[Added 5-11-1998 by Ord. No. 98-06]
The intent of this article is to:
Provide for a range of locations for wireless communication facilities in zoning districts within the Township.
Provide clear performance standards and review requirements addressing the installation and maintenance of wireless communication facilities.
Encourage the location of wireless communication facilities on existing buildings, structures and other appropriate structures.
Encourage the collocation and site sharing of new and existing wireless communication facilities.
Ensure that wireless communication facilities will be safe and blend into their environment to the greatest extent possible.
Establish guidelines and standards for the installation of wireless communication facilities with the right-of-way.
Comply with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
No wireless communication facility shall be erected or installed except in compliance with the provisions of this article, provided that:
Wireless communication facilities for which a permit has been issued prior to the effective date of this article shall not be required to meet the minimum requirements of this article.
This article shall not govern the installation of any amateur radio facility that is owned by a federally licensed amateur radio station operator or is used exclusively for receive-only antennas.
This article shall supersede all conflicting requirements of other codes and ordinances regarding the location and permitting of wireless communication facilities.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ANTENNA ARRAY
- One or more dipoles, panels (discs) or similar devices used for the transmission of or reception of radio frequency signals, which may include omnidirectional dipole, directional antenna (panel) and parabolic antenna disc. The antenna array shall not include the support structure.
- The process by which a person submits a request to develop, construct, build, modify or erect a wireless communication facility. Application shall include all written documentation, verbal statements and representations, in whatever form or forum required by the applicant to determine compliance with the provisions of this article.
- ATTACHMENT STRUCTURE
- Any building or structure suitable for the support of a wireless communication facility but which has been designed and used for other purposes.
- BASE STATION (MICROCELL-TYPE)
- Wireless communication facilities consisting of an array that is either no more than four feet in height with an area of not more than 580 square inches or, if a tubular antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and no more than six feet in height.
- COLLOCATION/SITE SHARING
- A common wireless communication facility or common site by two or more wireless license holders or by one wireless license holder for more than one type of communications technology.
- An engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the particular protocol required.
- EQUIPMENT FACILITY
- Any structure or enclosure used to contain ancillary equipment as a component of a wireless communication facility, including a cabinet, shelter, build-out of an existing structure or a pedestal.
- The Federal Aviation Administration.
- The Federal Communication Commission.
- The distance measured from ground level to the highest point of the wireless communication facility, including the antenna array.
- Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership, agency, unincorporated association or municipal corporation or agency within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or any combination thereof.
- A person (hereinafter referred to as "applicant"), not to include a public utility, who is licensed by the Federal Communication Commission to provide telecommunication service to the public.
- PUBLIC UTILITY
- An entity regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
- Land set aside for passage, including streets, highways, lanes or alleys in which the Township or Commonwealth of Pennsylvania holds any property interest (title, easement or otherwise) or exercises any rights of management or control and which, consistent with the purposes for which it was acquired or dedicated, may be used for the installation of a wireless communication facility.
- The minimum open space required from any right-of-way or property line.
- SUPPORT STRUCTURE
- A structure designed and constructed specifically to support an antenna array or base station. Any device which is used to affix an attached wireless communication facility to a building or structure shall be excluded from this definition.
- WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
- Any personal wireless service as defined in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which includes FCC-licensed commercial wireless communication services, including cellular, personal communication services (PCS), specialized mobile radio (SMR), enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR), paging and similar services.
- WIRELESS COMMUNICATION FACILITY
- A facility which is not staffed and used for the transmission and/or reception of wireless communication services, usually consisting of base station or antenna array, connection cables, equipment facility and a support structure to achieve the necessary elevation.
Wireless communication facilities located outside the right-of-way shall be located and subject to the applicable requirements of this section.
Wireless communication facilities attached to buildings or structures. Attached wireless communication facilities located on any parcel or tract of land shall not exceed the height of the building or structure by more than 15 feet and shall be permitted as a secondary use within the following zoning districts:
Wireless communication facilities with support structures. Wireless communication facilities with support structures shall not exceed a maximum height of 120 feet. Where permitted, a minimum setback shall be maintained from all property lines a distance equal to 75% of the structure's height; however, in no case shall a wireless communication facility with a support structure be located within 200 feet of any adjacent residential zoning district or property used for residential purposes. Wireless communication facilities with support structures shall be permitted within the following zoning districts as a secondary use, when authorized by the Zoning Hearing Board as a special exception subject to the requirements of this article and additional standards prescribed in § 280-145:
Equipment facilities. Equipment facilities shall be concealed from public view to the maximum extent possible and be compatible with the architecture of surrounding buildings, structures or landscape. Equipment facilities shall not intrude into the minimum setback requirements for the district in which the wireless communication facility is located or exceed a maximum height of 15 feet.
Visual impact. In an effort to mitigate the visual impacts of wireless communication systems, applicants shall design and locate facilities consistent with the following design guidelines:
Attached wireless communication facilities and equipment facilities must be of a neutral color that is identical to or closely compatible with the building or structure so as to make the antenna and equipment as visually unobtrusive as possible. Roof-mounted antennas and equipment shall match existing air-conditioning units, stairs, elevator towers or other background. When mounted on the face of a building or structure, antennas shall be incorporated into the vertical design elements.
Applicants for wireless communication facilities shall, to the extent practical, incorporate architectural features, materials and colors which blend with surrounding buildings, structures, terrain or landscape. Applications for wireless communication facilities shall be subject to review and approval by the Design Review Board.
In order to assist in evaluating the visual impact, the applicant shall provide color photo simulations showing the proposed site of the wireless communication facility with a photo-realistic representation of the facility as it would appear viewed from the closest residential property, adjacent roads and from other locations as required.
Alternative locations for wireless communications facilities with support structures. No new support structure shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates that no existing support structure, alternative technology, building or other structure exists to meet the needs of the applicant. Applicants shall be required to submit this information along with their application. Evidence submitted may consist of the following:
No existing support structure, building or other structure are located within the geographic area which meet the applicant's engineering requirements.
Existing support structures, buildings or other structures are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant's engineering requirements.
Existing support structures, buildings or other structures do not have the strength to support the applicant's equipment.
The applicant's equipment would cause electromagnetic interference with equipment on the existing support structure, building or other structure.
Fees, costs or contractual provisions required by the owner in order to share an existing location or to adapt for the applicant are unreasonable. Costs exceeding new construction for a support structure are presumed to be unreasonable.
The applicant demonstrates that there are other limiting factors that render other locations unsuitable.
The applicant demonstrates that an alternative technology that does not require the use of a support structure, such as cable microcell network using multiple low-powered transmitters/receivers attached to a wireline system, is not suitable. Costs of alternative technology that exceed costs for the construction of a support structure and antenna development shall not be presumed to render the technology unsuitable.
Wireless communication facilities located within the right-of-way shall be subject to the following requirements:
Wireless communication facilities shall be limited to base stations attached to utility poles, light poles, mast arms or other structures. Such facilities shall be permitted within all zoning districts upon approval by Radnor Township, subject to the applicable standards of this article and following requirements:
Every person who constructs, installs or maintains a wireless communication facility within the right-of-way shall be required to obtain a use permit from Radnor Township and pay the required fee as set forth in Chapter 162 (Fees) of the Township Code.
Use permits shall be subject to term limits and conditions agreed to by the applicant and Radnor Township. Use permits shall not be transferred unless approved by Radnor Township and the transferee.
The Township may refuse to issue a use permit if the proposed location of the facility interferes with the use of the right-of-way by others or is contrary to public safety. The Township may require a facility to be relocated at the permittee's expense if necessary to accommodate the location or relocation of public utilities or to protect the public safety.
Equipment facilities shall be located underground unless otherwise approved by the Board of Commissioners.
Applicants shall meet the requirements of this section and provide the following information, where applicable, for the installation of a wireless communication facility:
The name, address and telephone number of the applicant and owner of the property on which the facility is to be located. If the applicant is not the owner of the property or structure on which a wireless communication facility is to be located, written authorization from the owner in a form acceptable to the Township shall accompany the application.
A legal description and scaled site plan of the property on which the wireless communication facility is to be located.
A current license which has been issued to the applicant by the Federal Communication Commission.
Current certificate of insurance naming the Township of Radnor as additionally insured against liability for installations within the right-of-way.
Copies of ongoing FCC information concerning wireless communication facilities and radio frequency (RF) emission standards, along with the projected power density of the facility and how it meets FCC standards.
A sworn affidavit from a radio frequency engineer that the placement of the wireless communication system will not interfere with public safety communications and the usual and customary transmission or reception of radio, television or other communication services enjoyed by adjacent residential and nonresidential properties.
Equipment facilities shall be fully automated and visited only for periodic maintenance and repair. Use of the facilities for offices, vehicle storage or for the storage of any other equipment shall be prohibited.
Support structures shall be enclosed by a security fence not less than six feet in height and shall be equipped with an anticlimbing device. This requirement may be waived, provided that the applicant demonstrates alternative design techniques provide adequate protection.
A buffer planting strip 10 feet in width shall be provided to screen the perimeter of the wireless communication facility in accordance with the following requirements:
Existing vegetation shall be preserved and used to the greatest extent possible. Disturbance of the existing topography shall be minimized, unless such disturbance would result in less visual impact.
Landscape materials planted shall consist of rows of evergreens a minimum of eight feet high planted a maximum of 10 feet on center.
Applicants may submit for consideration alternative screening techniques consisting of walls or other design features which satisfy the requirements of this article.
Wireless communication facilities shall not be utilized for advertising purposes.
Wireless communication facilities shall not be artificially lighted, unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority. If lighting is required, the lighting alternatives and design chosen shall cause the least disturbance to the surrounding views.
Plans for wireless communication facilities shall be sealed by an engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and shall comply with all applicable building codes and standards to ensure structural integrity.
Plans for a support structure shall include a soil report complying with the standards of Appendix I: Geotechnical Investigations, ANSI/EIA 222-E, as amended, to document and verify the design specifications of the foundation of the support structure, and required anchors, if used.
All wireless communication facilities shall meet or exceed current standards of the FAA, the FCC and any other agency of the state or federal government with the authority to regulate wireless communication facilities. If such standards or regulations are changed, the owners of the facility governed by this article shall bring such facility into compliance with the revised standards within six months of the date of the effective date of such standards, unless a different compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling state or federal agency. Failure to bring such facilities into compliance shall constitute grounds for the removal of the wireless communication facility at the owner's expense.
Wireless communication facilities shall be inspected on a periodic basis to ensure structural integrity and compliance with applicable federal, state and local codes and regulations. Inspection reports shall be submitted to the Township upon request.
A wireless communication facility not operated for a period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner(s) of such facility shall remove same within 90 days from the date of written notice. If such facility is not removed, Radnor Township shall pursue all legal remedies available under the law to ensure removal of the facility and restoration of the site at the expense of the owner. Any delay by the Township in taking action shall not invalidate the Township's right to take action. The Township may seek to have the facility removed regardless of the owner's or operator's intent to operate the facility regardless of any state or federal permits. Where there are two or more users of a single wireless communication facility, this provision shall not become effective until all users have terminated use of the facility.
Wireless communication facilities operative on the effective date of this article shall be classified as nonconforming and allowed to continue as presently existing. Except for routine maintenance, all work shall be subject to the provisions of this article and approval by the Township.
Applications for the installation of a wireless communication facility shall be filed with the Township, along with plans and documentation required to determine compliance with the provisions of this article.
The Township may refer applications to an independent consultant, professional communications consultant or technical advisor to determine compliance with the provisions of this article, upon which the applicant shall be required to establish an escrow account with the Township for payment of fees and services necessary to provide services deemed necessary by the Township.
Escrow funds will be used for payment of fees and services charged by such consultants or advisors, as deemed necessary by the Township for review of the application and installation of the facility.
Applicants shall be required to maintain sufficient funds in the account and to provide additional funds as required by the Township. If sufficient funds are not available, applicants shall be required to make additional payments within 10 calendar days of the request. If sufficient funds are not provided, processing of the applications shall be suspended or the application shall be rejected and returned to the applicant.
The Township shall provide to the applicant, upon written request, a statement indicating expenditures of escrow funds. At the time the escrow account is closed out, funds remaining shall be returned to the applicant.