Chapter 18.74


18.74.010    Purpose.

18.74.020    Applicability.

18.74.030    Definitions.

18.74.040    Wireless facility locational criteria and procedure.

18.74.050    Exceptions and conditional uses.

18.74.010 Purpose.

It is the purpose of this chapter to set forth the regulations which address the use compatibility and aesthetic impacts of wireless communication facilities within the city so as to preserve the integrity of existing neighborhoods and ensure continuity of the constructed landscape throughout the city while preserving the ability for wireless communication providers to establish and maintain a network of communication facilities that serve the greater metropolitan area. Further, it is the purpose of this chapter to outline the regulations supplemental to Chapter 5.60 WMC regarding franchising and cable, fiber-optic and other hardwired telecommunication facilities consistent with the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. (Ord. 1234 § 1, 1997)

18.74.020 Applicability.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all telecommunication facilities, wireless and hardwired, within the corporate limits of the city’s corporate limits. (Ord. 1234 § 1, 1997)

18.74.030 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to this chapter only:

“Co-location” means the location of a new micro-facility on an existing monopole, lattice tower, building or other support structure which does not require enlargement or alteration of that structure, except as necessary to enhance the structural strength of the structure to support the micro-facility.

“Dish antenna” or “parabolic antenna” means a satellite dish type antenna that sends and receives signals in a point to point pattern. A dish antenna is typically no more than six feet in diameter.

“Equipment shelter” means a new, independent enclosure that houses the electronic equipment associated with a wireless communication facility.

“Lattice tower” means a singular support structure, freestanding or guyed, constructed of multiple pieces of metal that form an interlocking lattice and affixed to a foundation, typically of concrete, used to support the installation of wireless communication antennas.

“Lease area” means the finite area of the parent parcel upon which a wireless communication facility, including equipment shelters, is located.

“Micro-facility” means an antenna or group of antennas of the same or differing type (i.e., omni-directional, parabolic dish and panel), that are co-located on an existing tower, building or other appurtenance.

“Monopole” means a singular support pole of relatively uniform diameter constructed in sections or of a single piece of material (wood or metal) and affixed to a foundation, typically of concrete, used to support the installation of wireless communication antennas.

“Omni-directional antenna” means a whip type antenna that sends and receives signals in a 360-degree pattern. An omni-directional antenna is typically no more than four inches in diameter at its base and no greater than 16 feet in height.

“Uni-directional antenna” or “panel antenna” means single or multiple antennas that are of the same type and similar size that together function as a sending or receiving antenna in a directional pattern.

“Wireless communication” means the hardware and technology representing two-way wireless telecommunication including, but not limited to, cellular telephone, digital wireless telephone, enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR) and personal communication service (PCS).

“Wireless communication facility” means any facility erected or installed to provide or aid in the establishment and provision of wireless telecommunication. (Ord. 1234 § 1, 1997)

18.74.040 Wireless facility locational criteria and procedure.

The following sets forth the location and permitting process for each type of facility:

(1) Generally. Generally, wireless telecommunication facilities shall co-locate whenever technically feasible so as to minimize the aggregate aesthetic and use incompatibility impact of multiple towers throughout the city or in localized portions of the city.

(2) Micro-Facility. Co-located micro-facilities shall be permitted outright in any zone, subject only to the applicable provisions of the International Building Code (IBC) and the following conditions:

(a) Micro-facilities shall not be located on single-family structures which sole use is residential.

(b) Micro-facilities co-located on an existing building shall be painted or finished in a manner that is most consistent with the adjacent siding of the building so as to provide the least visual impact to the existing structure and surrounding area.

(c) If located on an existing building, micro-facilities shall be placed in such a manner so as to minimize the visibility of the facility via a direct line of sight from a commonly used public pedestrian or auto right-of-way. This may be accomplished through provision of screening or location on the existing building.

(3) Monopoles and Lattice Towers. Except as provided for in WMC 18.74.050, new monopoles shall be permitted as a Type II site plan review only in the institutional (IP), highway commercial (CH), light industrial (LI) and heavy industrial (HI) zone, as well as on the same site as an existing public utility element (i.e., water towers). New lattice towers shall only be permitted in the heavy industrial (HI) zone or on the same site as an existing public utility element (i.e., water towers) as a Type II site plan review. All new wireless communication facilities, in any zone, shall be subject to the following criteria:

(a) The new facility shall be located a distance of one and one-half times the height of the tower away from the nearest right-of-way line of State Route 14 (SR 14). This requirement may be modified based upon visual mitigation measures proposed by the applicant that significantly decrease the visibility of the facility from travelers on SR 14.

(b) The facility shall be designed to accommodate at least one other co-located micro-facility.

(c) The base of the facility and associated equipment shelters shall be screened with a six-foot tall fully sight-obscuring fence.

(d) The outside perimeter of the screen fencing shall be landscaped with evergreen trees or shrubs that are at least eight feet tall at the time of initial planting, and reach a mature height of at least 25 percent of the height of the tower or 30 feet, whichever is greater, within 10 years of the time of planting. This requirement may be modified or waived if the subject site is surrounded by or in immediate proximity to unaffected uses or adequately screened by existing protected vegetation.

(e) The facility shall not be lit except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

(f) New towers and associated equipment shelters may be located in required side and rear setbacks adjacent to land located in the same district as the subject site, except residential districts.

(g) The height of new support structures shall not exceed two times the maximum height of the underlying zone. (Ord. 1613 § 1 (Exh. A), 2008; Ord. 1234 § 1, 1997)

18.74.050 Exceptions and conditional uses.

(1) Generally. Location of all new wireless telecommunication facilities shall abide by the applicable provisions of WMC 18.74.040, unless the applicant demonstrates the following to the satisfaction to the director:

(a) That, through technical evidence, such restrictions represent a barrier to entry into the market area or to expand service in the market area as licensed by the FCC. Such evidence shall include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) Restriction to the permitted zone geographically or topographically prohibits establishment of an effective service area as authorized under the license granted the carrier by the FCC. The applicant shall submit maps of signal strength coverage, existing system component location and other information to demonstrate this,

(ii) There is no land available in the permitted zone due to refusal from individual property owners or documented physical constraints on any available property that would prohibit location of a new facility;

(b) All technically feasible co-location opportunities have been exhausted.

(2) If an applicant has adequately demonstrated that an exception is warranted, the proposed facility shall be permitted in the following manner:

(a) Monopoles shall be permitted in the following zones, in the hierarchical order they are listed, with eligibility for each subsequent zone permitted only after the exemption criteria in subsection (1) of this section are met:

(i) Community commercial (CC) and convenience commercial (CV) zones as a conditional use (Type III), only after demonstrating that the exception criteria in subsection (1) of this section have been met.

(ii) In the AR-16, AR-22, R1-5, R1-7.5 and R1-10 residential districts only as a conditional use (Type III), and only after demonstrating that the exception criteria in subsection (1) of this section have been met for the CC and CV zones.

(iii) If a monopole is permitted outside of a CH, LI or HI zone, it shall be subject to the siting criteria listed in WMC 18.74.040(3) in addition to any condition imposed by the hearings examiner as authorized by Chapter 18.72 WMC.

(3) Lattice towers shall not be permitted outside the HI zone, except when the applicant demonstrates that use of a lattice tower will have a less negative physical or aesthetic impact on the surrounding neighborhood or land uses. (Ord. 1793 § 1 (Exh. A), 2016; Ord. 1234 § 1, 1997)