City of Excelsior Springs, MO
Clay County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 409.010 Purpose.

[R.O. 2012 §409.010; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
The intent of this Chapter is to ensure the provision of quality communications services within the City limits; establish a fair and efficient process for the review and approval of communication facility applications; assure an integrated, comprehensive review of impacts of such facilities, and protect the health, safety, welfare and aesthetic character of the community. The City of Excelsior Springs recognizes that facilitating the development of wireless service technology can be an economic development asset to the City and a benefit to residents. This Chapter is intended to ensure that the placement, construction, and modification of wireless telecommunications facilities complies with all applicable Federal laws and is consistent with the City's land use policies, zoning, planning, and design standards. This Chapter is intended to meet the following specific objectives:
1. 
Ensure access to reliable wireless communications services throughout the City;
2. 
Encourage the use of existing monopoles, towers, utility poles and other structures for the co-location of telecommunications facilities;
3. 
Encourage siting of telecommunication facilities on public lands;
4. 
Minimize the total number of towers throughout the City;
5. 
Ensure the use of disguised (stealth) facilities in residential areas, properties located in corridors with specific design guidelines, and properties located near historically significant structures or districts;
6. 
Encourage the location of new monopoles in non-residential areas and in areas where adverse impact on the community will be minimal;
7. 
Avoid potential damage to property caused by towers and telecommunications facilities by ensuring that such structures are soundly and carefully designed, constructed, modified, and maintained.

Section 409.020 Definitions.

[R.O. 2012 §409.020; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
ACCESSORY FACILITY OR STRUCTURE
An accessory facility, building, or structure(s) serving or being used in conjunction with telecommunication towers and/or antennas, and generally located on the same property or lot as the communication tower and/or antenna, including, but not limited to, utility or transmission equipment storage sheds or cabinets.
ANTENNA
Any structure or device used to collect or radiate electromagnetic waves for the provision of wireless services, including, but not limited to, cellular, paging, personal communications services (PCS), Internet, and microwave communications. Such structures and devices include, but are not limited to, directional antennae, such as panels, microwave dishes and satellite dishes, and omni directional antennae.
APPLICATION
All necessary and appropriate documentation that an applicant submits in order to receive approval for a communications facility.
CO-LOCATION
The use of an existing tower or structure to support antenna for the provision of a communication service. Co-location also means locating telecommunications facilities on an existing structure (for example: water tanks, towers, utility poles, building rooftops, etc.) without the need to construct a new support structure.
DISGUISED (STEALTH) TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
Any telecommunications facility that is integrated as an architectural feature of a structure so that the purpose of the facility for providing wireless services is not readily apparent to a casual observer. All antennae, arrays, cables and other equipment used for providing communications service shall not be obtrusive or noticeably visible from adjacent properties or adjacent streets. Examples of disguised telecommunications facilities include, but are not limited to, structures designed to resemble trees, flagpoles, steeples, crosses, clock towers or other building elements.
MONOPOLE
A single, freestanding pole-type structure supporting one (1) or more antenna.
REPLACEMENT
Replacement of an existing structure, antenna or tower that exists on a previously approved site, utility easement, or approved special use permit area as long as the new tower is no greater than an additional twenty percent (20%) of the height of the original tower.
SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A structure designed to support telecommunications facilities including, but not limited to, monopoles and other freestanding structures.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
Any unmanned facility established for the purpose of providing wireless transmission of voice, data, images, or other information including, but not limited to, cellular service, personal communications service (PCS), Internet, and paging service.
TOWER
A self-supporting monopole, lattice, or guyed structure constructed from grade which supports telecommunications facilities. The term "tower" shall not include antennas used by amateur radio operators licensed by the FCC.

Section 409.030 Applicability.

[R.O. 2012 §409.030; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
All telecommunications facilities, any portion of which lies within the City, shall be subject to the provisions of this Section:
1. 
Pre-existing towers, permitted under a special use permit, shall not be subject to the provisions of this Chapter until such time as the special use permit is renewed, At that time these towers shall be reviewed and a determination made concerning full conformance.
2. 
Telecommunication towers are permitted as a special use in all zoning districts, Applicants are encouraged, however to locate facilities in non-residential zones and when in residential zones, in parcels occupied by or adjacent to public or quasi-public uses.
3. 
Telecommunications towers may not be situated in a designated Historic Overlay District unless the Historic Preservation Commission approves the location and design through a certificate of appropriateness and recommends approval to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
4. 
Administrative review and approvals shall occur for the following types of telecommunication facilities:
a. 
New communication antennas on existing structures, buildings or facilities;
b. 
Co-location onto an existing communications facility;
c. 
Replacement of an existing structure, antenna, or tower;
d. 
Minor modifications to existing towers and/or antennae.
5. 
Unless otherwise stated herein, telecommunications facilities shall be allowed only upon approval of a special use permit.
6. 
The initial special use permit shall have a time limit of ten (10) years with subsequent renewals of five (5) years each upon approval of an administrative review. At the time of renewal, the applicant shall demonstrate that the telecommunications facility is still in compliance with the original conditions of approval.

Section 409.040 General Requirements.

[R.O. 2012 §409.040; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
Co-Location.
1. 
Telecommunication structures shall be designed to accommodate multiple telecommunications providers.
2. 
The compound area surrounding the support structure must be capable of being expanded to sufficient size to accommodate accessory equipment for multiple telecommunications providers.
3. 
Disguised telecommunications facilities shall be designed to accommodate the co-location of other antennae whenever economically and technically feasible or aesthetically appropriate.
4. 
Upon request of the applicant, the Zoning Administrator, Planning and Zoning Commission, or City Council may waive the requirement that new support structures accommodate the co-location of other service providers if collocation at the site is found to be non-essential to the public interest or that co-location would cause interference with existing telecommunications facilities, as demonstrated by submitted technical evidence.
B. 
Modifications To Existing Facilities.
1. 
Minor modifications to telecommunications facilities and support structures may be permitted by administrative approval by the Zoning Administrator.
2. 
Major modifications to telecommunications facilities and support structures may be permitted only upon approval of a special use permit.
C. 
Replacement of an existing structure may be permitted upon the granting of administrative approval by the Zoning Administrator. Replacement of non-conforming support structures must conform to the requirements of this Chapter and require a special use permit.
D. 
Setbacks.
1. 
Commercial (C) and Industrial (M) Zoning Districts: Unless otherwise stated herein, telecommunications towers/support structures shall be set back from all platted property lines a distance equal to one-half (½) the height of the tower measured from the base of the structure to its highest point (excluding lightning arrestor). In addition, where support structures are located on property zoned for commercial or industrial use that is adjacent to property zoned for residential use, the monopoles and towers shall be set back from the residential property line a distance equal to the height of the structure measured from the base of the structure to its highest point. Setbacks for other structures shall be governed by the underlying zoning district.
2. 
Agricultural (A) and Residential (R) Zoning Districts: Unless otherwise stated herein, support structures shall be set back from all platted property lines a distance equal to the height of the structure measured from the base of the structure to its highest point (excluding lightning arrestor). Setbacks for other structures shall be governed by the underlying zoning district.
3. 
Safety fall zones: For towers in, or adjacent to, residential zones or uses, a safety fall zone equal to the height of the tower measured from the base of the structure to its highest point (excluding lightning arrestor) shall be provided separating the proposed tower from any residential structure, excluding accessory structures.
Exceptions: The Planning and Zoning Commission may recommend, and the City Council may approve, a deviation from the setback and fall zone requirements if it finds that all of the following conditions are met:
a. 
The deviation will not adversely affect the rights of adjacent property owners or residents.
b. 
That the strict application of the provisions of this Chapter would constitute unnecessary hardship upon the property owner represented in this application.
c. 
That the deviation will not adversely affect the public health, safety or general welfare.
E. 
Separation Requirements.
1. 
All new telecommunications facilities, except disguised facilities, shall be located a minimum of one-half (½) mile from existing towers. The separation distance shall be measured from the base of the existing tower to the base of the proposed tower.
2. 
The Planning and Zoning Commission may recommend, and the City Council may approve, an exception to the required separation distance if the applicant demonstrates through engineering or other appropriate technical study that there are not suitable sites available that meet the one-half (½) mile separation requirement. A "lack of suitable sites" means that there are no existing telecommunications facilities available for co-location, no existing buildings or other structures available for placement of equipment or, for engineering or other appropriate technical reasons, equipment must be located closer than one-half (½) mile apart to operate the communications systems.
F. 
Height. Unless otherwise stated herein, the maximum height for support structures shall be one hundred fifty (150) feet, excluding lightning arrestor.

Section 409.050 Design Requirements and Considerations.

[R.O. 2012 §409.050; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
Installations of all telecommunication towers, antennas, support structures, and accessory equipment must comply with the following standards:
1. 
Support structures. All towers less than one hundred fifty (150) feet in height must be of monopole design, and if more than seventy (70) feet in height, must be constructed to accommodate multiple users, while still meeting the standards of this Section. Lattice towers and guyed support structures may be approved only when there is clear and convincing evidence that the communication objectives cannot be reasonably obtained utilizing a monopole tower.
2. 
Antennas. All anticipated antennas and mounting hardware must be shown on drawings for initial approval. Mounting locations for multiple antennas on a structure must be coordinated in design, and spaced and balanced to give a planned and uncluttered appearance. Installation of additional antennas beyond those reflected in initial approvals may be approved administratively if they meet these standards.
3. 
Security. All telecommunication facilities shall be located, fenced, or otherwise secured in a manner that prevents unauthorized access.
4. 
Illumination. Telecommunication towers shall not be artificially lighted, unless required by the FAA, FCC, or other applicable authority, or for necessary security purposes. If lighting is required, the lighting must be designed to cause the least disturbance to the surrounding properties.
5. 
Signage. Signs located at the telecommunications tower shall be limited to ownership, contact information, the FCC antenna registration number and any other warning signs required by the FCC. Commercial advertising is strictly prohibited.
Exceptions: The City Council may reduce the requirements of this Section if the goals of this Section would be better served thereby.

Section 409.060 Application Process.

[R.O. 2012 §409.060; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
In addition to the general application requirements for a special use permit, all applications for telecommunication facilities must include the following:
1. 
The name, address, and telephone number of the owner and lessee of the parcel of land upon which the wireless communication facilities are to be situated. If the applicant is not the owner of the parcel of land upon which the proposed tower is to be situated, the written consent of the owner must be evidenced in the application. If the applicant is not the owner of the property, a copy of the preliminary lease agreement is required to be provided with the application. A copy of the final agreement must be submitted prior to issuance of a building permit for the structure.
2. 
The legal description and address of the parcel of land upon which the proposed tower is to be situated.
3. 
A vicinity map, identifying the location of the property in relation to at least one (1) intersection of two (2) streets.
4. 
A site plan showing:
a. 
The boundary of the property on which the facility is to be located;
b. 
The specific placement of the antenna support structure and all ancillary equipment on the site with dimensioned setbacks from lot lines;
c. 
A dimensioned depiction of the safety fall zone, if required under Section 409.040(D)(3);
d. 
The location of existing structures on the site with dimensioned setbacks from lot lines;
e. 
All existing structures, lot lines and roadways within one hundred eighty-five (185) feet of the site;
f. 
The type and height of the proposed tower;
g. 
Proposed means of access; and
h. 
The location of existing trees, and other significant site features, and any other proposed structures or improvements.
5. 
In the case of a new structure:
a. 
The applicant shall provide a statement documenting why co-location cannot meet the applicant's requirements. Such statement may include such technical information and other justifications as are necessary to document the reason why co-location is not a viable option.
b. 
The applicant shall provide a map and list of all existing structures within one (1) radial mile of the proposed site and narrative as to why the existing structures were infeasible due to technical, physical, or financial reasons. The applicant must specifically address why the modification of such structures is not a viable option.
c. 
The applicant shall provide a statement that the proposed support structure will be made available for co-location to other service providers at commercially reasonable rates, except when the requirement to accommodate additional telecommunications providers has been waived by the City Council, Planning and Zoning Commission or Zoning Administrator.
d. 
A written statement from an RF engineer attesting that the construction and placement of the proposed tower and telecommunications facilities will not interfere with public safety communications and the usual and customary transmission or reception of radio, television, cellular, or other communications services enjoyed by adjacent residential and non-residential properties with an acknowledgment by the applicant that interference that does take place must be corrected.
e. 
An affidavit attesting to the fact that the applicant made diligent efforts to obtain permission to install or collocate the proposed telecommunications facility on existing towers or antenna support structures located within a one (1) mile radius of the proposed tower site, but due to physical, economic, or technological constraints, no such existing tower or antenna support structure is available or feasible.
f. 
An affidavit attesting to the fact that no suitable site owned by any agency of the Federal or State Government, or by any political subdivision of the State, is available for locating the structure or tower.
g. 
A signed statement, with technical documentation, indicating that the tower will accommodate co-location of additional antennas comparable in size, weight, and surface area for future users and that it is their intent to share space on the tower.
6. 
The applicant must demonstrate how the proposed site fits into its overall telecommunications network within the City. This must include a service area coverage chart for the proposed tower and telecommunications facilities that depicts the extent of coverage and corresponding signal quality at the proposed tower height.
7. 
Copies of any environmental documents required by any Federal, State, or local agency, if available.
8. 
The City may require a qualified, independent third party review (by a City-approved consultant) to validate and review the technical information contained in the application submittals. The cost of such review must be borne by the applicant.

Section 409.070 Exemptions.

[R.O. 2012 §409.070; Ord. No. 12-04-06, 4-16-2012]
A. 
The following are exempt from the regulations of this Chapter to the extent indicated:
1. 
Parabolic or other antennas, designed to receive radio or television broadcast signals, regardless of zoning district.
2. 
Satellite antennae used solely for residential or household purposes.
3. 
Low-powered networked telecommunications facilities such as micro-cell radio transceivers located on existing utility poles and light standards within public right-of-way.
4. 
Send and receive citizen band radio antennas or antennas only operated by federally licensed amateur radio operators.
5. 
Industrial, scientific and medical equipment using frequencies regulated by the FCC.
6. 
Military, Federal, State or local government communication towers used exclusively for navigational purposes, emergency preparedness, and public safety purposes.