[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of North Collins 10-4-2005 by L.L. No. 1-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Village of North Collins recognizes the increased demand for wireless communications transmitting facilities and the public and private demand for the services that they provide. Often, these facilities require the construction and maintenance of communications facilities, towers and accessory support structures. The bulk and visual impact of such installations creates aesthetic problems, making it appropriate to have some special conditions as to the size and placement thereof. The intent of this chapter is to protect the Village of North Collins' interest in maintaining its small-village, residential character by properly siting towers and related facilities in a manner consistent with sound land use planning while also allowing wireless providers to competitively meet their technological and service objectives.
In addition to the provisions and the terms defined therein, as used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ACCESSORY FACILITY or STRUCTURE
- An accessory facility or structure serving or being used in conjunction with a telecommunications tower and located on the same lot as the telecommunications tower, including utility or transmission storage sheds or cabinets.
- A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency signals. Such signals shall include, but not be limited to, radio, television, cellular, paging, personal communications services (PCSs) and microwave communications.
- COLLOCATED FACILITY
- A telecommunications facility that uses an existing building, tower or other structure for the placement of antennas without the need for the placement, erection or construction of a separate telecommunications tower for said placement of antennas.
- The mounting of telecommunications facilities that are used by two or more telecommunications service providers on the same existing building, communications tower or other structure.
- COMMUNICATIONS TOWER
- A structure designed to support antennas. It includes, without limit, freestanding towers, guyed towers, monopoles and similar structures that employ camouflage technology. It is a structure intended for transmitting and/or receiving radio, television, telephone or microwave communications but excluding those used either for fire, police and other dispatch communications or exclusively for private radio and television reception and private citizens bands, amateur radio and other similar communications.
- The Federal Aviation Administration.
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- GRID MAP
- A complete map of all existing or proposed telecommunications facility and tower locations within the Village of North Collins and any contiguous town, together with such narrative or technical data or information as the applicant shall deem relevant or necessary so as to establish the necessity of each tower site that is the subject of the application.
- A method of providing telecommunications bandwidth by means of a series of antennas, transmitters and reflectors on towers.
- Any freestanding pole that is used to support an antenna.
- PREEXISTING STRUCTURES MAP
- A complete map of the Village of North Collins inventorying and identifying all preexisting structures, municipal buildings or lands, public utility buildings, lands or rights-of-way or special geographic areas (e.g., hills, wooded areas, naturally screened areas), together with such narrative or technical data or information as the applicant or Village shall deem relevant or necessary so as to establish whether or not any of such structures or areas may be suitable for any proposed telecommunications tower site.
- PROPAGATION MAPS
- Complete maps, plans, narrative, overlays and analysis of the signal propagation studies for the proposed telecommunications tower site, together with all propagation studies for all other proposed or existing telecommunications tower sites within the Village of North Collins and any contiguous town which adjoins the proposed telecommunications tower site or which may impact on the siting process for the proposed telecommunications tower location.
- SATELLITE ANTENNA
- Any parabolic dish, antenna or other device or equipment of whatever nature or kind, the primary purpose of which is to receive television, radio, light, microwave or other electronic signals, waves and/or communications from space satellites.
- The transmission and reception of audio, video, data and other information by wire, radio, light and other electronic or electromagnetic systems.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY
- Includes telecommunications towers, accessory facilities or structures and/or antennas and any buildings and/or equipment used in connection with the provision of cellular telephone service, personal communications services (PCSs), paging services, radio and television services and similar broadcast services.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
- A communications tower on which one or more transmitting and/or receiving antennas are located.
- See "communications tower."
- ZONING OVERLAY MAP
- A map of the Village of North Collins adequately identifying each separate zoning district of the Village on an overlay to the grid map, propagation maps and preexisting structures map, respectively.
In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of any portion of Chapter 181, Zoning, or the provisions of any other applicable regulation, ordinance or law, the more restrictive provisions shall control, except for telecommunications towers, which are governed by the provisions of this chapter.
The requirements of this chapter shall be applied and administered in a manner consistent with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), and no action shall be taken under this chapter to issue a conditional use permit and no building permit shall be granted until the required review process has been completed. The Village shall, to the extent appropriate, utilize information contained in any required environmental assessment or statement in reaching a decision on the action being considered.
Telecommunications facilities will be permitted in any district in the Village only upon issuance of a conditional use permit and final site plan approval as required by the Code of the Village of North Collins.
The following are exempt from the application of this chapter:
The repair and maintenance of existing telecommunications towers, antennas or accessory facilities or structures.
Antennas used solely for residential household television and radio reception.
Satellite antennas erected and maintained in accordance with the provisions of the Code of the Village of North Collins.
Lawful or approved telecommunications facilities uses existing prior to the effective date of this chapter; provided, however, that any alteration, modification or expansion of such uses shall require compliance with this chapter.
No telecommunications facilities shall hereafter be used, erected, moved, reconstructed, changed or altered except after approval of a conditional use permit and in conformity with these regulations. No existing tower or other structure shall be modified to serve as a telecommunications facility unless in conformity with these regulations.
These regulations shall apply to all property within the Village of North Collins in the order of priority and preference hereinafter provided for.
The Village Board shall establish a fee schedule for all applications under this chapter. Such schedule shall be adopted by resolution and filed in the office of the Village Clerk. All fees shall be paid prior to any action being taken on the application. In addition, the applicant shall be responsible for any and all expert fees that are incurred by the Village in review of the application, including review by engineers and consultants employed by the Village. As security for this, an applicant shall pay, on account with the Village, the sum of $1,000 at the time of application. Any additional engineering or consultant fees incurred by the village over and above such sum shall be invoiced to the applicant from time to time. No certificate of occupancy or certification of completion or compliance shall be issued until all unpaid fees have been paid.
No action shall be taken by the Village Board to issue a conditional use permit or to issue preliminary site plan approval, nor by the Zoning Board of Appeals to grant use and/or area variances, until following public notice and hearing. Notice of a hearing before a Board shall be given by legal notice published in the official newspaper of the Village of North Collins at least five days before the date set for the public hearing. The applicant shall be responsible for notifying, by certified mail, all property owners of record within 500 feet of the outside perimeter or boundary line of property involved in the preliminary application of the time, date and place of such public hearing at least 10 days prior to such hearing. Notice shall be deemed given if mailed to the property owner at the tax billing address listed on the property records of the Village Clerk or at the property address. At least seven days prior to such a hearing, the applicant shall file with the Board his or her affidavit of mailing such notices. Failure to receive such notice shall not be deemed a jurisdictional defect.
Application and site plan.
Any applicant for a telecommunications facility conditional use permit shall make written application to the Village Board. An applicant shall be required to submit a site plan as required by the Code of the Village of North Collins, which site plan sets forth specific site data on a map, acceptable in form and content to the Village Board, which shall be prepared to scale and in sufficient detail and accuracy, showing at a minimum the following:
The location of property lines, the boundaries of the area proposed for lease or development and permanent easements and right-of-way lines.
The location of the proposed telecommunications facility, together with guy wires and guy anchors, if applicable.
A side elevation or sketch of the telecommunications tower showing the proposed antennas.
The location of all structures; trees exceeding four inches in diameter, measured at a height of four feet off the ground; and other significant and/or unusual features on the property and on any adjacent property within 20 feet of the property lines.
The names of adjacent landowners.
The location, nature and extent of any proposed fencing, landscaping and/or screening.
The location and nature of proposed utility easements and access driveways, if applicable.
A grid map of all of the owner/applicant's existing telecommunications tower site areas in the Village of North Collins and any contiguous town and of any areas proposed or projected by the owner/applicant for installations for a period of two years.
The site plan shall also include, or there shall be separately submitted, a grid map with zoning overlay, propagation maps and preexisting structures also noted thereon. The applicant shall be required, whenever possible, to locate the proposed telecommunications facility in accordance with the preference for higher-intensity use and with due consideration given to existing facilities as depicted upon the overlay map.
The site plan shall also include documentation on 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.
Additionally, the Village Board shall require that the site plan include a completed visual environmental assessment form (visual EAF) and a landscaping plan addressing other standards listed within this chapter, with particular attention to visibility from key viewpoints within and outside of the municipality as identified in the visual EAF. The Village Board may require submittal of a more detailed visual analysis based on the results of the visual EAF.
In addition to other site plan requirements, an application for a telecommunications tower shall include all information prepared by the manufacturer of the tower and antenna for the application for which a conditional use permit is being sought, including, but not limited to, the following:
The make and model of the tower to be erected.
Manufacturer's design data for installation instructions and construction plans.
The applicant's proposed tower maintenance and inspection procedures.
The applicant's proposed tower maintenance and inspection schedules.
The applicant's maintenance and inspection records system.
Anticlimb devices for the tower and any guy wires.
The applicant shall provide a structural analysis and certification from a qualified licensed engineer, certifying that the proposed tower meets or exceeds all applicable federal, state and industrial structural design and safety standards and requirements, including, but not limited to, any such standards and requirements as relate to loads, wind shear and ice. Such certification shall also demonstrate that any icefall or debris from tower failure will be contained on the site.
No more than one telecommunications facility shall be allowed on any lot within the Village, and no existing lot may be subdivided solely for the purpose of obviating this provision.
Preference for higher-intensity use.
The Village Board may require that the proposed facility be located on property in a higher-intensity use district in accordance with the guideline for preference listed below, provided that there is a technologically feasible and available location. The guideline for preference, from most favorable to least favorable district/property, is as follows:
In the case that an applicant proposes that a telecommunications facility be located in a less preferable location based on the guideline for preference above, the burden shall be upon the applicant to show why a higher-intensity use location is not feasible.
Government services. An applicant shall make adequate provisions to permit the shared use of telecommunications facilities for the collocation of antennas and other communications devices and equipment by the Village of North Collins or any other municipal, law enforcement and/or emergency services agency. These municipal and/or emergency entities shall have use of a telecommunications tower without charge, provided that the devices and equipment which are collocated do not interfere with the use and operation of an applicant's then-existing devices and equipment and do not result in the design load capability of the tower being exceeded.
At all times, shared use of existing telecommunications towers shall be mandatory if feasible, rather than the construction of new towers. Additionally, where such shared use is unavailable, the location of antennas on preexisting structures shall be considered. An applicant shall be required to present an adequate report inventorying existing towers and other structures within a reasonable distance of the proposed site and outlining opportunities for collocated facilities and use of other preexisting structures as an alternative to a new construction.
An applicant proposing collocation shall be required to submit documentation indicating the agreement or consent to such shared use by the existing telecommunications facility owner. The applicant shall pay all reasonable fees and costs of adapting an existing tower or structure to a new shared use. Those costs include, but are not limited to, structural reinforcement, preventing transmission or receiver interference, additional site screening and other changes, including real property acquisition or leases required to accommodate collocation.
In the case of proposed new telecommunications towers, the applicant shall be required to submit documentation demonstrating good-faith efforts to secure collocation from owners of existing telecommunications towers as well as documenting capacity for future shared use of the proposed tower. Copies of written requests and responses shall be provided.
In the interest of minimizing the number of telecommunications towers in the Village of North Collins, the Village Board may require, as a condition of conditional use permit approval, that the applicant for construction of a telecommunications facility indicate in writing its commitment to permit collocation on said facility by other personal communications system (PCS) or telecommunications system companies in accordance with the following:
Said applicant/owner will design any telecommunications tower that may be a part of said application to be placed, erected or constructed with sufficient base, height and carrying capacity to accommodate future collocation.
Such collocation shall not involve the installation or construction of any additional tower structure.
The placement, installation, operation or use of any antennas, devices or equipment that is collocated shall not interfere with the placement, maintenance, operation or use of the applicant's then-existing devices and equipment.
The applicant may require that any entity requesting to collocate pay all of the costs associated with any installation or construction that may be required for such collocation (including the cost, if any, of reinforcing or replacing the then-existing tower or monopole) and pay its pro rata share of the operation and maintenance of the site and facilities used in common.
Collocation shall not result in the design load capacity of the tower or monopole being exceeded. Prior to placement, installation or construction of any antennas, devices or equipment, the applicant may require that the company wishing to so collocate provide an engineering study, acceptable to the Village of North Collins and the applicant, showing that such collocation will not result in the design load capacity of the tower or monopole being exceeded.
The applicant may require that the company requesting to collocate provide evidence of adequate liability insurance coverage.
The company wishing to collocate shall execute and file with the Village of North Collins an agreement to be bound by all the terms and conditions of the applicant's site plan application and specifically those provisions relating to termination of use and restoration of the site.
Site plan approval (as amendment or modification to a prior approval) shall be required for any proposed collocation involving:
The extension or modification of a tower or monopole approved hereunder or the construction or installation of any new monopole or tower structure.
Installation or construction of a new accessory facility or structure or any enlargement of an existing accessory facility or structure.
Expansion or enlargement of the leased site.
The Village Board may waive the collocation requirement if it is determined that accommodation of future collocation is not feasible or imposes an unnecessary burden, based upon:
The number of Federal Communications Commission licenses available for the area in the foreseeable future.
The kind of telecommunications facility proposed.
The number of existing and potential Federal Communications Commission licensees without antenna tower spaces.
The number and location of available spaces at other existing and approved telecommunications facilities.
Potential adverse visual impacts by a telecommunications facility that has been designed to accommodate collocation.
Height. The maximum height for telecommunications towers permitted under this chapter, whether freestanding or erected on or attached to an existing structure (such as a water tower or silo), and including any antennas, extensions or other devices extending above the structure of the tower measured from the ground surface immediately surrounding the location of the tower or the structure on which it is located, shall not exceed 150 feet.
Setbacks. Telecommunications facilities shall comply with all existing setbacks within the affected zone. Additional setbacks may be required by the Village Board to substantially contain on-site icefall or debris from tower failure and/or to preserve the privacy of adjoining residential or public property. Setbacks shall apply to all tower parts, including guy wire anchors, and to any accessory facilities. All towers and antennas shall maintain a minimum setback equal to the height of the tower (and any antenna or other fixtures affixed to the top of the tower) plus 25 feet, unless sufficient engineering detail shall be provided to warrant a lesser setback.
Aesthetics. In order to minimize any adverse aesthetic effect on neighboring properties to the extent possible, the Village Board may impose reasonable conditions on the applicant, including the following:
Telecommunications facilities shall be designed, located and screened or buffered in a manner that provides, to the maximum extent possible, compatibility with surrounding land uses.
Use of a monopole or guyed tower (if sufficient land is available to the applicant) instead of a freestanding tower.
The use of camouflage technology in order to hide, disguise or otherwise obscure or minimize the view of an antenna or tower.
Towers should be designed and sited so as to avoid, whenever possible, application of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lighting and painting requirements. Towers shall not be artificially lighted except as required by the FAA. Towers shall be painted a galvanized finish or matte gray above the surrounding tree line and painted gray, green or black below the surrounding tree line unless other standards are required by the FAA.
No telecommunications facility shall contain any sign or advertising device except those containing health, safety or general welfare messages intended for the protection of the public.
Accessory facilities and structures shall maximize use of building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with natural surroundings.
All utility lines shall be underground from the roadside utility connection to the communications facility or tower base accessory structures.
Existing vegetation. Existing on-site trees and 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 approval of the conditional use permit.
Screening. Deciduous or evergreen tree plantings may be required to screen portions of the telecommunications facility from nearby residential property as well as from public sites known to include important views or vistas. Where the site abuts residential or public property, including streets, the following vegetation screening shall be required: For all telecommunications facilities, at least one row of native evergreen shrubs or trees capable of forming a continuous hedge at least 10 feet in height within two years of planting shall be provided to effectively screen the tower base and accessory facilities or structures. In the case of poor soil conditions, planting may be required on soil berms to assure plant survival. Plant height in these cases shall include the height of any berm.
Access and safety.
The site plan shall detail the means of access to the telecommunications facility and all security or safety fencing proposed. Such detail shall include, but not be limited to, gate location, roadway or driveway location and design, height and type of fencing and security measures, if any, for the site. Proper gating or other measures of securing the access road or driveway so as to eliminate nuisance usage must be considered and may be required by the Village Board as a condition of approval.
Access and parking. In order to ensure adequate emergency and service access to a telecommunications facility, an access road or driveway, two parking spaces and a turnaround area, outside of any fencing, shall be provided on the premises. An access road or driveway exceeding 150 feet in length will require that delineators be placed every 50 feet as well as proof that, as designed, the access road or driveway will be capable of supporting, at a minimum, a twenty-ton load. To the maximum extent practicable, existing roads or driveways shall be used for access. In order to ensure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential, construction of an access road or driveway shall, at all times, minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting, and grades shall closely follow natural contours.
Fencing. All telecommunications facilities, including any guy anchors, if applicable, shall be enclosed by a fence not less than eight feet in height or otherwise sufficiently protected from trespassing or vandalism as approved by the Village Board.
Structural safety. Any tower shall be designed, erected and maintained in such manner that it meets or exceeds all applicable federal, state and industry structural design and safety standards and requirements, including but not limited to, any such standards and requirements as relate to loads, wind shear and ice. Any icefall or debris from tower failure shall be contained on the site. At intervals of not more than once in any three-year period, the Village Board may make a written request to the applicant that it provide a structural analysis and certification from a qualified licensed engineer certifying that the tower, as constructed and maintained, complies with the foregoing requirements or, in the event that it does not comply, specifying the repairs or maintenance recommended in order to result in compliance. If any repairs or maintenance is recommended, then such analysis and report shall be accompanied by a letter from the tower owner or operator setting forth a reasonable schedule for the performance of such repairs or maintenance. Upon completion of such repairs or maintenance, certification shall be submitted from a qualified licensed engineer certifying that such repairs or maintenance has been satisfactorily performed and that the tower is in compliance with the foregoing requirements. Failure to perform such repairs or maintenance within a reasonable time shall be grounds for termination of the conditional use permit under § 164-9N below.
Radio frequency effects. Radio emissions from any telecommunications facility shall conform to applicable Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on emissions, and telecommunications facilities shall be operated only at FCC-designated frequencies and power levels. Violations of this subsection shall be grounds for termination of the conditional use permit under § 164-9N below.
Insurance. Prior to the issuance of any building permit, and on a yearly basis thereafter, the owner or operator shall submit evidence that liability and property damage insurance is in effect covering any injury or damage that may result from tower failure or any other condition or hazard relating to the construction or maintenance of the tower.
The conditional use permit and site plan approval shall expire upon:
The failure of the applicant to commence active operation of the telecommunications facility within 12 months of the issuance of a conditional use permit or final site plan approval by the Village Board; or
The failure to request and receive the issuance of a building permit within six months of site plan approval; or
The discontinuance of the active and continuous operation of the telecommunications facility for a continuous period of 90 calendar days, regardless of any reservation of an intent not to abandon or discontinue the use or of an intent to resume active operations.
From time to time, the Village Board, at its discretion, or upon direction of the Village Board, may direct the Building Inspector to review the conditional use permit or site plan approval to ascertain if the requirements, conditions and restrictions of this chapter are being substantially complied with in good faith. In the event that, upon review, the Village Board finds that the site is not in accordance with the approved building and site plans and the requirements, conditions and/or restrictions of this chapter or of the conditional use permit are not being substantially complied with, the conditional use permit shall be canceled or terminated within a specified period of time unless the requirements, conditions and restrictions are complied with after reasonable notice.
In the event that an applicant intends to site any telecommunications facility pursuant to a lease or occupancy or use agreement of any type, a copy of such lease or agreement shall be submitted with the conditional use permit application. Copies of any modification, renewal, extension or termination of such lease or agreement shall be submitted within 30 days of execution.
The applicant shall submit, as part of its application, a detailed cost analysis and estimate of annual costs associated with the maintenance of any proposed telecommunications facility, access road or driveway and all other improvements as depicted upon the site plan. Such estimates shall be reviewed by the Village Engineer, and upon establishment of the annual costs of such maintenance, the applicant shall post a letter of credit or other financial security acceptable to the Village Board so as to assure the performance of such annual maintenance services.
Removal of telecommunications facility. In the event that a telecommunications facility is no longer used for the purpose specified in the application, or the telecommunications facility ceases operations or the conditional use permit is canceled or terminated for a period of 90 calendar days, the applicant or its successor shall remove any tower, antenna and/or other accessory facility or structure, as well as site improvements (such as, but not limited to, fences), except for the driveway, and shall restore the property to substantially the same condition as existed prior to the installation and/or construction of the facility within 30 calendar days of receipt of a written notice from the Building Inspector.
Prior to issuance of a building permit and based upon the recommendation of the Village Board, the owner and/or operator of any telecommunications facility shall provide the Village with a letter of credit or other financial security for removal and site restoration acceptable to the Village Board. The estimate shall be prepared by the applicant's licensed engineer, verified by the Village Engineer (or engineer hired by the Village to evaluate the application, if different from the Village Engineer) and approved as to form by the Village Attorney.
Failure of the applicant to continuously maintain in full force and effect required letters of credit or other financial security shall automatically terminate all permits or approvals granted with respect to such site or sites and shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this chapter.