- Any system of poles, panels, rods, reflecting discs, or similar devices used for the transmission or reception of radio, personal communications service (PCS), or frequency signals. The term shall exclude satellite earth station antennas less than two meters in diameter (mounted within 15 feet of the ground or building-mounted) and any receive-only home television antenna.
- COMMUNICATION SUPPORT STRUCTURE/TOWER
- Any structure, whether freestanding or attached to an existing building or structure, that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas, including self-supporting lattice towers, guyed towers, monopole towers, or disguised support structures.
- DISGUISED SUPPORT STRUCTURE
- Any freestanding, man-made structure designed for the support of antennas, the presence of which is camouflaged or concealed as an appropriately placed architectural or natural feature. Depending on the location and type of disguise used, such concealment may require placement underground of the utilities leading to the structure. Such structures may include but are not limited to clock towers, campaniles, observation towers, water towers, light standards, flag poles and artificial trees.
- GUYED TOWER
- A communication support structure which is usually over 100 feet tall, used to support antennas and related equipment, which consists of metal cross strips or bars and is steadied by wire guys in a radial pattern around the tower.
- LATTICE TOWER
- A wireless communication support structure which consist of three to four sides of metal crossed strips or bars to support antennas and related equipment. These towers are freestanding without wires or cables.
- MONOPOLE TOWER
- A freestanding structure for a wireless communication facility, which consists of a wireless communication support structure to support antennas and related equipment.
- RESIDENTIAL ZONING DISTRICT
- A zoning district that is designated under the County Zoning Ordinance and is zoned predominantly for residential uses.
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to set forth minimum standards for the installation and siting of communication support structures and antennas. These standards are specifically intended to:
Provide for the appropriate location and development of communication support structures and antennas to serve the residents and businesses of Monroe County;
Minimize adverse visual effects of communication support structures and antennas through proper siting and vegetative screening;
Avoid potential damage to adjacent properties from communication support structure failure through engineering and careful siting of communication support structures and antennas; and
Maximize the use of any new or existing communication support structures and reduce the number of communication support structures needed.
General. Communication support structures and antennas may be permitted in all zoning districts by the County Board following a public hearing. Notice of public hearing shall be published at least 15 days before the hearing in a newspaper of general circulation published in the County. The County Board shall make its decision on all requests within 75 days of the submission of a completed application by the telecommunications carrier.
The following conditions must also be met:
No public office, or principal repair or storage facilities shall be maintained in connection with the site.
The building housing any equipment, shall be designed and constructed to conform to the general character of the neighborhood or area.
Landscaping and Buffer Areas must be a minimum of a six-foot fence or wall with a ten-foot planting screen around the outside, fenced area. Shrubbery and trees must be not less than five feet in height with expected growth of at least 10 feet. The screens must be planted within 30 days after support structure is completed.
Antennas, attached to a communication support structure or other tall structures (e.g., smokestack, water tower, or building) that do not exceed the height of the structure by more than 15 feet, and support structures 65 feet or less in height owned by an amateur radio operator licensed by Federal Communication Commission, will be a permitted use.
Site plan. A full site plan, drawn to a scale of one inch equals 50 feet, shall be submitted to the Zoning Administrator. The site plan shall be required for all communication support structures and shall show the antennas, communication support structures, building, fencing, buffering, and access. A site plan shall not be required if the antenna is mounted on an existing structure. Included with the site plan shall be plans and specifications for the structure's design as specified by the manufacturer or an engineer licensed by the State of Illinois. The plans and specifications shall include:
Communication support structure height;
Type of structure;
Type of materials;
Specification for materials used for structural elements of the communication support structure;
Name of tower manufacturer;
Soils investigation (where required for footing design); and
List of the type and location of all antennas, cables and other appurtenances which may or could be installed.
Minimum lot size shall be as follows:
The horizontal separation distance to the nearest lot line shall not be less than the height of the supporting structure; except that if the supporting structure exceeds 99 feet in height, the horizontal separation distance to the nearest lot line shall be at least 100 feet or 80% of the height of the supporting structure, whichever is greater.
Communication support structure shall not be closer than 50 feet from another principal building. No facility should encroach onto any recorded easement or existing septic system.
The horizontal separation distance to the nearest principal residential building shall not be less than the height of the supporting structure; except that if the supporting structure exceeds 99 feet in height, the horizontal separation distance to the nearest principal residential building shall be at least 100 feet or 80% of the height of the supporting structure, whichever is greater.
Standards for approval of communication support structures and antennas. The following standards apply to all communication support structures and antennas:
Accommodate other users. In order to reduce the number of communication support structures needed in the County in the future, the proposed communication support structure shall be required to accommodate other users, including cellular communication companies and local police, fire and ambulance services.
Appearance. Communication support structures shall be painted in neutral colors or have a galvanized finish in order to reduce the visual impact. No communication support structure may be artificially lighted except when required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Inspections. Inspections must meet County building codes and be approved by County Building Inspector.
License. When applicable, all applicants shall demonstrate that they are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or any other required licenses by the State of Illinois.
Safety. The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed communication support structure or antenna is safe and that the surrounding areas will not be negatively affected by support structure failure, falling ice or other debris, electromagnetic fields, or radio frequency interference. All communication support structures shall be fitted with anticlimbing devices, as approved by the manufacturers. Lighting should be installed only for security and safety purposes.
Radiation standards. All proposed communication support structures shall comply with current standards of the Federal Communications Commission for non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (NIER) and electromagnetic fields (EMF).
If high voltage is necessary for the operation of the communication support structure or any accessory structures, "HIGH VOLTAGE — DANGER" warning signs shall be permanently attached to the fence or the wall and shall be spaced not more than 40 feet apart.
"NO TRESPASSING" warning signs shall be permanently attached to the fence or wall and shall be spaced not more than 40 feet apart.
The letters for the "HIGH VOLTAGE — DANGER" and "NO TRESPASSING" warning signs shall be at least six inches in height. The two warning signs may be combined into one sign. The warning signs shall be installed at least five feet above the finished grade of the fence or on freestanding poles if the content of the sign may be obstructed by landscaping.
Structurally unsafe or unused structures.
Any communication support structure found, through inspection by the owner or by inspection by the County, to be structurally unsafe and which cannot be brought into compliance within 180 days shall immediately be removed at the owner's expense.
Any communication support structure that is no longer used as a communication support structure for a period of three years shall be removed at the owner's expense.
Style of support structure. The County would recommend a monopole, self supporting (lattice) tower or disguised support structures or buildings. If a guyed tower, is proved necessary, then all guyed cables, or supports must be enclosed within the fenced area.
The owner or operator of the communication support structure and/or antenna shall demonstrate, using technological evidence, that the structure or antenna must be located at the proposed site in order to satisfy its receiving and/or distributing function.
The owner or operator of the antenna shall also demonstrate that he has contacted the owners of tall structures (e.g., smokestack, water towers, tall buildings, and other communication support structures) within a 1/4 mile radius of the proposed site, has asked for permission to install the antenna on those structures, and was denied for reasons other than economic ones.
The County Board may deny the application if the applicant has not made a good faith effort to mount the antenna on an existing structure.
Minimum height. The applicant shall demonstrate that the communication support structure and/or antenna is the minimum height required to function satisfactory. No communication support structure or antenna that is taller than this minimum height shall be approved. The communication support structure shall be measured from the ground where the support structure base sits to the top of the highest appurtenance mounted on the tower.
Filing fee for communication support structure as established by the County Board according to current schedule of filing fees must be paid by applicant at the time of filing of application.
Additional fees to be paid for building permit for construction and inspection fees for required inspections at site.