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Planning for Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ready or Not, Here they Come! Jack Butler, Comprehensive Planner, Chatham County- Savannah MPC Anthony.

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Presentation on theme: "Planning for Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ready or Not, Here they Come! Jack Butler, Comprehensive Planner, Chatham County- Savannah MPC Anthony."— Presentation transcript:

1 Planning for Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ready or Not, Here they Come! Jack Butler, Comprehensive Planner, Chatham County- Savannah MPC Anthony Lepore, Director Regulatory Affairs Susan Rabold, Project/Planning Manager


3 Pre-Ordinance Facilities Prior to 2007, facilities were installed purely to need and economic necessity. Design elements were rarely, if ever, considered.

4 Post-Ordinance Facilities After 2007, with our “hierarchy of design” criteria, towers became far less obtrusive.

5 What We Don’t Want Sometimes, even the best designs can fail. As reviewers, our job is to help ensure that the impact of towers is reduced and the risks are minimized.


7 CityScape Consultants, Inc. Company started in Florida in 1997 Offices in Florida, North Carolina and Washington DC Exclusive government clientele Company goals & objectives consistent with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Unbiased information to local governments Assists local government with o Wireless Master Planning o Site Application Engineering review o Ordinance review o Leasing and Development of Public Land

8 Legal Background for Wireless Planning Considerations Anthony Lepore, Director Regulatory Affairs

9 47 USC §332(c)(7) (a/k/a Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) “Preserves” local zoning authority BUT; Requires local government to regulate in a manner that does not: o “unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services; and; o prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services.” Requires you to make written decisions on siting applications that are based on “substantial evidence” and not on speculation or because of federally preempted reasons (such as concerns about RF Radiation.) Federal Legislation Section 704

10 Requirements for tower lighting and markings are exclusively regulated by the FAA/FCC Local government may be able to require dual lighting systems and can require support structures to be lighted as long as they comply with FAA codes. What Cannot Be Regulated

11 Radio Frequency Emissions are exclusively regulated by federal standards. Ionizing radiation Non-ionizing radiation World Health Organization and American Cancer Society Findings RF exposure is so low that human and animal health is not affected What Cannot Be Regulated

12 FCC “Shot Clock” 2009 Declaratory Ruling by FCC Requires local government to make decisions on wireless applications within a specific time frame 90 days for co-location applications 150 days for new structures/towers NOTE: Some states have shorter timelines in state legislation that may take precedence

13 “Shot Clock” Challenge San Antonio and Arlington TX challenged FCC’s authority to impose shot clock timelines on local government US Supreme Court decided in June 2013 that the FCC had the authority to impose shot clock timelines on local governments (applicable where states have not imposed their own timelines).

14 Section 6409 Congress included a small paragraph in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012: (1) IN GENERAL. Notwithstanding section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–104) or any other provision of law, a State or local government may not deny, and shall approve, any eligible facilities request for a modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station. (2) ELIGIBLE FACILITIES REQUEST. For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘‘eligible facilities request’’ means any request for modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that involves — (A) collocation of new transmission equipment; (B) removal of transmission equipment; or (C) replacement of transmission equipment.

15 Section 6409 (3) APPLICABILITY OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS. Nothing in paragraph (1) shall be construed to relieve the Commission from the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act or the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Congress said it only applied to co-location, removal or replacement of existing facilities that did not “substantially change” the physical dimensions of existing structure; Congress did not define “substantially change.”

16 FCC “Guidance” FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued “informal guidance” on Section 6409 on January 25, 2013 Adopts a prior FCC definition of “substantial change” as what it thinks Congress intended to define Acknowledges that local government can still require applications, but must approve requests that meet criteria of Section 6409

17 FCC “Guidance” Substantial Change Defines “Substantial Change” as: 1)Addition of antenna on a tower that would increase itsheight by more than 10% or 20 vertical feet; or 2)Addition of antenna that required installation of more than standard number of equipment cabinets (not to exceed 4), or more than 1 new equipment shelter; or 3)Addition of antenna that would increase the girth (width) of the tower by more than 20 feet; or 4)Addition of the antenna would involve excavating around the tower site beyond the existing boundaries of the property associated with the facility.

18 FCC “Guidance” Shot Clock Reaffirms time limit to act on application invoking Section 6409 to be 90 days, consistent with “Shot Clock” Declaratory Ruling for collocation applications.

19 Existing Georgia Law GA §36-66B provides for “streamlined” processing of collocation applications that meet defined standards: (1) The proposed collocation shall not increase the overall height or width of the wireless support structure to which the wireless facilities are to be attached; (2) The proposed collocation shall not increase the dimensions of the equipment compound approved by the local governing authority; (3) The proposed collocation shall comply with applicable conditions of approval, if any, applied to the initial wireless facilities and wireless support structure, as well as any subsequently adopted amendments to such conditions of approval; and (4) The proposed collocation shall not exceed the applicable weight limits for the wireless support structure, as demonstrated by a letter from a structural engineer licensed to practice in this state.

20 Existing Georgia Law Applications eligible under this section that are submitted must be reviewed within 30 days and local government must notify applicant if incomplete. Applications eligible under this section must be adjudicated within 90 days after complete and a written decision rendered to applicant. You cannot require applicant to provide RF analyses or other documents to demonstrate proposed service characteristics. You can require applicant to certify proposal will not interfere with public safety communications.

21 Proposed BILD Act Introduced into 2013 Legislative Session, but did not advance to a vote, will be re-introduced in 2014 session of Legislature. Proposed amendments to Section 36-66B: Changes to definition of facilities eligible for streamlined processing under 36-66B to “modifications” of existing facilities and new collocations. Restricts local governments to requesting only the information and fees provided for in its existing regulations, rules and forms.

22 Proposed BILD Act Prohibits local government, in connection with applications for new facilities, from: Placing conditions on approval of application inconsistent with state law; Evaluating applications based solely on the availability of alternate sites; Require the removal of existing facilities as a condition of approval of new facility; Impose restrictions regarding airspace that are in excess of FAA regulations; Impose bond or surety requirements for potential future abandonment of structures, unless similar requirements exist for other types of development.

23 Proposed BILD Act Prohibits local government from requiring applicant for a new facility to collocate on existing structure as an alternative; Requires a decision to be rendered within 150 days of a complete application, or deemed approved. Restricts local government from charging applicant any fee that is “greater than the reasonably approximate cost incurred…”or in excess of fees for similar activities involving other land uses. Restricts local government from recovering consultant fees that are “in excess of reasonably approximate costs incurred…” or that are based on a “contingency or similar fee.”

24 September 2013 FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on September 26, 2013 – captioned as “Removing Barriers to Wireless Infrastructure.” Proposes virtually no regulation of DAS and microcell facilities by federal and local government; Proposes streamlining permitting approvals for temporary towers; Proposes adopting the “informal guidance” definitions as law for defining collocations that are not a “substantial change” Proposes various scenarios for what happens if local government fails to act within “shot clock” timeline, including a “deemed permitted” conclusion. **LOCAL GOVERNMENTS SHOULD REVIEW AND FILE COMMENTS.

25 Updating and Integrating Ordinance with Master Plan Because of complexity and fluidity of federal regulation, updating your existing regulations in conjunction with Master Plan ensures You are best prepared for wireless siting applications going forward You have defensible positions if challenged by an applicant over a siting decision

26 The pro-active approach to manage your communities long range goals and objectives for wireless telecommunications. CityScape will develop this Master Plan detailing all current infrastructure while developing a realistic future evolution blueprint that will allow communities to control the growth while maintaining the aesthetics of the community. It will: Reduce future wireless siting controversies Address public concerns over towers on every corner Simplify the wireless providers network deployment enabling technology of wireless services to citizens in your community in an expedient and efficient manner Ensure compliance with State and Federal legislation required of local government Create a new method for new community revenues What is a Wireless Master Plan

27 Thorough preliminary research of existing antenna locations for assessments Background research with a community kick off meeting Inventory catalog and propagation mapping of all sites Public hearings/workshop(s) Ordinance review and amendment recommendations Final Wireless Master Plan **Each Master Plan is done in stages and customized for each community How to do a Wireless Master Plan

28 Engineering Working with Variables Antenna Location Topography & Climate Population Trends Transportation Networks Location of Subscriber Base Land Use Policies Future Network Requirements Included in a Wireless Master Plan

29 Tower Location & Population Analysis

30 No Coverage Outside Coverage Propagation High Frequency MHz In-building Coverage (all variables)

31 Town-owned Properties 18 Town-owned lands identified as potential fill-in sites Criteria for study: Location relative to projected gaps in coverage Size of property

32 Summary and 10-Year Projections Existing Antenna Locations 8 within the Town 14 within 1-mile of Town 10-Year Projection 18 Potential Town-owned land locations 14 Potential Utility Easement options 8 Other projected locations

33 Manage the aesthetics of your Community Light Stanchion Bell Tower * Flag Pole Clock Tower *

34 Faux Tree Antenna Attachments in Utility Easement/ R-O-W Concealed Attached Antenna Many more options to fit your needs Manage the aesthetics of your Community

35 Inventory

36 Questions?

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