Building construction and fire prevention — See Ch. 100.
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 109.
Satellite antennas — See Ch. 193.
Zoning — See Ch. 267.
§ 227-2Legislative intent.
§ 227-4Building permit required.
§ 227-5Environmental quality review.
§ 227-6Location; zoning restrictions.
§ 227-8Utility service facilities or related structures.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as "Communication Towers/Antennas and Related Structures." See Chapter 193, "Satellite Dishes" for rules and regulations regarding satellite antennas, with the exception of § 227-7P.
The Village Board of the Village of Blasdell hereby recognizes the need to establish regulations and requirements for communication towers/antennas and related structures. Such regulations and requirements are intended to:
Provide for the appropriate location and development of communication towers/antennas and Related Facilities in the Village of Blasdell.
Minimize adverse visual effects of communication towers/antennas and related facilities through careful design, siting and vegetative screening.
Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from communication towers/antennas and related facilities through engineering and careful siting of communication towers/antennas and related structures.
Maximize use of any new or existing communication tower/antennas to reduce the number of towers/antennas needed.
As used in this chapter, the terms that follow shall have the meanings indicated:
- An arrangement of wires or metal rods used in transmitting or receiving electromagnetic waves.
- BREAK POINT
- The location on a communication tower of a designed feature which, in the event of a tower failure, would result in the tower falling entirely within the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
- COMMUNICATION TOWER
- A guyed, monopole or self-supported tower, constructed as a freestanding structure or in association with a building, other permanent structure or equipment, containing one or more antenna(s) intended for transmitting or receiving television, AM/FM radio, digital, microwave, cellular, telephone or similar forms of electronic communication.
- Electromagnetic field.
- GUYED TOWER
- A communication tower that is supported, in whole or in part, by guy wires and ground anchors.
- MONOPOLE TOWER
- A communication tower consisting of a single pole, constructed without guy wires and ground anchors.
- Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation.
- ONE-HUNDRED-PERCENT-CLEAR ZONE
- The requirement that in the event of a tower failure, the entire height of the tower would fall completely within the boundaries of the property on which it is located.
- SELF-SUPPORT TOWER
- A communication tower that is constructed without guy wires and ground anchors.
- UTILITY SERVICE AND RELATED FACILITIES
- Elements of utility distribution, collection or transmission networks required by their nature to be relatively dispersed throughout the service area. Typical utility service facilities include, but are not limited to, electrical distribution substations, sewage lift stations and telephone exchange buildings and structures.
- VILLAGE STAFF
- Both the Planning Board and Zoning Board.
The building permit fee schedule is as follows:
Filing fee: $25.
Examination of plans: $250.
Permit fee: $25 per $1,000 of construction cost.
The filing fee and examination of plans fee are waived if the tower is erected on village property.
Every communication tower/antenna and/or related structure is subject to a Type 1 SEQR analysis.
Freestanding communication towers may be permitted on government-owned and village-owned property, and in the following zoning districts:
Residential areas, but subject to the following criteria:
May have a maximum height of 50 feet.
Must have a one-hundred-percent-clear zone.
Must be a monopole tower.
Must be located in the back yard.
May only be permitted in residential areas if there is no technically suitable space on an existing communication tower within the geographic area that the new tower site would serve.
Rooftop-mounted communication towers or antennas may be approved in any zoning district or government-owned or village-owned property subject to the following:
The height of the tower or antenna, including support structures, does not extend more than 15 feet above the average height of the roofline.
The building is at least two stories in height.
Screening, if appropriate, may be required to minimize the visual impact of a proposed tower or antenna upon adjacent properties.
The number and location of communication towers, antennas or other receiving or transmitting devices located on a single structure is not excessive and does not adversely affect adjacent properties.
The minimum regulations in this section shall apply in addition to the regulations for the zoning district in which a communication tower is to be located. The minimum regulations, if applicable, also apply to rooftop towers/antennas.
Land use compatibility.
Communication towers shall be located and buffered to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. To help ensure such compatibility, each application shall include a visual impact analysis of a proposed tower on all properties within a radius of 2,000 feet. The visual impact analysis shall include, as a minimum, the following information:
The exact location of the proposed tower located on a Village of Blasdell Official Zoning Map.
The maximum height of the proposed tower.
The color or colors of the proposed tower.
The location, type and intensity of lighting for the proposed tower.
The location of the proposed tower, placed upon an aerial photograph possessing a scale of not more than one inch equals 300 feet, indicating all adjacent land uses within a radius of 2,000 feet from all property lines of the proposed tower location site.
A line of site analysis, prepared by a New York State licensed engineer.
Such other additional information as may be required by the Village Board and staff to fully review and evaluate the potential impact of a proposed tower.
The line of site analysis shall include the following information:
An identification of significant existing natural and man-made features adjacent to the proposed tower location to indicate that those features will provide buffering for adjacent properties and public rights-of-way.
An identification of at least three specific points within a two-thousand-foot radius of the proposed tower from which the line of site analysis is presented.
A statement as to the potential visual and aesthetic impacts of the proposed tower on all adjacent residential zoning districts.
A graphic illustration of the visual impact of the proposed tower at a scale that does not exceed five degrees of horizontal distance presented from the specific points identified within the line of site analysis.
Such other additional information as may be required by the Village Board or staff to fully review and evaluate the potential impact of a proposed tower.
The exact location of the specific points to be included within the line of site analysis shall be determined in coordination with the village staff prior to preparation and completion of the analysis.
The visual impact analysis shall be prepared and sealed by an engineer licensed in the State of New York. The Village of Blasdell, at the expense of the applicant, may employ consulting assistance to review the findings and conclusions of the visual impact analysis.
The Village Board, following an advisory recommendation by the Village Staff, may deny any application to permit construction of a communication tower if the line of site analysis indicates that any of the following may occur:
The tower will be highly visible from one or more public rights-of-way.
The tower may adversely affect a residential neighborhood, indicated when an average of at least 50% of total height of the proposed tower will be visible from one or more of the specific points utilized for the line of site analysis.
The tower may adversely affect adjacent nonresidential properties.
The proposed tower will be of a height, bulk and scale that is not compatible with surrounding residential and nonresidential uses.
Additional antennas and similar receiving or transmitting devices. Any additional antennas, reception or other similar receiving or transmitting devices proposed for attachment to an existing tower shall require review in the same manner as the existing tower was originally approved. The intent of this requirement is to ensure the structural integrity, visual aesthetics, and land use compatibility of communication towers upon which additional antennas, communication dishes, etc., are to be installed. The application for approval to install additional antennas, dishes or other similar receiving devices shall include certification from an engineer, licensed in New York State, indicating that the additional device or devices installed will not adversely affect the structural integrity of the communication tower. A visual impact analysis shall be included as part of the application for approval to install one or more additional communication devices to an existing tower.
Shared use of communication towers. The Village Board and village staff may require that each application for a communication tower include the following:
A written statement from the Erie County communications Division regarding the availability of any existing or approved, but unbuilt, communication towers in the Blasdell area that may meet tower needs of the applicant.
A written evaluation of the feasibility of sharing a communication tower, if an appropriate communication tower or towers is available. The evaluation shall analyze, but is not limited to, the following factors:
Structural capacity of the tower or towers.
Radio frequency interference.
Geographic service area requirements.
Mechanical or electrical incompatibilities.
Inability or ability to locate equipment on the tower or towers.
Cost, if fees and costs for sharing would exceed the cost of a new communication tower over a twenty-five-year period.
Any restrictions or limitations of the Federal Communications Commission that would preclude the shared use of the tower.
Aircraft hazard. Communication towers shall not encroach into or through any established, public or private airport approach path, as established.by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Each application to construct a communication tower shall include proof of application for approval from the FAA and shall be submitted with each application for a communication tower. A building permit for an approved communication tower shall not be issued until FAA approval is obtained.
Approval required from other governmental agencies. Each application for a communication tower shall include written approval or a statement of no objection from other federal, state or county agencies that regulate communication tower siting, design and construction.
Radiation standards. All proposed communication towers shall comply with current standards of the Federal Communications Commission for non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (NIER) and electromagnetic field (EMF). Each special exception application for a communication tower shall include preliminary or certified documentation or a statement from a New York State registered engineer or other professional accepted by the village, indicating compliance with these standards. The village may hire a consultant to evaluate the required NIER and EMF documentation. The fee charged by the consultant shall be paid by the applicant. In the event that only a preliminary statement is submitted with the application, a final, certified statement will be provided by the applicant and approved by the village prior to the issuance of a building permit.
Fencing and landscaping.
A six-foot fence or wall, as measured from the finished grade of the site, shall be required around the base of a communication tower.
Landscaping, consistent with the requirements of this code, shall be installed around the entire perimeter of the fence. Additional landscaping may be required around the perimeter of the fence and around any and all anchors or supports if deemed necessary to buffer adjacent properties. The Village Board may require landscaping in excess of requirements of this code in order to enhance compatibility with adjacent residential and nonresidential land uses. Landscaping shall be installed on the outside of the perimeter fence.
"High voltage" and "no trespassing" warning signs.
If high voltage is necessary for the operation of the communication tower or any accessory structures, HIGH VOLTAGE - DANGER warning signs shall be permanently attached to the fence or wall and shall be spaced not more than 25 feet apart.
NO TRESPASSING warning signs shall be permanently attached to the fence or wall and shall be spaced not more than 25 feet apart.
The letters for the HIGH VOLTAGE - DANGER and NO TRESPASSING warning signs shall be at least six inches in height. The two warning signs may be combined into one sign. The warning signs shall be installed at least four feet above the finished grade of the fence.
The warning signs may be attached to freestanding poles if the content of the signs may be obstructed by landscaping.
Equipment storage. Mobile or immobile equipment not used in direct support of a tower facility shall not be stored or parked on the site of the communication tower, unless repairs to the tower are being made.
Removal of obsolete or unused facilities. All obsolete or unused communication tower facilities shall be removed by the initial permit holder/constructor of the tower within 12 months of cessation of use, or subject to a Village Board decision otherwise.
Signs and advertising. The use of any portion of a tower for signs or advertising purposes, including company name, banners, streamers, etc., is prohibited.
Colors. The village may require that towers shall be painted in natural colors, designed to blend into the surrounding environment. This requirement may be superseded by the requirements of other county, state or federal regulatory agency possessing jurisdiction over communication towers.
Lighting. Artificial tower lighting shall be limited to mandatory safety lighting required by county, state or federal regulatory agencies possessing jurisdiction over communication towers. Security lighting around the base of a tower may be provided, if such lighting does not adversely affect adjacent property owners.
The Village Board may require periodic inspections of communication towers to ensure structural integrity. Such inspections may be required as follows:
Inspections shall be conducted by an Engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York. The results of such inspections shall be provided to the Village of Blasdell. Based upon the results of an inspection, the Village Board may require repair or removal of a communication tower.
Noninterference. Each application to allow construction of a communication tower shall include either a preliminary or a certified statement that the construction of the tower, including reception and transmission functions, will not interfere with the usual and customary transmission or reception of radio, television, etc., service enjoyed by adjacent residential properties. In the event that only a preliminary statement is submitted with the application, a final, certified statement of noninterference will be provided and approved by the Village Board prior to the issuance of a building permit. The statement shall be prepared by an Engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.
Communication dishes on monopoles prohibited. Unless specifically authorized by the Village Board, communication dishes may not be installed upon monopole communication towers.
Measurement of tower height. Tower height shall be measured from the crown of the nearest public right-of-way.
Exemption from minimum distance requirements. Communication towers installed and operated by public purposes by a federal, state or local governmental agency shall be excluded from calculations of minimum distance requirements for communication towers operated for private purposes.
Certification required. All plans for construction of a communication tower, including foundation plans, shall be certified by an engineer licensed to practice in the State of New York.
Evacuation route. Communication towers, in the event of tower failure, shall not be constructed at a height and location that may totally or partially block or impede any road or street designated as an evacuation route.
Replacement of nonconforming communication towers. Any nonconforming communication tower, antenna or similar transmitting and receiving device that becomes damaged shall be repaired or replaced subject to this chapter.
Location. Utility service facilities may be permitted in any district, subject to the following regulations.
Regulations. In addition to the regulations as set forth within the zoning district in which a utility service facility is located, the following minimum regulations shall apply:
Location. All utility service facilities shall be located within a reasonable proximity of the area to be served by the facility.
Setbacks. All utility service structures shall meet or exceed the minimum setback requirements of the zoning district in which it is located.
Fencing. Where deemed necessary by the Village Board to protect the general public, a safety fence of not less than six feet in height, with access limited by a locked gate, may be required to enclose a utility service facility.
Land use compatibility. All proposed utility service facilities shall be properly located and buffered to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. If deemed necessary to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses, the Village Board shall require landscaping with at least 75% opaqueness to protect neighboring property from potential loss of use or diminishment of land value. Such landscaping shall be installed on the outside of a required fence. The required landscaping may be waived by the Village Board if it would not be visible from adjacent lots or public rights-of-way.
"High voltage" signs. If high voltage is necessary for the operation of the facility, signs located every 25 feet and attached to the fence or wall shall display in six-inch-large bold letters the following: HIGH VOLTAGE - DANGER.
Equipment storage. No equipment, mobile or immobile, not used in direct support of the facility shall be stored or parked on the site of a utility service facility unless repairs to the facility are being made.
Maximum floor area. The maximum size of all structures at a utility service facility, including accessory structures, shall not exceed 400 square feet of gross floor area.
Parking requirement. Any utility service facility which requires a full-time attendant or consumer visitation, shall provide adequate parking.
Waste disposal. Any utility service facility which requires a full-time attendant or consumer visitation shall provide appropriate means for disposal of all solid waste generated on site.