CityScape recommends that local governments be proactive by continual review and oversight of existing land use regulations concerning wireless telecommunication infrastructure. CityScape assists local governments by reviewing existing land use development standards and offering suggestions on ways to enhance and strengthen existing codes and regulations to better achieve the communities’ desires for managing future wireless deployment. The following are a few key items that should be considered in all land use development standards pertaining to the deployment of infrastructure for wireless telecommunications:
Intent of Regulations - To clarify the intent and purposes for the proposed regulations, this section should be updated to reflect current state and other regulatory efforts on the wireless industry, establishing clear goals, objectives and ground rules for tower deployment.
Definitions - This section provides definitions that are applicable to Wireless Communications Facilities (a defined term), with the intent to simplify understanding of the regulations and their applicability. A comprehensive list of definitions reduces varying interpretations of the Ordinance and adds clarity to related issues.
Applicability - This section should specifically include the types of facilities that are regulated into the text, as well as exclude certain types of wireless communications facilities from the regulations. The excluded items are those that have some level of either state or federal preemption associated with their services.
Uses by District - This section illustrates the zoning districts where different types of defined wireless communication facilities could be permitted and what level of review will be required for such facilities.
Development Standards – This section addresses compatibility issues between locations of wireless infrastructure and existing lands uses, i.e., setbacks, height, structural integrity, construction material, lighting, collocation feasibility, color, landscaping, fencing, signage, aircraft coordination, and compatibility with community character.
Interference with Public Safety Communications - This section should clearly protect and maintain the integrity and objectionable technical interference from wireless telecommunication providers, including criteria that must be met by the wireless industry.
Inclusion of a Wireless Telecommunications Master Plan – A Wireless Master Plan is a comprehensive database of all existing wireless telecommunications facilities, publicly owned properties, terrain data and other related technical data, combined together with regulations to provide a planning tool for managing existing and future infrastructure build-out.
Expert Review - Due to the complexity of the methodology or analysis required to review some applications related to wireless telecommunications facilities, local governments are encouraged and can require a technical site plan or application review by a third party expert. Cost for a third party expert review should be borne by the applicant so as not to place the financial burden on local government.