Sidebar Planning and Zoning Code- Section 45

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SECTION 45A- WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS

45a.01 PURPOSE- The purpose of this section is to make provisions to permit the location of wireless communication towers in the City of Middletown with the exception of FCC exempt facilities while protecting the public, neighborhoods and minimizing the adverse visual and operational effects of wireless communications towers. More specifically, the purposes are:

  1. To accommodate the need for wireless communications towers while not unreasonably regulating their location and number;
  2. To encourage the joint use of any existing or new towers;
  3. To encourage creative design measures to minimize adverse visual effects of wireless communications towers through proper design, siting and vegetative screening;
  4. To avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure or from ice through careful siting of towers.
  5. To site facilities below visually prominent ridge lines; and/or
  6. To reduce the number of towers needed in the future.

45a.02 PREFERENCE- The general order of preference for alternative facilities locations will range from 1. as most preferred to 5. as least preferred:

  1. On existing structures such as buildings, smokestacks, water towers, etc;
  2. On existing or approved towers;
  3. In industrial and commercial districts where the existing topography, vegetation, buildings or other structures provide appropriate screening;
  4. On new towers with appropriate visual mitigation in commercial and industrial districts; and
  5. If tower site area in excess of one acre, on new towers in any zone where the existing topography, vegetation, buildings or other structures provide appropriate screening.

45a.03 SPECIAL EXCEPTION REQUIREMENTS-

  • 45a.03.01- For sites of one acre or more, the Planning and Zoning Commission may grant a special exception authorizing the establishment of a wireless telecommunication tower in any zone. The establishment of a wireless telecommunication tower will be in conformance with these regulations and comply with the following:
    1. Each wireless telecommunication carrier will co-locate on existing communication towers, whenever possible;
    2. Carrier will present a map showing the network planned for the City of Middletown;
    3. All structures, excluding the communication tower , associated with wireless telecommunication facilities will not exceed the height requirements of the zone in which the structure is located;
    4. In residential zones no facility will be located within two hundred (200) feet of an existing building;
    5. All equipment building/boxes or equipment areas will comply with the minimum property line setbacks for a principal building in the zone in which it is located;
    6. Towers will be structurally designed to provide for co-location of up to three users;
    7. The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its sole discretion, may utilize independent technical expertise when reviewing either a special exception and/or site plan application pertaining to wireless communication facilities; and
    8. The location of all structures associated with wireless telecommunication facilities will be subject to site plan approval in accordance with these regulations.
  • 45a.03.02- Factors Upon Which Approval/Denial Shall be Based. Federal requirements pertaining to a zoning decision either to approve or deny, a wireless communication facility application will include all of the following:
    1. Detailed analysis of alternative sites, structures, access, and antennas;
    2. Worse-case combined modeling of radio frequency power densities;
    3. Detailed propagation and antenna separation analysis relative to facility height;
    4. Tower sharing or co-location to facilitate the telecommunication needs of municipalities and other entities in order to reduce the need to construct additional towers;
    5. Assessment of the tower structure type; and
    6. Consideration of future use or re-use of the site with provisions for facility removal and site restoration including and not limited cash bonding.
    The applicant's comprehensive development and management plan for erosion and sedimentation control as well as, architectural treatment, environmental and cultural considerations.

45a.04 WIRELESS COMMUNICATION TOWER SITE PLAN REQUIREMENTS-

  • 45a.04.01- All applications will meet all site plan requirements and standards as described in these regulations. Each applicant will include a map showing:
    1. The service area of the proposed wireless telecommunication site;
    2. The search radius for the proposed wireless telecommunication site and provide support materials that show the location of tall structures within one quarter mile radius of the site proposed and that owners of those locations have been contracted and asked for permission to install the antenna on those structures;
    3. Existing and approved locations of the applicant's other telecommunication sites in Middletown; and
    4. Existing towers owned/used by the applicant within two miles of Middletown's borders.
  • 45a.04.02- Other General Requirements:
    1. A plan showing where and how the proposed antenna will be affixed to a particular building or structure;
    2. Details of all proposed antenna and mounting equipment including size and color;
    3. Elevations of all proposed shielding and details of materials including color;
    4. Elevations of all proposed equipment buildings/structures with details proposed fencing including color;
    5. All proposed landscaping, if appropriate, with a list of plant materials;
    6. Tower base elevation and height of the tower;
    7. Proximity of tower to residential structures and residential zone boundaries including forested areas;
    8. Nature of uses on adjacent and nearby properties within 1,000 feet;
    9. Surrounding topography within 1,000 feet at contour intervals not exceeding five feet and based on city datum;
    10. Design of the tower with particular reference to design characteristics that have the effect of reducing or eliminating visual obtrusiveness if proposed;
    11. A topographic profile showing the proposed tower and its associated equipment from adjoining properties with any fencing, landscaping, etc;
    12. Proposed ingress and egress from a public street to the site and the drive type, if necessary;
    13. A soil report will be submitted to verify the design specifications of the foundation of the tower and the anchors for the guy wires, if used; and
    14. The Commission may requires one or two perspective drawings from locations of concern.

44a.05 TOWER SITE PLAN STANDARDS The following are wireless communications facility standards which will be followed:

  1. The proposed tower will be designed and constructed to all applicable standards of the American National Standards Institutes, ANSI/AEI-222 manual, as amended.
  2. The proposed support structure will be required to accommodate a minimum of three users, including other wireless communication companies and local police, fire, and ambulance companies unless it is determined to be technically unfeasible based on information submitted by the applicant;
  3. Towers not requiring special Federal Aviation Administration painting or markings will be a non-contrasting blue, gray or other neutral color;
  4. No tower will be located on municipally owned land designated for open space or for recreational use unless approved by the responsible agency;
  5. Towers in residential zones, if any, will be a monopole design unless otherwise approved by the Commission;
  6. No signs will be permitted on any tower;
  7. No lights or illumination will be permitted unless required by the Federal Aviation Administration or Federal Communications Commission.
  8. The tower will be surrounded by an approved chain link fence or wall;
  9. The proposed tower and its antenna will be the minimum height necessary to satisfy the technical requirements of the proposed telecommunications facility and its future uses;
  10. Tower height will not exceed three times the allowable building height in tower's underlying zone;
  11. All towers must comply with setback requirements of the zones in which they are proposed; and
  12. All tower locations will not be closer to their property line than the height of the tower plus 25% of that height.

45a.06 The following types of Wireless Communication Facilities are permitted uses and will be subject to the following standards: -

  • 45a.06.01- ROOFTOP MOUNTED ANTENNA
    1. Will be attached to a non-residential structure or building, which building or structure is the principal building or structure on the lot;
    2. Will be of a material or color, which matched the exterior of the building or structure;
    3. Will not exceed a height of ten feet above the highest part of the structure of building;
    4. Will be set back from the roof edge a minimum of ten feet or 10% of the roof width, whichever is greater;
    5. Satellite and microwave dish antennas will not exceed six feet in diameter and will be located or screened so as to minimize visibility; and
    6. Will not occupy more than 25 percent of the roof area.
  • 45a.06.02- FACADE MOUNTED ANTENNA
    1. Will be attached to a non-residential structure or building, which structure of building is the principal structure or building on the lot;
    2. Will project not more than three feet beyond the wall or facade of the structure; and
    3. Will not project more than six feet above the cornice line.
  • 45a.06.03- EQUIPMENT BUILDING STANDARDS
    1. Each such building/structure will not contain more than 150 square feet of gross floor area or be more than eight feet in height; and
    2. Will be designed to blend with the color and design of the building to the extent possible. (Section adopted effective 3/1/98)
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