Town of Lewiston, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Lewiston Town Board 12-29-1997 by L.L. No. 4-1997[1] (Ch. 226 of the 1965 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 360.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also superseded former Ch. 22B, Towers, adopted 9-12-1994 by L.L. No. 1-1994.
This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as the "Towers Law of the Town of Lewiston." This chapter supersedes all laws or ordinances or parts thereof ordinances adopted prior hereto which are in conflict herewith to the extent of such conflict.
A. 
The Town of Lewiston is primarily responsible for promoting the health, safety and general welfare of its residents and the environmental quality of its lands. This chapter is designed to preserve and protect the quality of life and the quality of the environment within the borders of the Town of Lewiston and to ensure that the health, safety and general welfare continue to exist at the highest level and standards which the Town's residents have consistently required and expect.
B. 
Intent; applicability.
(1) 
The Town of Lewiston recognizes the increased demand for wireless communication transmitting facilities and the need for the services they provide. Often, these facilities require the construction of telecommunication towers, radio and television towers, wind energy conversion tower arrays and/or similar facilities. The intent of this chapter is to protect the Town's interest in properly siting communication towers and/or similar facilities in accordance with approved plans and in a manner consistent with sound land use planning by:
(a) 
Minimizing adverse visual effects of towers and/or similar facilities through careful design, siting and vegetative screening.
(b) 
Avoiding potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure or falling debris through engineering and careful siting of tower structures.
(c) 
Maximizing the use of any existing tower or existing building and/or structures to reduce the number of towers and/or similar facilities needed.
(2) 
Unless specifically referenced in this chapter, other sections of the Zoning Law are intended to be inapplicable to such facilities (i.e., height limitations normally required in the relevant zoning district).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 630, Zoning, for zoning provisions.
C. 
It is also recognized that the telecommunications industry, both wired and wireless, is rapidly changing. For example, the new microcell technology which eliminates the need for towers entirely. With this in mind, the communications technology as understood when this chapter was drafted will be periodically revised in order to maintain compliance with the spirit and intent of this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
An accessory facility or structure serving or being used in conjunction with a communications tower and/or similar facility and located on the same lot as the communications tower. Examples of such structures include, but are not limited to, utility or transmission equipment, storage sheds or cabinets.
ALLOWABLE BANDWIDTH
Refer to the appendix; Federal Communications Commission, Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), Bulletin No. 56, 3rd Edition, January 1989.
ALTERNATIVE TOWER STRUCTURE
Any man-made trees, clock towers, bell steeples, light poles, and similar alternative-design mounting structures that camouflage or conceal the presence of antennas or towers.
AM ARRAY
A tower and/or antennas installation consisting of one or more tower units and supporting ground system which functions as one AM broadcasting antenna.
ANTENNA
Any device or exterior-mounted apparatus mounted on a tower, building, utility pole, light pole or other structure designed for telephonic, radio, data, internet or television communications to transmit or receive communications signals or electromotive waves for the purpose of providing cellular services, telecommunications services, personal communications services, personal wireless services, wireless cable, commercial paging, data or wireless services and its attendant base station, utilizing microcells or frequencies authorized by the Federal Communications Commission.
APPLICANT
Service provider seeking to establish a tower or facility in the Town of Lewiston.
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.
BREAKPOINT
The location on a communication tower of a designed feature which, in the event of a tower failure, would result in the tower falling entirely within the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
BUILDING-MOUNTED ANTENNAS
Communications facilities which utilize existing buildings and structures other than towers as defined in this section for supporting antennas.
CELL SITE
A tract or parcel of land that contains the personal wireless service facilities, including any antenna, support structure, accessory buildings and parking, and may include other uses associated with and ancillary to personal wireless services.
CELLULAR TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
Consists of the equipment and structures involved in receiving telecommunication or radio signals from a mobile radio communications source and transmitting those signals to a central switching computer which connects the mobile unit with the land-based telephone lines.
COLLOCATED ANTENNAS
Communications facilities which utilize existing towers, buildings or other structures for placement of antenna(s) and do not require construction of a new tower, a significant modification to an existing telecommunications facility or the construction of a new antenna at a height in excess of any existing antennas located on any such tower, building, or other structure.
COLLOCATION
Multiple use of preexisting towers by one or more telecommunications companies, primarily to minimize proliferation of any additional new towers.
COMPANY
A telecommunications, radio, television and/or similar service provider.
EIS
An environmental impact study.
EMF
Electromagnetic field.
EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency.
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
FACILITY
See "cellular telecommunications facility."
FALL-DOWN ZONE
The radius around a tower within which all portions of the tower and antenna(s) would fall, regardless of any claimed provisions for the breakoff of a portion of such a tower, in the event of a structural failure of the tower.
FCC
The Federal Communication Commission.
FRANCHISE
A particular privilege granted by a governmental body and invested in an individual, group of individuals or corporation granting a positive right to do something otherwise legally incompetent, such as operating a telecommunications service facility.
HEIGHT
When referring to a tower or other structure, the distance from the finished grade of the parcel to the highest point on the tower or other structure, including the base pad and any antenna.
MAJOR MODIFICATION OF PERSONAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITY
A modification of the height, silhouette and/or ground area of any telecommunications tower or telecommunication accessory structure and/or the addition of a telecommunications antenna of a new provider to an existing tower.
NIER LEVELS
Nonionizing electromagnetic radiation.
ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT CLEAR ZONE
The area where, in the event of a tower failure, the entire height of the tower would fall completely within the boundaries of the property in which it is located.
PERSONAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE
Commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless service and common carrier exchange access services.
PERSONAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICE FACILITY
Any persons, firms or corporations who or which supply personal wireless telecommunication service, including all equipment apparatus, facilities and devices used in the supply of personal wireless telecommunications service.
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 or antennas that have not yet been constructed, so long as such approval is current and not expired.
PROPAGATION STUDY
A study which demonstrates the existing signal coverage and the signal coverage resulting from the proposed communications tower.
SEARCH RING
The area, overlaid on an appropriate background map, demonstrating where the telecommunications tower and/or antenna needs to be located in order to provide proper signal strength and coverage to the target cell. It is typically prepared by a qualified radio frequency engineer.
SEC
Solar energy conversion systems; includes any device or devices used to harness solar energy for conversion into electrical current or battery storage.
SEQRA
The State Environmental Quality Review Act requiring an environmental impact analysis of a proposed action.
A. 
An action or class of actions identified as likely to have a significant impact on the environment, and an environmental impact study may be required.
B. 
An action or class of actions found not to have a significant effect on the environment and therefore will not require preparation of an EIS.
C. 
All actions identified as exempt or excluded action and not a Type I or Type II action in the agency's own SEQRA procedures.
SPECIAL USE
A use which is deemed allowable within a given zoning district but which is potentially incompatible with other uses and, therefore, is subject to special standards and conditions set forth for such use subject to approval.
TELECOMMUNICATION ACCESSORY
Any accessory facility, building or structure, including base stations, serving or being used in conjunction with or sheltering any telecommunication facility, equipment or tower.
TELECOMMUNICATION ANTENNA
Any antenna designed to transmit or receive communication signals as authorized by the FCC or FAA or any other authorized agency. Design examples of telecommunication antennas are described as follows: whip, panel and dish. Such signals shall include but not be limited to radio, television, cellular, paging, personal communication systems and microwave.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT BUILDING
The building in which the electronic receiving and relay equipment for a cellular telecommunications facility is housed.
A. 
Any structure greater than 35 feet in height, including an antenna, 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.
(1) 
A communications tower that is supported in whole or part by guy wires and ground anchors.
(2) 
Not permitted.
(3) 
A communication tower consisting of a single pole constructed without guy wires and ground anchors.
(4) 
A communication tower other than a monopole that is constructed without guy wires and ground anchors.
B. 
The term "telecommunication tower" shall not include amateur radio operators' equipment as licensed by the FCC.
TOWER
Any structure greater than 35 feet in height including wind energy conversion systems. (See "WEC" definition.)
TOWER PERMIT
A permit to facilitate the construction of a tower or telecommunications facility pursuant to this chapter.
TOWN LAND
Real estate located in the Town of Lewiston, except any land in incorporated village, which is owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Town of Lewiston.
WEC
Wind energy conversion systems, including but not limited to any windmill or other wind-collection device or array used to harness wind energy for conversion into electrical or mechanical energy.
A. 
No communication towers and/or similar facilities will be permitted unless a written application is made with the Town Board with copies to the Building Inspector, Town Engineer and Town Clerk. In addition to information provided on said application, the applicant shall also conform to the following procedures:
(1) 
Fees.
(a) 
The application fee for the construction of a communication tower/or similar facility shall be $1,500. This is the basic fee. There is an annual renewal fee of $1,000. The application fee for any collocation shall be $500, with an annual renewal fee of $1,000. Permit fees are nonrefundable and may be changed from time to time by Town Board resolution.
(b) 
In addition to paying the basic fee:
[1] 
Any applicant wishing to construct a new tower or antenna which is in excess of 100 feet, or increase the height of an existing tower in excess of 100 feet, shall pay to the Town an additional annual fee of $5 for each additional foot of height.
[2] 
Any applicant wishing to collocate on an existing tower or antenna which is in excess of 100 feet, taking into account the height of any existing tower, antenna or other structure or facility upon which the newly proposed tower or antenna is constructed, shall pay to the Town an additional fee of $5 for each additional foot of height.
[3] 
The applicant is responsible for all reasonable costs incurred by the Town of Lewiston, including but not limited to the employment of consulting assistance in reviewing and analyzing any engineering or technical reports or studies submitted by the applicant relative to its application.
(2) 
The application will include a description of what the communication towers and/or similar facilities will be used for and the services such a facility will provide, including a description of the applicant's long-range plans which project market demand on long-range facility expansion needs within the Town.
(3) 
The company will furnish the Town Board a copy of the technical data used to determine the tower/pole height and provide evidence to demonstrate that the height requested for the proposed communication tower or antenna is the minimum height necessary.
(4) 
The applicant must submit a plan showing the approximate location of all facilities the applicant has erected or collocated on, or plans to erect or collocate on in the Town.
(5) 
Prior to obtaining a building permit, the applicant must supply proof of certified mail announcements to all other telecommunication providers in the area declaring the applicant's sharing capabilities and/or siting needs. Corresponding responses from all said telecommunication providers shall be submitted with the application.
(6) 
The applicant must demonstrate with formal, technical documentation that the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility cannot be accommodated on all existing sites in the inventory of existing towers due to one or more of the following reasons:
(a) 
The planned equipment would exceed the structural capacity of existing and approved telecommunication facilities or other structures, considering existing and planned use for those facilities.
(b) 
The planned equipment would cause radio frequency interference with other existing or planned equipment which cannot be reasonably prevented.
(c) 
Existing or approved telecommunication facilities or other structures do not have space on which proposed equipment can be placed so it can function effectively and reasonably.
(d) 
Other technical reasons make it impracticable to place the equipment proposed by the applicant on existing facilities or structures.
(e) 
The property owner or owner of the existing tower, etc., or other structure refuses to allow such collocation. In such instance, a notarized statement of refusal, signed by the landowner and/or tower owner, must be provided by the company to the Town of Lewiston.
(7) 
SEQRA action.
(a) 
The Town of Lewiston Environmental Commission will rule on all SEQRA actions. It is expected that unlisted SEQRA action will be required on the following applications:
[1] 
Collocation on existing towers.
[2] 
Location on municipal property or structures.
[3] 
Location in business districts.
[4] 
Location in I12 Districts.
(b) 
Type I SEQRA action will be required in R1A, R1B, R1C, R1D, R1E, R2, RR, CH, PD and 111 Zoning Districts in the Town of Lewiston.
(8) 
The applicant must furnish the following data regarding collocation and the proposed tower and demonstrate that they have fully and in good faith considered collocation on an existing communications tower, building, or other structure as an alternative to a new site to consolidate visual disturbances. Such a good faith effort shall be demonstrated by showing that such collocation is technologically unfeasible and backed with formal documentation. However, such request shall not unreasonably delay the application.
B. 
Collocation considerations.
(1) 
The applicant must submit a copy of its policy regarding collocation on any proposed communication towers and/or similar facilities with other potential future applicants. Such policy should at a minimum allow:
(a) 
The party desiring to collocate has a similar policy for collocation for the applicant.
(b) 
The new antenna(s) and equipment do not exceed structural loading requirements and meet structural safety limitations.
(c) 
The new antenna(s) and equipment do not interfere with tower space used, or to be used, by the applicant.
(d) 
The new antenna(s) and equipment do not pose any technical or radio frequency interference with existing equipment.
(e) 
The applicant must identify its policy for municipal communication need such as police, fire, EMS and other municipal needs.
(f) 
The new antenna(s) and equipment must meet all permit requirements.
(2) 
The applicant will describe the type of backhaul network, if any, to be utilized to connect communication facilities to one another, as well as provide a description of the backhaul network, identifying the entity providing the service to the communication tower and/or similar facility and describing the location of the lines providing such service. Such description shall include information sufficient for the Town of Lewiston to determine whether any portion of the backhaul network is within the Town's right-of-way and describing where the lines providing service to the communication tower and/or similar facility cross the Town's right-of-way.
(3) 
The applicant shall provide a structural analysis verifying the ability of the communication tower, building or structure to handle the antenna.
C. 
Equipment cabinets or structure usage.
(1) 
Equipment cabinets or structures used in association with antennas mounted on structures or rooftops shall comply with the following:
(a) 
The cabinet or structure shall not contain more than 300 square feet of gross floor area or no more than 12 feet in height. In addition, for buildings and structures which are less than 65 feet in height, the related unmanned equipment structure, if over 300 square feet of gross floor area or 12 feet in height, pursuant to an area variance granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Lewiston, shall be located on the ground and shall not be located on the roof of the structure.
(b) 
If the equipment structure is located on the roof of a building, the area of the equipment structure and other equipment and structures shall not occupy more than 25% of the roof area.
(c) 
Equipment storage buildings or cabinets shall comply with all applicable building codes.
(2) 
The equipment cabinet or structure used in association with antennas mounted on utility poles or light poles shall be located in accordance with the following:
(a) 
In residential districts, the equipment cabinet or structure may be located:
[1] 
In a side yard, provided that the cabinet or structure is no greater than three feet in height or 16 square feet of gross floor area and the cabinet/structure is located in a minimum of two feet from all lot lines. The cabinet/structure shall be screened with a forty-two-inch evergreen hedge with an ultimate height of at least 42 to 48 inches and a planted height of at least 36 inches.
[2] 
In a rear yard, provided that the cabinet/structure is no greater than 12 feet in height or 140 square feet in gross floor area. The cabinet/structure shall be screened by an evergreen hedge with an ultimate height of at least six feet and a planted height of at least 36 inches.
(b) 
In all other zoning districts, the equipment cabinet/structure shall be no greater than 12 feet in height or 300 square feet in gross floor area. The cabinet/structure shall be screened by an evergreen hedge with an ultimate height of at least six feet. In all other instances, structures/cabinets shall be screened from view of all residential properties which abut or are directly across the street from the structure/cabinet by an evergreen hedge with an ultimate height of eight feet and a planted height of at least 36 inches or by a solid fence six feet in height if a hedge is not suitable.
D. 
Special conditions/restrictions. The applicant must supply or assure the following:
(1) 
The applicant must supply evidence that the property owner is aware of a commensurate reassessment of land value.
(2) 
The Town Code Enforcement Officer or his/her designee shall be granted access to the tower site at reasonable times for the purpose of making inspections to determine that the facility complies with the conditions and restrictions of the special permit and other provisions of the ordinances of the Town.
(3) 
Communications antennas of the Town shall be permitted to be installed on the pole/tower by the company at the company's expense.
(4) 
The project will not create any measurable increase in traffic. The project requires only occasional routine maintenance after construction.
(5) 
No water or sewer services will need to be extended to the site to service the project. The project will not affect existing patterns of population concentration, distribution or growth.
(6) 
The project will not create any adverse change in existing air quality, water quality or noise levels. Noise-producing equipment shall be sited and/or insulated to minimize noise impacts on adjacent properties. The project will not create any adverse change in existing solid waste production nor potential for erosion, nor promote flooding or drainage problems. The project will produce minimal disturbance of soil and vegetation, with minimal stormwater run-off.
(7) 
Any addition to the original tower/pole or equipment shelter shall require a new application from the Town Planning Board. Furthermore, should the tower collapse, it may not be replaced without prior approval by the Town Planning and Zoning Board.
(8) 
Any structure to be erected on the premises in addition to the communication tower/pole and equipment shelter shall require Town permit.
(9) 
Only excess soil may be removed from the site. Upon completion of site work, the Town Building Inspector will inspect the site and issue a certificate of compliance.
(10) 
The company will send courtesy letters to the local Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard flying units at the Niagara Falls International Airport notifying them of the tower/pole construction. A similar letter will be addressed to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Copies of all correspondence will be sent to the Town Building Department.
(11) 
When the applicant files its annual request for renewal of the permit, the applicant shall provide a copy of the most recent annual inspection report documenting required annual inspection by the company's designated personnel. Said report shall be provided to the Town Code Enforcement Officer.
(12) 
The applicant shall make space and power available for two public safety antennas on the tower and suitable space not to exceed two feet by two feet within the accessory building for necessary receiver/repeater equipment, should it ever be needed. Said equipment shall not interfere with existing operations.
(13) 
The applicant shall notify the Town of Lewiston at the same time he notifies the FCC of the decommission of the site.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original Subsection D(13), which provided a listing of Town officers and departments receiving cell phone services free of charge, was repealed 4-14-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998. This local law also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection D(14) through D(17) as D(13) through D(16), respectively.
(14) 
A communication tower and/or similar facility will not be permitted in state or federally regulated wetlands.
(15) 
No communications tower and/or similar facility shall be permitted in Bond's Lake Park or anywhere along the escarpment between the forty-foot to sixty-foot elevations as shown on the Topographic Landplan contained in the Town of Lewiston Natural Processes Report, dated March 3, 1976. Above the six-hundred-foot elevation level, an escarpment setback is required with a ratio of 100 to 1, setback distance to tower height.
(16) 
No communications towers and/or similar facilities shall be permitted within visual obstruction of or which interfere with or detract from designated historical districts, historical landmarks or historical sites and features such as particularly attractive views as shown on the Site and Historical Features Landplan also continued in the above referenced Natural Processes report.
E. 
Franchises.
(1) 
Owners and/or operators, lessors and/or collocators of telecommunications, television, radio, wind energy conversion and/or similar facilities shall certify that all franchises and licenses required by law by any governmental entity, including the Town of Lewiston, now or in the future, for the construction and/or operation of a wireless communication system in the Town of Lewiston have been obtained and shall file a copy of all required franchises and licenses with the supervising Building Inspector.
(2) 
An annual statement of gross operating revenue, resulting from operation of the franchise in the Town of Lewiston, shall be filed with the Town. A franchise use tax of 3% of this gross operating revenue (or such other percent as may be determined by the Town Board) shall be paid to the Town of Lewiston if such franchise operation is conducted in whole or in part on any Town of Lewiston rights-of-way.
F. 
Sale, lease or sublease of telecommunication facilities.
(1) 
Preexisting towers which do not conform to this chapter shall not be granted a transferable permit unless they are brought up to code.
(2) 
No applicant will lease or sublease any approved communication towers and/or similar facilities without the Town's written consent which will not be unreasonably withheld.
(3) 
Any lease or sublease between the applicant and the landowner shall be subject to review and approval of the Town Board to ensure that it is consistent with this chapter.
(4) 
An annual use tax of 10% of the revenue generated by leasing or subleasing will be paid to the Town of Lewiston.
(5) 
Any lessor of real property for communication towers and/or similar facilities, and any holder of a special use permit for such a facility, is obligated to respond to an inquiry from the Town Board concerning the availability of the site for collocation.
(6) 
The applicant must submit a letter of intent stating whether the applicant intends to lease excess space on the facility to other potential users at reasonable rental rates and on reasonable terms. The Planning Board, followed by the Town Board, may modify this condition if the facility is attached to an existing structure. The letter shall require the facility owner and successors in interest to do the following:
(a) 
Respond in a timely, comprehensive manner to a request for information.
(b) 
Negotiate in good faith for shared use by third parties.
(c) 
Allow shared use if, an applicant agrees, in writing to pay reasonable rental charges or other consideration and to pay all costs of adapting the facility or existing users' equipment to accommodate a shared user without causing uneconomically correctable electromagnetic interference or causing electromagnetic radiation in excess of levels set by federal regulations and can otherwise agree on reasonable business terms and conditions for shared use of the facility.
(d) 
Respond to inquiries for shared use with the information required herein.
(7) 
All lessees, sublessees or operators of communication towers and/or similar facilities, other than the applicant, who use or operate any approved facilities shall, as a condition of said use, agree, in writing, to be bound by the provisions of any existing tower permit and site plan approval.
G. 
Application materials.
(1) 
The following application materials are supplied to the applicant by the Town of Lewiston:
(a) 
A tower permit application form (special use application form required for towers over 100 feet).
(b) 
An environmental assessment form (long form).
(c) 
A visual environmental assessment form (Appendix to SEQR, 6 NYCRR Part 617). The applicant will include a landscaping plan with attention to visibility from key viewpoints.
(d) 
A site plan review application form (must meet all visual impact requirements). (See visual impact requirements.)
(2) 
The site plan, in the form and content acceptable to the Town, prepared to a scale of one inch equals 50 feet and in sufficient detail and accuracy, will show at a minimum:
(a) 
The exact location of the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility (if necessary, location of guy wires and guy anchors), including surveyed boundaries of the leased or owned property upon which the communication tower and/or similar facility is located.
(b) 
Construction drawings showing the details of the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility.
(c) 
The location of all structures on the property and all structures on any adjacent property within 100 feet of the property lines, together with the distance of these structures to the tower and the distance of the tower from all property lines and public roads or rights-of-way.
(d) 
Proof of the landowner's consent if the applicant does not own or will not own the property, together with a copy of the lease agreement.
(e) 
The maximum height of the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility.
(f) 
The location, type and intensity of the lighting located on the tower. (Towers should be designed and sited so as to avoid, whenever possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements. Towers shall not be artificially lighted except as required by the FAA. Any lighting which may be required by the FAA shall not consist of strobe lights, unless specifically mandated by the FAA.)
(g) 
The location, nature and extent of any proposed fencing, landscaping, screening and buffering to be constructed around or in conjunction with the communication tower and/or similar facility to the tower.
(h) 
The location and nature of proposed utility easements and access road(s).
(i) 
The building elevation of accessory structures or facilities or utility service facilities.
(j) 
The location and nature of any power generators existing or to be constructed in connection with a proposed communication tower and/or similar facility.
(k) 
All other uses ancillary to the antenna and associated equipment (including but not limited to a business office, maintenance depot, vehicle storage, etc.) are prohibited from the site unless otherwise permitted in the zoning district in which the communication tower and/or similar facility is located.
(l) 
An inventory of the company's existing communication towers and/or similar facilities and sites approved for communication towers and/or similar facilities that are within the jurisdiction of the Town of Lewiston and within one mile of the border thereof, including detailed information about the location, height and design of each communication tower and/or similar facility.
(m) 
The names and mailing addresses of all landowners who own land adjacent to the property upon which the tower will be placed as well as those nonadjacent landowners who own land within the one-hundred-percent clear zone.
(n) 
A search ring prepared by a qualified radio frequency engineer and overlaid on an appropriate background map demonstrating the area within which the communication tower and/or similar facility needs to be located in order to provide proper signal strength and coverage to the target cell. The applicant must be prepared to explain to the Planning Board why it selected the proposed site, discuss the availability or lack of availability of suitable existing structures within the search ring which would have allowed for collocated antenna(s) and to what extent the applicant explored locating the proposed tower in a nonresidential use district.
(o) 
Provide technical information, documentation and data to show what efforts have been made to establish grid systems identical, or similar technology, that may preexist within the Town of Lewiston, or may already be operating within the Town of Lewiston.
(p) 
The applicant will provide a certified statement prepared by a licensed professional engineer stating the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility will have no adverse impact on air or surface traffic within 1/2 mile of the tower.
(q) 
The applicant will provide a certified statement prepared by a licensed professional engineer stating the reception and/or transmission functions of the communication tower and/or similar facility as well as the communication tower and/or similar facility itself will not interfere with the usual and customary transmission or reception of radio, television, etc., services of adjacent properties.
(r) 
The applicant will provide an initial propagation study prepared by a licensed professional engineer.
(s) 
The applicant will provide engineering data for wind resistance and proof that the proposed communications tower and/or similar facility is adequately suited to withstand prevailing and/or seasonal high winds.
(t) 
The applicant will provide the Building Inspector and the Town Engineer with the name or names of the contact person, locally or nearby offices, of the applicant for emergency contact.
A. 
Review of application.
(1) 
The application will be reviewed and analyzed at the applicant's expense by the following:
(a) 
The Town of Lewiston Building Inspector/Zoning Review.
(b) 
The Town of Lewiston Engineer.
(c) 
The Town of Lewiston Environmental Officer.
(d) 
The Town of Lewiston Attorney.
(e) 
The Town of Lewiston Planning Board.
(f) 
The Town of Lewiston Town Board.
(g) 
The Environmental Commission.
(h) 
This Historical Preservation Committee.
(i) 
An independent, third-party review by an appropriately competent New-York-State-licensed engineer(s), as may be retained by the Town of Lewiston.
(2) 
Should application uncertainties warrant a third-party review, this review will be conducted at the applicant's expense. That part of any application which does not meet the area or measurement restrictions or regulations of this chapter or code will be referred to the Town Board.
B. 
After construction of a communication tower and/or similar facility, the owner, at his expense, shall provide proof of inspection of the facility for structural integrity every two years (unless otherwise preempted by federal or state law).
(1) 
A copy of the report shall be promptly delivered to the Town Building Inspector. The structural inspection shall be performed by a New-York-State-licensed professional engineer specializing in structural engineering. The structural inspection report shall describe the structural integrity of the facility, maintenance issues and repairs needed or made, if any.
(2) 
In the event that the structural inspections indicate structural deficiencies, the deficiencies must be remedied within the time reasonably set by the Building Inspector. Upon the applicant's failure to do so, the permit may be revoked.
C. 
Alternate site.
(1) 
If, during a Town review of a selected site, the applicant chooses an alternative site, the applicant will also conform with the following:
(a) 
Application fees mentioned will also be required for the final selected site to cover the Town's costs involved in a review of said final selected site.
(b) 
Any request by the Town for information or technical analysis on a preferred alternate site shall be provided by the applicant at the applicant's expense and shall not unreasonably delay the application.
(2) 
In the event that an alternate site is requested by the Town Board to better fit the community, any additional application fees will be waived.
D. 
Upon referral by the Environmental Commission, a proposed communication tower and/or similar facility application is approved by the Town Board, the applicant shall obtain a building permit within six months of the approval and the project shall be completed within six months of issuance of the building permit.
E. 
All communication towers and/or similar facilities shall be constructed in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations and maintained in good order and repair.
F. 
The applicant must comply with all applicable state and federal regulations.
G. 
Security bond, continued maintenance and removal procedures are as follows:
(1) 
The applicant, at the time of obtaining a building permit, must provide a financial security bond for the construction, maintenance and dismantling of the facility with the Town of Lewiston as assignee, in an amount to be determined by the Town Engineer and subject to renewal at five-year intervals.
[Amended 4-14-1998 by L.L. No. 1-1998]
(2) 
The applicant shall further agree to continually renew the bond through the lifetime of the communication tower and/or similar facility. The sufficiency of the tower removal bond shall be confirmed at least every five years by an analysis of the cost of removal and property restoration performed by a New York State licensed professional engineer, retained by the facility owner and/or operator(s). The results of such analysis shall be communicated to the Town Building Inspector. If the bond amount in force is insufficient to cover the costs of removal of the tower, etc., it shall be immediately increased to cover such amount.
(3) 
The communication tower, antenna(e), support system and surrounding grounds shall be kept neat and in an orderly condition. It shall be the affirmative duty of the applicant, its successor, assignee, grantee or transferee to make all repairs and maintenance necessary to make the telecommunications facilities and surroundings safe, secure and visually compliant with the Code and the Town Board's conditions and terms of approval, subjected to the Town's Building Inspector.
(4) 
The applicant shall be required to sign an agreement with the Town of Lewiston whereby the applicant agrees to remove communication tower and/or similar facility accessory structures and other improvements if the communication tower and/or similar facility becomes technically obsolete or ceases to be used for its original intended purpose for twelve consecutive months.
A. 
The applicant will conduct a visual impact study which provides the following:
(1) 
Realistic graphic views to scale from 1,500 feet away from the north, south, east and west and all natural and man-made features and structures within those views, including the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility and other improvements to be made.
(2) 
A statement as to the potential visual and aesthetic impacts of the proposed tower on all adjacent residential zoning districts.
B. 
The visual impact analysis shall be prepared and sealed by an engineer or landscape architect registered in the State of New York.
C. 
Careful design, siting, landscaping and screening are required. Innovative camouflaging techniques will be required where feasible.
D. 
The Lewiston Town Board may express a preference that the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility be located in a higher intensity use district or on higher intensity use property, provided that there is a technologically feasible and available location. A guideline for the Lewiston Town Board's preference, from most favorable to least favorable districts/property, is as follows:
(1) 
Property with existing structure suitable for collocation.
(2) 
Municipal- or government-owned property.
(3) 
Property located in the B (Business) District.
(4) 
Property located in the I12 Zone (Industrial) District.
(5) 
Property located in the I11 Zone (Industrial with housing permitted) District.
(6) 
Property located in the RR1 Zone (Rural Residential) district.
(7) 
Property located in the PD Zone (Planned Development) District.
(8) 
Property located in the R2 Zone (two-family) district.
(9) 
Property located in the R1S Zone (one-family special) District.
(10) 
Property located in the R1, R1A, R1B, R1C, R1D or R1E Zone Districts.
E. 
The facility shall be separated from residential dwellings by a distance of 500 feet. The Town Board may modify this condition if the communication tower and/or similar facility is attached to an existing structure, or if an easement or other agreement with the concerned property owners has been reached, or for other satisfactory reasons.
F. 
Any communication tower and/or similar facility shall be constructed and designed to have the least practical visual impact on the area within reasonable proximity to the tower, antenna(s) or accessory facility. In order to minimize any adverse aesthetic effect on neighboring residences to the extent possible, the Planning Board and/or the Town Board may impose reasonable restrictions and/or conditions on the applicant, including but not limited to the following:
(1) 
Height. Determining adverse impact upon the community will be best mitigated by requiring the applicant to construct multiple towers of lower height at several different locations to meet the applicant's demonstrated service coverage requirement(s). Tower height will be reduced in the future if the applicant is unable to demonstrate a continuing need for the approved height in light of changes in the applicant's service coverage needs or technological advances.
(2) 
Design. The Board may require a monopole or guyed tower (if sufficient land is available to the applicant) instead of a freestanding tower. Lattice towers are not permitted. Monopoles are a preferred design.
(3) 
Lighting. Communication towers and/or similar facilities should be designed and sited so as to avoid, whenever possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements. Communication towers and/or similar facilities shall be of a nonreflective finish; color subject to Board approval, unless otherwise required by the FAA or the Town. Any lights which may be required by the FAA or the Town shall not consist of strobe lights unless specifically mandated by the FAA. The Town may require lights to be shielded to minimize ground visual impact.
(4) 
Color. Towers shall be galvanized finish unless otherwise required by the FAA. The Town Board may require a pattern of colors depending on the proposed location and its visual impact.
(5) 
Advertising. No tower shall contain any signs or advertising devices.
(6) 
Landscaping. The following requirements shall govern the landscaping surrounding communication towers and/or similar facilities for which a special use permit is required:
(a) 
Communication towers and/or similar facilities shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant material that effectively screens the view of the tower compound from property used for residences. The standard buffer shall consist of two lines of evergreen trees having a minimum height of six feet each planted 10 feet apart. The first such line will be located 10 feet outside any required fence around a permitted tower and if applicable, around the fencing at the base of the guyed wires. The second row of evergreens will be located 25 feet outside the above mentioned fence, with the spacing staggered from the first row such that the trees will appear from a distance to be five feet apart.
(b) 
The Town Board may require additional trees to be planted in those yards of residents directly impacted by the visual aspect of the communication towers and/or similar facilities.
(c) 
In locations where the visual impact of the tower would be minimal, the landscaping requirement may be reduced or waived.
(d) 
The Town Board may also require additional off-site mitigation to alleviate problems created by the tower and/or similar facility (i.e., noise, traffic dust from access roads, etc.). Any such mitigation costs will be the responsibility of the telecommunications company.
(e) 
Existing mature tree growth and natural land forms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. In some cases, such as communication towers and/or similar facilities sited on large, wooded lots, natural growth around the property perimeter may be a sufficient buffer. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible, and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at the height of four feet off the ground) shall take place prior to approval of the special permit use. Clearcutting of all trees in a single contiguous area exceeding 20,000 square feet is prohibited.
(f) 
Required landscaping around communication towers and/or similar facilities shall be maintained at all times. Dead trees shall be replaced within 90 days with similar sized trees, regardless of height, if possible. Property shall be mowed regularly to a height of six inches or less twice per month during the growing season in conformance with the surrounding area.
G. 
Under no circumstance shall new communication towers and/or similar facilities be permitted in designated conservation areas unless they are to be collocated on existing tower facilities.
A. 
State and federal requirements. All telecommunication towers, radio and television towers, wind energy conversion towers and arrays and/or similar facilities must meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the state or federal government with the authority to regulate towers and antennas. If such standards and regulations are changed, then the owners of the communication towers and/or similar facilities governed by this chapter shall bring such communication towers and/or similar facilities into compliance with such revised standards and regulations within six months of the effective date of such standards and regulations, unless a different compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling state or federal agency. Failure to bring communication towers and/or similar facilities into compliance with such revised standards and regulations shall constitute grounds for the removal of the communication towers and/or similar facilities at the owner's expense.
B. 
Radio frequencies and monitoring effects.
(1) 
The Planning Board and/or Town Board shall impose a condition on the applicant that the communication tower and/or similar facility will be operated only at Federal Communication Commission (FCC) designated frequencies and power levels and/or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) technical exposure limits and may periodically require that the applicant provide competent documentation by maintaining, at a minimum, a log of power output, receiver sensitivity and other such pertinent data to support that maximum allowable frequencies, power levels, frequency drift and exposure limits for radiation will not be exceeded. Unless otherwise preempted by federal or state law, the communication towers and/or similar facilities shall be inspected every two years at the applicant's expense for radio emissions. A report showing proof of compliance with FCC and FAA regulations, NIER levels and EMF standards shall be promptly delivered to the Town Building Inspector.
(2) 
Radio emission inspection shall be performed by a New-York-State-licensed professional engineer specializing in electrical engineering with expertise in radio communication facilities or equivalent. The radio emission inspection shall describe the power density levels of the electromagnetic energy generated from the facility, including cumulative effects of collocated communication towers and/or similar facilities. In the event that the radio emission inspection indicates that the electromagnetic energy generated from the facility is above allowable limits stated within applicable FCC or ANSI standards or other applicable federal or state guidelines in effect at the time of the inspection, the applicant shall have 90 days in which to come into compliance until such time as it proves to the satisfaction of the Town Building Inspector that the power density levels of the electromagnetic energy to be generated at the facility is below the applicable standards.
(3) 
The New-York-State-licensed professional engineer will prepare a report and convey his findings to the Town Building Inspector.
(4) 
Before and after propagation studies will be prepared by a qualified radio frequency engineer demonstrating existing signal coverage, contrasted with the proposed signal coverage resulting from the proposed communication tower and/or similar facility.
(5) 
Upon request of the Town of Lewiston, but not more frequently than once per year, any person issued a permit shall submit an updated safety analysis to ensure that the electromagnetic radiation exposure and emissions surrounding the site do not exceed applicable federal standards and continue to meet such standards. Such analysis shall be prepared by a qualified electromagnetic engineering specialist or health professional qualified to conduct such an analysis.
A. 
The Board may require appropriate signage placed at the base of the facility indicating ownership of the facility and phone numbers to call in case of emergency.
B. 
A well constructed masonry or stone wall or chain link fence, not less than eight feet in height from finished grade, shall be provided around each antenna and/or tower and shall also be equipped with an anticlimbing device to prevent unauthorized access and vandalism. There shall be no permanent climbing pegs within 30 feet of the ground on any tower.
C. 
No barbed wire shall be used in residential areas.
D. 
Access to the tower shall be through a locked gate, design to be approved by the Town of Lewiston Building Inspector and Town Engineer.
E. 
The Town Board and/or Planning Board shall have the authority to impose such other reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Lewiston regarding the location, construction, maintenance, design and removal of a proposed communication tower and/or similar facility and its special use or site plan.
A. 
Restoration of improvements; maintenance.
(1) 
Upon completion of any construction work the applicant shall promptly repair any and all public improvements, fixtures, structures and facilities in the public ways damaged during the course of construction, restoring the same as nearly as practicable to its condition before the start of construction.
(2) 
An access road and parking shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Road construction shall be a good, solid base with a crushed stone, high-quality erosion-resistant surface and of such width as is determined by the Planning Board. There shall be at least one parking space available (subject to Town of Lewiston Highway Superintendent approval).
(3) 
The vehicular access to the equipment building and tower shall be provided and maintained by the applicant. A road turnaround and one parking space of sufficient width and thickness shall be provided to assure adequate space for emergency vehicles.
B. 
Exemptions. The following telecommunication facilities are exempted from this chapter:
(1) 
Fire, police and other emergency dispatch services where telecommunication facilities are less than 50 feet above the ground, if originating from the ground, or are less than 25 feet above the average roof line, if originating from the roof of a building.
(2) 
Nonbusiness wind energy conversion systems, television or radio reception, private citizens' bands, amateur radio, and other similar communication systems which do not exceed 50 feet above the ground, if originating on the ground, or which do not exceed 25 feet from the average roof line, if originating on the roof.
(3) 
"Nonbusiness" means a use for which money, property or something of value is not charged, earned or received by the owner, operator, lessee or person(s) in control of the telecommunication facility.
C. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the zoning and planning powers granted to the Town under applicable law. In the event of any violation of this chapter or any permit(s) issued thereunder, the Town may seek enforcement under any available authority.
(2) 
Any facility receiving a tower special permit or site plan approval that subsequently does not meet the requirements and/or conditions of that permit or approval shall have its permit or approval revoked, and the tower and other facilities shall be removed within 90 days of notification by the Town.
(3) 
The Planning Board shall have the authority to impose such other reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Lewiston regarding the location, construction, maintenance, design and removal of a proposed communication tower and its special use or site plan.
(4) 
The Zoning Board may waive or vary any requirements in this chapter for good cause shown.
D. 
Severability. If any section(s), subsections, clause(s), phrase(s) or portion(s) of this chapter is (are) for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion(s) shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
E. 
Further, this chapter supersedes all laws or ordinances or parts thereof of ordinances prior hereto which are in conflict wherewith to the extent of such conflict.
F. 
This chapter shall take effect immediately.