City of Shrewsbury, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 436.010 Purpose.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
The purposes of this Chapter are to:
1. 
Provide for the appropriate location and development of communications facilities and systems to serve the citizens and businesses of the City of Shrewsbury by conserving the value of land and buildings;
2. 
Minimize adverse visual impacts of telecommunications towers, antennas and support structures through the careful design, siting, landscape screening and innovative camouflaging techniques;
3. 
Maximize the use of existing and new towers, antennas and support structures so as to minimize the need to construct new or additional facilities;
4. 
Maximize and encourage the use of disguised support structures so as to ensure the architectural integrity of designated areas within the City and the scenic quality of protected natural habitats.

Section 436.020 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings and usages indicated:
ADMINISTRATOR
The Zoning Administrator of the City of Shrewsbury or his/her designee.
ANTENNA
Any device that transmits and/or receives radio waves for voice, data or video communications purposes, including but not limited to television, AM/FM radio, microwave, cellular telephone and similar forms of communications. The term shall exclude satellite earth station antennas less than six (6) feet in diameter and any receive-only home television antennas.
CABINET
A structure for the protection and security of communications equipment associated with one (1) or more antennas where direct access to equipment is provided from the exterior and the horizontal dimensions of which do not exceed four (4) feet by six (6) feet, with a maximum height of eight (8) feet.
DISGUISED SUPPORT STRUCTURE
Any free-standing, man-made structure designed for the support of communications antennas, the presence of which is camouflaged or concealed as an architectural or natural feature. Such structures may include but are not limited to clock towers, campaniles, observation towers, pylon signs, water towers, light standards, flag poles and artificial trees.
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission.
HEIGHT
The vertical distance measured from the base of the structure at ground level to its highest point and including the main structure and all attachments thereto.
SHELTER
A building for the protection and security of communications equipment associated with one (1) or more antennas and where access to equipment is gained from the interior of the building.
TOWER
A structure designed for the support of one (1) or more antennas and including guyed towers, self-supporting (lattice) towers or monopoles, but not disguised support structures or buildings. The term shall also not include any support structure under fifty (50) feet in height owned and operated by an amateur radio operator licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.

Section 436.030 General Requirements.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
The requirements set forth in this Section shall be applicable to all antenna support structures installed, built or modified after the effective date of this Chapter, September 9, 1997, and to the full extent permitted by law.
1. 
Principal or incidental use. Antennas and support structures may be either a principal use in all zoning districts or an incidental use to existing multi-family, institutional or non-residential uses, subject to any applicable district requirement relating to location or setback.
2. 
Building codes and safety standards. To ensure the structural integrity of antenna support structures, the owner shall see that it is constructed and maintained in compliance with all standards contained in applicable State and local Building Codes and the applicable standards published by the Electronics Industries Association, as amended from time to time.
3. 
Regulatory compliance. All antennas and support structures shall meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FAA, FCC and any other State or Federal agency with the authority to regulate communications antennas and support structures. Should such standards or regulations be amended, then the owner shall bring such devices and structures into compliance with the revised standards or regulations within the time period mandated by the controlling agency.
4. 
Security. All antennas and support structures shall be protected from unauthorized access by appropriate security devices. A description of proposed security measures shall be provided as part of any application to install, build or modify antennas or support structures. Additional measures may be required as a condition of the issuance of a Building Permit or Administrative Permit (as provided for in Section 436.050 below) as deemed necessary by the Administrator or by the Planning and Zoning Commission in the case of a Special Use Permit (as provided for in Section 436.060 below).
5. 
Lighting. Antennas and support structures shall not be lighted unless required by the FAA or other State or Federal agency with authority to regulate, in which case a description of the required lighting scheme will be made a part of the application to install, build or modify the antenna or support structure.
6. 
Construction standards.
a. 
Setbacks. All antenna support structures shall be set back a distance equal to at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the height of the tower or antenna support structure. Setback requirements for towers or antenna support structures shall be measured from the base of the tower or antenna support structure to the property line of the parcel on which it is located.
(1) 
Ground anchors of all guyed towers or antenna support structures shall be located on the same parcel as the tower or antenna support structure and meet the setbacks of the applicable zoning district.
b. 
Separation or "buffer" requirements.
(1) 
Separation from designated areas.
(a) 
All antenna support structures shall be separated from the types of areas designated below in compliance with the minimum standards established in the table set forth immediately below:
Designated Area
Separation Distance
Single-family residential district1
300 feet or 100% height of tower or antenna support structure, whichever is greater
Vacant single-family zoned land which is either platted or has preliminary subdivision plan approval which is not expired
300 feet or 100% height of tower or antenna support structure2, whichever is greater
Vacant unplatted residentially zoned land and residential units in non-residential zoned districts3
200 feet or 100% of tower or antenna support structure, whichever is greater
Existing multi-family residential units
100 feet or 100% height of tower or antenna support structure, whichever is greater
Non-residentially zoned lands or non-
residential uses
None; only setbacks apply
1
Includes modular homes and mobile homes used for living purposes.
2
Separation measured from base of tower or antenna support structure to closest building setback line.
3
Includes any unplatted residential use properties without a valid preliminary subdivision plan or valid development plan approval and any multi-family residentially zoned land.
(b) 
Measurement of tower or antenna support structure separation distances for the purpose of compliance with this Section shall be measured from the base of a tower or antenna support structure to the closest point of a Designated Area as specified in the table above set forth, unless otherwise indicated.
(c) 
Separation distances set forth in this Subsection may be reduced for towers or antenna support structures designed for the shared use of telecommunications facilities of other carriers by obtaining an exception to said distances by demonstrating to the Board of Aldermen that the separation distances will:
(i) 
Have the effect of preventing service to an area of the City;
(ii) 
Constitute a barrier to entry into the market place by the applicant;
(iii) 
Will constitute a technical or economic hardship on the applicant;
(iv) 
The location, shape, appearance or nature of use of the proposed tower or antenna support structure will not substantially detract from the aesthetics of the area nor change the character of the neighborhood in which the tower or antenna support structure is proposed to be located;
(v) 
That landscaping techniques will be used to screen the tower or antenna support structure from any adjacent residential use; and
(vi) 
The proposed tower or antenna support structure will accommodate at least two (2) additional carriers of various telecommunications services.
The Board of Aldermen shall consider the information presented by the applicant and determine if a special exception would conflict with the purposes of this Section, create a blight on adjacent property, or interfere with adjacent uses, within the separation area.
(2) 
Separation distances between antenna support structures.
(a) 
Proposed towers or antenna support structures must meet the following minimum separation requirements from towers or antenna support structures existing at the time a permit is granted pursuant to this Chapter. However, an exception from separation distances between towers or antenna support structures may be obtained from the Board of Aldermen if the applicant can demonstrate that such an exception is necessary for the engineering design of the system the tower or antenna support structure is to be a part of and that no other option is available to provide coverage for the service area.
EXISTING TOWER AND ANTENNA SUPPORT STRUCTURE TYPES
Lattice
Guyed
Monopole
75 ft. in height or greater
Monopole
Less than 75 ft. in height
Proposed Antenna Support Structure Types
Lattice
3,000 ft.
2,500 ft.
1,500 ft.
750 ft.
Guyed
3,000 ft.
2,500 ft.
1,500 ft.
750 ft.
Monopole
75 ft. in height or greater
1,500 ft.
1,500 ft.
1,500 ft.
750 ft.
Monopole
Less than 75 ft. in height
750 ft.
750 ft.
750 ft.
750 ft.
For the purpose of this Subsection, the separation distance shall be measured by drawing or following a straight line between the base of the existing structure and the proposed base, pursuant to a site plan, of the proposed tower or antenna support structure.
(b) 
Construction standards not applicable to City-owned or occupied property. Nothing in Subsection (6), Construction Standards, of Section 436.030 above shall apply to towers and antenna support structures proposed to be constructed on City-owned or occupied property, but such towers and antenna support structures shall be subject to the procedures for public hearings set forth in Sections 436.040, 436.050 or 436.060 below, depending upon the type of permit required.
7. 
Advertising. Unless a disguised antenna support structure in the form of an otherwise lawfully permitted pylon sign, the placement of advertising on towers or antenna support structures regulated by this Chapter is prohibited.
8. 
Design.
a. 
Towers or antenna support structures shall maintain a galvanized steel finish or, subject to the requirements of the FAA or any applicable State or Federal agency, be painted a neutral color consistent with the natural or built environment of the site.
b. 
Equipment shelters or cabinets shall have an exterior finish compatible with the natural or built environment of the site and shall also comply with any design guidelines as may be applicable to the particular zoning district in which the facility is located.
c. 
Towers or antenna support structures shall not exceed the height limitation of any airport overlay zone as may be adopted by the City or FAA.
d. 
Antennas attached to a building or disguised antenna support structure shall be of a color identical to or closely compatible with the surface to which they are mounted.
e. 
All towers or antenna support structures shall be surrounded by a landscape strip of not less than ten (10) feet in width and planted with materials which will provide a visual barrier to a minimum height of six (6) feet. Said landscape strip shall be exterior to any security fencing. In lieu of the required landscape strip, a minimum six (6) foot high decorative fence or wall may be approved by the Administrator in the case of a Building or Administrative Permit, or by the Board of Aldermen in the case of a Special Use Permit upon demonstration by the applicant that an equivalent degree of visual screening is achieved.
f. 
Vehicle or outdoor storage on or in any tower or antenna support structure site is prohibited.
g. 
On-site parking for periodic maintenance and service shall be provided at all antenna, tower or antenna support structure locations.
9. 
Shared use.
a. 
Prior to the issuance of any permit to alter or modify any tower or antenna support structure existing on the effective date of this Chapter, September 9, 1997, the owner shall provide to the City a written and notarized statement agreeing to make said towers or antenna support structures available for use by others subject to reasonable technical limitations and reasonable financial terms. The willful and knowing failure of a tower or antenna support structure owner to agree to shared use or to negotiate in good faith with potential users shall be cause for the withholding of future permits to the same owner to install, build or modify antennas, towers or antenna support structures within the City.
b. 
Prior to the issuance of any permit to install, build or modify any tower or antenna support structure, the tower or antenna support structure owner shall furnish the Administrator an inventory of all that owner's towers or antenna support structures in or within one-half (½) mile of the City limits of Shrewsbury. The inventory shall include the tower's or antenna support structure's reference name or number, the street location, latitude and longitude, structure type, height, type and mounting height of existing antennas and an assessment of available ground space for the placement of additional equipment shelters.
c. 
Any new tower or antenna support structure approved at a height of one hundred (100) feet above ground level ("AGL") or higher shall be designed and constructed to accommodate at least one (1) additional user unless a larger number is indicated by the response to the notification provisions herein (see Paragraphs (d—e) below) or otherwise. The willful and knowing failure of the owner of a tower or antenna support structure built for shared use to negotiate in good faith with potential users shall be cause for the withholding of future permits to the same owner to install, build or modify antennas, towers or antenna support structures within the City.
d. 
Prior to any application for the construction of a new tower or disguised support structure, a copy of the application or a summary containing the height, design, location, type and frequency of antennas and antenna support structures shall be delivered by certified mail to all known potential tower and antenna support structure users as identified by a schedule maintained by the Administrator. Proof of such delivery shall be submitted with the application to the City. The Administrator shall make available for any user of towers or antenna support structures or prospective user to be placed on the list to receive notification of applications. The Administrator shall, before deciding on the application or forwarding it to the Planning and Zoning Commission for consideration, allow all persons receiving notice at least ten (10) business days to respond to the City and the applicant that the party receiving notice be permitted to share the proposed tower or antenna support structure. The failure of the receiving party to respond to any such notice shall be considered in reviewing any subsequent requests for new towers or antenna support structures proposed by the notified party.
e. 
Any party seeking shared use of a tower or antenna support structure subject to this provision shall, after responding to notice of an application, negotiate with the applicant for such use. The applicant may on a legitimate and reasonable business basis choose between multiple requests for shared use on the same tower or antenna support structure, and may reject any request, where legitimate, technical obstacles cannot be reasonably overcome or where the party requesting shared use will not agree to reasonable financial terms. Any party believing that the applicant has breached its duty to negotiate in good faith for shared use shall immediately notify the applicant and Administrator in writing. Such notice of breach of duty shall explain the precise basis for the claim and shall be accompanied by payment of an administrative review fee of five hundred dollars ($500.00) to the City to offset the cost of review. After the applicant's receipt of the notice, the applicant shall have ten (10) calendar days to provide a written submission to the Administrator responding to the alleged violation of the shared use requirement. If deemed necessary by the Administrator, he/she may engage, at the cost of the party alleging the violations, a neutral, qualified technical consultant to provide an opinion on feasibility or costs of the shared use request. If the Administrator receives a notice alleging a violation of the shared use requirement, the time for a decision on an Administrative Permit is automatically extended for up to thirty (30) days until the Administrator has determined that the applicant has complied. An application for Special Use Permit shall not be deemed complete for acceptance until a decision on compliance is reached. The Administrator may reject the application upon a finding that shared use has been improperly denied.

Section 436.040 Permitted Uses.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
Upon receipt of the appropriate Building Permit and following a duly published public hearing by the Board of Aldermen pursuant to Section 405.060 and written notice to all property owners within five hundred (500) feet of the proposed tower, the following are allowed:
1. 
The attachment of additional or replacement antennas or shelters to any tower or antenna support structure existing on the effective date of this Chapter, September 9, 1997, or subsequently approved in accordance with these regulations, provided that additional equipment shelters or cabinets are located within the existing tower or antenna support structure compound area.
2. 
The mounting of antennas on any existing building or structure such as a water tower, provided that the presence of the antennas is concealed by architectural elements or camouflaged by painting a color identical to the surface to which they are attached.
3. 
The mounting of antennas on or within ten (10) feet above any existing high-voltage electric transmission tower.
4. 
The installation of antennas or the construction of a tower or antenna support structure on buildings or land owned by the City following the approval of a lease agreement by the Board of Aldermen.

Section 436.050 Administrative Permit Required.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
Prior to the issuance of a Building Permit and following a duly published public hearing by the Board of Aldermen pursuant to Section 405.060 and written notice to all property owners within five hundred (500) feet of the proposed tower, an Administrative Permit approved by the Administrator shall be obtained for the following:
1. 
The attachment of additional or replacement antennas or shelters to any tower or antenna support structure existing on the effective date of this Chapter, September 9, 1997, or subsequently approved in accordance with these regulations and requiring the enlargement of the existing tower or antenna support structure compound area as long as all other requirements of this Chapter and the underlying zoning district are met.
2. 
The one-time replacement of any tower or antenna support structure existing on the effective date of this Chapter, September 9, 1997, or subsequently approved in accordance with these regulations so long as the purpose of the replacement is to accommodate shared use of the site or to eliminate a safety hazard. The new tower or antenna support structure shall be of the same type as the original, except that a guyed or self-supporting (lattice) tower may be replaced by a monopole. If the guyed or lattice tower to be replaced is one hundred eighty (180) feet or less in height, it shall only be replaced with a monopole. The height of the new tower or antenna support structure may exceed that of the original by not more than twenty (20) feet. Subsequent replacements shall require the approval of a Special Use Permit.
3. 
The construction of a disguised support structure provided that all related equipment shall be placed underground or concealed within the structure when the structure is located in any district other than a district authorizing industrial uses. Equipment may be placed in a cabinet if the disguised support structure is incidental to an industrial, commercial, institutional or other non-residential use.
4. 
The installation of antennas or the construction of a tower or disguised support structure on buildings or land owned, occupied or leased by the State of Missouri, the City, any agency of the Federal Government of a local government agency, board or authority.
5. 
The placement of dual polar panel antennas on wooden or steel utility poles not to exceed forty (40) feet in height provided that all related equipment is contained in a cabinet.
B. 
Application Procedures. Applications for Administrative Permits shall be made on the appropriate forms to the Administrator and accompanied by payment of the established fee and shall include:
1. 
A detailed site plan, based on a closed boundary survey of the host parcel, shall be submitted with six (6) copies indicating all existing and proposed improvements including buildings, drives, walkways, parking areas and other structures, public rights-of-way, the zoning categories of the subject and adjoining properties, the location of and distance to off-site residential structures, required setbacks, required buffer and landscape areas, hydraulic features, and the coordinates and height, AGL, of the existing or proposed tower or antenna support structure.
2. 
The application shall be reviewed by the Administrator to determine compliance with the above standards and transmit the application for review and comment by other departments and public agencies as may be affected by the proposed facility.
3. 
The Administrator shall issue a decision on the permit within thirty (30) days of the date of application or the application shall be deemed approved unless the time period for review and action was extended pursuant to (Section 436.030(9)). The Administrator may deny the application or approve the application as submitted or with such modifications as are, in his/her judgment, reasonably necessary to protect the safety or general welfare of the citizens consistent with the purposes of this Chapter. The Administrator may consider the factors established in Section 436.060 for granting a Special Use Permit as well as any other considerations consistent with this Chapter. A decision to deny an application shall be made in writing, and state the specific reasons for the denial.
C. 
Appeals. Appeals from the decision of the Administrator shall be made to the Board of Adjustment.

Section 436.060 Special Use Permit Required.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
All proposals to install, build or modify an antenna, tower or support structure not covered under Sections 436.040 or 436.050 above shall require the approval of a Special Use Permit following a duly published public hearing by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
1. 
Applications for Special Use Permits shall be filed and processed in the manner and time frame as established in Section 405.060 of the Zoning Code, Title IV.
2. 
Findings required.
a. 
In addition to any other determinations specified by Section 405.060 for the consideration of Special Use Permits, the Planning and Zoning Commission shall make findings as to the following based upon evidence submitted with the application or presented during the public hearing by the applicant or others. A decision by the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny an application shall be accompanied by substantial evidence which shall be made a part of the written record of the meeting at which a final decision on the application is rendered. For approval, the written report shall include an affirmative finding for each of the following:
(1) 
If the City has adopted a Telecommunications Master Plan Map, which designates the areas in which the City has determined that the location of towers or antenna support structures would be appropriate, (the "Communications Tower Multi-Use Interest Area") and the proposed tower or antenna support structure is located within the Communication Tower Multi-Use Interest Area.
(2) 
There are other limiting conditions that render existing towers or antenna support structures, or buildings within the applicant's required geographic area unsuitable.
(3) 
The design of the towers or antenna support structures, including the antennas, shelters, cabinets and ground layout maximally reduce visual degradation and otherwise comply with the provisions of this Chapter.
(4) 
The proposal minimizes the number and size of towers or antenna support structures that will be required in the geographical area surrounding the proposed site.
(5) 
The applicant has attempted to take advantage of available shared use opportunities provided by this Chapter or otherwise.
b. 
In addition, the written report for approval will include an affirmative finding of at least one (1) of the following:
(1) 
There are no existing towers or antenna support structures located within the geographic area necessary to meet the applicant's engineering requirements.
(2) 
There are no existing towers or antenna support structures or buildings within the applicant's required geographic area of sufficient height to meet system engineering requirements.
(3) 
There are no existing towers or antenna support structures within the geographic area which have sufficient structural strength to support the applicant's proposed antennas.
(4) 
The proposed towers, antennas or antenna support structures would not experience or cause signal interference with antennas on existing towers or support structures.
(5) 
The fees, costs or other contractual terms required by the owner(s) of existing tower(s), antenna support structure(s), structure(s) or building(s) within the required geographic area of the applicant or to retrofit the existing tower(s), antenna support structure(s) or structure(s) are unreasonable. Costs exceeding that of a new tower or antenna support structure are presumed to be unreasonable.
3. 
Additional limitations.
a. 
No tower or antenna support structure shall be approved at a height exceeding one hundred fifty (150) feet AGL unless the applicant clearly demonstrates that such height is required for the proper function of the applicant's system or that of a public safety communications system of a governmental entity sharing the tower or antenna support structure. Such showing must also be supported by the opinion of a telecommunications consultant hired by the City at the expense of the applicant. The opinion of the consultant shall include a statement that no available alternatives exist to exceeding the height limit or the reason why such alternatives are not viable.
b. 
If the City has by judicial order or voluntarily agreed to participate in a multi-municipality commission to coordinate new tower or antenna support structure applications, an application made pursuant to this Section shall also be submitted to such Commission simultaneous with the filing of the request with the City. The Planning and Zoning Commission may consider any comments from such Commission but shall not allow a delay in receiving such comments to significantly delay a decision of the Special Use Permit.

Section 436.070 Obsolete or Abandoned Towers or Antenna Support Structures.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
A. 
Any tower or antenna support structure or upper portion of a tower or antenna support structure which is not occupied by active antennas for a period of twelve (12) months shall be deemed abandoned.
B. 
The City shall provide the tower or antenna support structure owner three (3) months' notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Board of Aldermen, before initiating action. After such notice has been provided, the City shall have the authority to initiate proceedings to either acquire the tower or antenna support structure and any appurtenances attached thereto at the then fair market value, to approve the sale of the tower or antenna support structure to a third (3rd) party or, in the alternative, to order the demolition of the tower or antenna support structure and all appurtenances thereto.
C. 
The City shall provide the tower or antenna support structure owner with the right to a public hearing before the Board of Aldermen, which public hearing shall follow the three (3) month notice required in this Section. All interested parties shall be allowed an opportunity to be heard at the public hearing.
D. 
After a public hearing is held pursuant to this Section, the Board of Aldermen may order the forfeiture to the City or demolition of the tower or antenna support structure. The City may require the owner to pay all expenses necessary to acquire or demolish the tower or antenna support structure.

Section 436.080 Commercial Operation of Unlawful Towers, Antenna Support Structures or Antennas.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
Notwithstanding any right that may exist for a governmental entity to operate or construct an antenna, tower or antenna support structure, it shall be unlawful for any person to erect or operate for any private commercial purpose any new antenna, tower or disguised support structure in violation of any provision of this Chapter, regardless of whether such antenna or structure is located on land belonging to a governmental entity.

Section 436.090 Penalty.

[Ord. No. 2115 §1, 9-9-1997]
Any person violating this Chapter shall be subject to a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) or ninety (90) days confinement in jail, or both. Each day the violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.