[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Loyalsock 5-28-2002 by Ord. No. 290. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 215.
To provide for required telecommunications infrastructure, while minimizing the negative impacts of the telecommunications infrastructure in populated areas, and preserve and protect the scenic quality of the Township.
To encourage and maximize the shared use of existing towers, buildings and other appropriate structures for collocation of telecommunications antennas.
To reduce the visual impact on the landscape of extraordinary large tower structures which also provide community service.
To ensure that new towers and telecommunications antenna arrays will be safe, suitably placed and blend into the environment.
Where used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To cease from maintaining, practicing or using.
- An existing telecommunications tower, building or structure having an existing telecommunications antenna(s) located on it.
- COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT BUILDING
- A building or cabinet containing communication equipment required for the operation of antennas, covering a floor area no greater than 250 square feet and not more than 12 feet in height measured to the highest point from finished grade at the wall, which is an accessory structure to the primary use of the communications tower and respective telecommunications antenna.
- COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
- A structure other than a building, such as a monopole, self-supporting or guyed tower, designed and used to hold communications antenna(s), which may be owned privately or by any governmental agency whether located on public or private land. Also referred to as “telecommunications tower” or “tower” in this section.
- HEIGHT OF COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
- The vertical distance measured from the ground level at finished grade at the base of the structure to the highest point on the telecommunications tower, inclusive of vertical antennas, which may be accommodated on any particular tower.
- PUBLIC UTILITY TRANSMISSION TOWER
- A structure owned and operated by a public utility company regulated by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA
- Any device or appliance used for the transmission or reception of radio, television, wireless telephone, pager, commercial mobile radio service or any other wireless communications signals, including without limitation antennas and directional or panel antennas, owned or operated by any person or entity licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or by any governmental agency, to operate such device. Also referred to as “antenna.” Building-mounted base station antennas and pole-mounted antennas under 50 feet tall and hobby-use ham radio antennas under 50 feet tall and residential satellite dishes or residential television reception antennas shall be exempt from this provision. Said residential apparatus shall be subject to § 215-12G(3) of the codification of ordinances.
A communications tower and/or telecommunications antenna(s) owner shall secure a building/zoning permit prior to site preparation and construction and prior to operation of an existing tower upon change of primary use. A zoning permit shall be secured to attach any communications antenna to any tower, structure, and any building. Said communications towers are allowed to be placed, installed or constructed as conditional uses in the Industrial District (I) and Agricultural-Rural Residential District (A-R) only.
The permit application shall demonstrate that the communications tower structure applicant has secured at least one antenna contract agreement to locate on such tower and:
All state and federal permits have been secured prior to application with the Township; the tower shall be designed and constructed to all applicable standards of the American Nation Standards Institute, ANSI/EIA-222-F Manual, as amended. The professional engineer of the applicant has certified that the tower complies with these standards and with the Zoning Ordinance provisions.
The tower will not interfere with reception in nearby residential areas. Towers and telecommunications antennas shall not be located on any single-family detached dwelling, two-family dwelling, duplex dwelling, townhouse or multifamily complex. All telecommunications antennas shall comply with all applicable standards that govern human exposure to electromagnetic radiation. A statement from a qualified, licensed professional engineer shall be provided which states that the Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (NIER) emitted from any antenna(s) on any other proposed location do not result in an exposure at any point on or outside such facility exceeding the lowest applicable exposure standards established by any state or federal agency. Compliance with applicable FCC regulations to address noninterference on normal reception of other radio wavelengths used by aircraft, boats, etc. is required.
The tower shall be positioned in such a manner that it can not collapse onto adjacent property or create a safety hazard; adjacent property includes land of others with or without buildings and streets. A hold-harmless agreement shall be filed that holds the municipality harmless of liability due to any unforeseen collapse onto adjacent property. The tower must be certified to collapse within the property area leased by the owner of the tower. Certification, that collapse of the tower complies with the above section, by a professional engineer shall be provided.
A professional engineer has certified the tower design, including all associated facilities and supporting structures, guy wires, wind load, ground connections/anchors, etc., are based on sound engineering practices, including seismic design criteria. After original construction of a tower, a new engineering certification as described above shall be submitted for each additional antenna or group of antennas added to the tower. The tower shall be designed to accommodate not less than four telecommunications antennas, and the tower is to be finished in nonreflective material. Single telecommunications antenna towers may be allowed when certain circumstances arise that are justified by the applicant.
Assurance there is room for maintenance vehicles to maneuver on the property. The applicant shall demonstrate on the site plan that parked vehicles at the facility will not impede traffic on adjoining roadways. The cartway shall be surfaced with a mud-free durable gravel surface. Grade of access drive shall be designed in compliance with stormwater runoff regulations.
A tower removal performance bond shall be provided to the Township in an amount approved by the Township Board of Supervisors. Said bond shall remain with the Township and may be invoked upon failure by the tower owner to remove an abandoned tower.
When collocation is not proposed, the applicant shall provide the following:
Evidence from a qualified licensed professional engineer that, in terms of location and construction, there are no existing towers, buildings, structures, elevated tanks, silos or similar structures able to provide the platform for the telecommunications antenna within a one-mile radius of the selected location in the application.
A coverage diagram and/or technical reports that demonstrate collocation on existing towers or other structures is not technically possible to serve required needs, or that planned equipment would exceed the structural capacity of existing towers or other structures, and that structural reinforcement is not feasible.
Evidence that the planned telecommunications antenna and equipment installation will cause radio frequency (RF) interference with existing or planned equipment for that tower, and such interference cannot be prevented as controlled by the FCC.
Evidence that existing or approved towers do not have the space on which the planned telecommunications antenna can be placed so that it can function effectively and at least in parity with the other similar planned or existing antenna(s).
Additional reasons particular to the applicant which make it impractical to place a telecommunications antenna on existing or approved towers, structures, buildings or any other buildings.
The Loyalsock Township Board of Supervisors reserves the right to hire an independent consulting engineer to review the engineering certifications, documents and reports submitted by the applicant, at the applicant’s expense.
The applicant shall show evidence of having exhausted collocation options with existing communications towers and existing buildings or other structures to place any telecommunications antenna. The collocation option for a telecommunications antenna shall not require conditional use approval. To be permitted under the collocation option the following shall be required:
Telecommunications antennas may be attached to any existing building or structure in all zoning districts, including but not limited to large hotel buildings, municipal or governmental buildings, water towers, any agricultural building such as silos, and electrical transmission towers. Telecommunications antennas shall not be located on any residential buildings listed in previous Subsection B(2).
Telecommunications antenna shall be permitted to exceed the height limit of the applicable zoning district by no more than 20 feet, when located on an existing building.
When the use of an existing structure is proposed, the applicant shall submit evidence from a registered professional engineer certifying the proposed installation will not exceed the structural capacity of the existing building or other structure, considering wind and other loads associated with telecommunications antenna placement. A hold-harmless agreement to indemnify the municipality of liability shall be provided.
Telecommunications antennas located on existing structures and buildings shall be architecturally compatible with respective buildings/structures. Telecommunications antennas shall be designed to blend into the community when located on existing buildings/structures. A detailed construction and elevation drawing shall be submitted to indicate the telecommunications antenna’s mounting on the structure or building to ascertain how it will be seen in the community viewed from ground level.
Applicant shall submit agreement and/or easements necessary to provide access to and use of the building or structure on which the telecommunications antennas are to be located so that installation and maintenance of telecommunications antennas can be accomplished.
Maintenance/abandonment. The tower shall be regularly maintained and inspected by a properly qualified professional at least annually for structural safety, as a condition of permit validity. Upon abandonment of use, the tower and all associated equipment shall be dismantled and removed from the property within ninety (90) consecutive calendar days of notice from the Township Zoning Administrator, Codes Enforcement Officer or Building Official. The following shall be provided by the applicant at applicant’s expense to the Township Codes Department:
An annual inspection report shall be submitted not later than June 30 of every calendar year.
At any time that a tower becomes abandoned, the applicant shall supply such information to the Township Zoning Administrator, Codes Enforcement Officer or Building Official the day that abandonment occurs. The Township Zoning Administrator, Codes Enforcement Officer or Building Official shall issue the notice to the applicant/tower owner that the tower shall be dismantled and removed within 90 consecutive days from date of notice. Township enforcement proceedings of fines and invoking the tower removal bond to remove the tower shall occur after the ninety-consecutive-calendar-day period if the subject tower has not been removed.
The tower shall have either a locked anticlimbing device installed on the tower, or the tower and all supporting equipment shall be completely enclosed by a locked protective fence at lease six feet in height with barbed wire or other wire approved by the Township Supervisors located above the top.
The tower shall have at least one sign at the base of the tower warning of possible electrical shock or high voltage. At least one sign shall be placed at the access entrance with a street identifying the driveway as private and including emergency contact information. Sign sizes shall not exceed three square feet. Exterior site lighting shall be prohibited unless it is necessary for security, is not in conflict with FAA requirements and does not glare unto any adjacent properties or rights-of-way.
All mechanical or electrical equipment must be locked and properly secured to prevent unauthorized access. All service lines for electrical, telephone or other capable wires shall be placed underground unless otherwise approved by the Board of Supervisors.
A landscaping plan must be submitted for review by the Township Planning Commission and approval of the Board of Supervisors.
Historic properties. Antennas and towers shall be prohibited from locating on any site or building that is defined as a historic site or historic building per the State of Pennsylvania or the federal government.
Towers are encouraged to be designed to appear as trees, farm silos and natural features, if feasible. Materials used in towers and antennas shall not detract from the surrounding community appearance.