[Adopted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
In recognition of advancing technology and the increasing demand for the installation of wireless communication tower(s) and/or facilities within the village, the Village Board of Trustees of the Village of Lake Grove hereby determines that it is in the public interest to specifically regulate the siting and installation of such facilities within the village in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Therefore the Board hereby determines to establish general guidelines for the siting of wireless communications towers and antennas in order to:
Protect residential areas and land uses from potential adverse impacts of towers and antennas.
Encourage the location of towers in nonresidential areas.
Minimize the total number of towers throughout the village.
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 extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the surrounding community is minimal.
Encourage users of towers and antennas to configure them in a way that minimizes the adverse visual impacts 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 impacts upon the public health and safety of communication towers.
Avoid potential damage to adjacent and/or nearby properties from tower failure through appropriate engineering and careful siting of tower structures and/or facilities.
In furtherance of the aforementioned objectives, the permitting Board shall give due consideration to the village's Comprehensive Plan, existing land uses and development, and environmentally sensitive areas, and other appropriate factors in approving sites for the location of towers and antennas and/or facilities.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
- ACCESSORY FACILITY
- A building or structure that serves the principal use, which is subordinate in area, extent and purpose to the principal use, and is located on the same lot as the principal use. Examples of such facilities include transmission equipment and storage sheds.
- ALTERNATIVE TOWER STRUCTURE
- Manmade trees, clock towers, bell steeples, light poles and similar alternative-design mounting structures that camouflage or conceal the presence of antennas or towers.
- 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 communication signals.
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The Building Inspector of the Village of Lake Grove.
- The Federal Aviation Administration.
- The Federal Communication Commission.
- When referring to a tower or other structure, the distance measured from the finished mean grade of the parcel 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 building permit or special use permit has been properly issued prior to the effective date of this article, including permitted towers or antennas that have not yet been completed or constructed so long as such approved permit(s) is current and unexpired, or any tower which is existing and has a certificate of compliance.
- Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas for telephone, radio and similar communication purposes, including self-supporting lattice towers, guyed towers or monopole towers. The term includes radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common-carrier towers, cellular telephone towers, alternative tower structures and similar structures. The term includes the structure and any support thereto.
No transmission tower shall hereafter be used, erected, moved or reconstructed, changed, altered or modified to serve as a transmission tower except after administrative approval by the Building Inspector or upon the issuance of a special use permit(s) by the Zoning Board of Appeals in conformity with the requirements of this article.
Towers shall only be permitted within the following zoning classification districts: J Business 2, J Business 3 and J Business 4 Districts.
New towers and antennas. All new towers and antennas in the village shall be subject to these regulations, except as otherwise provided hereinbelow.
Exceptions. The requirements set forth in this article shall not be applicable to:
Principal and accessory use. Antennas and towers may be considered either principal or accessory uses. A different existing use and/or an existing structure on the same lot shall not preclude the installation of an antenna or tower on such lot.
Lot size. For purposes of determining whether the installation of a tower or antenna complies with zoning district regulations, the entire lot shall control, even though the antennas or towers may be located on leased parcels within such lots.
Inventory of existing sites. Each applicant for an antenna and/or tower shall provide to the Building Inspector an inventory of its existing towers, antennas or sites approved for towers or antennas, that are either within the jurisdiction of the village or within one mile of the border thereof, including specific information about the location, height and design of each tower. The Building Inspector may share such information with other applicants applying for administrative approvals or special use permits under this section or other organizations seeking to locate antennas within the jurisdiction of the village. The Building Inspector, by sharing such information, shall not be deemed to be in any way representing or warranting that such sites are available or suitable.
Aesthetic requirements. All towers and antennas shall comply with the following requirements:
Towers shall be a neutral color so as to reduce visual obtrusiveness.
At a tower site, the design of the buildings and related structures shall, to the extent practicable, use materials, colors, textures, screening and landscaping that will blend them into the natural setting and surrounding buildings.
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 practicable.
Lighting. Towers shall not be artificially lighted, unless required by the FAA or other applicable authority. If required, the lighting shall be designed to minimize to the maximum extend practicable, the resultant disturbance to the surrounding views and properties.
Signs. No signs shall be permitted on an antenna or tower.
Multiple antenna/tower plan. Users of towers and/or antennas submitting a single application for the approval of multiple towers and/or antenna sites shall be given priority status in the review process.
Permitted uses. The following uses are deemed to be permitted uses and shall not be subject to administrative approval or a special use permit:
Antennas or towers located on property owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the Village of Lake Grove, provided that said property is subject to a license or lease authorizing such antenna or tower approved by the Village Board and provided that such towers or antennas comply with the written regulations promulgated by the Building Inspector.
All antennas, which are accessory to permitted residential uses.
Lawful or approved towers and antennas, which existed prior to the effective date of this article, except that any and all additions or expansions to existing towers and/or antennas shall be subject to the requirements of this section/article.
Uses subject to administrative approval.
The Building Inspector or his/her designee may approve, approve with modifications and/or conditions or deny the following uses:
Additions or expansions to existing towers or antennas, including new antennas on existing towers.
Antennas on existing structures as an accessory use to any commercial, industrial, professional or institutional use, provided that the antenna does not extend more than 30 feet above the highest point of the structure.
Collocation of antennas by more than one carrier on existing towers shall be accorded priority status over the construction of new towers, so long as the same is in compliance with the following:
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 Building Inspector in his discretion shall permit reconstruction as a monopole.
Height. An existing tower may be modified or rebuilt with no additional separation to a greater height, not exceeding 30 feet over the tower's existing height, in order to accommodate the collocation of a single additional antenna.
Building Inspector's determination.
The Building Inspector shall make a final determination to grant, grant with modifications and/or conditions and/or covenants or deny the applications submitted pursuant to this section.
Upon a final determination by the Building Inspector to deny, modify and/or impose conditions and/or covenants upon an application, the applicant may appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals within 30 days of the final determination.
Unless otherwise permitted by this article, the construction of new communication towers and/or the installation of antennas shall be permitted upon the issuance of a special permit by the Board of Zoning Appeals, subject to the following:
Applications for special use permits under this section shall be subject to procedural and other provisions applicable to the Board of Zoning Appeals as set forth in Article IX of this chapter, except as otherwise modified in this section.
A certification, by an engineer licensed by the State of New York, that the towers/antennas meet or exceed current standard regulations of the FAA, the FCC and any other state or federal agency having authority to regulate towers or antennas. Any information of an engineering nature that the applicant submits, whether civil, mechanical or electrical, shall be certified by a New York State licensed professional engineer.
Special permit requirements for towers/antennas.
Information required. Applications for a special use permit for a tower shall include the following:
Setback distance(s) between the proposed tower and the nearest existing residential dwelling(s) and residentially zoned properties.
Separation distance(s) from other towers described in the inventory of existing sites submitted with the application shall be shown on an updated site plan or map, identification of the type of construction of the existing tower(s) and the owner/operator of any existing tower(s), if known.
A written description of the application's compliance with all applicable requirements of this article and with all applicable federal, state and local laws.
A notarized statement by the applicant as to whether construction of the tower will accommodate collocation of additional antennas for future users.
A description of the suitability of existing towers and/or other structures and/or alternative technology, and the services contemplated for the use of the proposed tower.
The Zoning Board shall consider the following factors in determining whether to issue a special use permit, in addition to the standards for consideration of special use permit applications set forth in Article IX of this chapter:
Height of the proposed tower.
Proximity of the tower to residential structures and residential district boundaries.
Nature of existing and/or proposed uses on adjacent and nearby properties.
Site and/or surrounding topography.
Surrounding tree coverage and foliage.
Design of the tower, with particular reference to design characteristics that have the effect of reducing or eliminating visual obtrusiveness.
Proposed ingress and egress.
Availability of suitable existing towers, other structures, or alternative technologies not requiring the use of new towers and/or structures.
The Board may waive or reduce the burden on the applicant of one or more of these criteria if it concludes that the goals of this article are better served thereby.
No new tower shall be permitted unless the applicant demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the Zoning Board of Appeals that no existing tower, structure or alternative technology not requiring the construction/alteration of new towers or structures can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna. An applicant shall submit any information requested by the Zoning Board of Appeals related to the availability of suitable existing towers, 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 or all of the following:
That no suitable (as to height and structural strength) towers or structures are located within the geographic area which meet the applicant's engineering requirements, or that 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 and/or that there are other limiting factors that render existing towers and structures unsuitable.
That 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.
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.
Setbacks. The following setback requirements shall apply to all towers for which a special use permit is required:
Towers shall be set back a distance equal to at least 150% of the height of the tower from any adjoining lot line.
Accessory buildings shall satisfy the minimum zoning district setback requirements in the zoning district where the tower or antenna is proposed.
Provided, however, that the Board of Zoning Appeals may reduce the standard setback to no less than 120% of the height of the tower from any adjoining lot line and may reduce the set backs for accessory buildings if the goals of this chapter would be better served thereby.
Separation. The following separation requirements shall apply to all towers for which a special use permit is required; provided, however, the Board of Zoning Appeals may reduce the standard separation requirements if the goals of this chapter would be better served thereby:
Separation between towers. Separation distances between towers shall be applicable to and measured between the proposed tower and preexisting towers; 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 for the proposed tower. The separation distances between towers shall be 5,000 linear feet.
Security fencing. Towers shall be enclosed by security fencing not less than eight feet in height and shall be equipped with an appropriate anticlimbing device; provided, however, that the Zoning Board of Appeals may waive such requirements as it deems appropriate.
Landscaping. The following requirements shall govern the landscaping surrounding towers for which a special use permit is required; provided, however, that the Zoning Board of Appeals may waive such requirements if the goals of this chapter would be better served thereby.
Tower facilities shall be landscaped with a buffer of plant materials that effectively screens the view of the tower compound from residential property. Deciduous or tree plantings may be required. The standard buffer shall consist of at least one row of native mixed evergreen shrubs or trees capable of forming a contiguous hedge at least eight feet in height, which shall be provided to effectively screen the tower base and accessory facilities. 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.
In locations where the visual impact of the tower would be minimal, the landscaping requirement may be reduced or waived by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Existing mature tree growth and natural land forms 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.
An applicant must submit a site plan application to the Planning Board pursuant to the requirements of Article X of this chapter. Such site plan application shall be submitted prior to any application for a special permit to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Any antenna or tower that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be deemed abandoned. The owner of such antenna or tower shall remove the same within 90 days of receipt of notice from the village notifying the owner of such abandonment. Failure to remove an abandoned antenna or tower within said 90 days shall be grounds to remove the tower or antenna at the owner's expense. In the event that two or more entities are using a single tower, this provision shall not apply unless all uses cease with respect to such tower.
Preexisting towers shall be permitted as they presently exist. Routine maintenance (including replacement with a new tower of like construction and height) shall be permitted on such preexisting towers. New construction other than routine maintenance of a preexisting tower shall comply with the requirements of this article.