Borough of Hampton, NJ
Hunterdon County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hampton 4-22-2002 by Ord. No. 7-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land development — See Ch. 157.
The purpose of this chapter is to set forth terms and conditions for the siting of wireless communications towers and antennas within the geographic boundaries of the Borough of Hampton. The goals of this chapter are to protect residential areas and land uses from potential adverse impacts of towers and antennas; encourage the location of towers in specific areas within the Borough; minimize the total number of towers throughout the Borough; strongly encourage the joint use of new and existing tower sites as a primary option rather than construction of additional single-use towers; encourage users of towers and antennas to locate them, to the greatest extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community is minimal; encourage users of towers and antennas to configure them in a way that minimizes the adverse visual impact of the towers and antennas through careful design, siting, landscape screening and innovative camouflaging techniques; enhance the ability of the providers of telecommunications services to provide such services to the community quickly, effectively, and efficiently; consider the public health and safety of communications towers; and avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from tower failure through engineering and careful siting of tower structures. In furtherance of these goals, the Borough of Hampton shall give due consideration to the Borough of Hampton's Master Plan, Zoning Map, existing land uses and environmentally sensitive areas in approving sites for the location of towers and antennas. This chapter further seeks to comply with the mandate of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7), which preserves local government authority to manage with respect to cellular and other wireless telecommunications services, to enforce zoning requirements that protect public safety, public and private property and community aesthetics. This chapter expressly recognizes that the proposed site must be particularly suited (or suitable) for the proposed facility.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
ANTENNA
Any exterior transmitting or receiving device mounted on a tower, building or structure and used in communications that radiate or capture electromagnetic waves, digital signals, analog signals, radio frequencies (excluding radar signals), wireless telecommunications signals or other communications signals.
APPROVING AUTHORITY
The Planning Board, with respect to conditional use permits and variance requests pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d(1), (3) and/or (6); and/or the Zoning Officer for permitted uses with respect to this chapter and applicable state and federal law.
[Amended 8-9-2010 by Ord. No. 5-10]
BACKHAUL NETWORK
The lines that connect a provider's towers/cell sites to one or more cellular telephone switching offices and/or long-distance providers, or the public switched telephone network.
FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration.
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission.
HEIGHT
When referring to a tower or other structure, the distance measured from the lowest finished grade of the base of the tower to the highest point on the tower or other structure, including the base pad and any antenna.
PREEXISTING TOWERS and PREEXISTING ANTENNAS
Any tower or antenna for which a construction permit or other permit has been properly issued prior to the effective date of this chapter, including permitted towers or antennas that have not yet been constructed so long as such approval is current and not expired, and including any tower or antenna that is presently a permitted use on property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Borough of Hampton.
STEALTH TOWER STRUCTURE
Man-made trees, clock towers, bell steeples, light poles and other similar alternative-design mounting structures that camouflage and/or conceal the presence of antennas or towers.
TOWER
Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas for telephone, radio and similar communications purposes, including self-supporting lattice towers, guyed towers or monopole towers. Guyed towers are not permitted within the Borough. The term includes but is not limited to radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common-carrier towers, cellular telephone towers, alternative tower structures and the like. The term also includes the structure and any support thereto.
A. 
New towers and antennas. All new towers or antennas in the Borough of Hampton shall be subject to these regulations, except as provided in Subsections B through E, inclusive.
[Amended 4-12-2018 by Ord. No. 02-2018]
B. 
Amateur radio station operators/receive only antennas. This chapter shall not govern any tower, or the installation of any antenna, that is under 70 feet in height and is owned and operated by a federally licensed amateur radio station operator or is used exclusively for receive-only antennas.
C. 
Preexisting towers or antennas. Preexisting towers and preexisting antennas shall not be required to meet the requirements of this chapter, other than the requirements of § 216-4E and F, absent any enlargement or structural modification or the addition of any structures and per the definition in § 216-2 herein.
D. 
Satellite dish antennas. This chapter shall not govern any parabolic satellite antennas.
E. 
Wireless telecommunications collocation applications that are exempt from site plan pursuant to § 157-68D(3)(a) and/or (b).
[Added 4-12-2018 by Ord. No. 02-2018]
A. 
Principal or accessory use. Antennas and towers may be considered either principal or accessory uses. Notwithstanding any other land use regulation of the Borough, a different existing structure on the same lot shall not preclude the installation of an antenna or tower on such lot. If a tower and its appurtenant structures constitute the sole use of the lot, the tower shall be deemed to be the principal use. If a tower and its appurtenant structures are not the sole use of the lot, the tower shall be deemed an accessory use.
B. 
Lot size. For purposes of determining whether the installation of a tower or antenna complies with zone development regulations, including but not limited to setback requirements, lot coverage requirements and other such requirements, the dimensions of the entire lot shall control, even though the antennas or towers may be located on leased parcels within such lot.
C. 
Inventory of existing sites. Each applicant for an antenna and/or tower shall provide to the approving authority an inventory of all existing towers (both those controlled by the appellant as well as their competitors), antennas or sites approved for towers or antennas that are either within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Hampton or within 12 miles of any border of the Borough thereof, including specific information about the location, height and design of each tower. The Zoning Officer may share such information with other applicants applying for administrative approvals or permits under this chapter or other organizations seeking to locate antennas within the jurisdiction of the Borough of Hampton; provided, however, that the Zoning Officer is not, by sharing such information, in any way representing or warranting that such sites are available and/or suitable.
D. 
Aesthetics. Towers and antennas shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
Towers shall either maintain a galvanized steel finish or, subject to any applicable standards of the FAA or the Borough, be painted a neutral color so as to reduce visual obtrusiveness.
(2) 
At a tower site, the design of the buildings and related structures shall, to the extent possible, use materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that will blend them into the natural setting and surrounding buildings and shall be located out of public view (visible from a public street, public land and public buildings) behind existing structures, buildings or terrain features which will shield the buildings and related structure from view.
(3) 
If an antenna is installed on a structure other than a tower, the antenna and supporting electrical and mechanical equipment must be of a neutral color that is identical to, or closely compatible with, the color of the supporting structure so as to make the antenna and related equipment as visually unobtrusive as possible.
E. 
Lighting. Towers shall not be artificially lit, unless required by the FAA. It is the intent of the Borough that towers shall not exceed FAA height standards that would require lighting. If lighting is required, the lighting alternatives and design chosen and approved by the approving authority must cause the least disturbance to the surrounding views.
F. 
State or federal requirements. All towers must meet or exceed current standards and regulations of the FAA, the FCC and any other agency of the state or federal government with the authority to regulate towers and antennas. If such standards and regulations are changed, then the owners of the towers and antennas governed by this chapter shall bring such towers and antennas into compliance with such revised standards and regulations within six months of the effective date of such standards and regulations, unless a different compliance schedule is mandated by the controlling state or federal agency. Failure to bring towers and antennas into compliance with such revised standards and regulations shall constitute grounds for the immediate removal of the tower or antenna at the owner's expense.
G. 
Building codes; safety standards. To ensure the structural integrity of towers, the owner of a tower shall ensure that it is maintained in compliance with standards contained in applicable state or local building codes and the applicable standards for towers that are published by the Electronic Industries Association, as amended from time to time. If, upon inspection, the Borough of Hampton concludes that a tower fails to comply with such codes and standards and constitutes a danger to persons or property, then, upon notice being provided to the owner of the tower, the owner shall have 30 calendar days to bring such tower into compliance with such standards. Failure to bring such tower into compliance within said 30 calendar days shall constitute grounds for the immediate removal of the tower or antenna at the owner's expense.
H. 
Not essential services or inherently beneficial uses. Towers and antennas shall be regulated and permitted pursuant to this chapter and shall not be regulated or permitted as inherently beneficial uses, essential services, public utilities or private utilities.
I. 
Franchises. Owners and/or operators of towers or antennas shall certify that all franchises required by law for the construction and/or operation of a wireless communications system in the Borough of Hampton have been obtained and shall file a copy of all required franchises with the Zoning Officer.
J. 
Public notice. For purposes of this chapter, any conditional use or variance request shall require public notice to all abutting property owners and all property owners of properties that are located within the corresponding separation distance listed in § 216-6, Table 1, in addition to any notice otherwise required by the Code of the Borough of Hampton or applicable state/federal law.
K. 
Signs. No signs shall be allowed on an antenna or tower.
L. 
Buildings and support equipment. Buildings and support equipment associated with antennas or towers shall comply with the requirements of § 216-7.
M. 
Multiple-antenna tower plan. The Borough of Hampton encourages and mandates the users of towers and antennas to collocate antennas where technically, practically and economically feasible. Applications for approval of collocation sites shall be given priority in the review process.
A. 
General. The uses listed in this section are deemed to be permitted uses and shall not require a conditional use permit or variance application.
B. 
Permitted uses enumerated. The following uses are specifically permitted:
(1) 
Antennas or towers located on property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Borough of Hampton, provided that a license or lease authorizing such antenna or tower has been approved by the Borough of Hampton. However, the Borough may, as a condition of such lease, require site plan approval. The decision to extend such leases to an applicant shall be vested solely with the Borough, shall not be governed by this chapter and shall be subject to the bidding requirements of the Local Public Contracts Law of the State of New Jersey.[1] The Borough, in its absolute discretion, reserves the express right to deny any and/or all use of its property for antennas or towers.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq.
(2) 
Any antenna which is not attached to a tower may be attached to any existing business, industrial, office or institutional structure located in the IR, IC and HC Districts, provided that:
(a) 
The antenna does not exceed 10 feet more than the maximum building height for the zone wherein the structure is located.
(b) 
The antenna complies with all applicable FCC and FAA regulations.
(c) 
The antenna complies with all applicable building codes.
(d) 
The antenna complies with § 216-6B(1)(f), including designs, materials, placement or reinforced plastic panels.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
A. 
List of conditional uses. The following uses may be approved by the applicable approving authority as conditional uses:
(1) 
Antennas on existing towers consistent with the terms below. An antenna may be attached to an existing tower in the IR, IC and HC Districts only and, to minimize adverse visual impacts associated with the proliferation and clustering of towers, collocation of antennas by more than one carrier on existing towers shall take precedence over the construction of new towers, provided that such collocation is accomplished in a manner consistent with the following:
(a) 
A tower which is modified or reconstructed to accommodate the collocation of an additional antenna shall be of the same tower type as the existing tower unless the approving authority allows reconstruction as a monopole.
(b) 
Height.
[1] 
An existing tower may be modified or rebuilt to a taller height not to exceed the maximum tower height established by this chapter.
[2] 
The height change referred to in Subsection A(1)(b)[1] may only occur one time per each additional user of the tower, up to a maximum of three times per tower.
[3] 
The additional height referred to in Subsection A(1)(b)[1] shall not require an additional distance separation as set forth in § 216-6. The tower's premodification height shall be used to calculate such distance separations.
(c) 
On-site location.
[1] 
A tower which is being rebuilt to accommodate the collocation of an additional antenna may be moved on site within 50 feet of its existing location.
[2] 
After the tower is rebuilt to accommodate collocation, only one tower may remain on the site.
[3] 
A relocated on-site tower shall continue to be measured from the original tower location for purposes of calculating separation distances between towers pursuant to § 216-6. The relocation of a tower hereunder shall in no way be deemed to cause a violation of § 216-6.
(2) 
New towers. New towers may be constructed to hold antennas. In addition to any information required for applications for conditional use permits pursuant to applicable Borough Code provisions and state law, applicants for a conditional use permit or a variance for a tower shall submit the following information to the approving authority:
(a) 
A scaled site plan clearly indicating the location, type and height of the proposed tower, on-site land uses and zoning, adjacent land uses and zoning (including when adjacent to other municipalities) and all properties within the applicable separation distances set forth in § 216-6, adjacent roadways, proposed means of access, setbacks from property lines, elevation drawings of the proposed tower and any other structures, topography, parking and other information deemed by the approving authority to be necessary to assess compliance with this chapter.
(b) 
Legal description of the entire tract and leased parcel (if applicable).
(c) 
The setback distance between the proposed tower and the nearest residential unit, platted residentially zoned properties and unplatted residentially zoned properties.
(d) 
The separation distance from other towers described in the inventory of existing sites submitted pursuant to § 216-4C shall be shown on an updated site plan or map. The applicant shall also identify the type of construction of the existing tower(s) and the owner/operator of the existing tower(s), if known.
(e) 
A landscape plan showing specific landscape materials, including but not limited to species type, size, spacing and existing vegetation to be removed or retained.
(f) 
Method of fencing and finished color and, if applicable, the method of camouflage.
(g) 
A description of compliance with § 216-4C, D, E, F, G, I, J, L and M and all applicable federal, state or local laws.
(h) 
A notarized statement by the applicant as to whether construction of the tower will accommodate collocation of additional antennas for future users.
(i) 
Identification of the entities providing the backhaul network for the tower(s) described in the application and other cellular sites owned or operated by the applicant in the Borough.
(j) 
A description of the suitability of the use of existing towers, other structures or alternative technology not requiring the use of towers or structures to provide the services to be provided through the use of the proposed new tower.
(k) 
A description of the feasible locations of future towers or antennas for the applicant within the Borough of Hampton based upon existing physical, engineering, technological or geographical limitations in the event that the proposed tower is erected.
(l) 
A visual study depicting where, within a one-mile radius, any portion of the proposed tower could be seen.
(m) 
A letter of commitment to lease excess space to other potential users at prevailing market rates and conditions. The letter of commitment shall be in form suitable for recording with the County Clerk prior to the issuance of any permit and shall commit the tower owner(s), property owner(s) and their successors in interest.
(n) 
Documentary evidence regarding the need for the tower, which information shall identify the existing wireless network layout and existing coverage areas to demonstrate the need for the new tower at a particular location within the Borough. The evidence shall include a radio frequency engineering analysis of the search area for the tower.
B. 
Factors considered in granting conditional use permits or variances for towers.
(1) 
In addition to any standards for consideration of the applicable provisions of the Borough of Hampton Code and state/federal law, conditional use permit applications pursuant to the approving authority shall consider the following factors in determining whether to grant a variance or to issue a conditional use permit:
(a) 
Height of the proposed tower.
(b) 
Proximity of the tower to residential structures and residential district boundaries.
(c) 
Nature of uses on adjacent and nearby properties.
(d) 
Surrounding topography.
(e) 
Surrounding tree coverage and foliage.
(f) 
Design of the tower, with particular reference to design characteristics that have the effect of reducing or eliminating visual obtrusiveness.
(g) 
Proposed ingress and egress.
(h) 
Availability of suitable existing towers, other structures or alternative technologies not requiring the use of towers or structures, as discussed in Subsection C of this section.
(i) 
Availability of proposed tower to other potential users.
(j) 
All relevant criteria as set forth by the New Jersey Supreme Court in Smart SMR of New York, Inc. v. Borough of Fair Lawn Board of Adjustment, 152 N.J. 309 (1998), whether the proposed site is particularly suited (or suitable) for the proposed facility.
(2) 
This list is considered to be illustrative in nature and may not include all factors to be considered. The applicable Land Use Board will also be governed by the provisions of Municipal Land Use Law.
C. 
Availability of suitable existing towers, other structures or alternative technology. No new tower shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the approving authority that no existing tower structure or alternative technology that does not require the use of towers or structures can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna. An applicant shall submit information requested by the approving authority related to the availability of suitable existing towers, stealth tower structures, other structures or alternative technology. Evidence submitted to demonstrate that no existing tower structure or alternative technology can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna may consist of any of the following:
(1) 
No existing towers or structures are located within the geographic area which meet the applicant's engineering requirements.
(2) 
Existing towers or structures are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant's engineering requirements.
(3) 
Existing towers or structures do not have sufficient structural strength to support the applicant's proposed antenna and related equipment.
(4) 
The applicant's proposed antenna would cause electromagnetic interference with the antenna on the existing towers or structures, or the antenna on the existing towers or structures would cause interference with the applicant's proposed antenna.
(5) 
The fees, costs or contractual provisions required by the owner in order to share an existing tower or structure or to adapt an existing tower or structure for sharing are unreasonable. Costs exceeding new tower development are presumed to be unreasonable.
(6) 
The applicant demonstrates that there are other limiting factors that render existing towers and structures unsuitable.
(7) 
The applicant demonstrates that an alternative technology that does not require the use of towers or structures, such as a cable microcell network using multiple low-powered transmitters/receivers attached to a wireline system, is unsuitable. Costs of alternative technology that exceed new tower or antenna development shall not be presumed to render the technology unsuitable.
D. 
Setbacks. The following setback requirements shall apply to all towers for which a variance or conditional use permit is required:
(1) 
Towers must be set back a distance equal to at least 120% of the height of the tower from any adjoining lot line and all nonappurtenant buildings.
(2) 
Accessory buildings must satisfy the minimum zoning district setback requirements.
(3) 
No tower shall exist within required buffer or conservation easement areas if adjacent to residential zones and as prescribed under local ordinance.
E. 
Separation. The following separation requirements shall apply to all towers and antennas for which a variance or conditional use permit is required:
(1) 
Separation from off-site uses/designated areas.
(a) 
Tower separation shall be measured from the base of the tower to the lot line of the off-site uses and/or designated areas as specified in Table 1, except as otherwise provided in Table 1.
(b) 
Separation requirements for towers shall comply with the standards established in Table 1 below:
TABLE 1
Base of Tower to Off-Site Use/Designated Area
Separation Distance
Residential, municipal buildings (unless the tower is on the municipal building site), libraries and/or houses of worship
300 feet or 300% of the height of the tower, whichever is greater
Vacant residentially zoned land
300 feet or 300% of the height of the tower, whichever is greater
Nonresidentially zoned lands or nonresidential uses
At least 120% of the height of the tower from any adjoining lot line and all nonappurtenant buildings
Public parks and buildings therein, public or private schools and any site designated on the state and/or federal register of Historic Sites
1,750 feet
(2) 
Separation distances between towers. Separation distances between towers shall be applicable for and measured between the proposed tower and preexisting towers. The separation distances shall be measured by drawing or following a straight line between the base of the existing tower and the proposed base, pursuant to a site plan, of the proposed/tower. The separation distances (listed in linear feet) shall be as shown in Table 2 below:
TABLE 2
Separation Distances Between Towers
(in feet)
Type
Lattice
Monople 100 Feet or Greater in Height
Monopole Less Than 100 Feet in Height
Lattice
5,000
1,500
750
Guyed
5,000
1,500
750
Monopole 100 feet or greater in height
1,500
1,500
750
Monopole less than 100 feet
750
750
750
F. 
Security fencing. Towers shall be enclosed by security fencing not less than eight feet in height and shall also be equipped with an appropriate anticlimbing measures.
G. 
Landscaping. The following requirements shall govern the landscaping surrounding towers for which a conditional use permit is required:
(1) 
Tower facilities shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of the tower compound from property used for residences or planned residences or any other area frequented by the public. The standard buffer shall consist of a landscaped strip at least 10 feet wide outside the perimeter of the compound. However, at a minimum, the facility should be shielded from public view by evergreen trees at least eight feet high at planting and planted in staggered double rows 15 feet on center.
(2) 
In locations where the visual impact of the tower would be minimal, the landscaping requirement may be reduced at the sole discretion of the approving authority.
(3) 
Existing mature tree growth and natural landforms on the site shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. In some cases, such as towers sited on large, wooded lots, natural growth around the property perimeter may be sufficient buffer.
H. 
Height. The maximum height of new towers shall be:
(1) 
For single tower user: up to 100 feet in height.
(2) 
For two tower users: up to 120 feet in height.
(3) 
For three or more tower users: up to 150 feet in height.
I. 
Lot size. In addition to the requirements of § 216-4B, the minimum lot size for any new tower shall be as required for any development in the zone district in which the proposed tower is to be located.
J. 
General requirements. The following provisions shall govern the issuance of conditional use permits or variances for towers or antennas by the approving authority:
(1) 
If the tower or antenna is not a permitted use under § 216-5 of this chapter, then a variance or conditional use permit shall be required for the construction of a tower or the placement of an antenna at designated sites or within the zoning districts designated for a tower or antenna within the Borough of Hampton.
(2) 
Applications for variances and conditional use permits under this section shall be subject to the procedures and requirements of Chapter 157, §§ 157-60 and 157-107 of the Borough Code, as well as other applicable Borough Code provisions and state law, except as modified in this section.
(3) 
Any information of an engineering nature that the applicant submits, whether civil, mechanical or electrical, shall be certified by a licensed professional engineer.
(4) 
An applicant for a variance or conditional use permit shall submit the information described in this section and a nonrefundable application fee and an escrow deposit as follows:
Application Charge
plus
Escrow Account
If no new tower is proposed
$1,000
$2,000
If a new tower is proposed
$5,000
$5,000
(5) 
Locating a tower or antenna, including the placement of additional buildings or other supporting equipment used in connection with said tower or antenna, is permitted as a conditional use only in the following zoning district within the Borough of Hampton: IC and HC Zoning Districts.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(6) 
No towers or antennas shall be permitted as conditional uses in residentially zoned districts unless located upon property owned by the Borough of Hampton and subject to the provisions of § 216-5B.
(7) 
The application fee and escrows shall be paid as required herein.
A. 
The equipment, cabinet or structure used in accordance with antennas shall comply with the criteria listed below. For antennas mounted on structures or on rooftops, the criteria are as follows:
(1) 
The cabinet or structure shall not contain more than 200 square feet of gross floor area or be more than 10 feet in height. In addition, for buildings and structures which are less than 48 feet in height, the related unmanned equipment structure shall be located on the ground and shall not be located on the roof of the structure.
(2) 
If the equipment structure is located on the roof of a building, the area of the equipment structure and other equipment and structures shall not occupy more than 10% of the roof area.
(3) 
Equipment storage buildings or cabinets shall comply with all applicable building codes.
B. 
For antennas located on towers, the related unmanned equipment structure shall not contain more than 200 square feet of gross floor area or be more than 10 feet in height and shall be located in accordance with the minimum accessory structure requirements of the zoning district in which located.
C. 
Structures or cabinets shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of all properties which abut or are directly across the street from the structures or cabinet and shall consist of a landscaped strip at least 10 feet wide outside the perimeter. However, at a minimum, the structure or cabinet shall be shielded from public view by evergreen trees at least eight feet high at planting and planted in staggered double rows of 15 feet on center.
Any antenna or tower that is not operated for a continuous period of six months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such antenna or tower shall remove the same within 90 calendar days of receipt of notice from the Borough of Hampton notifying the owner of such abandonment. Failure to remove an abandoned antenna or tower within said 90 calendar days shall be grounds for the Borough to require removal of the tower or antenna at the owner's expense. If there are two or more users of a single tower, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the tower. The Borough shall condition the issuance of any permit to construct a tower or antenna on the posting of an appropriate performance bond or other suitable guaranty in a face amount of not less than 120% of the cost to remove the tower and restore the property as determined by the Borough Engineer for such construction as required under all applicable Borough ordinances.
Nonconforming towers or antennas that are damaged or destroyed to the extent that the nonconforming provisions no longer apply under law may not be rebuilt without having to first obtain approval from the approving authority and without having to meet the separation requirements specified in § 216-6. The type, height and location of the tower on site shall be of the same type and intensity as the original facility approval. Building permits to rebuild the facility shall comply with the then-applicable building codes and shall be obtained within 180 calendar days from the date the facility is damaged or destroyed. If no permit is obtained or if said permit expires, the tower or antenna shall be deemed abandoned as specified in § 216-8.