[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Mansfield 5-10-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Township of Mansfield recognizes the need to permit cellular/wireless telecommunications equipment and facilities in appropriate locations within the Township.
The intent of this chapter is to allow these facilities and towers as permitted uses on municipally owned property in all zones and as conditional uses in industrial and B-1 or B-2 commercial zones. Cellular/wireless telecommunications equipment and facilities or towers are expressly prohibited on privately held property in any residential zone.
The purpose of this chapter is to set forth conditions for the siting of telecommunications towers and antenna within the Township of Mansfield. The goals of this chapter are to:
Protect residential zones and uses from the potential adverse impacts of towers and antenna.
Require the location of new towers in specific locations within the Township.
Minimize the number of towers in the Township.
Encourage co-location on existing towers; and
Require the use of monopoles and stealth technology for all new towers or antenna locations through innovative design, siting and camouflaging techniques.
Permitted uses in all zones.
Antennas of towers located on property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Township of Mansfield located in any zone, provided a license and lease authorizing the tower or antenna has been approved by Township Committee upon consultation with and favorable report of the Mansfield Township Planning Board. As a condition of any lease or license to be issued under this section, site plan approval shall be required from the Mansfield Township Planning Board at the applicant's sole cost and expense.
The Township of Mansfield reserves the express right to deny all uses of its property for antenna or towers, notwithstanding the inclusion of this section in the Code of the Township of Mansfield. The standards contained in this chapter for setbacks, separation, co-location, on-site location, camouflaging and other details shall be applicable to any telecommunications towers, facilities or antenna, notwithstanding the use may be permitted on municipally owned property.
Conditional uses in I, B-1 and B-2 zones. The following conditions shall be met for approval of any conditional use for the items set forth herein:
Antennas on existing towers. An antenna may be attached to any existing tower in a residential or nonresidential zone, and shall be the preferred tower sighting priority. To minimize the visual impact associated with the proliferation and clustering of towers, co-location of one or more providers antenna on an existing tower shall take precedence over the construction of new towers, subject to the following collocation requirements:
A tower which is modified or reconstructed to accommodate the co-location of additional antennas shall be of the same type as the existing tower; provided, however, that the height of the modified or reconstructed tower shall not exceed the height the existing tower. Any reconstructed tower shall be on a monopole unless a demonstration is made to the reviewing authority that the use of a monopole would not be feasible because of particular visual and or aesthetic impacts at the particular site.
Any new tower or reconstructed tower approval shall provide for future co-location as set forth herein. Co-location by two or more providers shall be permitted on one tower provided that by co-locating, all conditions of this chapter are satisfied.
In the event a proposed tower for an existing or future co-location cannot be constructed within the permitted height limitations, then such collocation is prohibited and an alternate site or method shall be used.
No tower may be designed or built to co-locate with another provider at a height greater than the maximum permitted by this chapter.
In the event any co-location is proposed, a letter of commitment shall be filed by the applicant to lease excess space on the tower to other potential users at prevailing market rates and conditions. The letter of commitment shall be recorded with the Warren County Clerk as a deed prior to the issuance of a building permit and shall be binding upon the tower owner, property owner and successors in interest.
A tower which is rebuilt or modified to accommodate co-location may be moved on-site within 50 feet of its existing location provided the new location complies with all setback requirements set forth herein.
A relocated on-site tower shall continue to be measured from the original tower location for purposes calculating separation distances between towers pursuant to this chapter.
New tower construction. A provider apply for approval to construct a new tower if none of the above priorities can be facilitated. Such new tower shall only be located in a nonresidential zone, as hereinabove provided, on a lot not less then five acres, subject to all conditions contained in this chapter.
The following are the conditional use requirements for all new tower applications:
Setbacks. Towers must be set back at lease 120% of total tower height from any lot line, nonappurtenant structure or public or private road right-of-way line. All accessory tower buildings shall comply with all applicable ordinances. No tower may be located within a conservation easement if adjacent to a residential zone.
Separation distances. All distance shall be measured from the base of the tower to the lot line of the off-site use or zone:
For vacant residentially zoned land, residential uses, zones, or municipal property (unless the tower is located on a municipal site), libraries, schools, or houses of worship, the separation distance shall be 300 feet or 300% of the tower's height, whichever is greater.
For nonresidential lands or nonresidential uses, the separation distance shall be at least 120% of the height of the tower from any adjoining lot line, nonappurtenant building, structure or street rights-of-way.
Separation distances between towers, regardless of tower height, shall be 5,000 feet from another lattice tower or a monopole 100 feet or greater in height.
Maximum tower height. The maximum height of all new towers shall be 140 feet or 25 feet above the mean tree canopy, whichever is less. "Mean tree canopy" shall be derived from marking all trees 12 feet in diameter or greater measured 4.5 feet above grade within a two-acre area surrounding the tower site. The height of the trees shall be calculated by a professional licensed surveyor in the State of New Jersey. Absence of a suitable stand of trees for concealment shall render the site unacceptable. No tower shall have a height or location which require Federal Aviation Administration lighting. Lightning rods are excluded from tower or antenna height calculations; however, any antennas shall be included within the height calculations.
Monopole tower construction shall be encouraged in all new tower construction. Additionally, applicants shall be required to use the latest stealth or camouflaging techniques. All towers shall be fitted with anticlimbing devices.
Permitted accessory structures or uses:
Accessory equipment sheds.
Maximum height: 16 feet or one story; eave height, 10 feet.
Maximum area: 600 square feet.
Fencing: all equipment sheds shall be located immediately adjacent to the tower it services. All equipment sheds and tower bases shall be enclosed with a solid wood fence of at least six feet in height, but no higher than eight feet unless otherwise approved by the Township Engineer. All fences shall include a locking security gate. A key to the gate shall be supplied to each of the fire companies serving the Township of Mansfield.
Other conditions applying to all towers and antennas.
Noise levels. All noise generated by a tower and/or the equipment shed shall meet the minimum standards contained in Chapter 363, Zoning, and all state, federal or local noise regulations, whichever is most stringent.
Annual report. Upon the issuance of a building permit for a wireless telecommunications tower site, the owner or operator of the site shall provide to the Township Engineer and the Township Committee an initial report signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer, certifying the estimated useful structural life of the tower as well as providing an initial inventory of all equipment and antennas on the site. After 50% of the useful structural life has lapsed, annual recertification reports as to the structural integrity of the tower shall be required. An updated report shall also be provided whenever antenna arrays are modified and shall include a detail listing of all antennas and equipment. All vendors, operators and lessees shall also be required to notify the Township Committee when the use of any such antennas of equipment is discontinued. If any of the reports disclose that a condition of any tower presents an imminent hazard to the public health, safety or welfare, or that the tower antennas and equipment are no longer in use, the owner shall, and the Township Engineer may order in his discretion, the tower or site upon which it is located, to take appropriate corrective action including, if necessary, the removal of the tower to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Wireless telecommunication towers and sites shall be maintained to insure continued structure integrity. The owner of the tower shall also perform such other maintenance of the structure and of the site so as to assure that it does not create a visual nuisance.
Abandonment and removal. 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 days of receipt of notice from the Township of Mansfield notifying the owner of such abandonment. Towers that are rendered obsolete or outdated by advances in technology shall be removed or modified. Failure to remove an obsolete, outdated or abandoned antenna or tower within 90 days shall be grounds for the Township of Mansfield to require removal of the tower or antenna at the owner's, operator's or property 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 or same is deemed obsolete or outdated by the Township of Mansfield. The Township may condition the issuance of any permit to construct a tower or antenna on the posting of an appropriate performance bond or other suitable guarantee in a face amount of not less than 120% of the cost to remove the tower and restore the property as determined by the Township Engineer for such construction as required under all state and local codes and ordinances.
Signs prohibited. No signs shall be permitted on either the tower or equipment building, except for those signs required by law or containing such information as owner contact information, warnings, equipment information and safety instructions. These signs shall not exceed two square feet in total area. Absolutely no commercial advertising shall be permitted on any equipment, antenna, building or tower.
Lighting. No lighting is permitted except as follows:
The equipment building and compound may have security and safety lighting at the entrance, provided the lighting is attached to the facility, is focused downward and is wired with a timing device and/or sensor so that the light is turned off when not needed for safety or security purposes.
No lighting is permitted on the wireless communication tower.
Generators. Any generator located on site shall be enclosed within a portion of the electronic equipment building. Any fuel storage shall be done in compliance with federal and state regulations and shall be limited to fuel stored within the primary fuel tank provided by the manufacturer of the generator. No auxiliary or supplementary fuel storage shall be permitted.
Multiple towers and uses. Any prohibition contained in any ordinance restricting the number of principal uses per lot shall not apply to the construction of wireless telecommunications towers and facilities when the conditions contained in this chapter are met.
Site location analysis. Every application for a wireless telecommunications tower or antennas shall include a site location alternative analysis including an analysis of the location priorities describing the location of other sites considered, the availability of those sites, the extent to which other sites do or do not meet the provider's service or engineering needs and the reason why the subject site was chosen. The analysis shall address the following issues:
How the proposed location of the wireless telecommunications tower or antennas relates to the objective of providing full wireless communication services within the Township of Mansfield area at the time full service is provided by the applicant and by other providers within the Township area.
How the proposed location of the wireless telecommunications tower/facility relates to the location of any existing antennas or towers within or near the Township area.
How the proposed location of the wireless telecommunications tower/facility relates to the anticipated need for additional antennas or towers within and near the Township area by the applicant, and by other providers of wireless services within the Mansfield Township area.
How the proposed location of the wireless tower/facility relates to the objective and goal of retaining concealed or reduced tower height with groups of towers within close proximity to one another rather than isolated taller towers with many users or greater tower heights at random locations throughout the Township.
Additional municipal experts. The Mansfield Township Planning Board reserves the right to retain, at the applicant's expense, any technical consultants as it deems necessary to provide assistance in the review of site location alternatives analysis and specifications. By submitting an application for a wireless telecommunications tower or facility, the applicant is deemed to have consented to this procedure.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any exterior transmitting or receiving device mounted on a tower, building or structure, and use the communications that radiate or capture electromagnetic waves, digital signals, analogue signals, radio frequencies (excluding radar signals), wireless telecommunications signals or other communications signals. Excepted from this definition are antennas used exclusively by ham radio operators or other residential uses.
- The use of a common wireless telecommunications tower or a common structure, by two or more wireless license holders or unlicensed holders nevertheless regulated by the Federal Communications Commission or by one wireless license holder for more than one type of communications technology and/or the placement of a wireless telecommunications tower on a structure owned or operated by a public utility or other public utility or other public entity.
- STEALTH TOWER STRUCTURE
- Man-made trees, clock tower, bell steeples, light poles and similar alternative design mounting structures that camouflage or conceal the presence of antennas or towers.
- TOWER SITE
- The enclosed area in which the tower and its appurtenances are located.
- WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANTENNAS
- An antenna that transmits or receives radio frequency signals for wireless telecommunication towers and the users of towers or other structures for the purposes of delivering a low-power wireless radio communication through a network.
- WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
- The accessory structures or uses serving the tower site as equipment sheds, telecommunications antennas and fences.
- WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER ("TOWER")
- A freestanding, vertical structure designed to support one or more wireless telecommunications antennas. The height of the tower shall not include a lightning rod. This definition shall not apply to amateur or ham radio towers.