Township of Plainfield, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017[1]]
The purpose of this Part is to establish uniform standards for the siting, design, permitting, maintenance, and use of wireless communications facilities in Plainfield Township. While the Township recognizes the importance of wireless communications facilities in providing high-quality communications service to its residents and businesses, the Township also recognizes that it has an obligation to protect public safety and to minimize the adverse visual effects of such facilities through the standards set forth in the following provisions.
[1]
Editor's Note: Section 9, Conflict, of this ordinance provided: "Whenever the requirements of this ordinance are in conflict with other requirements of the ordinances of the Township of Plainfield, the most restrictive, or those imposing the highest standards shall govern. Privileges granted by this ordinance do not constitute a waiver or impairment of the rights of the Township at law or equity now or henceforth existing to proceed versus grantee for enforcement of the ordinance or violation of this ordinance or other ordinances of the Township."
Section 11, Repealer, of this ordinance provided: "This ordinance hereby specifically repeals Ordinance No. 276 regulating commercial communications towers, and all other Township ordinances or parts thereof, including but not limited to the Plainfield Township Zoning Ordinance, as amended, that were adopted prior to this ordinance and are in conflict with this ordinance."
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
By enacting this Part, the Township intends to:
1. 
Promote the health, safety, and welfare of Township residents and businesses with respect to wireless communications facilities;
2. 
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 Township residents and wireless carriers in accordance with Federal and State laws and regulations;
3. 
Establish procedures for the design, siting, construction, installation, maintenance and removal of both tower-based and non-tower wireless communications facilities in the Township, including facilities both inside and outside the public rights-of-way;
4. 
Address new wireless technologies, including, but not limited to, distributed antenna systems, data collection units, cable Wi-Fi and other wireless communications facilities;
5. 
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 commercial communications antennas and related facilities on existing towers;
6. 
Treat each wireless communications services provider in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner in exercising the Township's authority;
7. 
Protect Township residents from potential adverse impacts of wireless communications facilities and preserve, to the extent permitted under law, the visual character of established communities and the natural beauty of the landscape;
8. 
Update the Township's wireless facilities regulations to incorporate changes in Federal and State laws and regulations.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
This Part shall be known and may be cited as the "Plainfield Township Wireless Communications Facilities Regulations Ordinance."
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
Each applicant proposing the construction of a tower-based WCF shall complete and submit a special exception application prior to beginning construction of such WCF. Such application shall be evaluated by the Township Zoning Hearing Board and subject to the proceedings of § 27-317 of his Chapter and as specifically provided for within this Part.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
The following regulations shall apply to all tower-based wireless communications facilities:
1. 
Standard of Care. The WCF applicant shall present documentation that demonstrates the tower-based WCF 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 American Standards Institute (ANSI) Code, National Electrical Safety Code, National Electrical Code, as well as the accepted and responsible workmanlike industry practices of the National Association of Tower Erectors. Any tower-based WCF 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 Township.
2. 
Special Exception Authorization Required. Tower-based WCFs are permitted in certain zoning districts by Special Exception and at a height necessary to satisfy their function in the WCF applicant's wireless communications system. No WCF 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 WCF applicant shall demonstrate that the antenna/tower/pole for the tower-based WCF is the minimum height necessary for the service area.
A. 
Prior to the Zoning Hearing Board's approval of a special exception authorizing the construction and installation of a tower-based WCF, it shall be incumbent upon the WCF applicant, during the special exception hearing, to prove to the reasonable satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board that the WCF applicant cannot adequately extend or infill its communications system by the use of equipment such as redoes, repeaters, antennas and other similar equipment installed on existing structures, such as utility poles or their appurtenances and/or other available tall structures. The WCF applicant shall further demonstrate that the proposed tower-based WCF must be located where it is proposed in order to serve the WCG applicant's service area and that no other viable alternative location exists.
B. 
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 WCF applicant, the power in watts at which the WCF applicant transmits, and any relevant related tests conducted by the WCF applicant in determining the need for the proposed site and installation.
C. 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed tower-based WCF complies with all State and Federal laws concerning aviation safety.
D. 
Where the tower-based WCF is located on a property with another principal use, the WCF applicant shall present documentation to the Zoning Hearing Board that the owner of the property has granted an easement for the proposed tower-based WCF and that vehicular access will be provided to the facility.
E. 
The special exception application shall be accompanied by documentation demonstrating that the proposed tower-based WCF complies will all applicable provisions in this Part.
3. 
Site Plan Required. In order to determine the requirements of the special exception use and this Part are met, the applicant shall present a site plan showing, at a minimum, the following items:
A. 
Locations of all existing uses and proposed WCFs.
B. 
Elevations and drawings of any existing uses and proposed tower-based WCFs, showing proposed width, depth, height, architectural style and structural data for any towers, antenna, etc. proposed.
C. 
Site boundary, lease area boundary, zoning data, setbacks/yards, and adjacent uses.
D. 
Vehicular access, fencing, landscaping, utility and/or access easements.
E. 
Any and all other site plan requirements as set forth in this Chapter, as amended.
4. 
Engineer Inspection. Prior to the Township's issuance of a permit authorizing construction and erection of a tower-based WCF, the applicant shall employ a structural engineer registered in Pennsylvania to issue to the Township a written certification of the proposed tower-based WCF's ability to meet the structural standards offered by either the Electronics Industry Association and Telecommunications Industry Association. Such engineer shall certify the proper construction of the foundation and the erection of the structure. This certification shall be provided during the special exception use hearings, 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.
5. 
Timing of Approval. Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a tower-based WCF is filed with the Township, the Township shall notify the applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. All applications for tower-based WCFs shall be acted upon within 150 days of the receipt of a fully completed application.
6. 
Co-Location and Siting. An application for a new tower-based WCF shall demonstrate that the proposed tower-based WCF cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved structure. The Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board may deny an application to construct a new tower-based WCF if the WCF applicant has not made a good-faith effort to mount its antenna(s) on an existing structure. Any application for approval of a tower-based WCF shall include a comprehensive inventory of all existing WCF towers and other suitable structures within a one-mile radius from the point of any proposed tower-based WCF, unless the WCF applicant can show to the satisfaction of the Township that a different distance is more reasonable, and shall demonstrate conclusively why an existing tower or structure cannot be utilized. The WCF applicant shall present evidence to the Zoning Hearing Board that the existing WCF towers and other suitable structures located within a one-mile radius are not suitable for the following reasons:
A. 
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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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.
7. 
Permit Required for Modifications. To the extent permissible under applicable State and Federal law, any WCF applicant proposing the modification of an existing tower-based WCF which increases the overall height of such tower-based WCF shall first obtain a permit from the Township. Nonroutine modifications, as well as modifications that substantially change the tower-based WCF, shall be prohibited without a permit.
8. 
Gap in Coverage or Capacity. A WCF applicant for a tower-based WCF must demonstrate that a significant gap in wireless coverage or capacity exists with respect to all wireless operators in the applicable area and that the type of WF being proposed is the least-intrusive means by which to fill that gap in wireless coverage. The existence or nonexistence of a gap in wireless coverage shall be a factor in the Zoning Hearing Board's decision on an application for approval of a tower-based WCF.
9. 
Additional Antennas. As a condition of special exception use approval for all tower-based WCFs, the WCF applicant shall provide the Zoning Hearing Board with a written commitment that it will allow other service providers to co-locate antennas on the tower-based WCF where technically feasible. To the extent permissible under State and Federal law, the owner of a tower-based WCF shall not install any additional antennas without obtaining the prior written approval of the Township.
10. 
Wind. Any tower-based WCF structures shall be designed to withstand the effects of wind according 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-E Code, as amended).
11. 
Height. Any tower-based WCF shall be designed at the minimum functional height. All tower-based WCF applicants must submit documentation to the Township justifying the total height of the structure. The maximum total height of any tower-based WCF which is not located in the public ROW shall not exceed 150 feet, which height shall include all subsequent additions or alterations to the extent permissible under Federal and State law. Equipment buildings, cabinets, and accessory structures shall not exceed 15 feet in height.
12. 
Related Equipment. Ground-mounted related equipment greater than three cubic feet, such as cabinets and accessory structures, shall not be located within 50 feet of a lot in residential use or zoned residential.
13. 
Public Safety Communications. No tower-based WCF shall interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
14. 
Maintenance. Any tower-based WCF shall be fully automated and unattended on a daily basis and shall be visited only for maintenance or emergency repair.
15. 
Radio Frequency Emissions. A tower-based WCF shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other WCFs, 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.
16. 
Historic Buildings or Districts. A tower-based WCF shall not be located on a building, structure, or site that is listed on either the National or Pennsylvania Register of Historic Places or the official historic structures and/or historic districts list maintained by the Township.
17. 
Signs/Identification. All tower-based WCFs shall post a notice in a readily visible location identifying the name and phone number of a party to contact in the event of an emergency, subject to approval by the Township. There shall be no other signage permitted on the WCF, except for that required by law or FCC/FAA regulations or any other federal or state agency.
18. 
Lighting. No tower-based WCF shall be artificially lighted, except as required by law and as may be approved by the Township. If lighting is required, the tower-based WCF applicant shall provide a detailed plan for sufficient lighting, demonstrating as unobtrusive and inoffensive an effect as is permissible under State and Federal regulations. The WCF applicant shall promptly report any outage or malfunction of FAA-mandated lighting to the appropriate governmental authorities and to the Township Secretary/Township Manager.
19. 
Visual Appearance. Tower-based WCFs shall employ stealth technology, which may include the tower portion to be painted silver or another color approved by the Zoning Hearing Board, or shall have a galvanized finish. All tower-based WCFs 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 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.
20. 
Noise. Tower-based WCFs shall be operated and maintained so as not to produce noise in excess of applicable noise standards under State law and the Township ordinances, except in emergency situations requiring the use of a backup generator, where such noise standards may be exceeded on a temporary basis only.
21. 
Aviation Safety. Tower-based WCFs shall comply with all Federal and State laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
22. 
Notice. Upon receipt of an application for a tower-based WCF, the Township shall mail notice thereof to the owner or owners of every property within 500 linear feet of the property or parcel of the proposed facility, regardless of whether the properties are located in Plainfield Township or another jurisdiction/municipality.
23. 
Timing of Approval. All special exception applications for a tower-based WCF shall be submitted in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act (Act 191), 53 P.S. § 11702.1 et seq. (WBCA), as amended, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a tower-based WCF is filed with the Township, the Township shall notify the WCF applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. All applications for tower-based WCFs shall be acted upon within 150 days of the receipt of a fully completed application for the approval of such tower-based WCF, and the Township shall advise the WCF applicant in writing of its decision. If additional information was requested by the Township to complete an application, the time required by the WCF applicant to provide the information shall not be counted toward the one-hundred-fifty-day review period.
24. 
Nonconforming Uses. Nonconforming tower-based WCFs which are hereafter damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause may be repaired and restored at their former location within one year after damage occurs but must otherwise comply with the terms and conditions of this Part.
25. 
Removal. In the event that use of a tower-based WCF is planned to be discontinued, the owner shall provide written notice to the Township of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned WCFs or portions of WCFs shall be removed as follows:
A. 
All unused or abandoned tower-based WCFs and accessory facilities shall be removed within six months of the cessation of operations at the site, unless a time extension is approved by the Township.
B. 
If the WCF and/or accessory facility is not removed within six months of the cessation of operations at a site, or within any longer period approved by the Township, the WCF and accessory facilities and equipment may be removed by the Township and the cost of removal assessed against the owner of the WCF. In addition to and not in lieu of any other remedy available to the Township to recover costs associated with removal, the Township shall file liens against the WCF owner and the owner of any real property upon which a WCF is sited in order to recover any unpaid legal fees, consultant fees, and court courts that may be incurred.
C. 
Any unused portions of tower-based WCFs, including antennas, shall be removed within six months of the time of cessation of operations.
26. 
Permit Fees. The Township may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the Township's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a tower-based WCF, as well as related inspection, monitoring and related costs.
27. 
FCC License. Each person that owns or operates a tower-based WCF 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.
28. 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a tower-based WCF shall provide the Township with a certificate of insurance 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 tower-based WCF.
29. 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a tower-based WCF, or the property on which such WCF is located, shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Township, its elected and appointed officials, employees and agents, at all times against any and all claims for personal injury, including death, and property damage or depreciation of property value or for violation of property or zoning rights, 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 tower-based WCF. Each person that owns or operates a tower-based WCF and each owner of property upon which a tower-based WCF is located shall defend any actions or proceedings against the Township in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, or property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of tower-based WCF. 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.
30. 
Engineer Signature. All plans and drawings for a tower and antenna(s) shall contain a seal and signature of a professional structural engineer licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
In addition to the requirements set forth in § 27-905, General and Specific Requirements for All Tower-Based Wireless Communications Facilities, the following regulations shall apply to tower-based wireless communications facilities located outside the public rights-of-way:
1. 
Development Regulations.
A. 
Allowable Districts. Tower-based WCFs are permitted outside the public rights-of-way in the FF, HI, GC, CI, I-BP, GI, and SW Zoning Districts only as a special exception use, in accordance with the requirements of § 27-317 of this Chapter and this Part 9 and as approved by the Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
Gap in Coverage or Capacity. An applicant for a tower-based WCF must demonstrate that a significant gap in wireless coverage or capacity exists with respect to all wireless operators in the applicable area and that the type of WCF being proposed is the least intrusive means by which to fill that gap in wireless coverage or capacity. The existence or nonexistence of a gap in wireless coverage or capacity shall be a factor in the Township's decision on an application for approval of tower-based WCFs.
C. 
Sole Use on a Lot. A tower-based WCF is permitted as a sole use on a lot subject to the minimum lot area and yards complying with the requirements for the applicable zoning district.
D. 
Combined With Another Use. A tower-based WCF may be permitted on a property with an existing use, but not a residential use, or on a vacant parcel in combination with another industrial, commercial, institutional or municipal use, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
The existing use on the property may be any permitted use in the applicable district, and need not be affiliated with the tower-based WCF.
(2) 
Minimum Lot Area. The minimum lot shall comply with the requirements for the applicable district and shall be the area needed to accommodate the tower-based WCF and guy wires, the equipment building, security fence, and buffer planting.
(3) 
Minimum Setbacks. The tower-based WCF and accompanying equipment building shall not be located in the minimum front, rear, or side yard setbacks for the applicable zoning district.
(4) 
Vehicular access to the tower-based WCF shall not interfere with parking or circulation on the site.
2. 
Co-Location and Siting. An application for a new tower-based WCF shall demonstrate that the proposed tower-based WCF cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved structure. The Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board may deny an application to construct a new tower-based WCF if the WCF applicant has not made a good-faith effort to mount its antenna(s) on an existing structure. Any application for approval of a tower-based WCF shall include a comprehensive inventory of all existing WCF towers and other suitable structures within a one-mile radius from the point of any proposed tower-based WCF, unless the WCF applicant can show to the satisfaction of the Township that a different distance is more reasonable, and shall demonstrate conclusively why an existing tower or structure cannot be utilized. The WCF applicant shall present evidence to the Zoning Hearing Board that the existing WCF towers and other suitable structures located within a one-mile radius are not suitable for the following reasons:
A. 
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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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.
3. 
Design Regulations.
A. 
The WCF shall employ the must current stealth technology methods available in an effort to appropriately blend into the surrounding environment and minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology chosen by the WCF applicant shall be subject to the approval of the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
Where the proposed site abuts a residential zoning district, tower-based WCFs shall be permitted only where they are disguised by utilizing stealth technology so that it will fit in with the residential character of the community.
C. 
Any tower-based WCF over 40 feet in height shall be equipped with an anti-climbing device, as approved by the manufacturer.
D. 
Any proposed tower-based WCF shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects to accommodate both the WCF applicant's antennas and comparable antennas for future users.
4. 
Surrounding Environs.
A. 
The WCF applicant shall ensure that the existing vegetation, trees and shrubs located within proximity to the WCF structure is preserved to the maximum extent possible.
B. 
The WCF applicant shall submit a soil report to the Township complying with the standards of Appendix I: Geotechnical Investigations, ANSI/EIA 222-E, as amended, to document and verify the design specifications of the foundation of the tower-based WCF, and anchors for guy wires, if used.
5. 
Fence/Screen.
A. 
A security fence having a maximum height of six feet shall completely surround any tower-based WCF, guy wires, or any building housing WCF equipment.
B. 
An evergreen screen that consists of a hedge, or a row of evergreen trees shall be located along the perimeter of the security fence.
C. 
The WCF applicant shall submit a landscape plan for review and approval by the Township Planning Commission for all proposed screening.
6. 
Accessory Equipment.
A. 
Ground-mounted equipment associated with, or connected to, a tower-based WCF shall be underground. In the event that an applicant can demonstrate that the equipment cannot be located underground to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer, then the ground-mounted equipment shall be screened from public view using stealth technology.
B. 
All buildings and accessory structures shall be architecturally designed to blend into the environment in which they are situated and shall meet the minimum setback requirements of underlying zoning district.
7. 
Access Road/Lease Area. An access road, turnaround space and parking shall be provided to ensure adequate emergency and service access to tower-based WCFs. 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 construction shall at all times minimize ground disturbance and the cutting of vegetation. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and minimize soil erosion. Where applicable, the WCF owner shall present documentation to the Zoning Hearing Board that the property owner has granted an easement and/or signed a lease agreement for the proposed facility.
8. 
Inspection. The Township reserves the right to inspect any tower-based WCF to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Part and any other provisions found within the Township ordinances or State or Federal law.
9. 
Retention of Experts. The Township may hire any consultant(s) and/or expert(s) necessary to assist the Township in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the tower-based WCF and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of this Part. The applicant and/or owner of the WCF shall reimburse the Township for all costs of the Township's consultant(s) in providing expert evaluation and consultation in connection with these activities.
10. 
Bond. Prior to the issuance of a permit, the owner of a tower-based WCF shall, at its own cost and expense, obtain a bond from a surety licensed to do business on Pennsylvania and maintain said bond, or other form of security acceptable to the Township Solicitor, in an amount of $100,000 to assure the faithful performance of the terms and conditions of this Part. The bond shall provide that the Township may recover from the principal and surety and any all compensatory damages (including but not limited to reasonable attorney's fees and engineering fees) incurred by the Township for violations of this Part, which shall include the costs incurred by the Township that are associated with the removal of the tower-based WCF, after reasonable notice and opportunity to cure have been provided by the property owner. The owner shall file a copy of the bond with Township Secretary and/or Township Manager.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
In addition to the requirements set forth in § 27-905, General and Specific Requirements for All Tower-Based Wireless Communications Facilities, the following regulations shall apply to tower-based wireless communications facilities which are proposed to be located in the public rights-of-way:
1. 
Tower-based wireless communication facilities (WCFs) in the public rights-of-way shall not be located in the front facade area of any structure.
2. 
Tower-based wireless communication facilities (WCFs) in the public rights-of-way shall be prohibited in areas in which all utilities are located underground.
3. 
Tower-based wireless communication facilities (WCFs) proposed to be located in the public rights-of-way are permitted by special exception in the public rights-of-way of certain roads in the Farm and Forest, Village Center, Village Residential, Planned Residential and Suburban Residential Zoning Districts:
A. 
S.R. 1005 Sullivan Trail.
B. 
S.R. 1016 Church Road.
C. 
S.R. 0191 Bangor Road.
D. 
S.R. 1011 Pen Argyl Road.
E. 
S.R. 1009 Kesslersville Road.
F. 
S.R. 1016 Delabole Road.
G. 
S.R. 1012 Belfast Road.
H. 
S.R. 1026 Center Street.
I. 
S.R. 1014 Mill Road.
J. 
T696 Roosevelt Street.
K. 
T636 Abel Colony Road.
L. 
T657 Sandt Road.
M. 
T644 Teels Road.
N. 
T633 Knitter's Hill Road.
O. 
T655 Heitzman Road.
P. 
T656 Mack Road.
Q. 
T641 Grand Central Road.
R. 
T622 School Road.
S. 
T648 Browntown Road.
T. 
T610 Fulmer Road.
U. 
T664 Jory Road.
V. 
T666 Bocce Club Road.
W. 
T670 Middletown Road.
X. 
T688 Verona Drive.
Y. 
T608 Jones Hill Road.
Z. 
T631 Getz Road.
AA. 
T630 Bender's Church Road.
BB. 
T653 Hower Road.
CC. 
T624 Engler Road.
DD. 
T619 Gall Road.
EE. 
T628 Lefevere Road.
FF. 
T734 Miller Road.
GG. 
T650 Books Hill Road.
4. 
Tower-based wireless communications facilities (WFCs) proposed to be located in the public rights-of-way are permitted as a special exception use in the rights-of-way of major collector, minor collector and arterial roads in the General Industrial, Solid Waste Processing and Disposal, Highway Interchange and General Commercial Zoning Districts.
5. 
Tower-based wireless communications facilities (WFCs) proposed to be located in the public rights-of-way are prohibited in the public rights-of-way of major collector, minor collector, arterial, local roads and the limited-access state highway S.R. 0033 (State Route 33) in the Blue Mountain Conservation District.
6. 
Gap in Coverage or Capacity. An applicant for a tower-based WCF must demonstrate that a significant gap in wireless coverage or capacity exists with respect to all wireless operators in the applicable area and that the type of WCF being proposed is the least intrusive means by which to fill that gap in wireless coverage or capacity. The existence or nonexistence of a gap in wireless coverage or capacity shall be a factor in the Township's decision on an application for approval of tower-based WCFs in the ROW.
7. 
Height. Any tower-based WCF in rights-of-way shall be designed at the minimum functional height and shall not exceed a maximum total height of 35 feet, which height shall include all subsequent additions or alterations to the maximum extent permitted by state and federal law. All tower-based WCF applicants must submit documentation to the Township justifying the total height of the structure.
8. 
Co-Location and Siting. An application for a new tower-based WCF shall demonstrate that the proposed tower-based WCF cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved structure. The Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board may deny an application to construct a new tower-based WCF if the WCF applicant has not made a good-faith effort to mount its antenna(s) on an existing structure. Any application for approval of a tower-based WCF shall include a comprehensive inventory of all existing WCF towers and other suitable structures within a one-mile radius from the point of any proposed tower-based WCF, unless the WCF applicant can show to the satisfaction of the Township that a different distance is more reasonable, and shall demonstrate conclusively why an existing tower or structure cannot be utilized. The WCF applicant shall present evidence to the Zoning Hearing Board that the existing WCF towers and other suitable structures located within a one-mile radius are not suitable for the following reasons:
A. 
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.
B. 
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.
C. 
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.
9. 
Time, Place and Manner. The Township shall determine the time, place and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all tower-based WCFs 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 Township and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.
10. 
Equipment Location. Tower-based WCFs and accessory 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 Township. In addition:
A. 
In no case shall ground-mounted equipment, walls or landscaping be located within 18 inches of the face of the curb.
B. 
Ground-mounted 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 Township.
C. 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area to the satisfaction of the Township.
D. 
Any graffiti on the tower or any accessory equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner within 10 business days of notice of the existence of the graffiti.
E. 
Any underground vaults related to tower-based WCFs shall be reviewed and approved by the Township.
11. 
Design Regulations.
A. 
All tower-based WCFs in the ROW 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 WCF applicant shall be subject to the approval of the Township Zoning Hearing Board.
B. 
Any proposed tower-based WCF in the ROW shall be designed structurally, electrically, and in all respects to accommodate both the WCF applicant's antennas and comparable antennas for future users.
12. 
Additional Antennas. The WCF applicant shall provide the Township with a written commitment that it will allow other service providers to co-locate antennas on tower-based WCFs where technically and economically feasible.
13. 
Relocation or Removal of Facilities. Within 60 days following written notice from the Township, or such longer period as the Township determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, an owner of tower-based WCF in the ROW shall, at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any WCF when the Township, 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:
A. 
The construction, repair, maintenance or installation of any Township or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
B. 
The operations of the Township or other governmental entity in the right-of-way;
C. 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
D. 
An emergency as determined by the Township.
14. 
Compensation for ROW Use. In addition to permit fees as described in § 27-905, Subsection 26, above, every tower-based WCG in the ROW is subject to the Township's right to fix annually a fair and reasonable compensation to be paid for use and occupancy of the ROW. Such compensation for ROW use shall be directly related to the Township'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 Township. The owner of each tower-based WCF shall pay an annual fee to the Township to compensate the Township for the Township's costs incurred in connection with the activities described above. The annual ROW management fee for tower-based WCFs shall be determined by the Township and authorized by resolution of the Township Board of Supervisors and shall be based on the Township's actual ROW management costs as applied to such tower-based WCFs.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
1. 
The following regulations shall apply to all non-tower WCFs:
A. 
Permitted in All Zones Subject to Regulations. Non-tower WCFs are permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the restrictions and conditions prescribed below and subject to applicable permitting by the Township.
B. 
Prohibited on Certain Structures. No non-tower WCF shall be located on single-family detached residences, single-family attached residences, or any residential accessory structure.
C. 
Standard of Care. Any non-tower WCF 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 American Standards (ANSI) Code, National Electrical Safety Code, and National Electric Code. Non-tower WCFs 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 Township.
D. 
Wind. All non-tower WCF 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 of the Electronics Industry Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI-EIA-TIA-222-E Code, as amended).
E. 
Aviation Safety. Non-tower WCFs shall comply with all Federal and State laws and regulations concerning aviation safety.
F. 
Public Safety Communications. Non-tower WCFs shall not interfere with public safety communications or the reception of broadband, television, radio or other communication services enjoyed by occupants of nearby properties.
G. 
Radio Frequency Emissions. A non-tower WCF shall not, by itself or in conjunction with other WCFs, 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.
H. 
Removal. In the event that use of a non-tower WCF is planned to be discontinued, the owner shall provide written notice to the Township of its intent to discontinue use and the date when the use shall be discontinued. Unused or abandoned WCFs or portions of WCFs shall be removed as follows:
(1) 
All abandoned or unused non-tower WCFs and related equipment shall be removed within two months of the cessation of the operations at the site, unless a time extension is approved by the Township.
(2) 
If the non-tower WCF 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 Township, the non-tower WCF and/or associated facilities and related equipment may be removed by the Township and the cost of the removal assessed against the owner of the non-tower WCF.
I. 
Insurance. Each person that owns or operates a non-tower WCF shall provide the Township with a Certificate of Insurance evidencing general liability coverage in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and property damage coverage in the minimum amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence covering the non-tower WCF.
J. 
Indemnification. Each person that owns or operates a non-tower WCF shall, at its sole cost and expense, indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Township, 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 non-tower WCF. Each person that owns or operates a non-tower WCF shall defend any actions or proceedings against the Township in which it is claimed that personal injury, including death, of property damage was caused by the construction, installation, operation, maintenance or removal of a non-tower WCF. The obligation to indemnify, hold harmless and defend shall include, but not be limited to, the obligation to pay judgments, injuries, liabilities, damages, reasonable attorney's 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 non-tower WCF 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 Township's residents.
(3) 
All maintenance activities shall utilize nothing less than the best available technology for preventing failures and accidents.
2. 
The following additional regulations shall apply to all co-located non-tower WCFs that fall under the Wireless Broadband Collocation Act (WBCA) and/or that do not substantially change the dimensions of the underlying wireless support structure:
A. 
Permit Required. Non-tower WCF applicants proposing the modification of an existing tower-based WCF shall obtain a building permit from the Township. In order to be considered for such permit, the non-tower WCF applicant must submit a permit application to the Township in accordance with applicable permit policies and procedures.
B. 
Timing of Approval for Applications that Fall Under the WBCA. Within 30 calendar days of the date that an application for a non-tower WFC is filed with the Township, the Township shall notify the WCF applicant in writing of any information that may be required to complete such application. Within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complete application, the Township shall make its final decision on whether to approve the application and shall advise the WCF applicant, in writing, of such decision. The Township shall notify the WCF applicant as to its completeness of the WCF application within 30 days of receipt.
C. 
Permit Fees. The Township may access appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the Township's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a non-tower WCF or $1,000, whichever is less.
3. 
The following additional regulations shall apply to all non-tower wireless communications facilities that do not fall under the Pennsylvania Wireless Broadband Collocation Act (WBCA) and/or substantially change the wireless support structure to which they are attached:
A. 
Prohibited on certain structures. No non-tower WCF shall be located on single-family detached residences, single-family attached residences, or any residential accessory structure.
B. 
Permitted in all Zoning Districts Subject to Regulations. Non-tower WCFs are permitted in all zoning districts, subject to the restrictions and conditions prescribed below and subject to the prior written approval of the Township.
C. 
Historic Buildings. No non-tower WCF 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 or is listed on the official historic structures and/or historic districts list maintained by the Township.
D. 
Retention of Experts. The Township may hire any consultant(s) and/or expert(s) necessary to assist the Township in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the non-tower WCF and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating the application for approval of the non-tower WCF and, once approved, in reviewing and evaluating any potential violations of the terms and conditions of these non-tower provisions. The WCF applicant and/or owner of the WCF shall reimburse the Township for all costs of the Township's consultant(s) on providing expert evaluation and consultation with these activities.
E. 
Permit Fees. The Township may assess appropriate and reasonable permit fees directly related to the Township's actual costs in reviewing and processing the application for approval of a non-tower WCF, as well as related inspection, monitoring and related costs. Said fees shall not exceed $1,000 and will be set annually by the Board of Supervisors via resolution.
F. 
Development Regulations. Non-tower WCFs shall be located on existing structures or wireless support structures, such as tower-based WCFs, subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
To the extent permissible by law, the total height of any wireless support structure and mounted WCF shall not exceed the maximum height permitted in the underlying zoning district.
(2) 
In accordance with industry standards, all WCF applicants must submit documentation to the Township justifying the total height of the non-tower WCF. Such documentation shall be analyzed in the context of such justification on an individual basis.
(3) 
If the WCF applicant proposes to locate the related equipment in a separate building, the building shall comply with the minimum requirements for the applicable zoning district, and landscaping shall be required to screen as much of the equipment building as possible in accordance with Township regulations.
(4) 
Antennas, and their respective accompanying support structures, shall be no greater in diameter than any cross-sectional dimension than is reasonably necessary for their proper functioning.
G. 
Notice. Upon receipt of application for any non-tower WCF, the Township shall mail notice thereof to the owner or owners of every property within 200 linear feet of the parcel or property of the proposed facility, regardless of whether the properties are located in Plainfield Township or another jurisdiction/municipality.
H. 
Noncommercial Usage Exemption. Township residents utilizing satellite dishes and antennas for the purpose of maintaining television, phone, amateur (HAM) radio, and/or Internet connections at their respective residences shall be exempt from the regulations enumerated in this Part.
I. 
Security Fence. A security fence with a minimum height of eight feet, with only self-locking gates, shall surround any separate communications equipment building. Vehicular access to the communications equipment building shall not interfere with the parking or vehicular circulations on the site for the principal use.
J. 
Stealth Technology. Non-tower WCFs shall employ stealth technology and shall be treated to match the wireless support structure in order to minimize aesthetic impact. The application of the stealth technology chosen by the WCF applicant shall be subject to the approval of the Plainfield Township Zoning Hearing Board.
K. 
Removal, Replacement and Modification.
(1) 
The removal and replacement of non-tower WCFs and/or accessory equipment for the purpose of upgrading and repairing the non-tower WCF is permitted, so long as such repair or upgrade does not substantially change the overall size of the wireless support structure or the number of antennas.
(2) 
Any material modification to an existing non-tower WCF shall require notice to be provided to the Township and possible supplemental permit approval to the original permit or authorization.
L. 
Inspection. The Township reserves the right to inspect any non-tower WCF to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Chapter and any other provisions found within the Township the Code or State or Federal law. The Township and/or its agents shall have the authority to enter the property upon which a non-tower WCF is located at any time, upon reasonable notice to the operator, to ensure such compliance.
[Added by Ord. 380, 4/3/2017]
In addition to the requirements set forth in § 27-908, General and Specific Requirements for all Non-Tower Wireless Communications Facilities, the following regulations shall apply to non-tower WCFs located in the public rights-of-way:
1. 
Location and Co-location. Non-tower WCFs 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 WCF applicant shall, with the Township's approval, locate its non-tower WCF on existing poles or freestanding structures that do not already act as wireless support structures.
2. 
Design Requirements.
A. 
Non-tower WCF installations located above the surface grade in the public ROW including, but not limited to, those on streetlights and joint utility poles, shall not exceed an overall height of six feet in height to the extent permitted by state and federal law. The non-tower WCF installations shall be compatible in scale and proportion to the structures upon which they are mounted. Non-tower WCFs in the ROW may not exceed a height of six feet above the structure upon which they are mounted to the extent permitted by State and Federal law. All equipment shall be the smallest and least visibly intrusive equipment feasible.
B. 
Antennas and all related equipment shall be treated to match the supporting structure. Non-tower WCFs and accompanying equipment shall be painted, or otherwise coated, to be visually compatible with the support structure upon which they are mounted.
3. 
Equipment Location. Non-tower WCFs and accessory 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 Township. In addition:
A. 
In no case shall ground-mounted equipment, walls, or landscaping be located within 18 inches of the face of the curb or on a privately owned lot.
B. 
Ground-mounted equipment shall be located underground. In the event an applicant can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer, that ground-mounted equipment cannot be placed underground, then all such equipment shall be screened, to the fullest extent possible, through the use of landscaping or other decorative features to the satisfaction of the Township.
C. 
Required electrical meter cabinets shall be screened to blend in with the surrounding area to the satisfaction of the Township.
D. 
Any graffiti on any wireless support structures or any related equipment shall be removed at the sole expense of the owner within 10 business days of notice of the existence of the graffiti.
E. 
Any proposed underground vaults related to non-tower WCFs shall be reviewed and approved by the Township.
4. 
Time, Place and Manner. The Township shall determine the time, place, and manner of construction, maintenance, repair and/or removal of all non-tower WCFs 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 Township and the requirements of the Public Utility Code.
5. 
Relocation or Removal of Facilities. Within 60 days following written notice from the Township, or such longer period as the Township determines is reasonably necessary or such shorter period in the case of an emergency, an owner of a non-tower WCF in the ROW shall, at its own expense, temporarily or permanently remove, relocate, change or alter the position of any non-tower WCF when the Township, 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:
A. 
The construction, repair maintenance, or installation of any Township or other public improvement in the right-of-way;
B. 
The operations of the Township or other governmental entity in the right-of-way;
C. 
Vacation of a street or road or the release of a utility easement; or
D. 
An emergency as determined by the Township.
6. 
Compensation for ROW Use. In addition to permit fees as described above, every non-tower WCF in the ROW is subject to the Township's right to fix annually a fair and reasonable compensation to be paid for use and occupancy of the ROW. Such compensation for ROW use shall be directly related to the Township'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 Township. The owner of each non-tower WCF shall pay an annual fee to the Township to compensate the Township for its costs incurred in connection with the activities described above. The annual ROW management fee for non-tower WCFs shall be determined by the Township and authorized by resolution of Township Board of Supervisors and shall be based on the Township's actual ROW management costs as applied to such non-tower WCF.