Village of Great Neck Plaza, NY
Nassau County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 3-1-2000 by L.L. No. 5-2000; amended 6-19-2002 by L.L. No. 3-2002]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 194, Telecommunications Licenses and Franchises.

§ 225-104.1 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this article is to establish predictable and balanced regulations for the siting and screening of antennas, towers and accessory structures used in connection with the transmission and/or reception of radio or electromagnetic waves in order to accommodate the growth of communications systems utilizing such technology within the Village while protecting the public against any adverse impacts on aesthetic resources, avoiding potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure through structural standards and setback requirements, and reducing the number of towers needed to serve the community by maximizing the use of existing towers and buildings.

§ 225-104.2 Definitions.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words shall, for the purposes of this article, have the meanings herein indicated:
ACCESSORY STRUCTURES
Accessory buildings and structures, including base stations, designed and used to shelter and/or to support towers, antennas and other equipment in connection with the transmission or reception of radio or electromagnetic waves. The term "accessory structures" does not include offices, long-term storage of vehicles or other equipment storage, or broadcast studios.
ANTENNA
A device used to transmit and/or receive radio or electromagnetic waves, including but not limited to directional antennas, such as panels and microwave dishes and omni-directional antennas, such as whip antennas.
BOARD
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Great Neck Plaza.
FCC
The United States Federal Communications Commission.
FREESTANDING TOWER
A tower constructed on grade and not on top of any preexisting building or structure.
ROOF TOWER
A tower constructed on top of a preexisting building or structure.
TOWER
Any ground- or roof-mounted pole, spire, structure or combination thereof, including supporting lines, cables, wires, braces and masts, built for the purpose of mounting an antenna, meteorological device or similar apparatus above grade as part of, or in conjunction with, a communications system transmitting or receiving radio or electromagnetic waves.

§ 225-104.3 Special exception permit.

A. 
No antenna or tower shall hereafter be used, erected, changed or altered except after obtaining a special exception permit in conformity with this article.
B. 
The Board is hereby authorized to review and approve, approve with modifications or disapprove special exception permits pursuant to this article. The Board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the proposed antenna, tower or accessory structures and the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the Village, including but not limited to the aesthetics thereof.
C. 
Any application for a special exception permit under this Article XIIA shall be submitted on behalf of and signed by all of the following persons or entities, all of whom shall collectively be considered the applicant for the permit:
(1) 
The owner of the antenna;
(2) 
The operator of the antenna;
(3) 
The owner of the tower on which the antenna is to be installed;
(4) 
The operator of the tower on which the antenna is to be installed; and
(5) 
The owner of the building, structure or property on which the antenna or tower is to be located.

§ 225-104.4 Collocation requirements.

All towers erected, constructed or located within the Village shall comply with the following requirements:
A. 
A proposal for a tower shall not be approved unless the Board finds that the antenna planned for the proposed tower cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved tower or building within a one-mile search radius of the proposed tower due to one or more of the following reasons.
(1) 
The antenna would exceed the structural capacity of any existing or approved tower or building, as documented by a qualified professional engineer, and the existing or approved tower or building cannot be reinforced, modified or replaced to accommodate the planned or equivalent antenna at a reasonable cost.
(2) 
The antenna would cause interference materially impacting the usability of other existing or planned antenna at an existing tower or building, as documented by a qualified professional engineer, and the interference cannot be prevented at a reasonable cost.
(3) 
Existing or approved towers and buildings within the search radius cannot accommodate the antenna at a height necessary to function reasonably, as documented by a qualified professional engineer.
(4) 
Other foreseen reasons that make it infeasible to locate the antenna upon an existing or approved tower or building.
B. 
Any proposed freestanding tower shall be designed, structurally, electrically and in all respects, to accommodate both the applicant's antennas and comparable antennas for at least five additional users. Freestanding towers must be designed to allow for future rearrangement of antennas upon the tower and to accept antennas mounted at varying heights.
C. 
The applicant shall submit to the Board a letter of intent committing the applicant, and its successors in interest, to negotiate in good faith for shared use of the proposed tower by other users in the future. The issuance of a permit (assuming the tower is approved according to this article) shall commit the new tower owner and its successors in interest to:
(1) 
Respond in a timely comprehensive manner to a request for information from a potential shared-use applicant.
(2) 
Negotiate in good faith concerning future requests for shared use of the new tower by other users.
(3) 
Allow shared use of the new tower if another user agrees in writing to pay charges.
(4) 
Make no more than a reasonable charge for shared use, based on generally accepted accounting principles. The charge may include, but is not limited to, a pro rata share of the cost of site selection, planning, project administration, land costs, site design, Village fees, construction and maintenance financing, return on equity, and depreciation, and all of the costs of adapting the tower or equipment to accommodate a shared user without causing radio or electromagnetic interference.
D. 
In order to keep neighboring municipalities informed, and to facilitate the possibility of directing that an existing tall structure or existing tower in a neighboring municipality be considered for shared use, an applicant shall submit to the Board an affidavit that it has sent, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 15 days prior to the public hearing, a notification to all of the Village clerks of each Village, the fire departments and the water authorities within two miles of the location of the proposed tower. Such notification shall include the exact location of the proposed tower and a general description of the project, including but not limited to the height of the tower and its capacity for future shared use.

§ 225-104.5 Antennas and towers installed on preexisting structures or buildings.

Any roof tower or antenna proposed to be installed on a structure or building within the Village shall comply with the following requirements:
A. 
The applicant shall provide the Village with the drawings, plans and specifications relating to all other towers and antennas already located on such building or structure.
B. 
The applicant shall provide the Village with all of contracts, leases and other agreements relating to other towers and antennas already located on such building or structure.
C. 
The applicant shall provide the Village with engineering and design studies demonstrating the effect of the proposed tower or antenna on other towers or antennas already located on such building or structure in terms of power requirements, interference, servicing and other relevant factors; how the cumulative effect of all towers and antennas to be located on said building or structure can be most effectively minimized in terms of aesthetics, safety, transmission, radiation and other relevant factors; and whether the structure or building will be able to accommodate additional towers or antennas subsequent to the tower or antenna to be installed.
D. 
The applicant shall inform the Village, in an appropriate binding manner, whether the owner of the structure or building is willing to limit the number of additional towers or antennas that may be subsequently installed on the building or structure.
E. 
Letter of intent.
(1) 
In the event that there may be any application for subsequent towers and antennas to be installed on said building or structure, then the applicant shall submit to the Board a letter of intent committing the applicant and its successor in interest:
(a) 
To respond in a timely comprehensive manner to requests for information from any subsequent applicant seeking to install a tower or antenna on said building or structure;
(b) 
To accommodate, to the maximum extent feasible, any measures and modifications aimed at reducing the cumulative effect of all towers and antennas to be located on said building or structure in terms of any negative effect on aesthetics, safety, transmission, radiation and other relevant factors; and
(c) 
To provide the Village with all relevant information appropriate and necessary to evaluate any subsequent application for a tower or antenna on said building or structure.
(2) 
Such commitments shall be incorporated into any special exception permit to be issued by the Board.
F. 
In no event shall towers or antennas operated by more than four commercial service providers be located on the same building or structure.
G. 
In no event shall the total base area of all towers and accessory structures located on the roof of a building or structure, when combined with the base area of preexisting bulkheads or other authorized structures on the roof, exceed 30% of the roof area of said building or structure.
H. 
In order to keep neighboring municipalities informed, and to facilitate the possibility of directing that an existing tall structure or existing tower in a neighboring municipality be considered for shared use, an applicant to install an antenna on a building or structure shall submit to the Board an affidavit that it has sent, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at least 15 days prior to the public hearing, a notification to all of the Village clerks of each Village, the fire departments and the water authorities within two miles of the proposed location of the antenna or tower for which approval is sought. Such notification shall include the exact location of the proposed antenna or tower and a general description of the project.

§ 225-104.6 Performance, installation and design standards.

A. 
Proof of noninterference from antenna. Each application for installation of an antenna shall include either a preliminary or a certified statement that the installation of the antenna, including reception and transmission functions, will not interfere with the radio or television service enjoyed by adjacent residential and nonresidential properties or with public safety telecommunications. In the event that only a preliminary statement is submitted with the application, a final certified statement of noninterference shall be provided, subject to the approval of the Village, prior to the issuance of a permit. The statement shall be prepared and certified by a professional engineer.
B. 
Antenna safety.
(1) 
Antennas shall be subject to state and federal regulations pertaining to non-ionizing radiation and other health hazards related to such facilities. The owner shall submit evidence of compliance with the FCC standards on a yearly basis. If new, more restrictive standards are adopted, the antennas shall be made to comply, or continued operations may be restricted by the Board. The cost of verification of compliance shall be borne by the owner and operator of the antenna.
(2) 
Each application for installation of an antenna shall also include the following information:
(a) 
Measurements demonstrating the total calculated and actual amount of radio and electromagnetic background radiation, both broad band and narrow band, at all points within 250 feet of the site of the proposed antenna at representative times before the proposed antenna is installed and operational;
(b) 
Measurements demonstrating the total calculated and actual amount of radio and electromagnetic radiation, both broad band and narrow band, at all points within 250 feet of the site of the antenna at representative times after the proposed antenna is installed and operational;
(c) 
A comparison of the measurements in Subsections B(2)(a) and (b) with standards approved by the FCC and other governmental agencies having jurisdiction in such matters; and
(d) 
Appropriate data demonstrating that, after the proposed antenna is installed and becomes operational, any resident, occupant or user of a building, structure or public area within 250 feet of the site of the proposed antenna will not receive exposure from radio or electromagnetic waves that exceeds the maximum permissible exposure limits established by the FCC.
C. 
Tower lighting. Towers shall not be illuminated by artificial means and shall not display strobe lights unless such lighting is specifically required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other federal or state authority for a particular tower. When incorporated into the approved design of the tower, and approved by the Board, light fixtures used to illuminate ball fields, parking lots or similar areas may be attached to a freestanding tower.
D. 
Uses, signs and advertising on towers.
(1) 
A tower approved under this article shall not be used for any purposes other than for the mounting of antennas, meteorological devices or similar apparatus above grade.
(2) 
The use of any portion of a tower for signs other than warning or equipment information signs is prohibited.
E. 
Tower height limitations. The maximum height of a freestanding tower is limited to 50 feet above the ground upon which the antenna is placed. The ground elevation may not be raised to increase the height of the tower. The maximum height of a roof tower shall not exceed the height of any authorized preexisting structure or bulkhead on said roof.
F. 
Building requirements for freestanding towers.
(1) 
The use of guyed towers is prohibited. Towers must be self-supporting without the use of wire, cables, beams or other means. The design should utilize an open framework or monopole configuration. Permanent platforms or structures exclusive of antennas that serve to increase off-site visibility are prohibited.
(2) 
The base of the tower shall occupy no more than 500 square feet, and no portion of the tower shall be larger than the base.
(3) 
Minimum spacing between freestanding tower locations shall be 1/4 mile.
G. 
Access to freestanding towers. A road and parking shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. Maximum uses of existing roads, public or private, shall be made.
H. 
Setbacks for towers and accessory structures.
(1) 
The tower and accessory structures shall comply with all minimum setbacks of the zoning district.
(2) 
A tower's setback may be reduced by the Board to allow the integration of a tower into an existing or proposed structure such as a church steeple, light pole, power line or similar structure.
(3) 
In addition to any setback requirements otherwise imposed by this Code, the setback of a tower or accessory structure on the roof of a building or structure may be modified by the Board as appropriate and necessary to accommodate safety and aesthetic concerns.
I. 
Screening and security of freestanding towers and accessory structures.
(1) 
Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
(2) 
Freestanding towers and accessory structures shall be provided with security fencing to prevent unauthorized entry. Such fencing shall be no less than six feet and no greater than eight feet in height, shall have self-closing locking mechanisms, shall be constructed of either metal or masonry, and shall meet the other requirements for fences set forth in the Village Code which are not inconsistent herewith.
(3) 
The base of a freestanding tower and any accessory structures shall be landscaped to the extent feasible to minimize the impact of the tower, the accessory structures and the security fencing from the adjacent residential community and the public streets.
J. 
Design of antennas, towers and accessory structures. Towers and antennas shall be designed to blend into the surrounding environment through the use of color and camouflaging architectural treatment, except in instances where the color is dictated by federal or state authorities such as the Federal Aviation Administration. Every antenna and tower shall be of neutral colors that are harmonious with, and that blend with, the natural features, buildings and structures surrounding such antenna and structure; provided, however, that directional or panel antenna and omnidirectional or whip antennas located on the exterior of a building that will also serve as an antenna tower shall be of colors that match, and cause the antenna to blend with, the exterior of the building. Accessory structures will be designed to be architecturally compatible with principal structures on the site and the aesthetics of the neighboring structures.
K. 
Other safety features.
(1) 
No special permit under this article may be issued for any antenna located on a building or structure in the Village, whether on a tower or otherwise, unless adequate provision has been made to insure that, in the event of malfunction, no radiation will be directed from the antennas toward the occupant or users of the building or structure. Such provisions may consist of automatic cut-off devices; of insulation (ground plane) shielding those areas of the building used by human persons from the area of the building where the antennas are located; and similar devices.
(2) 
The applicant shall insure that, at the entrance to the roof of any building or structure where an antenna is located, there shall be placed conspicuous signage stating as follows:
"You are entering an area of radio frequency and/or electromagnetic emissions. This may pose a risk to persons with pacemakers or other specific health problems."
(3) 
All power and signal wires running to or from antennas, towers or accessory structures on the roof of a building or structure within the Village shall be adequately shielded to insure that no radio or electromagnetic radiation of any kind escapes from the conduits enclosing such wires.

§ 225-104.7 Compliance with other laws.

The operator of every antenna shall submit to the Village Clerk copies of all licenses and permits required by other agencies and governments with jurisdiction over the design, construction, location and operation of such antenna and shall maintain such licenses and permits and provide evidence of renewal or extension thereof when granted. Failure to do so after 30 days' notice, in the discretion of the Board, unless good cause for such failure is shown, shall result in the termination of the special exception permit.

§ 225-104.8 Assignment of permit.

No permit granted under this article for any antenna or tower, or accessory structure, shall be assigned or transferred without the prior approval of the Board.

§ 225-104.9 Review of permit.

All permits granted under this article shall be subject to review by the Board at ten-year intervals, to determine whether the applicable technology has changed such that the necessity for the permit at the time of its approval has been eliminated or modified, and whether the permit should be modified or terminated as a result of any such change.

§ 225-104.10 Fees.

[Amended 5-4-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005]
In addition to the fees set forth in other provisions of the Village Code:
A. 
There shall be paid to the Village by the approved applicant an annual fee of $750 for each location within the Village at which an approved applicant maintains a roof tower or free standing tower, which fee shall be inclusive of the fees for any antennas or related equipment located by said applicant at the same location.
B. 
With respect to an antenna or related equipment (such as repeaters) maintained by an approved applicant at a location separate from the location of a roof tower or freestanding tower, there shall be paid by the approved applicant to the Village an annual fee of $100 for each such antenna or item of related equipment.
C. 
The above-referenced fees shall be paid to the Village on or before June 1 of each year.
D. 
The Village shall not act on or consider any application for a permit or other approvals by an applicant that maintains towers, antennas or related equipment within the Village with respect to which all requisite annual fees have not been paid.

§ 225-104.11 Termination of permit; abandoned or unused towers; performance bond.

A. 
Upon the termination of the permit granted pursuant to this article, or upon the abandonment or discontinuance of use of any antennas, towers or portions of towers or associated facilities, whichever is the first to occur, such antennas, towers or portions of towers or associated facilities shall be removed as follows:
(1) 
All antennas, towers and associated facilities for which the permit granted pursuant to this article has been terminated, and all abandoned or unused antennas, towers and associated facilities, shall be removed within six months of such termination, abandonment or discontinuance of use, unless a time extension is approved by the Board. A copy of the relevant portions of a signed lease which requires the applicant to remove the antenna, tower and associated facilities upon such termination, abandonment or discontinuance of use at the site shall be submitted at the time of application. In the event that a tower or antenna or associated facility is not removed within six months of such termination, abandonment or discontinuance of use, the antenna, tower and associated facilities may be removed by the Village and the costs of removal assessed against the property, in the manner set forth in Chapter 164 of the Village Code.
(2) 
Unused portions of towers above a manufactured connection shall be removed within six months of the time of antenna relocation unless a time extension is approved by the Board. The replacement of portions of a tower previously removed requires the issuance of a new special exception permit. In the event that said unused portion of the tower is not removed within said six months, said portion of the tower may be removed by the Village and the costs of removal assessed against the property, in the manner set forth in said Chapter 164.
B. 
Performance bond.
(1) 
No permit shall be issued pursuant to this article until the applicant has delivered a performance bond to the Village, in a form satisfactory to the Village Attorney, in a sum equal to the cost of removing the antenna, tower and associated facilities, to secure the applicant's responsibility:
(a) 
To remove the antenna, tower and associated facilities within six months of the termination of the permit granted pursuant to this article or the abandonment or discontinuance of use of such antenna, tower and associated facilities, unless a time extension is approved by the Board; and
(b) 
To remove the unused portions of towers above a manufactured connection within six months of the time of antenna relocation, unless a time extension is approved by the Board.
(2) 
All such bonds shall be issued by insurance companies licensed to do business in the State of New York with Best ratings of "A" or better.
(3) 
Accompanying such bonds shall be an estimate of the cost of the removal of the antenna, tower and associated facilities, certified by a professional engineer.
(4) 
All such bonds shall be renewed not less than once every three years and shall be accompanied by an updated professional engineer's certification of the cost of removal.

§ 225-104.12 Effect on existing towers and antennas.

Antennas and towers in existence which do not conform to or comply with this article are subject to the following provisions:
A. 
Antennas and towers may continue in use for the purpose now used and as now existing but may not be replaced or structurally altered without complying in all respects with this article.
B. 
If such antenna or tower is hereafter damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause whatsoever, the antenna or tower may be repaired and restored to its former use, location and physical dimensions without complying with this article; provided, however, that if the cost of repairing the antenna or tower to the former use, physical dimensions and location would be 20% or more of the cost of a new tower of like kind and quality, then the tower may not be repaired or restored except in full compliance with this article. Furthermore, no such damaged or destroyed antenna may be repaired or restored without complying with this article in the absence of proof that the power requirements and radiation emission from said antenna will not exceed those of the replaced antenna.

§ 225-104.13 Procedural requirements.

The Board shall conduct a public hearing within 62 days from the day a complete application is filed with the Village Clerk with the appropriate application fee and deposit. The Board shall issue a decision within 35 days after the conclusion of the public hearing and the recommendations of the Nassau County Planning Commission, whichever is the later to occur.

§ 225-104.14 Waivers and modifications.

A. 
The Board shall have the right to waive and/or modify the provisions of this article to the extent reasonable and necessary if it is shown that any of the foregoing provisions of this article are not enforceable by the Village because of a federal or state preemption.
B. 
The Board shall also have the right, in its discretion, to waive and/or modify the provisions of this article to the extent reasonable and necessary in circumstances where an applicant has demonstrated by qualified experts that it cannot feasibly provide the services for which it is licensed if it is compelled to conform with the provisions of this article. In making such determination, the Board shall consider all relevant factors, including the nature of the services provided by the applicant; the nature of the waiver or modification sought; the degree of hardship to the applicant; the extent of divergence between the waiver or modification sought and the provisions of this article; costs and other financial factors; the availability of ameliorative measures; and the effect of the waiver or modification on the health, welfare, and safety of the Village and its residents, including aesthetic concerns.