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Town of Kingston, NY
Ulster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The purpose of this article is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Kingston, to provide standards for the safe provision of telecommunications consistent with applicable federal and state regulations and to protect the natural features and aesthetic character of the Town of Kingston.
B. 
These regulations are not intended to prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless services nor shall they be used to unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services consistent with current federal regulations.
The Planning Board is hereby authorized to review and approve, approve with modifications or disapprove site plans consistent with Article VII of this chapter, which concerns the placement and operation of telecommunications towers.
Placement of telecommunications towers is restricted to the Telecommunication Tower Overlay Zone.
A. 
No telecommunications tower shall hereafter by used, erected, moved, reconstructed, changed or altered, and no existing structure shall be modified to serve as a telecommunications tower, except after issuance of a building permit pursuant to the § 425-63A of this chapter, and demonstration of conformity with these regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Where these regulations conflict with other laws and regulations of the Town of Kingston, the more restrictive shall apply, except for tower height restrictions, which are governed by these standards.
At all times, co-location or use of existing towers shall be preferred to shared use of other existing tall structures or construction of new towers. Applications involving only erection of additional antennas and related equipment on an existing telecommunications tower shall not be subject to site plan review or a public hearing, provided that the application complies with the terms and conditions described below. For purposes of this § 425-47, "existing telecommunications tower" or "existing tower" shall mean a telecommunication tower in lawful existence at the time an application for co-location is submitted to the Code Enforcement Officer.
A. 
Application. An applicant proposing to share use of an existing telecommunications tower shall submit the following to the Code Enforcement Officer:
(1) 
A complete site plan review application;
(2) 
A completed visual environmental assessment form addendum (6 NYCRR 617.20, Appendix B.);
(3) 
Documentation of intent from the owner of the existing tower, and the owner of the land, to allow shared use;
(4) 
A report from a licensed engineer certifying that the proposed co-location will not diminish the structural integrity and safety of the existing tower or explaining what modifications, if any, would be required in order to certify to the above;
(5) 
A copy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for operation of new equipment;
(6) 
Propagation mapping;
(7) 
Photo simulation figures;
(8) 
An application fee as may be set from time to time by the Kingston Town Board.
B. 
Review. Upon receipt of a complete application, the Code Enforcement Officer shall promptly review the application to determine if the proposal complies with the following terms and conditions:
(1) 
The existing tower shall be in compliance with any and all approvals previously granted.
(2) 
The proposed co-location shall not increase the height of the existing tower.
(3) 
The proposed co-location shall not cause any portion of the resulting structure to extend into a required setback.
(4) 
If the engineer's report, submitted as part of the application, found that the proposed co-location could diminish the structural safety of the existing tower, the applicant shall submit a revised proposal which includes the modifications described in the engineer's report.
(5) 
The proposed co-location shall not involve construction of any additional roads or parking, widening of existing roads or expansion of existing parking.
C. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the application demonstrates compliance with the standards listed above and the Town Consulting Engineer either agrees with the finding of the engineer's report that the proposed co-location will not diminish the safety of the existing tower or determines that the revised proposal includes the required modifications described by the engineer's report, then the Code Enforcement Officer shall approve the proposal and issue a building permit. If the Code Enforcement Officer finds that the application does not demonstrate compliance or if the Town Consulting Engineer disagrees with the finding of the engineer's report or determines that the modifications described in the engineer's report are not included in the revised proposal, then the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the applicant of the deficiency. The applicant may then submit a revised proposal or submit the proposal to the Planning Board for site plan review as described in §§ 425-48 and 425-49 below for shared use of an existing tall structure.
Site plan review pursuant to Article IV, Site Plan Review, of this chapter, shall be required for placement of any antenna in or on an existing tall structure other than an existing telecommunications tower and for any construction of a new tower.
A. 
Site plan. In addition to the requirements of Article IV, Site Plan Review, the following shall apply:
(1) 
General requirements. All site plan applications shall show all existing and proposed structures and improvements, including roads, and shall include grading plans for new facilities and roads. The site plan shall also include documentation of the proposed intent and capacity of use as well as a justification for the height of any tower or antenna and justification for any land or vegetation clearing required.
(2) 
Visual impact assessment. All site plan applications, whether involving location on an existing tall structure or construction of a new tower, shall include a visual impact assessment. This assessment shall include:
(a) 
Pictorial representations of "before" and "after" views from key viewpoints both inside and outside of the Town, including but not limited to state highways and other major roads and state and local parks.
(b) 
Assessment of visual impact of the facility/structure designs and color schemes.
(c) 
Assessment of visual impact of the facility/structure, accessory buildings and overhead utility lines from abutting properties and streets.
(d) 
A completed visual environmental assessment form addendum (6 NYCRR 617.20, Appendix B).
(3) 
Landscaping plan.
(a) 
All site plan applications shall include a plan illustrating size, type, placement and quantity of existing vegetation to remain as well as vegetation to be added. The final landscaping plan will become part of the approved site plan. All new plantings shall be planted by a date specified by the Planning Board.
(b) 
Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible and no cutting of trees exceeding four inches in diameter (measured at a height of four feet off the ground) shall take place prior to site plan approval.
B. 
Fees. In addition to any fees required by the Town of Kingston for site plan review, the applicant shall be required to pay any fees or costs incurred by the Planning Board for legal, engineering and/or technical review, provided that the fees or costs reflect the actual costs to the Planning Board. This fee shall not exceed $1,000 without the consent of the applicant.
New or modified antennas or telecommunications towers shall be placed according to the following priority: first, co-location on an existing tower; second, placement of antennas or other telecommunications equipment in or on an existing tall structure located on a lot within the areas listed in § 425-45 above; third, placement in or on an existing tall structure not located within the areas listed in § 425-45 above; fourth, placement of a new tower on a lot where a telecommunications tower already exists; and fifth, placement of a new tower on a lot within the areas described in § 425-42 above. Where shared use of existing towers or structures is not proposed, the applicant must provide documentation of the inability to utilize an existing tower or structure.
A. 
Co-location on existing telecommunications towers. Co-location of telecommunications equipment on existing telecommunications towers shall be the preferred placement mode and may be reviewed pursuant to the administrative review procedure set forth in § 425-48A above. At the option of the applicant, an application for co-location on an existing telecommunications tower may be reviewed as a shared use of an existing tall structure as provided in Subsection B below.
B. 
Shared use of existing tall structures. At all times, shared use of existing tall structures (for example, municipal water towers, multistory buildings) shall be preferred to the construction of new towers. In addition to the requirements of this section above, an applicant proposing to share use of an existing tall structure shall be required to submit:
(1) 
A complete site plan review application.
(2) 
Documentation of intent from the owner of the existing facility and the owner of the land, to allow shared use.
(3) 
An engineer's report certifying that the proposed shared use will not diminish the structural integrity and safety of the existing tall structure or explaining what modifications, if any, would be required in order to certify to the above.
(4) 
A copy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for operation of the new equipment.
C. 
New telecommunications towers on lots already containing a tower. Construction of a new telecommunications tower on a lot already containing a telecommunications tower shall be given third priority after co-location on an existing tower and shared use of an existing tall structure. The Planning Board may consider a new telecommunications tower on a lot already containing a telecommunications tower when:
(1) 
The applicant documents that co-location on an existing telecommunications tower or shared use of an existing tall structure is not practical.
(a) 
The applicant shall submit a report locating and inventorying all existing tall structures and existing or approved telecommunications towers within a reasonable distance of the proposed site. This distance shall be determined by the Planning Board in consultation with the applicant.
(b) 
The applicant shall document good-faith efforts to secure shared use from the owner of each existing tall structure and existing or approved telecommunications tower. Such documentation shall include written requests for shared use, expenses for shared use and an explanation of the physical, technical and/or financial reasons why shared usage is not practical in each case.
(2) 
The applicant submits a copy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for operation of the new equipment.
D. 
New telecommunications towers on lots not already containing a tower. Construction of a new telecommunications tower on a lot not already containing a telecommunications tower shall be given fourth priority after co-location on existing towers, shared use of existing tall structures and construction of a tower on a lot already containing a tower. The Planning Board may consider a new telecommunications tower on a lot not already containing a telecommunications tower when:
(1) 
The applicant documents that co-location on an existing telecommunications tower, shared use of an existing tall structure and locating the tower on a lot already having a telecommunications tower are not practical.
(a) 
The applicant shall submit a report locating and inventorying all existing tall structures and existing or approved telecommunications towers within a reasonable distance of the proposed site. This distance shall be determined by the Planning Board in consultation with the applicant.
(b) 
The applicant shall document good-faith efforts to secure shared use from the owner of each existing tall structure, existing or approved telecommunications tower and lot already containing a telecommunications tower. Such documentation shall include written requests to each owner, estimated expenses and an explanation of the physical, technical and/or financial reasons why co-location on an existing telecommunications tower, shared use of an existing tall structure or location on a lot already containing a tower is not practical in each case.
(2) 
The applicant submits a copy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license for operation of the new equipment.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Telecommunications towers and antennas shall comply with all existing setbacks within the affected zone. Additional setbacks may be required by the Planning Board to contain on-site substantially all icefall or debris from tower failure and/or to preserve privacy of adjoining residential and public property. Setbacks shall apply to all tower parts, including guy wire anchors and to any accessory facilities.
Roads and parking shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and services access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential.
Alternative designs shall be considered for all new telecommunications towers, including lattice and single-pole structures. The design of all proposed new telecommunications towers shall comply with the following:
A. 
Any new tower shall be designed to accommodate future shared use by other telecommunication providers.
B. 
The maximum height of any new tower shall not exceed that which is necessary to provide service.
C. 
The Board may request a review of the application by a qualified engineer in order to evaluate the need for and the design of any new tower.
D. 
Accessory structures shall maximize the use of building materials, colors, and textures designed to blend with the natural surroundings.
E. 
No portion of any tower or accessory structure shall be used for a sign or other advertising purpose, including but not limited to company name, phone numbers, banners and streamers.
F. 
Towers shall not be artificially lighted except to assure human safety as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Towers shall be a galvanized finish or painted gray above the surrounding tree line and painted gray, green, black or similar colors designed to blend into the natural surroundings below the surrounding tree line unless other standards are required by the FAA. Towers should be designed and sited so as to avoid application of FAA lighting and painting requirements whenever possible.
All towers and accessory facilities shall be sited to have the least practical adverse visual effect on the environment.
The Planning Board shall have the authority to impose such reasonable conditions and restrictions as are directly related to and incidental to the proposed telecommunications tower site plan.
The applicant shall submit to the Planning Board a letter of intent committing the owner of a telecommunications tower or antenna and his/her successors in interest to notify the Code Enforcement Officer within 30 days of the discontinuance of use of the tower or any antenna affixed to a tower or other tall structure. This letter shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer prior to issuance of a building permit (assuming the application is approved according to this section). Obsolete or unused towers, antennas and accessory structures shall be removed from any site within 12 months of such notification. Failure to notify and/or to remove the obsolete or unused tower, antenna or accessory structure in accordance with these regulations shall be a violation of this chapter and shall be punishable according to Article IX, Enforcement.
In order to keep neighboring municipalities informed and to facilitate the possibility of directing that an existing telecommunications tower or existing tall structure or lot containing an existing telecommunications tower in a neighboring municipality be considered for shared use and to assist in the continued development of county 911 services, the Board shall require that:
A. 
An applicant who proposed a new telecommunications tower shall notify in writing the legislative body of each municipality that borders the Town of Kingston and the Principal Planner of Ulster County. 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.
B. 
Documentation of this notification shall be submitted to the Planning Board at the time of application.
Except for applications for co-location on an existing telecommunications tower reviewed pursuant to § 425-48 above, a public hearing shall be held for all applications for location of a telecommunications tower or antenna. The Town shall be required to mail notice of the public hearing directly to all landowners whose property is located within 500 feet of the property line of the parcel on which a tower or antenna is proposed. Notice shall also be mailed to the administrator of any state or federal parklands from which the proposed tower or antenna would be visible if constructed. Notification, in all cases, shall be made by certified mail. Documentation of this notification shall be submitted to the Board prior to the public hearing.
Prior to approval of any application, the Planning Board, at its sole discretion, may require the applicant and/or the owner to establish a maintenance and/or escrow account in an amount sufficient to cover the technical review, installation, maintenance, construction and removal of the proposed telecommunications tower or antenna during its lifetime. The amount required shall be determined at the sole discretion of the Board, based upon the unique characteristics of the tower (or antenna) and the site. The applicant and/or owner shall cooperate with the Board in supplying all necessary construction and maintenance data to the Board prior to approval of any application. Cost estimates may be reviewed by the Town Consulting Engineer at the Planning Board's discretion.