[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elma 1-18-1984. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Communication installations, wind energy conservation systems and towers may be permitted in any zoning district in the Town of Elma except the floodplain area, subject to use permit approval by the Elma Town Board.
It is the purpose of this chapter to regulate the installation of towers within the Town of Elma, New York, to require that such towers be located and constructed in accordance with approved plans and to prescribe regulations for said towers in the interest of protecting the public health and safety.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AMBIENT NOISE
- The all-encompassing noise associated with a given environment, being usually a composite of sounds from many sources.
- ATTACHED TOWER
- Includes a tower which is rigidly attached to a building by a rigid member.
- CONTINUOUS SOUND
- Any sound that is not an impulsive sound.
- DISCRETE TONE
- Any sound wave whose instantaneous sound pressure varies essentially as a simple sinusoidal function.
- FREESTANDING TOWER
- Includes a tower which is not attached to a building by a rigid member.
- PREEXISTING TOWER
- Any tower existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter.
- SOUND LEVEL
- A frequency-weighted sound-pressure level, obtained by the use of metering characteristics and the weighting A, B or C as specified in the American National Standards Institute Specification for Sound Level Meters, SL. 4-1971 or latest revision. The sound-level meter shall conform to either Type 1 or Type 2. The weighting employed must always be stated.
- Includes any tower, edifice, pole or other structure, whether attached to a building or freestanding and whether guyed or self-supporting, designed to be used as or for the support of devices to be used for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals, such as but not limited to broadcast, shortwave, citizens' band, FM or television signals or wind-driven devices, such as energy converters and wind-speed and/or direction indicators.
No person, firm or corporation being the owner or occupant of any land or premises within the Town of Elma shall use or permit the use of said land or premises for the construction of a tower without obtaining a use permit, approved by the Town Board after investigation and recommendation of the Planning Board. The Building Inspector shall issue the permit.
Specific exemptions from this chapter are:
Preexisting towers are exempt from this chapter, unless they are required to be or voluntarily are substantially rebuilt (greater than 50%). "Substantially rebuilt" shall not include lowering of certain towers for maintenance, painting or adjustment.
The application for a tower use permit under this chapter shall be in writing and signed by the applicant. It shall state the following:
A site plan shall be made and shall include the submission of a certification by a registered professional engineer or manufacturer's certification that the tower was designed to withstand all load requirements for structures as set forth in the New York State Building Construction Code, the National Electrical Code and the Electronics Industries Association Standard RS - 222C Specification.
Where the applicant is not the owner of the premises, the application shall also be accompanied by the original or a true and complete copy of the lease of the premises and a written statement signed by all the owners of record consenting to the construction of the tower on the premises.
Permits issued may prescribe rules and regulations for the maintenance and safety of such towers.
Freestanding towers shall be located or placed in rear yards and limited to not more than one tower per acre. Guy wires and anchors for towers shall not be located closer to any property line or building than 10 feet. In addition, towers shall conform to requirements as listed below:
Towers shall be so placed that the foundation portion of the tower, if visible from any right-of-way, shall be suitably screened from view.
Towers which will be used for energy-deriving purposes shall not produce a level of noise at any lot line greater than the ambient nighttime level. No person shall operate or permit to be operated a wind generator or wind-driven device that exceeds the maximum sound level limitations provided in this chapter. Continuous sound in air which has crossed a real property boundary shall not exceed any of the following sound levels:
The device cannot increase the ambient sound level by more than three dBA, when measured at three feet from the nearest living area window opening.
Sounds that have high concentration of energy in narrow frequency bands (pitched or tone-like sounds) are usually regarded as more annoying than wide-band sounds of the same level. Therefore, if the device does generate a discrete tone, the operating sound-pressure level cannot exceed the ambient level, when measured at three feet from the nearest living area window opening.
The base of a freestanding tower may be no closer to any lot line or public utility line than a distance equal to the height of the tower plus 10 feet, except that a residential communication tower for use of a resident occupant only and not exceeding 50 feet is exempt from this requirement, provided that its height shall not exceed the linear distance to the nearest non-owner-occupied dwelling or non-owner-occupied utility service line.
The base of a freestanding tower used for a windmill device or system shall be surrounded by a fence at least six feet in height or similarly protected for the purpose of discouraging illegal trespassing or vandalism.
It shall be the responsibility of the owner of the tower to take whatever corrective measures may be required to correct TV (television) interference caused by and attributable to a windmill device or system.
The following height limitations shall apply to the construction of any tower:
Attached towers in residential areas which are attached to the roof of the structure shall not exceed 30 feet above the grade or 15 feet in height above the ridge, the total not to exceed 30 feet in height.
Towers as defined heretofore, in all areas, shall not exceed a total height of 200 feet above the ground.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter or of any other provision of the Elma Code, nonresidential towers and commercial towers of all types may be located only in a commercial or industrial zone.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, Article or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section, Article or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.