Village of Pittsford, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 10-14-1997 by L.L. No. 16-1997]

§ 210-88 Legislative intent.

The purpose of this section is to allow for telecommunications installation in accordance with applicable state and federal law. While acknowledging the demand for wireless communications, the Village recognizes that the small-scale residential and commercial districts, agricultural landscapes and canal waterfront comprising the Village are primary community resources. The erection of communications towers of unusual height or bulk within the Village may threaten the historic integrity, damage the aesthetic value and reduce residents' opportunities to enjoy these resources. The intent of this article is to regulate the construction and siting of communications towers in compliance with the Federal Communications Act of 1996 to achieve the following:
A. 
Protect the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Village of Pittsford.
B. 
Protect the aesthetic characteristics and historic features of the Village of Pittsford.
C. 
Ensure that communications towers planned for locations within the Village of Pittsford are sited and constructed in a manner consistent with sound land use planning, the Village's comprehensive plan and other adopted goals of the Village.

§ 210-89 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY FACILITY OR STRUCTURE
An accessory facility or structure serving or being used in conjunction with a communications tower and located on the same lot as the communications tower, including utility or transmission equipment storage sheds or cabinets.
ANTENNA
A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency signals. Such signals shall include but not be limited to radio, television, cellular, paging, personal communications services (PCS) and microwave communications.
CAMOUFLAGING
The construction of facilities to house or support telecommunications towers so that the towers blend readily with the landscape, neighborhood and adjacent architectural features. Examples of camouflaging that could be used are silo and barn, windmill and simulated tree.
COLLOCATED ANTENNAS
Telecommunications facilities which utilize existing towers, buildings or other structures for placement of antenna(s) and which do not require construction of a new tower.
COMMUNICATION TOWER
A structure designed to support communication antennas. It includes without limit freestanding towers, guyed towers, monopoles and similar structures. It is a structure intended for transmitting and/or receiving radio, television, telephone or microwave communications.
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission.
NIER
Non-Ionizing electromagnetic radiation.
SATELLITE ANTENNA
Any parabolic dish antenna or other device or equipment of whatever nature or kind, the primary purpose of which is to receive television, radio, light, microwave or other electronic signals, waves and/or communications from space satellites.
SPECIAL USE
A use which is deemed allowable within a given zoning district, but which is potentially incompatible with other uses and, therefore, is subject to special standards and conditions of such use subject to the approval of the Village Board.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS
The transmission and reception of audio, video, data and other information by wire, radio, light and other electronic or electromagnetic systems.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
A structure on which one or more transmitting and/or receiving antenna is located.
TOWER
Any tower, pole, windmill or other structure, whether attached to a building, guyed or freestanding, designed to be used for, and/or for the support of any device for, the transmission of radio frequency signals.

§ 210-90 Application of article.

A. 
No freestanding tower, satellite dish, antenna and/or pole shall hereafter be used, erected, moved, reconstructed, changed or altered except after approval of a special use permit and in conformity with these regulations.
B. 
No existing structure shall be modified to serve as a transmission tower, communications tower, satellite dish, antenna and/or pole unless in conformity with this article.

§ 210-91 Approvals required for telecommunications facilities.

Communications towers and accessory structures are permitted subject to and upon approval of a special use permit and final site plan approval from the Planning Board, in accordance with the standards set forth in this section. Communications towers and accessory structures are not permitted in residential districts.

§ 210-92 Height.

The building height regulations otherwise applicable in the underlying district shall apply to towers.

§ 210-93 Procedures for special use permit.

A special use permit shall be applied for as follows:
A. 
The owner/applicant shall submit to the Planning Board a completed special use permit application and site plan application under the provisions of § 210-94 herein.
B. 
Within 62 days of receipt of complete applications, the Planning Board shall hold a public hearing. The Planning Board shall review the applications for compliance with the provisions of this article and shall determine that the location of the proposed communications tower is in accordance with the principles and requirements stated herein and any other applicable laws and regulations.

§ 210-94 Special use permit and site plan application.

Prior to the issuance of a special use permit and site plan approval by the Planning Board, the following requirements shall be complied with:
A. 
Special permit and site plan. All applications for a special use permit and site plan approval shall be by written application on forms provided by the Village of Pittsford. The application shall include a site plan setting forth specific site data on a map, acceptable in form and content to the Planning Board, and shall be prepared to scale and in sufficient detail and accuracy and, at a minimum, shall include the following:
(1) 
The location of property lines and permanent easements.
(2) 
The exact location of the communications tower, together with guy wires, guy anchors and accessory structures, if applicable.
(3) 
Justification for height of any tower or antenna.
(4) 
A construction detail of tower type (monopole, guyed, freestanding or other).
(5) 
A side elevation of the tower showing the proposed antennas.
(6) 
The location of all structures on the property within 500 feet of the base of the proposed tower and all structures on any adjacent property.
(7) 
Final grading plans for facilities and roads.
(8) 
A complete plan of how the proposed structures will supplement, detract or coordinate with existing telecommunications towers in the town and contiguous jurisdiction; any changes proposed within the following twenty-four-month period, including a build-out plan for new locations and the discontinuance or relocation of existing wireless facilities. If granted a special use permit, this build-out plan must be updated annually.
(9) 
The names of all adjacent landowners and other landowners within 100 feet of property boundaries where the site is proposed.
(10) 
The location, nature and extent of any proposed fencing, landscaping and/or screening.
(11) 
The location and nature of proposed utility easements and access road, if applicable.
(12) 
Inventory of other existing and proposed communications towers within the Village of Pittsford and adjacent communities.
(13) 
The applicant's proposed tower maintenance and inspection procedures and records systems.
(14) 
Certification that the NIER levels at the proposed site are within threshold levels adopted by the FCC.
(15) 
Certification that the proposed antenna(s) will not cause interference with existing communication devices, radio, television or telephone reception.
(16) 
Certification that the tower and attachments meet all state and federal structural requirements for loads, wind, ice, fall down specifications, etc.
(17) 
A copy of the applicant's FCC license.
(18) 
Certification that the applicant has utility status from New York State and the Public Service Commissioner.
(19) 
Proof of the landowners's consent if the applicant does not own the property,
(20) 
Verification that the proposed facility will comply with all applicable FCC rules and regulations.
B. 
The applicant shall submit a completed State Environmental Quality Review full environmental assessment form, a completed visual environmental assessment form (visual EAF) and a landscaping plan addressing other standards listed within this section with particular attention to visibility from key viewpoints within and outside of the municipality as identified in the visual EAF.
C. 
The applicant will also be required to undertake a visual impact assessment which shall include:
(1) 
A description of how the facilities can be blended with the viewshed, including any plans for camouflage including but not limited to simulating the appearance of a tree or other structure depending on the particular context of the proposed location.
(2) 
A Zone of Visibility Map shall be provided in order to determine locations where the tower may be seen.
(3) 
Pictorial representations of "before and after" views from key viewpoints both inside and outside the Village, including but not limited to state and Village streets, local parks, New York State Thruway Authority lands and waterways, other public lands, preserves and historic sites, vistas known to be important to the community, and from any other location where the site is visible to a large number of visitors or residents. The Planning Board shall determine the appropriate key sites at a presubmission conference with the applicant.
(4) 
Assessment of the visual impact of the tower base, guy wires, accessory buildings from abutting properties and streets, and on viewsheds known to be important to the community.
D. 
The Planning Board is permitted to waive any requirements of this section which are inapplicable as a result of the applicant proposing a shared use on an existing tower or structure.
[Added 3-25-2014 by L.L. No. 7-2014]

§ 210-95 Additional requirements and standards.

A. 
Shared use.
(1) 
An applicant shall be required to present a report inventorying existing towers or other structures within the Village of Pittsford and municipalities and outlining opportunities for shared use of existing facilities and use of other preexisting structures as an alternative to new construction. Additionally, where such shared use is unavailable, location of antenna on preexisting structures shall be considered the next preferable location.
(2) 
An applicant intending to share use of an existing tower shall be required to document consent from an existing tower owner for the shared use and comply with all provisions of this article. The applicant shall pay all reasonable fees and costs of adapting an existing tower or structure to a new shared use. Those costs of adapting an existing tower or structure to a new shared use include but are not limited to structural reinforcement, preventing transmission or receiver interference, additional site screening, and to other changes including real property acquisition or lease required to accommodate the shared use.
(3) 
In the case of new communications towers, the applicant shall be required to submit a report demonstrating good faith efforts to secure shared use from owners of existing towers. Copies of written requests and responses for shared use shall be provided.
B. 
Aesthetics. In order to minimize any adverse aesthetic effect on neighboring properties to the maximum extent practicable, the Planning Board shall impose reasonable conditions on the applicant, including the following:
(1) 
All communications towers and accessory facilities or structure shall be sited to have the least adverse visual effect on the environment.
(2) 
A freestanding tower instead of a guyed communications tower.
(3) 
Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible, and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at a height of four feet off the ground) shall take place prior to approval of the special use permit.
(4) 
Evergreen tree plantings shall be required to screen the tower from nearby property, as well as from public sites known to include important views or vistas. Where the site abuts residential or public property, including streets, the following vegetation screening shall be required in the judgment of the Planning Board: for all communications towers, at least one row of evergreen shrubs or trees capable of forming a continuous hedge at least 10 feet in height within two years of planting shall be provided to effectively screen the tower base and accessory facilities. In the case of poor soil conditions, planting may be required on soil berms to assure plant survival. Plant height in these cases shall include the height of any berm.
(5) 
As defined in § 210-89, above, the applicant shall show that it has made good faith efforts to collocate on existing towers or other available and appropriate structures and/or to construct new towers near existing towers in an effort to consolidate visual disturbances. However, such request shall not unreasonably delay the application.
(6) 
Towers should be designed and sited so as to avoid, whenever possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements. The tower shall not be artificially lighted except as required by the FAA. Any lighting utilized shall not result in glare on adjacent properties. Towers are to be of a galvanized finish or painted matte gray unless otherwise required by the FAA.
(7) 
No communications tower shall contain any advertising signs or devices. Safety warning signs shall not be considered advertising and shall be permitted, the size and type to be determined and approved by the Planning Board.
(8) 
Accessory facilities, structures and antennas shall be subject to the review of the Architectural and Preservation Review Board.
[Amended 3-25-2014 by L.L. No. 7-2014]
(9) 
All communication cable and utilities, including water, gas, electric and sewer leading to and away from any new telecommunications tower shall be installed underground and in compliance with all the laws, rules and regulations of the Village.
C. 
Setbacks.
(1) 
All freestanding communications towers and accessory structures shall be set back from abutting parcels, public property or right-of-way lines a distance sufficient to contain on-site substantially all ice fall or debris from tower failure, or 200 feet, whichever is greater. In no case shall a tower be located less than 250 feet from a residential property.
(2) 
All appurtenances and attachments, such as guy wires, must be located at a minimum setback from any property line a distance of at least 200 feet or the minimum setback of the underlying zoning district, whichever is greater. The minimum setback requirement of this subsection may be increased at the discretion of the Planning Board as part of the site plan approval procedures, or it may be decreased in those instances where the owner/applicant has submitted plans for a tower design in such a manner as to collapse within a smaller area. Such tower design and collapse zone shall be reviewed by and must be acceptable to the Village Engineer and the Planning Board.
D. 
Reimbursement for incursion of expenses. The Planning Board is authorized to hire any consultants and/or experts necessary to assist the Board in reviewing and evaluating the application. The applicant shall reimburse the Village of Pittsford for all costs and expenses incurred by the Village of Pittsford for consultants' and/or experts' evaluation and consultation with the Board. The applicant will provide for such reimbursement in a letter of credit. Notice of the hiring of a consultant/expert shall be given to the applicant prior thereto.
E. 
Intermunicipal notification. In order to keep neighboring municipalities informed, and to facilitate the possibility of directing that an existing telecommunications tower in a neighboring municipality be considered for shared use, the Planning Board shall require that the applicant provide an intermunicipal notification for new towers as follows:
(1) 
An applicant who proposes a new telecommunications tower in the Village of Pittsford shall notify in writing the Towns of Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton and Brighton, and the Town/Village of East Rochester. Notification shall include the exact location of the proposed tower, a general description of the project including but not limited to the height of the tower and its capacity for future shared use.
(2) 
Documentation of this notification shall be submitted to the Planning Board at the time of application.
F. 
Radio-frequency effects. It is recognized that Federal laws [Telecommunications Act of 1996; Public Law 104-104, Section 704 (February 8, 1996)] prohibit the regulation of cellular and PCS communications towers based on the environmental effects of radio-frequency emissions where those emissions comply with the FCC standards for those emissions. The Board shall, however, impose a condition on the applicant that the communications antennas be operated only at FCC designated frequencies and power levels and require applicants to submit evidence upon approval and periodically thereafter, demonstrating that the proposed use is in compliance with such standards.
G. 
Indemnification. To the maximum extent permitted by law, the applicant shall execute an agreement indemnifying and holding the town harmless from any and all liabilities, claims of personal injury or property damage arising out of or in any way related to the installation and operation of the tower and its accessory structures and facilities.
H. 
Traffic, access and safety.
(1) 
A road and parking will be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made. Road construction shall be consistent with Village standards for private roads and shall at all times minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting. Construction of previous roadways (crushed stone, gravel, etc.) is preferred. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential. Public road standards may be waived in meeting the objective of this subsection.
(2) 
All communications towers and guy anchors, if applicable, shall be enclosed by climb-proof fencing of not less than eight feet to protect it from trespassing or vandalism.
(3) 
The applicant must comply with all applicable state and federal regulations including but not limited to FAA and FCC regulations.
I. 
Letter of credit. The applicant and the owner of record of the premises shall be required to execute and file with the Village Clerk of the Village of Pittsford a letter of credit acceptable to the Village Attorney as to form and manner of execution in an amount sufficient for the faithful performance of the terms and conditions of this section, the conditions of the permit or approval issued hereunder, for the observation of all Village local laws or ordinances to cover the maintenance of the tower during its lifetime, and provide for its removal and restoration of the site to its original condition. The amount required shall be determined by the Village Engineer and shall be not less than 150% of the cost of removal of the tower, and shall be reviewed and adjusted at five-year intervals. In the event of default upon the performance of any such conditions, the letter of credit or security shall be forfeited to the Village of Pittsford, which shall be entitled to maintain an action thereon. The letter of credit or security shall remain in full force and effect until the removal of the tower, satellite dish, antenna, pole and/or accessory facility/structure, and site restoration. Further, the applicant and owner shall be required to furnish evidence of adequate insurance, the adequacy of which shall be determined by the Village's insurance consultant.
J. 
Abandonment or cessation of use. The special use permit and site plan approval shall expire upon:
(1) 
The failure to commence active operation of the communications tower, satellite dish, antenna, pole or accessory facility/structure within six consecutive months of the issuance of a special use permit and final site plan approval by the Planning Board.
(2) 
The discontinuance of the active and continuous operation of the communications tower, satellite dish, antenna, pole or accessory facility/structure for a continuous period of six months, regardless of any reservation of an intent not to abandon or discontinue the use or of an intent to resume active operations. Upon such abandonment or cessation of use the applicant shall remove the tower and related facilities.
K. 
Conditions. The Planning Board may impose reasonable conditions and restrictions in granting approvals applied for under this section.
L. 
Conflict of laws. Where these regulations conflict with other laws and regulations of the Village of Pittsford, the more restrictive shall apply, except for tower height restrictions which are governed by these special use standards. All applicants are required to utilize the technology that exists that least infringes upon the Village.
M. 
Verification of compliance. The applicant shall submit, on an annual basis, a written report of compliance to the authorized official, verifying that the site has maintained compliance with all applicable FCC emission requirements and mechanical safety regulations. Also included in such written report shall be an updated full build-out analysis and tower capacity for the site and all towers in and towns adjacent to the Village of Pittsford together with a summary of complaints received by the applicant and responses thereto in the preceding 12 months.
N. 
The Planning Board is permitted to waive any requirements of this section which are inapplicable as a result of the applicant proposing a shared use on an existing tower or structure.
[Added 3-25-2014 by L.L. No. 7-2014]

§ 210-95.1 Colocation requirements.

[Added 11-12-2002 by L.L. No. 5-2002]
An applicant shall agree to permit Monroe County to colocate emergency telecommunications equipment that the County deems necessary in its responsibility for 911 and other public safety or emergency telecommunications purposes on its tower.
A. 
The agreement shall include the use by the County of tower space, equipment building space, rights-of-way, and utility easements.
B. 
Installation of the County's equipment shall not cause the tower to exceed its permitted weight capacity or cause interference with the radio frequency transmission of the applicant's equipment.
C. 
There shall be no cost to the County for its use of the applicant's facilities or space.
D. 
The County shall have access to the tower, building, and premises at any time.

§ 210-96 Removal of obsolete/unused facilities.

Approval of a new commercial communications tower facility or the expansion or a modification of any existing commercial tower facility shall be conditioned upon the owner's and applicant's agreement to remove such facility once it is no longer used. Removal of such obsolete and/or unused commercial communications tower facilities shall take place within six consecutive months of cessation of use.

§ 210-97 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the requirements of securing a special permit and site plan approval pursuant to this section:
A. 
The repair and maintenance of existing communications towers and antennas.
B. 
Antennas used solely for the residential household television and radio reception which do not exceed the maximum height permitted for principal structures within the zoning district.
C. 
Satellite antennas measuring one meter (39.37 inches) or less in diameter, building-mounted, installed according to manufacturer's recommendations, adequately secured and meeting all electrical code requirements regardless of the zoning district in which it is located. For safety reasons, no such satellite antenna shall be placed on a fire escape, placed so as to impair ingress or egress to a building or structure, nor placed within 10 feet of a power line.