Chapter 26: Telecommunications Tower Facilities

You are here: Home  »  Government  »  City Codes & Ordinances  »  Chapter 26: Telecommunications Tower Facilities

CONTENTS

§§ 26-001 to 26-299.  Reserved.

§ 26-300.            Purposes.

§ 26-301.            Definitions.

§ 26-302.            Development of towers.

§ 26-303.            Interference with public safety radio services.

§ 26-304.            Setbacks.

§ 26-305.            Tower height requirements.

§ 26-306.            Illumination.

§ 26-307.            Landscaping.

§ 26-308.            Security.

§ 26-309.            Access and parking.

§ 26-310.            Structural design. Certifications and inspections.

§ 26-311.            Maintenance.

§ 26-312.            Stealth design and exterior finishes.

§ 26-313.            Telecommunications facilities on antenna support structures.

§ 26-314.            Existing towers.

§ 26-315.            Special exceptions.

§ 26-316.            Abandonment.

Chapter 26

TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS AND FACILITIES

Sections 26-001-299 Reserved

Sec. 26-300. Purposes

        The general purpose of this Article is to regulate the placement, construction, and modification of towers and telecommunications facilities in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, while at the same time not unreasonably interfering with the development of the competitive wireless telecommunications marketplace in the City.  (Ord. 630, §1)

 (1)      To regulate the location of towers and telecommunications facilities in the City;

 (2)      To protect residential areas, and land uses from potential adverse impact of towers and telecommunications facilities;

 (3)      To minimize adverse visual impact of towers and telecommunications facilities through careful design, sitting, landscaping, and innovative camouflaging techniques;

 (4)      To promote and encourage shared use/collocation of towers and antenna support structures as a primary option rather than construction of additional single-use towers;

 (5)      To avoid potential damage to property caused by towers and telecommunications facilities by ensuring that such structures are soundly and carefully designed, constructed, modified, maintained, and removed when no longer used or determined to be structurally unsound;

 (6)      To ensure that towers and telecommunications facilities are compatible with surrounding land uses;

 (7)      To facilitate the provision of wireless telecommunications services to the residents and businesses of the City in an orderly fashion; and

 (8)      To encourage the location of towers in industrial and business districts, rather than residential areas.

  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-301. Definitions.

        The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

        "Antenna Support Structure" means any building or other structure sixty (60) feet in height or taller other than a tower that can be used for location of telecommunications facilities.

        "Applicant" means any person that applies for a tower development permit

        "Application" means the process by which the owner of a plot of land within the City submits a request to develop, construct, build, modify, or erect a tower upon such land. Application includes all written documentation, verbal statements, and representations, in whatever form or forum, made by an applicant to the City concerning such a request.

        "City" means the City of St. .James, Missouri.

        "Electrical Engineer" means an electrical engineer licensed by the State of Missouri,

        "Existing Tower" means a tower that is in existence or is being constructed on the effective date of this Ordinance.

        "Owner" means any person with fee simple title to any legal lot of record within the City who desires to develop, construct, build, modify or erect, or allow the development, construction, building, modification or erection, of a tower upon such land.

        "Person" is any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or other legal entity, private or public, whether for profit or not for profit.

        "Radio Frequency Engineer" means a radio frequency engineer licensed by the State of Missouri.

        "Satellite Earth Station Antenna" is all equipment necessary for processing of traffic received from terrestrial distributions prior to transmission via satellite and of traffic received from the satellite prior to transfer of channels of communications to terrestrial distribution systems.

        "State" means the State of Missouri.

        "Telecommunications Facilities" means any cables, wires, lines, wave guides, antennas, and any other equipment or facilities associated with the transmission or reception of communications (other than radio or television broadcast communications) which a person seeks to locate or have installed upon or near a tower or antenna . support structure. However, the term telecommunications facilities shall not include:

 (1)      Any satellite earth station antenna two meters in diameter or less which is located in an area zoned industrial or commercial; or

 (2)      Any satellite earth station reception antenna one meter or less in diameter, regardless of zoning category.

        "Tower" means a self-supporting lattice, guyed, or monopole structure constructed from grade that supports telecommunications facilities. The term tower shall not include amateur radio operators' equipment, as licensed by the FCC.

        "Tower Owner" means the person that owns or controls a tower.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-302. Development of towers.

        (a)       A tower shall be a permitted use of land in all non R-1, R-2 and B­ 1 zoned areas subject to the setback and height restrictions contained in Section 26-304 and 26- 305. Further, no person shall build, erect, or construct a tower upon any land-used or zoned for residential purposes unless a conditional: use permit shall have been issued by the City council of the city. Application shall be made to the City Engineer in the manner provided in Chapter 25 of the Code of Ordinances.

        (b)       The City may authorize the use of City property in appropriately zoned districts in accordance with the procedures of the City Code. The City shall have no obligation whatsoever to use city property for such purposes.

        (c)       No new tower shall be built, constructed, or erected in the city unless such tower is capable of supporting another person's operating telecommunications facilities comparable in weight, size, and surface area to the telecommunications facilities installed on the applicant's tower.

        (d)       An application to develop a tower shall include:

 (1)      The name, address, and telephone number of the applicant. If the applicant is not the owner of the parcel of land upon which the tower is situated, the written consent of the owner, and the name, address, telephone number of the owner, shall be evidenced in the application. The application shall also contain an affirmative statement indicating that both the owner and applicant are aware of and agree to comply with the provisions in Section 26-316 of this Article regarding abandonment; and

 (2)      The legal description, city parcel number, and address of the parcel of land upon which the tower is situated; and

 (3)      Written, technical evidence from a structural engineer that the proposed structure meets the standards set forth in this Code, including, but not limited to, the requirements set forth in Sections 26-310 and 26-31 1 of this Article; and

 (4)      A written opinion from a radio frequency engineer that the proposed site of the tower or telecommunications facilities does not pose a risk of explosion, fire, or other danger due to its proximity to volatile, flammable, explosive, or hazardous materials such as LP gas, propane, gasoline, natural gas, or corrosive or other dangerous chemicals; and

 (5)      A map of the City and the first three miles of all bordering land showing the design of the applicant's entire existing or proposed wireless telecommunications network. Such map shall, at minimum, indicate the exact location of all proposed or existing tower and antenna sites, their dimensions, specifications, and signal area coverage; and

 (6)      Color photo simulations showing the proposed site of the tower with a photo-realistic representation of the proposed tower as it would appear viewed from the closest residential property and from adjacent roadways, as determined by the City Engineer. The photo simulations shall be taken at five (5) to six (6) feet above the ground at locations most visible to residents and the general public; and

 (7)      The results of any drive test data or other computerized signal area coverage studies conducted by the applicant within the city, including a non-technical description of the results of the studies and implications for tower siting in the city; and

 (8)      An application fee of $ 1,000 that represents the building permit fee and conditional use permit fee, as otherwise required. The city reserves the right to employ an outside consultant to review any application. The applicant shall reimburse the City for the expense related to such review as an additional fee; which fee shall not to exceed $ 2,500 per application; and

 (9)      A site plan, including a description of the lot lines, set backs, location and use of adjacent structures, proposed location of the tower, distance between telecommunications facilities, proposed tower height, landscaping, screening, access, parking, and security; and

 (10)    Any one of the following or a combination thereof:

 (a)  Written documentation that the applicant made diligent, but unsuccessful efforts for permission to install or collocate the applicant's telecommunications facilities on City owned towers or usable antenna support structures located within a one-half (1/2) mile radius of the proposed tower site; or

 (b)  Written documentation that the applicant made diligent, but unsuccessful efforts to install or collocate the applicant's telecommunications facilities on towers or usable antenna support structures owned by other persons located within a one-half (1/2) mile radius of the proposed tower site; or

(c)   Written, technical evidence from a radio frequency engineer that the proposed tower or telecommunications facilities cannot be installed or collocated on another person's tower or usable antenna support structure located within a one-half (1/2) mile radius of the proposed tower site and must be located at the proposed site in order to meet the coverage requirements of the applicant's wireless communications system.

 (11)    All information submitted with an application that is trade secret information or is for other reasons proprietary shall be clearly marked as such when submitted with an application. The City shall not disclose publicly, or to any third party, proprietary information unless compelled to do so by federal, state, or local law.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sect. 26-303. Interference with public safety radio services.

        In order to ensure that the City's public safety radio services will be free from harmful or destructive interference, all applicants requesting a permit to site a tower or telecommunications facilities must:

 (1)      Demonstrate compliance with nationally accepted engineering practices;

 (2)      Demonstrate that the telecommunications facilities will not induce harmful or destructive interference to the city's public safety radio services:

 (3)      Comply with FCC regulations at 47 C.F.R. Parts 15 and 90 regarding: susceptibility to radio frequency interference, frequency coordination requirements, general technical standards for power, antenna, bandwidth limitations, frequency stability, transmitter measurements, operating requirements, and any and all other federal statutory and regulatory requirements relating to Radio Frequency Interference ("RF1"); and

 (4)      In the case of collocation of telecommunications facilities either in the same location or on the same tower at the City's, comply with FGC emissions requirements and not radiate any RFI or any Electromagnetic Interference ("EMI") that may interfere with the City's public safety radio services.

  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-304. Setbacks.

        (a)       All towers in the vicinity of areas zoned residential shall be set back on all sides from any parcel zoned R-1, R-2 and B-1, a distance equal to the height of the tower.

 (b)  Setback requirements for towers shall be measured from the base of the tower to the property line of the parcel on which it is located.

        (c)      The minimum tower separation distance shall be calculated and applied irrespective of;City and county jurisdictional boundaries.

        (d)     Every tower shall be designed to fall within the boundaries of the parcel on which the tower is located.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-305. Tower Height Requirements.

        (a)       Towers are exempt from the maximum height restrictions of the districts where located. Towers shall be permitted to a height of fifty (50) meters. Towers may be permitted in excess of fifty (50) meters in accordance with Section 26-315 of this Article, "Special Exceptions."

        (b)       The tower height shall be measured from the lowest adjoining grade to the highest point of construction and any attachment thereto.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-306. Illumination.

        Towers shall not be artificially illuminated except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration ("FFA"). Upon application for construction of a tower, when required by federal law, dual mode lighting shall be requested from the FAA. A tower with dual mode lighting shall have, at the top of the tower, lights that shine red in the evening and nighttime and that strobe in the daytime.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-307. Landscaping.

        A six (6) foot strip of landscaping is required completely around parcels containing towers, antenna support structures, or telecommunications facilities and shall be designed to screen the tower antenna support structure, and telecommunications facilities to a height of at least eight (8) feet from the grade.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-308. Security.

        All towers must be reasonably posted and secured to protect against trespass. At a minimum, an eight- (X) foot security fence shall be placed behind the landscaping.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-309. Access and parking.

        Access shall be provided to all legal lots of record upon which towers are located. At least one paved vehicular parking space shall be provided on site.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-310. Structural Design, Certifications and inspections.

        (a)       All towers shall be designed and certified by a structural engineer to be structurally sound and in conformance with the requirements of the City's adopted building and electric codes and all other construction standards set forth by this Article and other City code sections, as well as federal and state law. This certification shall be required prior to the issuance of any building permit(s). For new monopole towers, such certification shall be submitted with an application pursuant to Section 26-302(d) and every five (5) years thereafter; for existing monopole towers, such certification shall be submitted within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Ordinance and then every five (5) years thereafter; for new lattice or guyed towers, such certification shall be submitted with an application pursuant to Section 26-302(d) and every two (2) years thereafter; and for existing lattice or guyed towers, such certification shall be submitted within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Ordinance and then every two (2) years thereafter. The tower owner may be required by the City to submit more frequent certifications should there be reason to believe that the structural or electrical integrity of the tower is jeopardized.

        (b)       The City and its agents shall have authority to enter onto the property upon which a tower is located, between the inspections and certifications required above, to inspect the tower for the purpose of determining whether it complies with the City's Building and Electric Codes, the National Electric Safety Code and all other construction standards provided by the city's code and federal and state law.

        (c)       The City reserves the right to conduct such inspections at any time, upon reasonable notice to the tower owner. All expenses related to such inspections by the city shall be borne by the tower owner.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-311. Maintenance.

        (a)       Tower owners shall at all times employ ordinary and reasonable care and shall install and maintain in use nothing less than commonly accepted methods and devices for preventing failures and accidents which are likely to cause damage, injuries, or nuisances to the public.

        (b)       Tower owners shall install and maintain  towers, telecommunications facilities, wires, cables, fixtures, and other equipment in substantial compliance with the requirements of the National Electric Safety Code and all FCC, state and local regulations, and in such manner that will not interfere with the use of other property.

        (c)       All towers, telecommunications facilities, and antenna support structures shall at all times be kept and maintained in good condition, order, and repair so that the same shall not menace or endanger the life or property of any person.

        (d)       Licensed maintenance and construction personnel shall perform all maintenance or construction of towers, telecommunications facilities, or antenna support structures.

        (e)       All towers shall maintain compliance with current radio frequency emission standards of the FCC. In order to provide information to its citizens, copies of ongoing FCC information concerning wireless communications facilities and radio frequency emission standards shall be made available to the City and updated annually. Applicants shall be required to provide information on the projected power density of the facility and how this meets FCC standards.

        (f)        In the event the use of a tower is discontinued by the tower owner, or in the event a tower owner files notice to the FCC of its interest to cease operating, the tower owner shall provide written notice to the City of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. The tower owner shall also post a bond or other acceptable financial security as required in Section 26­316(b).  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-312. Stealth design and exterior finishes.

        All towers and telecommunications facilities shall be designed to blend into the surrounding environment.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-313. Telecommunications facilities on antenna support structures.

        (a)       Any telecommunications facilities which are not attached to a tower may be permitted as an accessory use to any antenna support structure at least thirty (30) feet tall, regardless of the zoning restrictions applicable to the zoning district where the structure is located. Telecommunications facilities are prohibited on all other structures.

        (b)       Any telecommunications facilities and their appurtenances, located upon the roof of an antenna support structure, are set back a distance at least equal to the height of the telecommunications facilities from; the edge of the roof of the antenna support structure. However, this setback requirement shall not apply to telecommunications facilities and their appurtenances, located above the roof of an antenna support structure, if such facilities are appropriately screened from view through the use of panels, walls, fences, or other screening techniques approved by the City. Setback requirements shall not apply to Stealth antennas which are mounted to the exterior of antenna support structures below the roof, but which do not protrude more than twelve (12) inches from the side of such antenna support structure.

        (c)       The owner of such structure shall, by written certification to the City Engineer. verify that the combined height of the telecommunications facilities and antenna support structure, as measured from the highest adjoining finishes grade of the antenna support structure, shall not exceed the maximum allowable height required by the zone district in which the telecommunications facilities and antenna support structure is located. For B-2, I-1, and I-2 districts, the telecommunications facilities shall not exceed the height of the highest point of construction of the antenna support structure unless it complies with subsection (b) of this section. The owner shall also certify that the tower, telecommunications facilities and antenna support structure meet all of the requirements of the City's Code of Ordinances.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-314. Existing Towers.

        (a)      An existing tower may be modified or demolished and rebuilt to accommodate collocation of additional telecommunications facilities as follows:

 (1)      Application for a permit shall be made to the City Engineer who shall have the authority to issue a permit without further approval by the City Council.

 (2)      The total height of the modified tower and telecommunications facilities attached thereto shall not exceed the maximum height for towers allowed under this Article.

 (3)      A tower, which is being rebuilt to accommodate the collocation of additional telecommunications facilities, may be relocated on the same parcel subject to the setback requirements of this Article.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-315. Special Exceptions.

        (a)       The Board of Adjustment may grant a special exception permit in accordance with the procedures contained in the code of Ordinances for the following requirements:

 (1)      Setbacks as required in Section 26-304;

 (2)      Height restrictions as required in Section 26-305;

 (3)      Stealth design as required in Section 26-123; and

 (4)      Telecommunications facilities on antenna support structures as required in Section 26-313.

        (b)       Determination required.

 (1)      The Board of Adjustment, in considering special exception requests, may grant a special exception if a person, upon application to the City, demonstrates with written evidence that:

 (a)  The location, shape, appearance, or nature of use of the proposed tower will not substantially detract from the aesthetics of the area nor change the character of the neighborhood in which the tower is proposed to be located; and

 (b)  The site plan development modification will not create any threat to the public health, safety, or welfare.

 (2)      In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (a) of this section,- in the following cases, the applicant must also demonstrate with written evidence, the following:

 (a)  In the case of a requested modification to the setback requirement, that the area of the parcel of land upon which the tower is proposed to be located makes compliance with Section 26-304 of this Article impossible, and the only alternative for the person is to locate the tower at another site which poses a greater threat to the public health, safety or welfare or is closer in proximity to a residentially zoned land; OF

 (b)  In the case of a request for modification. of the height limit in zoning district for towers and telecommunications facilities, that the modification is necessary to (1) facilitate collocation of telecommunications facilities in order to avoid construction of a new tower; or (2) meet the coverage requirements of the applicant's wireless communications system, which requirements must be documented with written, technical evidence from a radio frequency engineer.  (Ord. 630, §1)

Sec. 26-316. Abandonment

        (a)       If any-tower shall cease to be used for a period of 365 consecutive days, the City Engineer shall notify the owner, with a copy to the applicant, that such site has been deemed abandoned.

        (b)       To secure the ;obligation set forth in Section 26-316(a), the applicant or owner shall post a bond in an amount to be determined by the City Engineer based on the anticipated cost of removal of the tower or twenty percent (20%) of the construction cost of the tower. Said bond shall be retained for a period of one (1) year at which time the City shall remove the tower and retain the bond to cover the cost of removal.  (Ord. 630, §1)