[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Delhi 4-15-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002 (Ch. 12 of the 1979 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Delhi Village Board does hereby ordain and enact the Village of Delhi Communications Tower and Facilities Law pursuant to the authority and provisions of § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law.
This chapter shall be known as the "Communications Tower and Facilities Law."
The purpose of these supplementary requirements and standards is to regulate the development of communications towers and facilities in the Village of Delhi. This law is to be consistent with the general purposes stated in the Village Zoning Law, to accommodate the necessary infrastructure for the provision of communications services within the Village, to address the visual, aesthetic and land use compatibility aspects of communications facilities, towers, and antennas and more specifically to:
Minimize the total number of towers throughout the Village;
Encourage the collocation or shared use of proposed and existing tower sites;
Encourage the location of towers and antennas in areas where the adverse impacts on the community are minimized;
Encourage the configuration of towers and antennas in a way that minimizes the adverse visual impact of the towers and antennas; and
Enhance the provision of telecommunications services within the Village.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms shall have the following meaning:
- The mounting of antenna(s) or other telecommunications equipment used by two or more providers, persons, firms or corporations on the same antenna support structure, monopole or antenna tower.
- COMMUNICATIONS TOWER AND FACILITIES
- A site development including a structure on which antennas or other telecommunications devices are located for television, radio, data, imagery, telephone or other forms of telecommunications and all related structures and improvements necessary for the operation of such telecommunications facility.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA
- A device used in communications which receives and/or transmits electromagnetic waves, microwaves or other electronic communication signals from or to satellites or other instruments for television, radio, data, imagery, telephone or other forms of communication. The term "telecommunications antenna" shall not include private residential reception equipment.
The Village of Delhi Planning Board is hereby authorized to approve, approve with conditions, or disapprove communications tower and facilities siting permits in accordance with this chapter.
Completed applications for communications tower and facilities siting permits shall be submitted to the Village Code Enforcement Officer at least 14 days prior to the regular meeting of the Village Planning Board. Applications may be made by the owner(s) of the property or other person with written approval of the owner(s).
Within 62 days after the Village Planning Board meeting where the complete application is submitted, a public hearing shall be held. Notice of such public hearing shall be published in the official newspaper of the Village at least 14 days prior to the date thereof. The applicant shall give notice in writing by certified mail to all property owners immediately adjacent to the proposed site. The applicant shall mail these notices at least 14 days in advance of the hearing and furnish the Planning Board with post office receipts as proof of notification.
Within 62 days of the public hearing, the Village Planning Board may approve, conditionally approve or disapprove the application. The time in which the Planning Board must render its decision may be extended by mutual consent of the applicant and the Planning Board. The decision of the Planning Board regarding the application shall be filed in the office of the Village Clerk within five business days after such decision is rendered and a copy thereof mailed to the applicant.
Applicants for a site plan review to place, construct, or modify communications towers and/or facilities within the Village of Delhi shall submit the following information to the Village Planning Board:
State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) environmental assessment form and visual environmental assessment form (visual EAF), landscaping plan and visual assessment report, including appropriate modeling and photography assessing the visibility from key viewpoints identified in the visual EAF; existing treelines, potential bird mortality from migratory bird corridors, surrounding wetlands, known nesting and breeding areas, and proposed elevations.
Preliminary report prepared by a licensed professional engineer describing:
Feasibility of collocation on existing structures and telecommunications facilities.
Applicant's full map and grid coverage and/or signal strengths in the Village and Town of Delhi.
Surrounding topography in relation to line-of-sight transmission.
Available road access, electric power and land-based telephone lines and/or microwave link capability.
Required improvements for construction activities, including those within the public's right-of-way or land controlled by the Village of Delhi.
Identity of location, ownership and usage of currently existing telecommunications facilities within the Village.
Plans for construction of telecommunications accessory equipment buildings or structures and landscaping.
Proposed mitigation measures for visual impacts.
Proposed safety measures.
In the case of an application for a telecommunications tower, additional information describing:
The telecommunications tower's height and design, including a cross section of the structure;
The tower's compliance with applicable structural standards;
The tower's capacity, including the number and type of telecommunications antennas it can accommodate;
The basis of calculation of capacity.
In the case of a telecommunications antenna mounted on an existing structure, additional information shall be provided indicating:
Demonstration of a need for the proposed telecommunications facility, and, when applicable, showing the impracticality of upgrading or expanding an existing site.
Demonstration that the proposed site is the most appropriate site within the immediate area for the location of the telecommunications facility.
Inventory of existing telecommunications facilities within the Village and Town of Delhi outlining opportunities for shared use as an alternative to the proposed use. The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed tower or antenna cannot be accommodated on an existing approved tower or telecommunications facility.
Description of the applicant's long-range plans which project market demand and long-range telecommunications facility expansion needs within the Village and Town of Delhi.
Proof of certified mail announcements to all other telecommunications providers within a five-mile radius of the proposed telecommunications facility location declaring the applicant's sharing capabilities and/or siting needs.
A map showing the location of the premises for which the permit is sought and a sketch plan showing all features of the telecommunications facility necessary for providing road access, electrical service, land-based telephone line connection and/or microwave link capability within the boundaries of the proposed location.
Certification by a New York State licensed professional engineer that the telecommunications facility will comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations for radio frequency emissions.
A letter from the property owner(s) authorizing the filing of the application.
A copy of the FCC license for the telecommunications facility.
In the event that the Village Planning Board determines that the use of a qualified professional is necessary to review the required plans, reports, and other technical information submitted in support of an application for a telecommunications tower and facilities, the applicant shall establish an escrow account to reimburse the Village for the costs incurred.
Where feasible and practical, the tower shall include sections which can be removed as the need for height decreases.
Where a proposed tower is over 199 feet in height, plans to mitigate adverse effects on birds shall be included. This part shall include a continuing obligation to modify said tower with any method that becomes generally accepted within the industry for the purpose of reducing bird kills.
All applications shall be accompanied by an application fee as established by the Village Board and on file in the Village Clerk's office.
Such other information as may be required by the Village Planning Board or its engineer or consultant.
The development of communications towers and facilities and related structures shall be permitted by approval by the Village Planning Board. Communications towers and facilities shall be subject to the following requirements.
Collocation preferred. Whenever possible, new telecommunications facilities shall be sited on existing telecommunications facilities or in areas already in use for telecommunications and/or utility distribution lines in order to preserve the aesthetic and scenic value of the Village.
Location. Applicants for telecommunications towers shall locate, erect and site towers in accordance with the following priorities with (a) being the highest priority and (c) being the lowest.
Upon filing an application for a permit for a telecommunications tower, the applicant shall submit a report to the Village Planning Board demonstrating the reason for the site selection. If the site selected is not the highest priority, a detailed explanation as to why sites of a higher priority were not selected shall be included in the application.
Notwithstanding the above, the Village Planning Board may approve a site location within the list of priority areas if the alternative site provides reasonable services and meets the minimum needs of the service provider and if the Planning Board, in writing, finds it is in the best interest of the health, safety, and general welfare of the Village.
Site plan approval for telecommunications facilities shall be subject to the following general conditions as well as any other provisions the Village Planning Board shall deem applicable:
Separation distance. Telecommunications facilities shall be at least 500 feet from all residential dwellings, state, county, town and Village roads, day-care centers, schools or colleges, libraries, public buildings, senior citizen's centers, churches, recreational facilities, and hospitals.
Setbacks. All telecommunications facilities shall be set back at least 150% of its fall zone as certified by a New York State licensed professional engineer. Additional setbacks may be required by the Village Planning Board in order to provide for the public safety, health and welfare.
Minimal visual impacts. All telecommunications towers and antennas shall be sited to have the least possible visual effect on the environment. No tower shall be located so that total length of the tower rises above the ridge tree canopy.
Lighting. Telecommunications towers shall not be artificially lighted unless otherwise required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other federal, state or local authority.
Materials and paint. Telecommunications towers and telecommunications antennas shall be of a galvanized finish or painted gray above the surrounding tree lines, and gray or green below the tree lines; the mountings of telecommunications antennas should be nonreflective and of the appropriate color to blend with their background.
Signs. No portion of any telecommunications tower or facility shall be used for advertising purposes. No identification sign larger than two square feet shall be used.
Where a telecommunications facility abuts residential or public property, the following vegetative screening shall be established: evergreen shrubs or trees capable of forming a continuous hedge at least five feet in height within two years of planting to effectively screen a telecommunications tower base and accessory facilities.
Additional screening may be required by the Village Planning Board to screen portions of the tower from nearby residential property or important views.
Clear-cutting of trees within a continuous area of more than 20,000 square feet is prohibited. Clear-cut areas shall be replanted with smaller trees within six months of clear-cutting where practical and feasible.
Architectural screening. Creative design measures to screen facilities by integrating them with existing buildings and among other existing uses are preferred.
All screening shall be appropriately maintained.
Height. The height of telecommunications towers should be limited to the minimum height required to provide the proposed telecommunications services.
Access road. Existing roadways shall be used for access to the site whenever possible. Newly constructed roadways shall be a minimum of a twenty-foot-wide right-of-way and constructed to the standards in Chapter 255 of the Village of Delhi Code.
Accessory structures. Support facilities such as vaults and equipment rooms, utilities and other support structures shall be screened, placed underground, depressed, earth-bermed or sited below the ridge line to the greatest extent feasible, particularly in areas of high visibility.
Antennas. Because of their high visibility, dish and parabolic telecommunications antennas shall be located as low as possible, rather than elevated on towers. Microwave and satellite dishes should be mesh whenever possible.
Utility service. Any utilities coming to the telecommunications site shall be underground if determined appropriate by the Planning Board.
Security provisions. Each site shall have a security program, including physical features such as fencing, anti-climbing devices or elevating ladders and/or monitoring by either staff or electronically, to prevent unauthorized access to the site.
Safe zone. Telecommunications towers shall be designed so that in the event of failure, they will fall within the setback area of the site and/or away from adjacent development.
Noise. Noise-producing equipment shall be sited and/or insulated to minimize noise on adjacent properties.
Annual inspection and report. Telecommunications towers shall be inspected annually, and a copy of the inspection report shall be submitted to the Village Planning Board and Code Enforcement Officer.
Removal. The applicant shall submit to the Planning Board a letter of intent committing the tower owner, and his/her successors in interest, to notify the Village Board within 30 days of the discontinuance of use of the tower or associated structures. This letter shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer prior to issuance of a building permit. All telecommunications facilities, including but not limited to antennas, towers and accessory structures, shall be dismantled and removed from the site when they have been inoperative or abandoned within four months of such notification. The site itself shall also be restored to preconstruction conditions within one year following notification unless otherwise specified by the Village Planning Board. Applicants may be asked to post a bond and provide a written contract with the Village agreeing to be fully responsible for removal and indemnifying the Village for the costs of removal as a condition of the site plan approval. Such bond shall be no less than 150% of the current cost of removal and restoration and may be renewed and readjusted every five years by the Village Planning Board.
Post-installation field report. A post-installation field report identifying the facilities coverage area, the tower's maximum capacity, committed capacity, unused capacity and collocated users of the tower shall be submitted to the Village Board within 60 days of telecommunications facility completion. A copy of this report shall also be sent to the Village Planning Board.
FCC license. When available, a copy of the FCC license will be submitted to the Village Planning Board. No permit will be issued except to a provider possessing such license or providing evidence of an affiliation with a licensed provider.
Municipal and government access. All applicants may be asked to provide, at no cost, up to two antenna spaces for Village, town or county governments. These spaces shall not be leased or rented by the municipality to third parties. The placement of public equipment shall be by separate lease with the provider as landlord.
The Village Planning Board may grant the site plan, deny the site plan or grant the site plan with written conditions.
The Village Board shall set application fees and other costs to applicant by resolution.