[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 6-15-2005 by Ord. No. 12-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter and as used elsewhere in the Code, have the meanings shown herein:
- Associates Public-Safety Communications Officials International.
- National Association of Business and Education Radio.
- Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
- Personal Communications Industry Association.
- Federal Communications Commission.
- National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee.
Except as otherwise provided, no person shall erect, construct, alter, refit, change the use of or provide an addition of more than 20% of the existing floor area to any building or structure, or any part thereof, or cause the same to be done, which fails to support adequate radio coverage for CCDES, the Fire Departments who provide service to the Borough and the West Chester Police Department. For the purposes of this section, adequate radio coverage shall include all of the following:
A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm available in 90% of the area of each floor of the building when transmitted from the closest CCDES radio communications site.
A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm received at the closest CCDES radio communications site when transmitted from 90% of the area of each floor of the building.
The frequency range which must be supported shall be between 806.0125 MHz and 868.9875 MHz.
A ninety-percent reliability factor.
Signal strength measurements, for the purpose of measuring the performance of a bidirectional amplifier, shall be based on one input signal adequate to obtain a maximum continuous operating output level.
The provisions of this § 53-2 shall become applicable upon notification to the property owner that unacceptable performance levels exist. The property owner shall have 90 days from the date of his or her receipt of the written notification from the Borough to enhance radio coverage and bring it within the acceptable limits as required by this § 53-2.
Buildings and structures which cannot support the required level of radio coverage as specified in § 53-2 above shall be equipped with either a radiating cable system or an internal multiple antenna system with or without FCC-type accepted bidirectional 800 MHz amplifiers as needed. If any part of the installed system or systems contains an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operating on an independent battery and/or generator system for a period of at least 12 hours without external power input. The battery system shall charge in the presence of an external power input. If used, bidirectional amplifiers shall include filters to reduce adjacent frequency interference at 35 dB below the NPSPAC band. Settings used should not attenuate the NPSPAC frequencies and further provided that they are not more than one MHz from the NSPAC frequencies.
Acceptance test procedure.
When an in-building radio system is required pursuant to § 53-3 above, and upon completion of installation, it will be the building owner's responsibility to have the radio system tested to ensure that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is a minimum of 90%. Each floor of the building shall be divided into a grid of approximately 20 equal areas. A maximum of two nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. In the event that three of the areas fail the test, in order to be more statistically accurate, the floor may be divided in 40 equal areas. In such event, a maximum of four nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. After the forty-area test, if the system continues to fail, the building owner shall have the system altered to meet the ninety-percent coverage requirement. The test shall be conducted using the most current E.F. Johnson portable radio or its equivalent, available to the West Chester Police and/or Fire Departments, transmitting and receiving through the CCDES 911 Center as specified by the authority having jurisdiction. A location approximately in the center of a grid area will be selected for the test. The interior radio will then be keyed to verify two-way communications to and from the exterior radio. The exterior radio will then be keyed to verify two-way communications to and from the radio located inside the building. All transmissions must also be received by the CCDES 911 Center. Once the test location has been selected, prospecting for a better location within the grid area will not be permitted.
The gain values of all amplifiers shall be measured, and the test measurement results shall be kept on file with the building owner so that the measurements can be verified each year during the annual tests. In the event that the measurement results become lost, the building owner will be required to rerun the acceptance test to reestablish the gain values.
Annual tests. When an in-building radio system is required pursuant to § 53-3 above, the building owner shall test all active components of the system, including but not limited to amplifiers, power supplies and backup batteries, a minimum of once every 12 months. Amplifiers shall be tested to ensure that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load for a period of one hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the one-hour test period, in the opinion of the testing technician, the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional one-hour periods until the testing technician confirms the integrity of the battery. All other active components shall be checked to determine that they are operating within the manufacturer's specifications for the intended purpose.
Five-year tests. In addition to the annual test required by § 53-4B above, the building owner who is required to install an in-building radio system pursuant to § 53-3 above shall perform a radio coverage test a minimum of once every five years to insure that the radio system continues to meet the requirements of the original acceptance test. The procedure set forth in § 53-4A above shall apply to such tests. A copy of accepted tests shall be provided to the Borough and to the Chester County Emergency Services Engineering Department.
Qualifications of testing personnel. All tests shall be conducted, documented and signed by a person in possession of a current FCC technician license or a current technician certification issued by the APCO, NABER or the PCIA. All test records shall be retained at the building which was inspected, and a copy thereof shall be submitted to the Borough's Fire Chief and the West Chester Police Department.
Field testing. Police and fire personnel, after providing reasonable written notice to the property owner or his representative, shall have the right to enter into buildings or structures within the Borough to conduct field testing to be certain that the required level of radio coverage as required by this chapter is available.
As long as none of the following buildings make use of any metal construction or any underground storage or parking areas, the following structures and buildings are exempt from complying with the standards in §§ 53-2, 53-3 and 53-4:
For purposes of this section, parking structures and stairwells are included in the definition of "building" and stair shafts are included in the definition of "all parts of a building," but elevators may be excluded.
Any building or structure which is not exempt pursuant to the provisions of § 53-5 above which is existing as of the date of adoption of this chapter, under construction as of the date of adoption of this chapter; or for which a building permit application is pending or has been approved as of the effective of this chapter, shall comply with the requirements of this chapter if the CCDES, West Chester Fire Chief or West Chester Police Department determine that adequate radio coverage as defined in § 53-2 above does not exist in the building or structure. The owner of the building or structure shall be notified in writing that adequate radio coverage as defined in § 53-2 is not provided. The owner shall have a period of 90 calendar days from the date of his or her receipt of written notice to bring his or her building into compliance with this chapter by enhancing radio coverage and bringing it into the acceptable limits of this chapter.
If an owner of a building or structure receives written notice from the Borough pursuant to § 53-6 above, he or she may file an appeal to the West Chester Area Council of Governments Board of Appeals. The appeal shall be filed with the Borough Department of Building and Housing within 30 days of receiving written notice from the Borough that the building or structure does not provide adequate radio coverage. The appeal shall state the following: the property owner's name and address; the address of the building or structure which does not provide adequate radio coverage; a brief description of the property; and the reasons why the property owner cannot comply with the terms of the chapter. Upon receipt of an appeal, the West Chester Area Council of Governments Board of Appeals shall schedule a public hearing where the applicant shall be entitled to present evidence and testimony as to why he or she cannot bring his or her building or structure into compliance with this chapter. Following the public hearing, the Board of Appeals shall render a written decision as to whether or not the applicant is entitled to a waiver from the provisions of this chapter. A copy of the Board of Appeals' written decision shall be mailed to the applicant by first class mail, postage prepaid. The applicant shall have the right to appeal the Board of Appeals decision to the Court of Common Pleas in accordance with the provisions of the Local Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 751 et seq.