City of Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 9-13-2016 by Ord. No. 9-2016]
A. 
Purposes and findings of fact.
(1) 
The purpose of this section is to establish uniform standards for the siting, design, permitting, maintenance, and use of wireless communications facilities in the City of Lancaster (referred to herein as the "City"). While the City recognizes the importance of wireless communications facilities in providing high-quality communications service to its residents and businesses, the City also recognizes that it has an obligation to promote public safety and to minimize the adverse visual effects of such facilities through the standards set forth in the following provisions.
(2) 
By enacting these provisions, the City intends to:
(a) 
Accommodate the need for wireless communications facilities while regulating their location and number so as to ensure the provision of necessary services;
(b) 
Provide for the managed development of wireless communications facilities in a manner that enhances the benefits of wireless communication and accommodates the needs of both City residents and wireless carriers in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations;
(c) 
Establish procedures for the design, siting, construction, installation, maintenance and removal of both telecommunications towers and telecommunications antennas in the City, including facilities both inside and outside the public rights-of-way;
(d) 
Address new wireless technologies, including but not limited to distributed antenna systems, data collection units, and other wireless communications facilities;
(e) 
Minimize the adverse visual effects and the number of such facilities through proper design, siting, screening, material, color and finish and by requiring that competing providers of wireless communications services co-locate their telecommunications antenna and related facilities on existing towers or infrastructure; and
(f) 
Promote the health, safety and welfare of the City's residents.
The following definitions are included and utilized in this article:
APPLICANT
Any entity or person that applies for a wireless communications facility building permit, zoning approval and/or permission to use the public right-of-way, City-owned land, or other property.
CO-LOCATION
The mounting of one or more telecommunications antennas on an existing telecommunications tower or on any structure that has been approved by the City to support at least one telecommunications antenna.
EMERGENCY
A condition that:
A. 
Constitutes a clear and immediate danger to the health, welfare, or safety of the public; or
B. 
Has caused or is likely to cause facilities in the rights-of-way to be unusable and result in loss of the services provided.
FCC
Federal Communications Commission.
HEIGHT OF A TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
The vertical distance measured from the ground level, including any base pad, to the highest point on a telecommunications tower, including telecommunications antennas mounted on the tower and any other appurtenances.
RELATED EQUIPMENT
Any piece of equipment related to, incidental to, or necessary for the operation of a telecommunications tower or telecommunications antenna. By way of illustration, not limitation, "related equipment" includes generators and base stations.
SMALL WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
A wireless communications facility that meets the following criteria:
[Added 6-25-2019 by Ord. No. 10-2019]
A. 
The structure on which antenna facilities are mounted is 50 feet or less in height, or is no more than 10% taller than other adjacent structures, or is not extended to a height of more than 50 feet or by more than 10% above its preexisting height as a result of the collocation of new antenna facilities; and
B. 
Each antenna associated with the deployment (excluding the associated equipment) is no more than three cubic feet in volume; and
C. 
All antenna equipment associated with the facility (excluding antennas) are cumulatively no more than 28 cubic feet in volume.
STEALTH TECHNOLOGY
Camouflaging methods applied to wireless communications facilities which render them more visually appealing or blend the proposed facility into the existing structure or visual backdrop in such a manner as to render it minimally visible to the casual observer. Such methods include, but are not limited to, architecturally screened roof-mounted antennas, building-mounted antennas painted to match the existing structure and facilities constructed to resemble trees, shrubs, flagpoles, and light poles.
SUBSTANTIALLY CHANGE or SUBSTANTIAL CHANGE
A modification to an existing wireless communications facility that changes the physical dimensions of a telecommunications tower or base station if it meets any of the following criteria:
A. 
For a telecommunications tower outside the public rights-of-way:
(1) 
It increases the height of the facility by more than 10% or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna, not to exceed 20 feet, whichever is greater;
(2) 
It protrudes from the edge of the wireless communications facility by more than 20 feet or more than the width of the tower at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater.
B. 
For a telecommunications tower in the rights-of-way:
(1) 
It increases the height of the facility by more than 10% or 10 feet, whichever is greater;
(2) 
It protrudes from the edge of the structure by more than six feet;
(3) 
It involves installation of more than the standard number of new equipment cabinets for the technology involved, but not to exceed four cabinets;
(4) 
It entails any excavation or deployment outside the current site of the telecommunications tower; or
(5) 
It does not comply with conditions associated with prior approval of construction or modification of the telecommunications tower unless the noncompliance is due to an increase in height, increase in width, or addition of cabinets.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA
Any antenna and related equipment attached to a wireless support structure or other approved support structure. Telecommunications antennas shall not include support structures for antennas or any related equipment that is mounted to the ground or at ground level.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
Any structure that is constructed for the primary purpose of supporting one or more telecommunications antennas, including, but not limited to, self-supporting lattice towers, guy towers and monopoles. Distributed antenna system hub facilities are considered to be telecommunications towers.
WBCA
Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act (53 P.S. § 11702.1 et seq.).
WIRELESS
Transmissions through the airwaves, including, but not limited to, infrared line of sight, cellular, PCS, microwave, satellite, or radio signals.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITY (WCF)
The antennas, nodes, control boxes, towers, poles, conduits, ducts, pedestals, electronics and other equipment used for the purpose of transmitting, receiving, distributing, providing, or accommodating wireless communications services.
WIRELESS SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A freestanding structure, such as a telecommunications tower or any other support structure, that could support the placement or installation of a wireless communications facility if approved by the City.
A. 
General and specific requirements for telecommunications antennas.
(1) 
The following regulations shall apply to all telecommunications antennas, except those operated by a federally licensed amateur radio operator:
(a) 
Standard of care. All telecommunications antennas shall be designed, constructed, operated, maintained, repaired, modified and removed in strict compliance with all current applicable technical, safety and safety-related codes, including but not limited to the most recent editions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Commercial Code, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Code, and National Electrical Code. Any telecommunications antennas shall at all times be kept and maintained in good condition, order, and repair by qualified maintenance and construction personnel, so that the same shall not endanger the life of any person or any property in the City.
(b) 
Historic areas. No telecommunications antenna may be located upon any property, or on a building or structure, that is listed on either the National or the Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places, that is within the City's Local Historic District (either inside or outside the public rights-of-way), or that is deemed by the City to be an historically significant structure. All applications for telecommunications antennas that do not fall under the provisions of the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act[1] and are located in the Heritage Conservation District shall be reviewed by the City of Lancaster Historic Preservation Specialist to ensure that the stealth technology chosen for the proposed structure is appropriate and conforms to City requirements.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 11702.1 et seq.
(c) 
Wind. All telecommunications antennas structures shall be designed to withstand the effects of wind gusts of at least 100 miles per hour in addition to the standard designed by the American National Standards Institute as prepared by the engineering departments of the Electronics Industry Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/TIA-222, as amended).
(d) 
Aviation safety. Telecommunications antennas shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
(e) 
Public safety communications and other communications services. Telecommunications antennas shall not interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
(f) 
Radio frequency emissions. A telecommunications antennas shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other telecommunications antennas and/or telecommunications towers, generate radio frequency emissions in excess of the standards and regulations of the FCC, including but not limited to the FCC Office of Engineering Technology Bulletin 65 entitled "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields," as amended.
(g) 
Timing of approval. The City shall act on an application for a nontower WCF within 60 days of receiving a completed application. The City shall notify the WCF applicant in writing of its decision.
[Added 6-25-2019 by Ord. No. 10-2019[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also renumbered former Subsection A(1)(g) through (k) as Subsection A(1)(h) through (l), respectively.
(h) 
Removal. In the event that use of a telecommunications antennas is discontinued, the owner of the telecommunications antenna shall provide written notice to the City of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned telecommunications antennas, or portions of telecommunications antennas, shall be removed as follows:
[1] 
All abandoned or unused telecommunications antennas and related equipment shall be removed within two months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the City.
[2] 
If the telecommunications antenna or related equipment is not removed within two months of the cessation of operations at a site, or within any longer period approved by the City, the telecommunications antenna and/or related equipment may be removed by the City. As security, the City reserves the right to the salvage value of any removed telecommunications antenna and/or related equipment, if such telecommunications antenna and/or related equipment are not removed by the owner of such telecommunications antenna and/or related equipment within the specific time frame enumerated in this chapter.
(i) 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications antenna shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance, naming the City as an additional insured, and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence covering the telecommunications antenna.
(j) 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications antenna shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the City, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage arising in whole or in part from, caused by or connected with any act or omission of the person, its officers, agents, employees or contractors arising out of, but not limited to, the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the telecommunications antenna. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications antenna shall defend any actions or proceedings against the City in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of a telecommunications antenna. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages to persons, personal property and real estate, reasonable attorneys' fees, reasonable expert fees, court costs and all other costs of indemnification.
(k) 
Maintenance. To the extent permitted by law, the following maintenance requirements shall apply:
[1] 
The telecommunications antenna shall be fully automated and unattended on a daily basis and shall be visited only for maintenance or emergency repair.
[2] 
Such maintenance shall be performed to ensure the upkeep of the facility in order to promote the safety and security of the City's residents.
[3] 
All maintenance activities shall utilize nothing less than the best available technology for preventing failures and accidents.
(l) 
Removal, replacement and modification.
[1] 
To the extent permitted by law, the removal and replacement of telecommunications antennas and/or related equipment for the purpose of upgrading or repairing the telecommunications antenna is permitted, so long as such repair or upgrade does not substantially change the overall size of the wireless support structure or the numbers of telecommunications antennas.
[2] 
To the extent permitted by state law, any material modification to a telecommunications antenna shall require notice to be provided to the City and possible supplemental permit approval to the original permit or authorization.
(2) 
In addition to the regulations enumerated above, the following regulations shall apply to telecommunications antennas that fall under the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act:
(a) 
Permit required. Telecommunications antenna applicants proposing the modification of an existing telecommunications tower, which does not substantially change the dimensions of the existing structure, shall obtain a building permit from the City. In order to be considered for such permit, the applicant must submit a permit application to the City in accordance with applicable permit policies and procedures.
(b) 
[3]Related equipment. Ground-mounted related equipment greater than three cubic feet shall not be located within 50 feet of a lot in residential use or zoned residential.
[3]
Editor’s Note: Former Subsection A(2)(b), regarding timing of approval, was repealed 6-25-2019 by Ord. No. 10-2019. This ordinance also renumbered former Subsection A(2)(c) and (d) as Subsection A(2)(b) and (c), respectively.
(c) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a telecommunications antenna or $1,000, whichever is less.
(3) 
In addition to the regulations enumerated above, the following regulations shall apply to telecommunications antennas that do not fall under the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act:
(a) 
Prohibited on certain structures. No telecommunications antenna shall be located on single-family residences, duplexes, or townhomes.
(b) 
Retention of experts. The City may hire any consultant(s) and/or expert(s) necessary to assist the City in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the telecommunications antenna and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of these telecommunications antenna provisions. The applicant and/or owner of the telecommunications antenna shall reimburse the City for all costs of the City's consultant(s) in providing expert evaluation and consultation in connection with these activities.
(c) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a telecommunications antenna, as well as related inspection, monitoring and related costs. All such fees shall be adopted by resolution of City Council from time to time.
(d) 
Development regulations. Telecommunications antennas shall be co-located on existing wireless support structures subject to the following conditions:
[1] 
The total height of any wireless support structure and mounted telecommunications antenna shall not exceed 20 feet above the maximum height permitted in the underlying zoning district.
[2] 
In accordance with industry standards, all telecommunications antenna applicants must submit documentation to the City justifying the total height of the telecommunications antenna. Such documentation shall be analyzed in the context of such justification on an individual basis.
[3] 
If the applicant proposes to locate the related equipment in a separate building, the building shall comply with the minimum requirements for the applicable zoning district, landscaping shall be required to screen as much of the equipment building as possible and the building shall comply with all the City of Lancaster requirements, including stormwater. An evergreen screen shall surround the site. The evergreen screen shall be a minimum height of six feet at planting and shall not exceed 10 feet on center.
(e) 
A security fence with a maximum height of eight feet shall surround any separate communications equipment building. Vehicular access to the communications equipment building, or any structure housing related equipment, shall not interfere with the parking or vehicular circulations on the site for the principal use.
(f) 
Noncommercial usage exemption. City residents utilizing satellite dishes and antennas for the purpose of maintaining television, phone, radio and/or Internet connections at their respective residences shall be exempt from the regulations enumerated in this section of the Zoning Ordinance. Amateur radio operators are exempt from the regulations enumerated in this article.
(g) 
Design regulations. Telecommunications antennas shall employ stealth technology and be treated to match the wireless support structure in order to minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City. In the Heritage Conservation District, the City Historic Preservation Specialist shall review all proposed telecommunications antennas in order to ensure that the type of stealth technology is appropriate.
(h) 
Inspection. The City reserves the right to inspect any telecommunications antenna to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and any other provisions found within the City Code or state or federal law. The City and/or its agents shall have the authority to enter the property upon which a telecommunications antenna is located at any time, upon reasonable notice to the operator, to ensure such compliance.
(4) 
Regulations applicable to all telecommunications antennas located in the public rights-of-way. In addition to the regulations enumerated above, the following regulations shall apply to telecommunications antennas located in the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
Co-location. Telecommunications antennas in the ROW shall be co-located on existing poles, such as existing utility poles or light poles. If co-location is not technologically feasible, the applicant, with the City's approval, shall locate its telecommunications antennas on existing poles or freestanding structures that do not already act as wireless support structures.
(b) 
Special exception approval required. Any applicant proposing the construction of a new telecommunications antenna or modification of an existing telecommunications antenna shall first obtain special exception authorization from the City. New constructions, modifications, and replacements that fall under the WBCA or the applicable provisions of the FCC's October 2014 Report and Order shall be not be subject to the special exception process. The special exception application, and accompanying documentation, shall demonstrate that the proposed facility complies with all applicable provisions in the City's Zoning Ordinance.
(c) 
Design requirements:
[1] 
Telecommunications antenna installations located above the surface grade in the public ROW, including, but not limited to, those on streetlights and utility poles, shall consist of equipment components that are no more than six feet in height and that are compatible in scale and proportion to the structures upon which they are mounted. All equipment shall be the smallest and least visibly intrusive equipment feasible.
[2] 
Telecommunications antennas and related equipment shall be treated with stealth technology by the telecommunications antenna owner or applicant to match the wireless support structure and may be required to be painted, or otherwise coated, to be visually compatible with the support structure upon which they are mounted.
(d) 
Time, place and manner. The City shall determine the time, place and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all telecommunications antennas in the ROW based on public safety, traffic management, physical burden on the ROW, and related considerations. For public utilities, the time, place and manner requirements shall be consistent with the police powers of the City and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.
(e) 
Equipment location. Telecommunications antennas and related equipment shall be located so as not to cause any physical or visual obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or to otherwise create safety hazards to pedestrians and/or motorists or to otherwise inconvenience public use of the ROW as determined by the City. In addition:
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment shall be located between the sidewalk and the curb. For reasons of safety and aesthetics, such equipment shall neither protrude onto the curb nor obstruct the sidewalk.
[2] 
Ground-mounted related equipment that cannot be placed underground shall be screened, to the fullest extent possible, through the use of landscaping or other decorative features to the satisfaction of the City.
[3] 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area to the satisfaction of the City.
[4] 
Any graffiti on any wireless support structures or any related equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner.
[5] 
Any proposed underground vault related to telecommunications antennas shall be reviewed and is subject to approval by the City.
(f) 
Relocation or removal of facilities. Within two months following written notice from the City, or such longer period as the City determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, the owner of a telecommunications antenna in the ROW shall, at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any telecommunications antenna when the City, consistent with its police powers and applicable Public Utility Commission regulations, shall have determined that such removal, relocation, change or alteration is reasonably necessary under the following circumstances:
[1] 
The construction, repair, maintenance or installation of any City or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
[2] 
The operations of the City or other governmental entity in the right-of-way;
[3] 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
[4] 
An emergency as determined by the City.
B. 
General and specific requirements for all telecommunications towers.
(1) 
The following regulations shall apply to all telecommunications towers, excluding any telecommunications tower that is owned and operated by a federally licensed amateur radio operator:
(a) 
Standard of care. Any telecommunications towers shall be designed, constructed, operated, maintained, repaired, modified and removed in strict compliance with all current applicable technical, safety and safety-related codes, including but not limited to the most recent editions of the Pennsylvania Uniform Commercial Code, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Code, Electrical Code, as well as the accepted and responsible workmanlike industry practices of the National Association of Tower Erectors. Any telecommunications towers shall at all times be kept and maintained in good condition, order and repair by qualified maintenance and construction personnel, so that the same shall not endanger the life of any person or any property in the City.
(b) 
Notice. Upon submission of an application for a telecommunications tower and the scheduling of the mandatory hearing in front of the City Zoning Hearing Board, the applicant shall mail notice to all owners of every property within 500 feet of the proposed facility. The applicant shall provide proof of the notification to the City.
(c) 
Special exception authorization required. Telecommunications towers are permitted by special exception in all districts, at a height necessary to satisfy their function in the applicant's wireless communications system. No applicant shall have the right under these regulations to erect a tower to the maximum height specified in this section unless it proves the necessity for such height. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed telecommunications tower is the minimum height necessary for its service area.
[1] 
Prior to the City Zoning Hearing Board's consideration of a special exception application authorizing the construction and installation of a telecommunications tower, it shall be incumbent upon the applicant for such special exception approval to prove to the reasonable satisfaction of the City Zoning Hearing Board that the applicant cannot adequately extend or infill its communications system by the use of equipment such as redoes, repeaters, telecommunications antennas, and other similar equipment installed on existing structures, such as utility poles or their appurtenances and other available tall structures. The applicant shall further demonstrate that the proposed telecommunications tower must be located where it is proposed in order to serve the applicant's service area and that no other viable alternative location exists.
[2] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by a propagation study evidencing the need for the proposed tower or other communication facilities and equipment, a description of the type and manufacturer of the proposed transmission/radio equipment, the frequency range (megahertz band) assigned to the applicant, the power in watts at which the applicant transmits, and any relevant related tests conducted by the applicant in determining the need for the proposed site and installation.
[3] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed telecommunications tower complies with all state and federal laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
[4] 
Where the telecommunications tower is located on a property with another principal use, the applicant shall present documentation to the City Zoning Hearing Board that the owner of the property has granted an easement for the proposed telecommunications tower and that vehicular access will be provided to the facility.
[5] 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed telecommunications tower complies with all applicable provisions in this section.
(d) 
Engineer inspection. Prior to the issuance of a building permit and a pole permit authorizing construction and erection of a telecommunications tower, a structural engineer registered in Pennsylvania shall issue to the City a written certification of the proposed telecommunications tower's ability to meet the structural standards offered by either the Electronic Industries Association or the Telecommunication Industry Association and certify the proper construction of the foundation and the erection of the structure. This certification shall be provided during the special exception proceedings before the City Zoning Hearing Board or, at a minimum, be made as a condition attached to any approval given such that the certification be provided prior to issuance of any building permits.
(e) 
Visual appearance. Telecommunications towers shall employ stealth technology. All telecommunications towers and related equipment shall be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the surrounding environment and shall maximize the use of a like facade to blend with the existing surroundings and neighboring buildings to the greatest extent possible. The City Zoning Hearing Board shall consider whether its decision upon the subject application will promote the harmonious and orderly development of the zoning district involved; encourage compatibility with the character and type of development existing in the area; benefit neighboring properties by preventing a negative impact on the aesthetic character of the community; preserve woodlands and trees existing at the site to the greatest possible extent; and encourage sound engineering and land development design and construction principles, practices and techniques. Any utilities extending to the telecommunications tower shall be placed underground.
(f) 
Co-location and siting. An application for a new telecommunications tower shall demonstrate that the proposed telecommunications tower cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved structure or building or on land owned by the City of Lancaster. The City Zoning Hearing Board may deny an application to construct a new telecommunications tower if the applicant has not made a good faith effort to mount the telecommunications antenna on an existing structure. The applicant shall demonstrate that it contacted the owners of tall structures, buildings, and towers within a one-quarter-of-a-mile radius of the site proposed, sought permission to install a telecommunications antenna on those structures, buildings, and towers and was denied for one of the following reasons:
[1] 
The proposed antenna and related equipment would exceed the structural capacity of the existing building, structure or tower, and its reinforcement cannot be accomplished at a reasonable cost.
[2] 
The proposed antenna and related equipment would cause radio frequency interference with other existing equipment for that existing building, structure, or tower, and the interference cannot be prevented at a reasonable cost.
[3] 
Such existing buildings, structures, or towers do not have adequate location, space, access, or height to accommodate the proposed equipment or to allow it to perform its intended function.
[4] 
A commercially reasonable agreement could not be reached with the owner of such building, structure, or tower.
(g) 
Permit required for modifications. To the extent permissible under applicable state and federal law, any applicant proposing the modification of an existing telecommunications tower, which increases the overall height of such wireless support structure, shall first obtain a building permit from the City. Nonroutine modifications shall be prohibited without such permit.
(h) 
Gap in coverage. An applicant for a telecommunications tower must demonstrate that a significant gap in wireless coverage or capacity exists in the applicable area and that the type of telecommunications tower being proposed is the least intrusive means by which to fill that gap. The existence or nonexistence of a gap in wireless coverage or capacity shall be a factor in the City Zoning Hearing Board's decision on an application for approval of a telecommunications tower.
(i) 
Additional antennas. As a condition of approval for all telecommunications towers, the WCF applicant shall provide the City with a written commitment that it will allow other service providers to co-locate telecommunications antennas on telecommunications towers where technically and economically feasible. The owner of a telecommunications tower shall not install any additional telecommunications antennas without obtaining the prior written approval of the City.
(j) 
Wind. Any telecommunications tower structures shall be designed to withstand the effects of wind gusts of at least 100 miles per hour in addition to the standard designed by the American National Standards Institute as prepared by the engineering departments of the Electronics Industry Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/EIA/TIA-222), as amended.
(k) 
Height. Any telecommunications tower shall be designed at the minimum functional height. The maximum height of any new telecommunications tower outside the public rights-of-way shall be 175 feet. Telecommunications towers in the ROW shall not exceed a height comparable to the average height of utility poles or electrical poles within a two-block radius of the proposed facility.
(l) 
Related equipment. Either one single-story wireless communications equipment building not exceeding 250 square feet in area or up to five metal boxes placed on a concrete pad not exceeding 10 feet by 20 feet in area housing the receiving and transmitting equipment may be located on the site for each unrelated company sharing space on the telecommunications tower.
(m) 
Public safety communications and other communications services. No telecommunications tower shall interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
(n) 
Maintenance. The following maintenance requirements shall apply:
[1] 
Any telecommunications tower shall be fully automated and unattended on a daily basis and shall be visited only for maintenance or emergency repair.
[2] 
Such maintenance shall be performed to ensure the upkeep of the telecommunications tower in order to promote the safety and security of the City's residents and utilize the best available technology for preventing failures and accidents.
(o) 
Radio frequency emissions. A telecommunications tower shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other telecommunications towers or telecommunications antennas, generate radio frequency emissions in excess of the standards and regulations of the FCC, including but not limited to the FCC Office of Engineering Technology Bulletin 65 entitled "Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields," as amended.
(p) 
Historic buildings or districts. No telecommunications tower may be located upon any property, or on a building or structure, that is listed on either the National or Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places, that is within the City's Local Historic District (either inside or outside the public rights-of-way), or that is deemed by the City to be an historically significant structure. All applications for proposed telecommunications towers that are to be located in the Heritage Conservation District shall be reviewed by the City of Lancaster Historic Preservation Specialist to ensure that the stealth technology chosen for the proposed structure is appropriate and conforms to City requirements.
(q) 
Signs. All telecommunications towers shall post a sign in a readily visible location identifying the name and phone number of a party to contact in the event of an emergency. The only other signage permitted on the telecommunications tower shall be those required by the FCC or any other federal or state agency.
(r) 
Lighting. No telecommunications tower shall be artificially lighted, except as required by law. If lighting is required, the applicant shall provide a detailed plan for sufficient lighting, demonstrating as unobtrusive and inoffensive an effect as is permissible under state and federal regulations. Automatic lighting is prohibited, and all lighting must be controlled manually by an on-site switch. The applicant shall promptly report any outage or malfunction of FAA-mandated lighting to the appropriate governmental authorities and to the City Manager.
(s) 
Noise. Telecommunications towers shall be operated and maintained so as not to produce noise in excess of applicable noise standards under state law and the City Code, except in emergency situations requiring the use of a backup generator, where such noise standards may be exceeded on a temporary basis only.
(t) 
Aviation safety. Telecommunications towers shall comply with all federal and state laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
(u) 
Retention of experts. The City may hire any consultant and/or expert necessary to assist the City in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the telecommunications tower and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of these provisions. The applicant and/or owner of the telecommunications tower shall reimburse the City for all costs of the City's consultant(s) in providing expert evaluation and consultation in connection with these activities.
(v) 
Timing of approval.
[Amended 6-25-2019 by Ord. No. 10-2019]
[1] 
Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a telecommunications tower is filed with the City, the City shall notify the applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. All applications for telecommunications towers shall be acted upon within 150 days of the receipt of a fully completed application for the approval of such telecommunications towers and the City shall advise the applicant in writing of its decision. If additional information was requested by the City to complete an application, the time required by the applicant to provide the information shall not be counted toward the 150-day review period.
[2] 
If the proposed tower-based WCF meets the definition of a small wireless communications facility, the application shall be acted upon by the City within 90 days of the receipt of a fully completed application for the approval of such small wireless communications facility and the City shall advise the WCF applicant in writing of its decision.
(w) 
Nonconforming uses. Nonconforming telecommunications towers which are hereafter damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause may be repaired and restored at their former location, but must otherwise comply with the terms and conditions of this section.
(x) 
Removal. In the event that use of a telecommunications tower is planned to be discontinued, the owner shall provide written notice to the City of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned telecommunications towers or portions of telecommunications towers shall be removed as follows:
[1] 
All unused or abandoned telecommunications towers and related equipment shall be removed within two months of the cessation of operations at the site unless a time extension is approved by the City.
[2] 
If the telecommunications tower and/or related equipment is not removed within two months of the cessation of operations at a site, or within any longer period approved by the City, the telecommunications tower and related equipment may be removed by the City and the cost of removal assessed against the owner of the telecommunications tower. As security, the City reserves the right to the salvage value of any removed telecommunications tower and/or related equipment, if such telecommunications tower and/or related equipment is not removed by the owner within the time frames enumerated in this chapter.
[3] 
Any unused portions of telecommunications towers, including antennas, shall be removed within two months of the time of cessation of operations. The City must approve all replacements of portions of a telecommunications tower previously removed.
(y) 
Permit fees. The City may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the City's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a telecommunications tower, as well as related inspection, monitoring, and related costs.
(z) 
FCC license. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications tower over 40 feet in height shall submit a copy of its current FCC license, including the name, address, and emergency telephone number for the operator of the facility.
(aa) 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications tower greater than 40 feet in height shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000 per occurrence covering the telecommunications tower. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications tower 40 feet or less in height shall provide the City with a certificate of insurance naming the City as an additional insured and evidencing general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence covering each telecommunications tower.
(bb) 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications tower shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the City, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage arising in whole or in part from, caused by or connected with any act or omission of the person, its officers, agents, employees or contractors arising out of, but not limited to, the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the telecommunications tower. Each person that owns or operates a telecommunications tower shall defend any actions or proceedings against the City in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of the telecommunications tower. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, reasonable expert fees, court costs and all other costs of indemnification.
(cc) 
Engineer signature. All plans and drawings for a telecommunications tower shall contain a seal and signature of a professional structural engineer, licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(dd) 
Financial security. Prior to receipt of a zoning permit for the construction or placement of a telecommunications tower, the applicant shall provide to the City financial security sufficient to guarantee the construction of the telecommunications tower. Said financial security shall remain in place until the telecommunications tower is fully constructed. Should the telecommunications tower be abandoned by the owner and/or operator and not removed within two months of such abandonment, the City shall have the authority to remove the telecommunications tower and sell all of its pieces, as well as related equipment, used in the operation of the telecommunications tower, in order to recover the cost of said removal.
(2) 
In addition to the regulations enumerated above, the following regulations shall apply to telecommunications towers located outside the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
Development regulations.
[1] 
Telecommunications towers shall not be located in or within 75 feet of an area in which all utilities are located underground.
[2] 
Telecommunications towers are permitted outside the public rights-of-way, subject to the prohibitions contained herein, in the following zoning districts:
[a] 
C3 Regional.
[b] 
CM Central Manufacturing.
[c] 
SM Suburban Manufacturing.
[3] 
Sole use on a lot. A telecommunications tower shall be permitted as a sole use on a lot, provided that the underlying lot meets the minimum size specifications set forth in the City Zoning Code.
[4] 
Combined with another use. A telecommunications tower may be permitted on a property with an existing use, or on a vacant parcel in combination with another use, except residential, subject to the following conditions:
[a] 
The existing use on the property may be any permitted use in the applicable district and need not be affiliated with the telecommunications tower.
[b] 
Minimum lot area. The minimum lot shall comply with the requirements for the applicable zoning district and shall be the area needed to accommodate the telecommunications tower and guy wires, the equipment building, security fence, and buffer planting if the proposed telecommunications towers is greater than 40 feet in height.
[c] 
Minimum setbacks. The minimum distance between the base of a telecommunications tower and any adjoining property line or street right-of-way line shall be equal to 100% of the height of the telecommunications tower. The underlying lot must be large enough to accommodate related equipment, stormwater runoff mechanisms, and all other features typically found within the immediate area of a telecommunications tower.
(b) 
Design regulations.
[1] 
The telecommunications tower shall employ the most current stealth technology available in an effort to appropriately blend into the surrounding environment and minimize aesthetic impact. Application of the stealth technology chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[2] 
To the extent permissible by law, any height extensions to an existing telecommunications tower shall require prior approval of the City.
[3] 
Any proposed telecommunications tower shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects to accommodate both the applicant's telecommunications antennas and comparable telecommunications antennas, for the maximum amount of future users based on the size of the proposed telecommunications tower.
[4] 
Any telecommunications tower over 40 feet in height shall be equipped with an anti-climbing device, as approved by the manufacturer.
(c) 
Surrounding environs.
[1] 
The applicant shall ensure that the existing vegetation, trees and shrubs located within proximity to the telecommunications tower shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
[2] 
The applicant shall submit a soil report to the City complying with the standards of Appendix I: Geotechnical Investigations, ANSI/EIA-222, as amended, to document and verify the design specifications of the foundation of the telecommunications tower and anchors for guy wires, if used.
(d) 
Fence/screen.
[1] 
A security fence with a maximum height of eight feet shall completely surround any telecommunications tower greater than 40 feet in height, as well as guy wires, or any building housing related equipment.
[2] 
The applicant shall comply with the requirements for buffer yards and screening as required by § 300-25 of the City Zoning Code, entitled "Fences, walls, and hedges."
(e) 
Related equipment.
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment associated to, or connected with, a telecommunications tower shall be placed underground or screened from public view using stealth technologies, as described herein.
[2] 
All related equipment shall be architecturally designed to blend into the environment in which it is situated and shall meet the minimum setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
(f) 
Access road. An access road, turnaround space and parking shall be provided to ensure adequate emergency and service access to telecommunications towers. The access road shall be a dust-free all-weather surface for its entire length. Maximum use of existing roads, whether public or private, shall be made to the extent practicable. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and minimize soil erosion. Where applicable, the telecommunications tower owner shall present documentation to the City that the property owner has granted an easement for the proposed facility.
(g) 
Parking. For each telecommunications tower greater than 40 feet in height, there shall be two off-street parking spaces.
(h) 
Inspection. The City reserves the right to inspect any telecommunications tower to ensure compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and any other provisions found within the City Code or state or federal law. The City and/or its agents shall have the authority to enter the property upon which a telecommunications tower is located at any time, upon reasonable notice to the operator, to ensure such compliance.
(3) 
In addition to the regulations enumerated above, the following regulations shall apply to telecommunications towers located in the public rights-of-way:
(a) 
Location and development standards.
[1] 
Telecommunications towers in the ROW shall not exceed a height comparable to the average height of utility poles or electrical poles within a two-block radius of the proposed facility. Telecommunications towers are prohibited in areas in which all utilities are located underground.
[2] 
Telecommunications towers shall not be located in the front facade area of any structure.
[3] 
Telecommunications towers shall be permitted along certain roads by special exception throughout the City, regardless of the underlying zoning district. A listing of such roads is kept on file at the City Zoning Office and is adopted via resolution of City Council.
(b) 
Time, place and manner. The City shall determine the time, place and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all telecommunications towers in the ROW based on public safety, traffic management, physical burden on the ROW, and related considerations. For public utilities, the time, place and manner requirements shall be consistent with the police powers of the City and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.
(c) 
Equipment location. Telecommunications towers and related equipment shall be located so as not to cause any physical or visual obstruction to pedestrian or vehicular traffic or to otherwise create safety hazards to pedestrians and/or motorists or to otherwise inconvenience public use of the ROW as determined by the City. In addition:
[1] 
Ground-mounted related equipment shall be located between the sidewalk and the curb. For reasons of safety and aesthetics, such equipment shall neither protrude onto the curb nor obstruct the sidewalk.
[2] 
Ground-mounted related equipment that cannot be placed underground shall be screened, to the fullest extent possible, through the use of landscaping or other decorative features to the satisfaction of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[3] 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area to the satisfaction of the City Zoning Hearing Board.
[4] 
Any graffiti on the tower or on any related equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner.
[5] 
Any underground vaults related to telecommunications towers shall be reviewed and approved by the City Zoning Hearing Board.
(d) 
Design regulations.
[1] 
The telecommunications tower shall employ the most current stealth technology available in an effort to appropriately blend into the surrounding environment and minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology chosen by the applicant shall be subject to the approval of the City Zoning Hearing Board, as well as the Historic Preservation Specialist if located in the Heritage Conservation District.
[2] 
Telecommunications towers in the public ROW shall not exceed a height comparable to the average height of utility poles or electrical poles within a two-block radius of the proposed facility.
[3] 
To the extent permissible under state and federal law, any height extensions to an existing telecommunications tower shall require prior approval of the City and shall not increase the overall height of the telecommunications towers to more than 40 feet.
[4] 
Any proposed telecommunications towers shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects to accommodate both the applicant's telecommunications antennas and comparable telecommunications antennas and the maximum amount of future users based on the size of the proposed telecommunications tower.
(e) 
Relocation or removal of facilities. Within 60 days following written notice from the City, or such longer period as the City determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, an owner of a telecommunications tower in the ROW shall, at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any telecommunications tower when the City, consistent with its police powers and applicable Public Utility Commission regulations, shall determine that such removal, relocation, change or alteration is reasonably necessary under the following circumstances:
[1] 
The construction, repair, maintenance or installation of any City or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
[2] 
The operations of the City or other governmental entity in the right-of-way;
[3] 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
[4] 
An emergency as determined by the City.
(f) 
Reimbursement for ROW Use. In addition to permit fees as described in this section, every telecommunications tower in the ROW is subject to the City's right to fix annually a fair and reasonable fee to be paid for use and occupancy of the ROW. Such compensation for ROW use shall be directly related to the City's actual ROW management costs, including, but not limited to, the costs of the administration and performance of all reviewing, inspecting, permitting, supervising and other ROW management activities by the City. The owner of each telecommunications tower shall pay an annual fee to the City to compensate the City for the City's costs incurred in connection with the activities described above.
The City, by granting any permit or taking any other action pursuant to this chapter, does not waive, reduce, lessen or impair the lawful police powers vested in the City under applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.