Personal Wireless Service Facilities
Zoning Ordinance to implement the second phase of regulations pertaining to
personal wireless service facilities by revising several existing
regulations and adding the three-tiered review system recommended by the
Personal Wireless Service Facilities Policy.
Foley, Davis, Kamptner, Sprinkle, Waller
At its meeting
on July 14, 2004, the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the proposed
ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance to implement the second phase of
regulations pertaining to personal wireless service facilities by revising
several existing regulations and adding the three-tiered review system
recommended by the Personal Wireless Service Facilities Policy. The Board
deferred action on this item, requesting that staff make revisions to the
proposed language to address issues raised at the public hearing and to take the
necessary steps to establish a fee for Tier II facilities. The requested
changes, along with some additional changes recommended by staff, are included
in the latest draft amendment, dated October 5, 2004.
A list of the
key substantive revisions is provided below:
Definitions - Avoidance area:
Properties held in
conservation and open space easements have been removed from this definition.
Some easement-holders have become receptive to allowing at least one facility
that meets the Tier II criteria within their easements. The removal of
conservation and open space easements as an avoidance area will place the main
focus upon visual impacts, while allowing those organizations holding the
easements to govern the uses that are appropriate within them.
The Board discussed the
idea of relaxing the avoidance area designation applicable to multiple
facilities to allow the horizontal co-location of up to four (4) Tier II
facilities within 200 feet of one another. The revised definition removes the
language that would have established avoidance areas within 200 feet of any
existing or approved personal wireless facility. However, staff recommends
that only three facilities be allowed within 200 feet of one another to
establish an avoidance area. A fourth facility and any subsequent facilities
could be placed within 200 feet of the three other existing or approved
facilities by special use permit. A similar limitation currently applies to
co-locating antennas on a single structure – the fourth antenna triggers the
requirement for a special use permit.
Also at the Board’s
request, locations within 200 feet of State scenic rivers, National parks and
National forests have been removed as avoidance areas. When reviewing
requests for the installation of new facilities, staff recognizes that the
potential for negative visual impacts of personal wireless service facilities
should be considered from all off-site properties from where the site can be
seen, including these types of resources. Furthermore, the plans for these
facilities will continue to be reviewed in each case to ensure that there are
no resulting negative environmental impacts upon any neighboring properties,
such as disturbance from grading, tree cutting or construction.
5.1.40.a.6 (a) Personal wireless service facilities:
As a housekeeping effort,
staff recommends a reduction in the amount of time that an applicant has to
contact the agent to schedule a balloon test and the time by which the test
has to be performed to ten (10) days and forty (40) days after submittal of
the application, respectively. This is because the review schedule for Tier
II permits will be much shorter than that which is allowed for special use
5.1.40.a.8 Personal wireless service facilities:
Language has been added to
require the submittal of a copy of a recorded deed of easement and written
consent from all holders of any conservation and/or open space easement within
which a personal wireless service facility is proposed.
5.1.40.d.2 [Tier II facilities]:
Language requiring the
provision of adequate opportunities for onsite screening of Tier II facilities
has been added at the Board’s request.
5.1.40.d.4 [Tier II facilities]:
Language has been added
(as subsection (4)) to reinforce the portion of the avoidance area definition
regarding the maximum number of treetop facilities that can be located within
200 feet of one another and reviewed under Tier II regulations. Please
note that the addition of subsection (4) has resulted in an increase in the
number of criteria for Tier II facilities from 12 to 13 items.
5.1.40.d.6 [Tier II facilities]:
At the Board’s request,
staff deleted language that would require an applicant to demonstrate that the
physical constraints of a site necessitate a height that is more than seven
(7) feet above the tallest tree within twenty-five (25) feet. The proposed
language now focuses only on visual and environmental impacts.
5.1.40.d.7 [Tier II facilities]:
The requirement that
ground equipment must be colored brown to match that of the monopole has been
revised. As an alternative to being colored brown, the equipment may be
screened from the public view within an approved structure, or behind some
form of facade or fencing that is determined to be consistent with the
character of the area and is colored brown.
5.1.40.d.13 [Tier II facilities]:
Finally, staff has revised
the language allowing an applicant owning an existing treetop facility to
increase its height related to the growth of trees surrounding the site. This
revision removes the previous vague language granting the agent authority to
approve such a request upon finding that the proposed height increase will not
cause additional adverse impacts. This new language will instead base the
agent’s decision on the more objective qualities of increases in tree heights
and the potential of increased skylighting of the facility.
to address the Board’s questions regarding the fee schedule for the three
different types of facilities, staff has determined that Tier I and Tier III
facilities will continue to be accepted with building permit and special use
permit applications, which already have fees assigned. Because of the similar
level of review, staff recommends that Tier II facilities are assessed the same
fee that is established in Section 35.f.3 for final site development plans that
require Planning Commission review after approval of the preliminary site
development plan. However, because the Tier II facilities will require
development of a totally new set of applications and checklists, it is staff’s
opinion that Tier II facilities should be listed as a separate category in
Section 35 "Fees" in the Zoning Ordinance, requiring a separate zoning text
amendment. This newly proposed amendment to the fee schedule has been addressed
in ZTA 04-007, which was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission on
September 28, 2004 and is set for public hearing by the Board on October 13,
recommends that the Board adopt the attached ordinance dated
October 5, 2004.
Latest proposed zoning ordinance amendment
dated October 5, 2004.
View Draft July 14 Board minutes
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