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Town of Southampton, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY:[1] Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton by 5-8-2007by L.L. No. 23-2007. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Former Ch. 304, Moratorium on Bridgehampton Hamlet, adopted 5-28-2002 by L.L. No. 16-2002, was superseded 4-8-2003 by L.L. No. 33-2003. See now Ch. 309, Moratorium: Bridgehampton.
The regulation of personal wireless service facilities to minimize visual and environmental impacts is consistent with the goals and of the Town of Southampton's Comprehensive Plan to maintain Southampton's resort-tourism identity. The Comprehensive Plan recommends the development of implementation strategies to further the conservation of natural and undeveloped areas; protect wildlife, flora and habitat; preserve coastal resources; balance economic growth; enable the provision of advanced wireless services to citizens and guests of the Town; and preserve the historical, cultural, archaeological, architectural, scenic and recreational values inherent within the Town.
By Resolution No. 2136 adopted November 24, 1998, the Town Board of the Town of Southampton created Article XXVII, Wireless Communications Towers and Antennas,[1] in response to the growing demand and proliferation of wireless communications towers throughout the Town of Southampton, excluding incorporated villages. In order to help guide the placement of these structures and help minimize the visual and environmental impacts, special exception standards were adopted to assist the Planning Board in reviewing these applications. Since the adoption of Article XXVII, there has been a proliferation of applications for wireless facilities, towers and structures throughout the Town, often proposed in locations where the Town Planning Board thought there was adequate coverage for multiple carriers. Therefore, the Town of Southampton finds it increasingly difficult to obtain adequate information to best determine where new wireless communications towers should be located and what alternatives or new technologies exist to best serve the needs of the residents of the Town.
In order to have sufficient information, the Town Board has commissioned a Wireless Master Plan to create guidelines and standards for applications by the wireless industry. Such information is expected to help the Southampton Town Planning Board in its charge of protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the people of the Town of Southampton by the regulation and placement of wireless infrastructure.
The Wireless Master Plan process takes into consideration the technologies now available in the wireless industry to address the increasing demand for personal wireless services. A comprehensive inventory of wireless structures and facilities is included in the Master Plan along with propagation studies that provide a baseline analysis of service area gaps. A hierarchy of preferences that indicate opportunity and avoidance areas is being formulated as part of the study along with the requisite SEQRA generic environmental impact statement to assess the potential impacts of the Master Plan recommendations and any amendments to the existing ordinance (Article XXVII, § 330-300 through § 330-306). The objective is to provide the Town decision-makers and public with the tools and knowledge needed to engage in a comprehensive review of alternatives prior to taking action or relying on limited or potentially biased information. It is anticipated that the Master Plan will assist the wireless carriers in achieving the level of service necessary without compromising the aesthetic and natural resources of the Town. This should be accomplished in a manner that continues to provide the industry with the flexibility needed to embrace emerging technologies.
The Wireless Master Plan is expected to result in revisions and refinement of the Town Code provisions of Article XXVII, Wireless Communication Towers and Antennas. Therefore, during the preparation of the Wireless Master Plan and concurrent with Code revisions and SEQRA process, a seven-month moratorium shall be enacted so that processing, reviewing, or taking any action on wireless communications facilities applications is suspended during this time period.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 330, Zoning, Art. XXVII.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
Any request or application for the placement, construction, or addition of a wireless communications tower, alternative tower structure and antennas as defined in § 330-300 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton within the "Study Area," including any request for a building permit, site plan, variance, or special exception use permit. Applications for building permits which are currently excepted under § 330-303A(1) and (3) of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton shall be exempt from this moratorium.
The period of seven months from the effective date. The same may be extended for good cause by appropriate action of the Town Board.
[Amended 12-11-2007 by L.L. No. 61-2007]
This extended chapter shall expire three months from the effective date of filing with the Secretary of State.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law and the State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations and expressly supersedes any provisions of Chapters 247, 292 and 330 of the Town Code of the Town of Southampton and Article 16 of the Town Law of the State of New York. In particular, this chapter shall supersede those provisions of the Town Code and New York State law which would otherwise require the Town Board, Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals to accept, process and approve applications within certain statutory time periods.
No new applications shall be accepted nor shall any pending applications continue to be processed by the Town Board, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, or any other agency, department or office of the Town of Southampton during the moratorium period.
The following are excluded from this chapter:
Town Code amendments that are initiated and authorized by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton.
Towers and antennas erected by a government or quasi-governmental body used exclusively for a governmental purpose.
The processing of any applications, construction or placement of towers or antennas that are initiated and authorized by the Town Board of the Town of Southampton.
Towers or antennas for amateur radio stations operators/receive-only antennas that comply with current standards and regulations of the FAA, the FCC and any other authority regulating the operation of wireless communications.
Applications may be exempted from the provisions of this chapter following a public hearing on notice before the Town Board. Upon such application, the Town Board shall consider:
The size of the subject parcel;
The proximity of the applicant's premises to pine barrens, wetlands, endangered plant and animal species, wildlife and other similar environmental concerns;
The extent of the proposed construction and/or disturbance of the applicant's premises;
The environmental significance, if any, of the applicant's parcel and the proposed construction's impact upon the environment, including existing transportation resources;
Compatibility of the proposed construction with the aesthetic resources of the community or with the existing community or neighborhood character;
Compatibility of the proposed construction with the recommendations of the 1999 Comprehensive Plan Update and all previous Comprehensive Plans starting with the Town's 1970 Master Plan;
Compatibility of the proposed construction with the preliminary recommendations of the Wireless Master Plan undertaken pursuant to this chapter; and
The degree of urgency of the public's need for or interest in the incremental improvement in service to be provided by the proposed construction; and
Recommendations of the Town Planning Board and the Town Department of Land Management.
In making a determination under this section, the Town Board may obtain and consider written reports from the Department of Land Management and such other sources as required in the judgment of the Town Board and consistent with the purpose of this chapter. A grant of an exemption to an applicant's premises shall include a determination of unnecessary hardship and unique circumstances which do not generally apply throughout the Town and a finding that the grant of an exemption will be in harmony with and will not be unduly disruptive to the goals and purposes of the study referred to in this chapter.
An application under this section shall be accompanied by a fee of $500, 18 copies of the application, together with the applicant's written undertaking in a form to be approved by the Town Attorney and in substance, approved by the Town Board, to pay, either in advance or by reimbursement, at the Town Board's ongoing election, any out-of-pocket costs incurred by the Town in studies and/or by retainer of resource personnel and relating to the hearing, review and determination of such application.