap in the coverage, capacity, or technologies of the service network exists such that users are regularly unable to connect to the service network, or are regularly unable to maintain a connection, or are unable to achieve reliable wireless coverage within a building;

b. The gap can only be filled through an exception to one or more of the standards in this chapter; and

c. The exception is narrowly tailored to fill the service gap such that the wireless communication facility conforms to this chapter’s standards to the greatest extent possible.

4. Exceptions in Residential Zones. For a new tower proposed to be located in a residential zone or within 150 feet of a residential zone, unless the proposal qualifies as a preferred location on city-owned or operated property or facilities under SMC 18.61.050(B)(2), the applicant must also demonstrate that the manner in which it proposes to fill the significant gap in coverage, capacity, or technologies of the service network is the least intrusive on the values that this chapter seeks to protect. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.100 Final inspection.

A. A certificate of occupancy will only be granted upon satisfactory evidence that the WCF was installed in substantial compliance with the approved plans and photo simulations. WCFs may not become operational until a certificate of occupancy has been granted.

B. Failure to Comply. If it is found that the WCF installation does not substantially comply with the approved plans and photo simulations, the applicant immediately shall make any and all such changes required to bring the WCF installation into compliance. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.110 FCC permit revocation.

If any FCC, state or other governmental license or any other governmental approval to provide communication services is ever revoked as to any site permitted or authorized by the city, the permittee must inform the city of the revocation within 30 days of receiving notice of such revocation. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.120 Discontinuation of use.

A. Any wireless communication facility that is no longer needed and its use is discontinued shall be reported immediately by the service provider to the planning director. Discontinued facilities shall be completely removed within six months and the site restored to its preexisting condition.

B. There shall also be a rebuttable presumption that any WCF that is regulated by this chapter and that is not operated for a period of six months shall be considered abandoned. This presumption may be rebutted by a showing that such WCF is an auxiliary back-up or emergency utility or device not subject to regular use or that the WCF is otherwise not abandoned. For those WCFs deemed abandoned, all equipment, including, but not limited to, antennas, poles, towers, and equipment shelters associated with the WCF shall be removed within six months of the cessation of operation. Irrespective of any agreement among them to the contrary, the owner or operator of such unused facility, or the owner of a building or land upon which the WCF is located, shall be jointly and severally responsible for the removal of abandoned WCFs. If the WCF is not thereafter removed within 90 days of written notice from the city, the city may remove the WCF at the owner of the property’s expense or at the owner of the WCF’s expense, including all costs and attorneys’ fees. If there are two or more wireless communications providers collocated on a single support structure, this provision shall not become effective until all providers cease using the WCF for a continuous period of six months. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.130 Independent technical review.

Although the city intends for city staff to review administrative matters to the extent feasible, the city may retain the services of an independent, radio frequency technical expert of its choice to provide technical evaluation of permit applications for WCFs, including administrative and conditional use permits. The technical expert review may include, but is not limited to (A) the accuracy and completeness of the items submitted with the application; (B) the applicability of analysis and techniques and methodologies proposed by the applicant; (C) the validity of conclusions reached by the applicant; and (D) whether the proposed WCF complies with the applicable approval criteria set forth in this chapter. The applicant shall pay the cost for any independent consultant fees, along with applicable overhead recovery, through a deposit, estimated by the city, paid within 10 days of the city’s request. When the city requests such payment, the application shall be deemed incomplete for purposes of application processing timelines. In the event that such costs and fees do not exceed the deposit amount, the city shall refund any unused portion within 30 days after the final permit is released or, if no final permit is released, within 30 days after the city receives a written request from the applicant. If the costs and fees exceed the deposit amount, then the applicant shall pay the difference to the city before the permit is issued. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.140 Exempt facilities.

The following are exempt from this chapter:

A. FCC licensed amateur (ham) radio facilities;

B. Satellite earth stations, dishes and/or antennas used for private television reception not exceeding one meter in diameter;

C. A government-owned WCF installed upon the declaration of a state of emergency by the federal, state or local government, or a written determination of public necessity by the city; except that such facility must comply with all federal and state requirements. The WCF shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter for up to one week after the duration of the state of emergency; and

D. A temporary, commercial WCF installed for providing coverage of a special event such as news coverage or sporting event, subject to approval by the city. The WCF shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter for up to one week before and after the duration of the special event.

E. In locations more than 150 feet from a residential zone, other temporary, commercial WCFs installed for a period of 90 days, subject to renewals at the city’s discretion; provided, that such temporary WCF will comply with applicable setbacks and height requirements.

F. Eligible facilities requests permitted under Chapter 18.61A SMC. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))

18.61.150 Indemnification.

Each permit issued shall have as a condition of the permit a requirement that the applicant defend, indemnify and hold harmless the city and its officers, agents, employees, volunteers, and contractors from any and all liability, damage, or charges (including attorneys’ fees and expenses) arising out of claims, suits, demands, or causes of action as a result of the permit process, granted permit, construction, erection, location, performance, operation, maintenance, repair, installation, replacement, removal, or restoration of the WCF on city property or in the public right-of-way. (Ord. 2016-015 § 3 (Exh. A § 2))