[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Greene 2-12-2001 by L.L. No. 1-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village of Greene recognizes the increased demand for personal wireless service facilities and the need for the services they provide. Often, these facilities require the construction of a communications tower. The intent of this chapter is to protect the Village's interest in siting towers while also allowing service providers to meet their technological and service objectives for the benefit of the public.
The goals of this section are to:
Minimize visual effects of towers through careful design, siting and vegetative screening.
Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower or accessory structure failure or falling debris through engineering and careful siting of towers structures.
Maximize use of any new or existing tower and encourage the use of existing buildings and/or structures to reduce the number of towers needed.
For the purpose of this chapter, certain terms and words are herewith defined as follows:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- An accessory facility or structure serving or being used in conjunction with a telecommunications facility or tower and located on the same lot as the telecommunications facility or tower. Examples of such structures include utility or transmission equipment, storage sheds or cabinets. The term "accessory structures" does not include offices, long-term storage of vehicles or other equipment storage, or broadcast studios.
- ALTERNATIVE TOWER STRUCTURE
- Man-made trees, clock towers, bell steeples, light poles and similar alternative mounting structures that camouflage or conceal the presence of antennas or towers.
- Any exterior apparatus designed for telephonic, radio, data, Internet or television communications through the sending and/or receiving of electromagnetic waves, and includes equipment attached to a tower or building for the purpose of providing personal wireless services, including unlicensed wireless telecommunications services, wireless telecommunications services utilizing frequencies authorized by the Federal Communications Commission for "cellular," "enhanced specialized mobile radio" and "personal communications services," telecommunications services, and its attendant base station.
- BACKHAUL NETWORK
- The lines that connect a provider's towers/cell sites to one or more cellular telephone switching offices, and/or long distance providers, or the public switched telephone network.
- COLLOCATED ANTENNAS
- Personal wireless service facilities which utilize existing towers, buildings or other structures for placement of antenna(s) and which do not require construction of a new tower.
- "Cell on wheels," which is a temporary facility rolled in or installed and used for a period of no longer than 90 days.
- The Electronic Industries Association.
- The Federal Aviation Administration.
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- When referring to a tower or other structure, the distance measured from the finished grade of the parcel to the highest point on the tower or other structure, including the base pad and any antenna. If the support structure is on a slope grade, then the average between the highest and lowest grades shall be used in calculating the antenna height.
- The structure or surface upon which personal wireless service facilities are mounted. There are three types of mounts:
- PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE, PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE FACILITIES AND FACILITIES
- Shall be defined in the same manner as in Title 47, United States Code, Section 332 (c)(7)(C), as they may be amended now or in the future, and includes facilities for the transmission and reception of radio or microwave signals used for communication, cellular phone, personal communications services, enhanced specialized mobile radio and any other wireless services licensed by the FCC and unlicensed wireless services.
- PREEXISTING TOWERS AND PREEXISTING ANTENNAS
- Any tower or antenna for which a building permit or special use permit has been properly issued prior to the effective date of this chapter, including permitted towers and antennas that have not yet been constructed so long as such approval is current and not expired.
- Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas for telephone, radio and similar communication purposes, including self-supporting lattice towers, guyed towers or monopole towers. The term includes radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common-carrier towers, cellular telephone towers, alternative tower structures and the like. The term includes the structure and any support thereto.
- UNLICENSED WIRELESS SERVICE
- Commercial mobile services that operate on public frequencies and do not need a FCC license.
- All the areas, from which an object (such as a tower) can be seen by an observer, generally considered while standing at ground level. Areas not visible due to intervening topography alone are considered NOT visible, while areas generally without views due to intervening vegetation are considered POTENTIAL viewshed. A viewshed is usually considered to extend to a distance where the potential impact is lessened due to atmospheric conditions. For the purpose of visual impact analysis of towers, a practical limit for viewshed analysis is often three to five miles.
Collocated antennas. Personal wireless service facilities comprised of collocated antennas utilizing existing buildings or structures, which collocated antennas are similar to existing antennas on such building or structure, shall be permitted upon such conditions that the Village Planning Board may require.
New towers. Personal wireless service facilities requiring construction of a new tower shall require, in addition to site plan approval, a tower permit from the Planning Board in accordance with the standards set forth in this section.
Cell on wheels (COW). A COW or other temporary personal wireless service facility shall be permitted for a maximum of 90 days with approval of the Village Planning Board.
Each application shall require a fee in the amount of $250 made payable to the Village Clerk of Greene along with the application. In addition, the applicant shall be required to reimburse the Village of Greene for the cost of professional evaluation, including but not limited to signal propagation studies, visual impact assessment studies, site plan review, public hearings and any incidental administrative costs associated with these projects. The applicant shall be required to post a cash deposit or payment bond in the amount of such anticipated costs for the purpose of insuring such reimbursement to the Village.
For each personal wireless service facility, the applicant shall submit to the Village Planning Board a written application and a drawing that indicates proposed design in relationship to the existing antenna.
For each personal wireless service facility requiring a tower permit, the applicant shall submit a written application and other supporting materials as are generally required for such permits under the Village of Greene Site Plan Review Law and Personal Wireless Service Facilities Law.
Each applicant for a personal wireless service facility shall submit an environmental assessment form (long-form), with the visual addendum, and an analysis demonstrating that location of the personal wireless service facility as proposed is necessary to meet the frequency reuse and spacing needs of the applicant's personal wireless service and to provide ninety-percent service and coverage to the new service area. Application material and supporting documentation may utilize any combination of site plans, surveys, maps, photosimulations, technical reports or written narratives necessary to convey the following information. Each applicant shall submit:
A site plan (certified by a licensed land surveyor) clearly indicating the location, type and height of the proposed tower and antenna, on-site land uses and zoning, adjacent land uses and zoning, adjacent roadways, proposed means of access, setbacks from property lines, elevation drawings of the proposed tower and any other proposed structures, including but not limited to:
The maximum height of the proposed personal wireless service facility and/or tower along with justification for the height of any tower.
A detail of tower type (monopole, guyed, freestanding or other).
The location, type and intensity of any lighting on the tower and justification for the proposed lighting.
Property boundaries and names of adjacent land owners.
Proof of the landowners' consent if the applicant does not own the property; with copies of the purchase or lease agreement.
The location of all other structures, including proposed structures on the property within a radius of 125% of tower height, together with the distance of those structures to any proposed tower.
The location, nature and extent of any proposed fencing, landscaping and/or screening; and reason for the clearing of the land.
The location and nature of proposed utility easements and access road, if applicable.
The telecommunications company must demonstrate that it is licensed by the FCC if required to be licensed under FCC regulations.
The applicant, if not the telecommunications service provider, shall submit proof of lease agreements with a FCC-licensed telecommunications provider if such telecommunications provider is required to be licensed by the FCC.
A signed statement indicating that:
The applicant and landowner agree they will diligently negotiate in good faith to facilitate collocation of additional personal wireless service facilities by other providers on the applicant's structure or within the same site location; and
The applicant and/or landlord agree to remove the facility within 60 days after abandonment.
A site, elevation and landscaping plan indicating the specific placement of the facility on the site, the location of existing structures, trees and other significant site features, the type and location of plant materials used to screen the facility and the proposed color(s) of the facility.
A current map showing the location of the proposed tower; a map showing the locations and service areas of other personal wireless service facilities operated by the applicant and those proposed by the applicant that are close enough to impact service within the Village.
A landscape plan showing specific landscape materials.
Method of fencing, and finished color and, if applicable, the method of camouflage and illumination.
A notarized letter signed by the applicant stating the tower will comply with all EIA Standards and all applicable local, state and federal laws and regulations, including, specifically, FAA regulations.
A statement by the applicant as to whether construction of the tower will accommodate collocation of additional antennas for future users.
Certification that the antenna usage will not interfere with other adjacent or neighboring transmission or reception functions.
To minimize adverse visual impacts associated with the proliferation of towers, collocation of personal wireless service facilities on existing or new towers shall take precedence over the construction of new single-use towers.
The Village Planning Board may deny an application to construct new facilities if the applicant has not shown by substantial evidence that it has made a good-faith effort to mount the facilities on an existing structure and/or tower.
As provided above, new facilities shall be designed to accommodate collocation, unless the applicant demonstrates why such design is not feasible for economic, technical or physical reasons.
The following criteria and additional requirements shall apply to each application for site plan approval for a personal wireless service facility:
Setbacks. All towers shall be set back from all residential dwellings and commercial structures (permanent or seasonal) and all property lines a minimum distance of 125% of the tower height. In addition, all towers shall be in compliance with the FAA Codes and Regulations.
View corridors. Due consideration shall be given so that placement of towers, antenna and personal wireless service facilities do not obstruct or significantly diminish views.
Color. Towers shall have a color generally matching the surroundings or background that minimizes their visibility, unless the FCC or FAA requires a different color. Towers shall be painted and maintained in good condition from an aesthetic standpoint.
Lights, signals and signs. No signals, lights or signs shall be permitted on towers unless required by the FCC or the FAA. Should lighting be required, in cases where there are residents located within a distance that is 300% of the height of the tower, then dual-mode lighting shall be requested from the FAA.
Equipment structures. Ground-level equipment, buildings and the tower base shall be screened from public view. The standards for the equipment buildings are as follows:
Ground-level buildings shall be screened from view by landscape plantings, fencing or other appropriate means, as specified herein or in other sections of the Village Code.
Equipment buildings mounted on a roof shall have a finish similar to the exterior building walls. Equipment for roof-mounted antennas may also be located within the building on which the antenna is mounted.
Visual impact assessment. The Planning Board may require a visual impact assessment be performed by a New York State licensed landscape architect or other qualified professional who has had prior experience in the preparation of visual impact assessments. The visual impact assessment will be prepared in accordance with the following methodology:
A "viewshed map" shall be provided in order to determine locations where the tower may be seen. The viewshed map shall extend a minimum of three miles in all directions from the proposed location of the tower. It shall indicate areas where the tower can be seen based on intervening topography only and areas where the tower can be seen based on intervening topography and vegetation.
Photorealistic simulations. Pictorial representations of "before" and "after" views from key viewpoints. Key viewpoints will be suggested by the professional based on resource sensitivity, viewer sensitivity, number of viewers affected and input from the Planning Board. Potential key viewpoints may include but are not limited to state highways and other major roads, state and local parks, other public lands, preserves and historic sites normally open to the public, and from any other location where the site is visible to a large number of visitors or travelers. The Planning Board shall review and approve the key viewpoints at a presubmission conference with the applicant. The presentation of "before" and "after" photos shall be as full color original prints at 11 inches by 17 inches for public viewing.
Written assessment of the expected viewer response to the visual impacts created by the proposed tower, including the base, guy wires, accessory buildings, utility connections and access roads. Discussion of alternative tower designs and color schemes.
Discussion of potential mitigation options, including screen planting on site and off site, tower design options to minimize impacts and potential off-set mitigation if insufficient on- or off-site mitigation options are not available.
Aesthetics. Personal wireless service facilities shall be located and buffered to the maximum extent which is practical and technologically feasible to help ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. In order to minimize adverse aesthetic effects on neighboring residences to the extent possible, the Planning Board may impose reasonable conditions on the applicant, including the following:
The Planning Board may require reasonable landscaping consisting of trees or shrubs to screen the base of the tower and accessory structures to the extent possible from adjacent residential property. Existing an-site trees and vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
The Planning Board may require that the tower be designed and sited so as to avoid, if possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements. If lighting is utilized, all lights shall be baffled to limit light directed downward as much as possible without being in conflict with the FAA requirements.
Accessory facilities should maximize use of building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with the natural surroundings; and
No tower or personal wireless service facility shall contain any signs, company logos or advertising devices.
Traffic access and safety.
A road turnaround and two parking spaces shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made. Road construction shall, at all times, minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting, and road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential.
All towers and guy anchors, if applicable, shall be enclosed by a fence not less than six feet in height or otherwise sufficiently secured to protect them from trespassing or vandalism. A locked gate will be required as a minimum.
Federal requirements. All towers must meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FAA, the FCC and any other agency of the federal government with the authority to regulate towers and antennas. If those standards and regulations are changed, then personal wireless service providers governed by this chapter shall bring their towers and antennas into compliance with the revised standards and regulations within three months of their effective date. The revised standards and regulations are not retroactively applicable to existing providers, unless a more stringent compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling federal agency. Failure to bring towers and antennas into compliance with the revised standards and regulations shall constitute grounds for the Village to remove a provider's facilities at the provider's expense.
The applicant shall provide a certification from a qualified, licensed New York State professional engineer, certifying that the tower or personal wireless service facility meets applicable structural safety standards and upon operation does not interfere with local radio and/or television frequencies.
Antenna support structure safety. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed antenna and support structure are safe and the surrounding areas will not be negatively affected by support structure failure, falling ice or other debris or interference. All support structures shall be fitted with anticlimbing devices, as approved by the manufacturers.
Each year after a facility becomes operational, the facility operator shall conduct a safety inspection in accordance with the EIA and FCC standards and within 60 days of the inspection, file a report with the Village Clerk. Submission of a FCC required, and duly filed, safety inspection report, or the facility operator's maintenance reports for the prior 12 months in the event no FCC report is required for such year, shall satisfy the requirements of this section.
The fall zone of any roof-mounted personal wireless service facility can not exceed the distance of the roof's perimeter in any direction. All roof-mounted personal wireless service facilities:
Building codes; safety standards. To ensure the structural integrity of towers, the owner of a tower shall ensure that it is maintained in compliance with standards contained in applicable Village building codes and the applicable standards for towers that are published by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA), as amended from time to time. If, upon inspection, the Village concludes that a tower fails to comply with such codes and standards and constitutes a danger to persons or property, then upon notice being provided to the owner of the tower, the owner shall have 30 days to bring the tower into compliance with such standards. If the owner fails to bring its tower into compliance within 30 days, the Village may remove the tower at the owner's expense. Further, if a tower fails to comply with such codes and standards, the owner shall reimburse the Village for its costs for an engineer or other person and their and the Village's costs in this regard.
Removal of obsolete/unused facilities. The applicant, its successors and/or assignees (applicant) shall agree, in writing, to remove the tower or antennas at the applicant's expense, if the personal wireless service facility becomes obsolete or ceases to be used for its intended purpose for 60 or more consecutive days. Removal of such obsolete and/or unused towers or antennas shall take place within 180 days of cessation of use. Such agreement shall also include a commitment by the applicant to impose a similar obligation to remove any unused and/or obsolete tower or antennas upon any person subsequently securing rights to collocate on the tower or personal wireless service facility. Failure to notify and/or to remove the obsolete or unused tower in accordance with these regulations shall be a violation of this chapter and shall be punishable according to § 83-8 of this chapter.
Public involvement. The applicant shall notify by certified mail adjacent property owners of any application for any personal wireless service facilities permit and shall allow input from such property owners upon its site plan review. In addition, the Planning Board shall issue a public notice in the local newspaper of this application.
The following criteria and additional requirements shall apply to each application:
Height. The applicant must submit sufficient information to justify the proposed height as the minimum necessary to achieve its coverage objectives.
Shared use of existing towers and/or structures. At all times, shared use of existing towers and/or structures, e.g. municipal water tank, buildings, towers, etc., shall be preferred to the construction of new towers. An applicant for a tower permit shall present a report inventorying existing towers and/or structures within a reasonable distance of the proposed site and outlining opportunities for shared use of existing facilities as an alternative to a proposed new tower. The applicant shall submit documentation demonstrating good-faith efforts to secure shared use on existing towers or structures as well as documentation of the technical, physical and/or financial reasons why shared usage is not proposed. Written request for shared use shall be provided where applicable. The applicant shall also demonstrate efforts to locate a new tower on the same site as an existing tower or structure, if it is not collocating on the existing tower or structure.
Available services. To ensure that the tower or antenna installation actually benefits the Village's residents, it is required that the company offer service, through its normal plans, to residents of the Village. This service shall extend throughout the largest metropolitan area found within 30 miles of the Village's perimeter without the imposition of roaming charges.
No antenna shall cause localized interference with the reception of any other communications signals, including, but not limited to, public safety, television and radio broadcast signals.
Personal wireless service facilities may be repaired and maintained without restrictions.
The following types of personal wireless service facilities are not subject to the provision of this section:
Public safety agencies.
Antennas used solely for television and radio reception, including up to ten-foot diameter satellite antennas.
Wireless radio utilized for temporary emergency communications in the event of a disaster.
Licensed amateur (ham) radio stations and citizen band stations so long as such antennas are not more than 50 feet in height as measured from the ground.
Routine maintenance or repair of a personal wireless service facility and related equipment (excluding structural work or changes in height or dimensions of antennas, towers or buildings), provided that compliance with the standards of this chapter are maintained.
During a declared emergency affecting the Village of Greene, a COW or personal wireless service facility shall be permitted at the discretion of the Emergency Manager designated by the Village of Greene.
Complaints of violations. Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer and Village Clerk, who shall properly record such complaint and immediately investigate the report thereon.
Procedure for abatement of violations.
Whenever, in the opinion of the Code Enforcement Officer, after proper examination and inspection, there appears to exist a violation of any provision of this chapter, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve a written notice of violation upon the owner of the property in violation. Fourteen days after notification, this shall be considered a violation and shall be subject to appropriate penalties and other remedies as provided for herein and under the laws of the State of New York.
Such notice of violation shall:
In the event the violation is not remedied, then the person notified of such violation shall be subject to conviction for a violation as defined by the Penal Law of the State of New York and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $250 or by sentence of imprisonment for a period of not more than 15 days, or both. Each day that the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Alternative penalty. In addition to other remedies provided in this chapter, the Village Board or, with its approval, the Code Enforcement Officer, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use, to restrain, correct or abate such violation, to prevent the occupancy of such building, structure or land or to prevent any illegal act, conduct, business or use in or about such premises.
Appeal. Any person aggrieved by any order, requirement, decision, interpretation or determination made by an administrative official or body charged with the enforcement of this chapter may appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The procedure of the Zoning Board of Appeals and the conduct of its members shall be in conformity with § 7-712 of the Village Law and any amendments thereto.