Chapter 22.120


22.120.010    Purpose and intent.

22.120.020    Permits and exemptions.

22.120.030    Required application submittals.

22.120.040    Design standards.

22.120.050    Landscaping.

22.120.010 Purpose and intent.

These standards were developed to protect the public health, safety, and welfare, and minimize visual impacts on residential areas, while furthering the development of wireless communication services. These standards were designed to comply with the Telecommunication Act of 1996. The provisions of Chapter 22.120 SVMC are not intended to and shall not be interpreted to prohibit or to have the effect of prohibiting wireless communication services. Chapter 22.120 SVMC shall cover all wireless communication services other than small cell services, which are regulated pursuant to Chapter 22.121 SVMC. (Ord. 18-007 § 7 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).

22.120.020 Permits and exemptions.

Where a transmission tower or antenna support structure is located in a zoning district which allows such use as a permitted use activity, administrative review and a building permit shall be required, subject to the project’s consistency with the development standards set forth in SVMC 22.120.040. In instances where the use is not allowed as a permitted use activity, a conditional use permit and building permit shall be required in addition to a demonstration of consistency with all required development standards.

Exemption: Wireless radio utilized for temporary emergency communications in the event of a disaster is exempt from the provisions of SVMC 22.120.020 and shall be permitted in all zones. (Ord. 18-007 § 7 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).

22.120.030 Required application submittals.

All applications for wireless antenna arrays and wireless communication support towers shall include the following:

A. A letter signed by the applicant stating that all applicable requirements of the FCC, the FAA, and any required avigation easements have been satisfied.

B. A scaled site plan clearly indicating the location, type and height of the proposed tower, antennas, on-site land uses and zoning, adjacent land uses and zoning, adjacent roadways, proposed means of access, setbacks from property lines, elevation drawings of the proposed tower, the equipment structure, fencing, buffering and the type of stealth technology which will be utilized. The full, detailed site plan shall not be required if the antenna is to be mounted on an existing structure.

C. The applicant shall have performed and provided a photographic simulation of the proposed facility from all affected properties and public rights-of-way.

D. The applicant shall provide copies of any environmental documents required by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

E. The applicant shall have demonstrated effort to collocate on an existing support tower or other structure. New support towers shall not be permitted within one mile of an existing support tower unless it is demonstrated that no existing support tower or other structure can accommodate the proposed antenna array. The City reserves the right to retain a qualified consultant, at the applicant’s expense, to review the supporting documentation for accuracy.

F. Evidence to demonstrate that no existing support tower or other structure can accommodate the proposed antenna array may consist of the following:

1. No existing support towers or other structures are located within the geographic areas required to meet the applicant’s engineering requirements.

2. Existing support towers or other structures are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant’s engineering requirements.

3. Existing support towers or other structures do not have sufficient structural strength to support the applicant’s proposed antenna array and related equipment.

4. The applicant’s proposed antenna would cause electromagnetic interference with the antenna on the existing support towers or other structures, or the antenna on the existing support towers or other structures would cause interference with the applicant’s proposed antenna.

G. The applicant of a new tower shall provide a signed statement stating the applicant has provided notice to all other area wireless service providers of its application to encourage the collocation of additional antennas on the structure.

H. A signed statement from the owner and/or landlord to remove the facility or obtain another permit for the facility within six months of when the facility is no longer operating as part of a wireless communication system authorized and licensed by the FCC.

I. Proof that all the necessary property or easements have been secured to assure for the proper construction, continued maintenance, and general safety of the properties adjoining the wireless communication facility. (Ord. 18-007 § 7 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).

22.120.040 Design standards.

The support tower, antenna array, and supporting electrical and mechanical equipment shall be installed using stealth technology. Stealth technology applies to all personal wireless service facilities, including, without limitation, antennas, towers and equipment structures. For any facility, stealth technology means the use of both existing and future technology through which a personal wireless service facility is designed to resemble an object which is already present in the local environment, such as a tree, streetlight, or traffic signal. It also includes:

A. For personal wireless service support towers:

1. If within existing trees, “stealth technology” means:

a. The tower is to be painted a dark color;

b. Is made of wood or metal; and

c. A greenbelt easement is required to ensure permanent retention of the surrounding trees.

2. Stealth technology for towers in a more open setting means that they must have a backdrop (for example, but not limited to, trees, a hillside, or a structure) on at least two sides, be a compatible color with the backdrop, be made of compatible materials with the backdrop, and that architectural or landscape screening be provided for the other two sides. If existing trees are the backdrop, then a greenbelt easement is required to ensure permanent retention of the surrounding trees.

3. Antennas shall be integrated into the design of any personal wireless service tower to which they are attached. External projections from the tower shall be limited to the greatest extent technically feasible.

4. For rooftop antennas or antennas mounted on other structures:

a. For omnidirectional antennas 15 feet or less above the roof, stealth technology means use of a color compatible with the roof, structure or background;

b. For other antennas, stealth technology means use of compatible colors and architectural screening or other techniques approved by the City.

B. For antennas mounted on one or more building facades, stealth technology means use of color and materials such that the facility has architectural compatibility with the building. It shall be mounted on a wall of an existing building in a configuration as flush to the wall as technically possible and shall not project above the wall on which it is mounted.

C. For equipment structures, stealth technology means locating within a building, or if on top of a building, with architecturally compatible screening. An underground location, or above ground with a solid fence and landscaping, is also considered stealth technology.

D. Advertising or display shall not be located on any support tower or antenna array; however, the owner of the antenna array shall place an identification plate indicating the name of the wireless service provider and a telephone number for emergency contact on the site.

E. No artificial lights other than those required by the FAA or other applicable authority shall be permitted. All security lights shall be down-shielded, and installed to be consistent with Chapter 22.60 SVMC.

F. The facility shall be enclosed by a sight-obscuring secured fence not less than six feet in height with a locking gate. No barbed wire or razor wire shall be permitted.

G. The support tower foundations, equipment shelters, cabinets or other on-the-ground ancillary equipment shall be buried below ground or screened with a sight-obscuring secured fence not less than six feet high. The requirement for a sight-obscuring fence may be waived provided the applicant has secured all on-the-ground ancillary equipment in a locked cabinet designed to be compatible with and blend into the setting, and the means of access for the support tower is located a minimum of 12 feet above the ground.

H. All support structure(s) for wireless communication antennas shall have their means of access located a minimum of eight feet above the ground unless the requirement for a fence has been waived.

I. The support tower shall meet the minimum primary structure setback requirements for the underlying zone.

J. Support towers shall not be permitted inside a public park, public monument or private holding located within a public park or public monument.

K. The height of the support tower or antenna array above grade shall not exceed the maximum height identified in Table 22.120-1. The height of a support tower shall include antenna, base pad, and other appurtenances and shall be measured from the finished grade of the parcel.

Table 22.120-1 – Tower Height Limitations 


Antenna Array

Support Tower

R-1, Single-Family Residential Estate

20 feet above the zoning height limitation or 16 feet above existing structure

60 feet

R-2, Single-Family Residential Suburban

R-3, Single-Family Residential Urban

MFR, Multifamily Residential

Mixed Use (MU)

Corridor Mixed Use (CMU)

Neighborhood Commercial (NC)

Regional Commercial (RC)

20 feet above the zoning height limitation or 20 feet above existing structure

20 feet higher than the maximum height allowed in the zone or 80 feet whichever is less*

Industrial Mixed Use (IMU)

Industrial (I)

*An additional 20 feet in height for each additional antenna array collocated on the support tower, up to a maximum tower height of 100 feet, including the height of all antennas.

(Ord. 18-007 § 7 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).

22.120.050 Landscaping.

Refer to Chapter 22.70 SVMC for landscaping requirements applicable to the underlying zoning district. (Ord. 18-007 § 7 (Exh. A), 2018; Ord. 07-015 § 4, 2007).