Town of Hyde Park, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Hyde Park 3-19-2001 by L.L. No. 4-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Environmental quality review — See Ch. 54.
Noise — See Ch. 75.
Zoning — See Ch. 108.
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town of Hyde Park, and
A. 
To preserve the scenic, historic, natural and man-made character and appearance of the Town, for the safe provision of the service, installation, monitoring and removal of wireless telecommunications towers and facilities consistent with applicable federal and state regulations.
B. 
To minimize the total number of telecommunications towers in the community by encouraging shared use of existing and future towers and the use of existing tall structures.
C. 
To minimize adverse visual effects from telecommunications towers by requiring careful siting, configuration, visual impact assessment and appropriate landscaping.
D. 
To provide a procedural basis for action within a reasonable period of time for requests for authorization to place, construct, operate, modify and camouflage telecommunications towers.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANTENNA
A device for the reception or transmission of electromagnetic waves that is connected to a transmitter or receiver through a feed line either directly or through a phasing network.
[Added 10-2-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
APPROVING BOARD
The Zoning Board of Appeals shall be the approving Board for the special use permit.
CAMOUFLAGE
To give a false appearance in order to conceal or to cause an object to blend with its background or to appear to be something different from what it actually is, which includes the definition of "disguise."
COLLOCATION
The addition of commercial telecommunications equipment to any existing tall structure or existing or approved telecommunications tower.
TALL STRUCTURE
A structure which complies with the requirements of this chapter and is of sufficient height to be used as a telecommunications tower. Such structures include, but are not limited to, water towers, multistory buildings, church steeples, farm silos, flag poles, forest ranger towers, bell towers, bridges and fire towers.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES
Any commercial structures, buildings, sheds, huts, equipment closures, emergency generator buildings and other such structures used in support of any auxiliary use to a telecommunications tower.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
Any structure the primary purpose of which is to support antennas used in the provision of commercial telecommunications services.
A. 
No telecommunications tower shall hereafter be erected, moved, reconstructed, expanded, changed, repaired or structurally altered unless in conformity with this chapter. The construction, maintenance, use, erection, movement, reconstruction, expansion, change or structural alteration of telecommunications towers shall be governed by this chapter, and any provisions of Chapter 108, Zoning, which are inconsistent with this chapter shall be superseded by the terms of this chapter.
B. 
Location or collocation.
(1) 
The location or collocation of communications equipment on an approved telecommunications tower or tall structure is a permitted use subject to the issuance of a building permit, provided that the Building Inspector determines that the location or collocation does not:
(a) 
Increase the originally approved height of the supporting structure by more than 15%;
(b) 
Cause the currently approved number of antennas to be exceeded by more than 50%;
[Amended 10-2-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
(c) 
Increase the originally approved square footage of accessory buildings by more than 200 square feet; or
(d) 
Add new or additional microwave antenna dishes; and that there will be no expansion of the footprint of said support structure and no adverse impacts on the existing support structure or the surrounding area.
(2) 
If the Building Inspector cannot make these findings, site plan approval will be required from the Planning Board in accordance with Article XXIV, Special Permits and Site Plans, of Chapter 108, Zoning,[1] and the Building Inspector shall refer the matter to the Planning Board where the application will be subject to the terms and conditions specified in § 101-7A below as part of the site plan review process.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 9, Site Plan Approval.
C. 
New telecommunications tower construction is subject to obtaining a special use permit from the Zoning Board pursuant to §§ 101-7 through 101-20 and Article XXIV of Chapter 108, Zoning.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 8, Special Use Permits.
D. 
Applications for construction of telecommunications towers shall comply with the Code of Federal Regulations pertaining to objects affecting navigable airspace as delineated with Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 77. Additionally, no application for construction of a telecommunications tower will be approved if the proposed tower violates the criteria for obstructions to air navigation as established by FAR Part 77, Subpart C, Obstruction Standards.
E. 
Pending applications. Applications to construct or collocate on a telecommunications tower pending before any board of the Town at the time of adoption of this chapter shall continue to be processed to minimize delay and expense to the applicant as much as possible. Information already on file with the reviewing board shall be used to the extent applicable to satisfy submission requirements under this chapter. Any additional information required by this chapter shall be specified, upon request by the applicant, by the reviewing board within 45 days after request. All pending applications shall be decided under the provisions of this chapter. If a public hearing has already been held on the application, no further public hearing shall be required. If a public hearing has not been held, then a public hearing shall be held as required under the terms of this chapter.
A. 
At all times, shared use of tall structures and existing or approved telecommunications towers in accordance with § 101-3B above shall be preferred to the construction of new telecommunications towers.
B. 
Applications pursuant to § 101-3B shall be made to the Building Inspector and shall include the following:
(1) 
A completed application for a building permit.
(2) 
Documentation of consent from the owner of the existing facility to allow shared use.
(3) 
A site plan in accordance with Article XXIV, § 108-96, of Chapter 108, Zoning.[1] The site plan shall also show all existing and proposed structures and improvements, including antennas, roads, buildings, guy wires and anchors, parking and landscaping, and shall include grading plans for new facilities and roads. Any methods used to conceal the modification of the existing facility shall be indicated on the site plan.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 9, Site Plan Approval.
(4) 
An engineer's report certifying that the proposed shared use will not diminish the structural integrity and safety of the tall structure and explaining what modifications, if any, will be required in order to certify to the above.
(5) 
A completed environmental assessment form (EAF) and a completed visual EAF addendum.
(6) 
A copy of the applicable Federal Communications Commission license.
C. 
If the Building Inspector determines that the application is complete in accordance with Subsection B, and provided that the Building Inspector determines that the location or collocation does not increase the original approved height of the supporting structure by more than 15%; cause the currently approved number of antennas to be exceeded by more than 50%; increase the original approved square footage of accessory buildings by more than 200 square feet; or add new or additional microwave antenna dishes; and that there will be no expansion of the footprint of said support structure and no adverse impacts on the existing support structure or the surrounding area, then the building permit shall be issued; otherwise, site plan approval will be required from the Planning Board in accordance with Article XXIV of Chapter 108, Zoning.[2] Such application will be subject to the terms and conditions specified in § 101-7A below as part of the site plan review process. The Planning Board shall conduct a public hearing and process the application pursuant to this chapter, the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and other applicable laws. If the Board concludes that the application complies with this chapter and all SEQR requirements and other applicable laws, the Board shall grant site plan approval without further review under this section.
[Amended 10-2-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
[2]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 9, Site Plan Approval.
A. 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may consider a request to locate a new telecommunications tower if the applicant can demonstrate that shared use of existing tall structures and existing or approved telecommunications towers or telecommunications tower sites are impractical due to:
(1) 
Structural deficiencies; or
(2) 
Documented evidence that a site is unavailable because the owner is not willing to participate in a lease or ownership agreement; or
(3) 
Documented evidence that the site will not work from a technological aspect or that the applicant's proposed location or collocation on the site would have an adverse impact on the surrounding area.
B. 
An applicant shall be required to present an adequate report with an inventory of all existing tall structures and existing or approved telecommunications towers within a two-mile radius of the proposed site.
(1) 
The site inventory shall include a map showing the exact location of each site inventoried, including latitude and longitude (degrees, minutes, seconds), ground elevation above sea level, height of the structure and/or tower and accessory buildings on the site of the inventoried location.
(2) 
The report shall outline opportunities for shared use of these facilities as an alternative to a proposed new telecommunications tower.
(3) 
The report shall demonstrate good-faith efforts to secure shared use from the owner of each potential existing tall structure and existing or approved telecommunications tower as well as documentation of the physical, technical and/or financial reasons why shared usage is not practical in each case. Technical reasons shall remain confidential and be accessible only as allowed by the Freedom of Information Act as set forth in the Public Officers Law.[1] Any request for such information shall be on notification to the party originally supplying the information. Written requests and responses for shared use shall be provided.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Public Officers Law § 85 et seq.
(4) 
The report shall include the following information to evaluate the needs for a new telecommunications tower site under the special use permit process:
(a) 
Radio frequency (RF) signal coverage plots depicting the anticipated radio frequency coverage for the proposed site.
(b) 
RF coverage plots depicting evidence that the proposed area to be provided coverage by the proposed new tower is currently deficient in radio frequency coverage.
(c) 
The frequency spectrum (output frequency) to be used at the proposed site (cellular, personal communications systems, broadcast frequency, analog or digital, etc.). A copy of a current FCC license that authorizes the applicant to provide service is required.
(d) 
The type, manufacturer and model number of the proposed tower.
(e) 
The height of the proposed tower, including the height of any antenna structure above the supporting structure of the tower.
(f) 
The number of proposed antennas and the type, manufacturer, model number, dB gain, size and orientation on the proposed tower.
(g) 
Such other information as may be deemed necessary by the Board so as to make a thorough evaluation of the applicant's proposal.
A. 
Applications for new telecommunications towers shall include an agreement committing the owner of the proposed new telecommunications tower, and its successors in interest, to negotiate in good faith for shared use of said tower by other providers of communications in the future. This agreement shall be filed with the Building Inspector prior to issuance of a building permit. Failure to abide by the conditions outlined in the agreement shall be grounds for the revocation of the special use permit.
B. 
The agreement shall commit the telecommunications tower owner, lessee and its successors in interest to:
(1) 
Respond within 45 days to a request for information from a potential shared-use applicant.
(2) 
Negotiate in good faith concerning future requests for shared use of the telecommunications tower by other providers of communications.
(3) 
Allow shared use of the telecommunications tower if another provider of communications agrees, in writing, to pay reasonable and customary charges in the prevailing market. The charges may include, for instance, a pro rata share of the cost of site selection, planning, project administration, land costs, site design, construction and maintenance financing, return on equity, depreciation and all of the costs of adapting the tower or equipment to accommodate shared use without causing electromagnetic interference.
A. 
Site plan applications.
(1) 
Applications to the Planning Board for site plan approval shall include a site plan in accordance with Article XXIV of Chapter 108, Zoning.[1] In addition, the site plan shall show all existing and proposed structures and improvements, including roads, buildings, tower(s), guy wires and anchors, antennas, parking and landscaping, and shall include grading plans and drainage plans for new facilities and roads.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 9, Site Plan Approval.
(2) 
Supporting documentation submitted by the applicant shall include:
(a) 
A completed long-form EAF.
(b) 
A complete visual environment assessment form (visual EAF addendum).
(c) 
Documentation on the proposed extent and capacity of use.
(d) 
A justification of the necessity for the requested height of any tower.
(e) 
A justification for any clearing required.
(f) 
A copy of the applicant's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license.
(3) 
The application should also include the estimated cost of dismantling, removing, disposal and reclaiming the site.
B. 
Special use permit applications. Applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a special use permit shall including the following:
(1) 
Where shared use of tall structures or existing or approved telecommunications towers is found to be impractical, applicants shall also investigate the possibility of constructing a new telecommunications tower on property occupied by an existing telecommunications tower in accordance with § 101-5 above. In such case, the Board may allow more than one tower on a site. Any proposal for a new telecommunications tower on an existing communications tower site shall also be subject to the requirements of §§ 101-7 through 101-20.
(2) 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may consider a new telecommunications tower on a site not previously developed with a telecommunications tower when the applicant demonstrates that shared use of existing tall structures and existing or approved towers is impractical and submits a report as described in § 101-5 above, and when the approving board determines that shared use of an existing telecommunications tower site for a new telecommunications tower is undesirable based upon the investigation in accordance with Subsection B(1) above. Any proposal for a new telecommunications tower shall also be subject to the requirements of §§ 101-7 through 101-20.
(3) 
A list of federal and state property owners and addresses, from whose property the tower will be visible.
C. 
The approving board may require an applicant to submit information and documentation indicating and identifying areas within the Town where communications coverage by the applicant remains unsatisfactory. Applicants may be required to provide sufficient information to the Board so as to clearly identify and describe the applicant's communications coverage master plan or siting and/or communication coverage plan.
D. 
The approving board may require the applicant to submit to the Board a qualified engineer's report regarding nonionizing electromagnetic radiation for the proposed site. Such report will provide sufficient information to detail the amount of radio frequency radiation expected from the proposed site. Additionally, the engineer's report will comply with FCC reporting criteria, as amended, for a cumulative report, reporting levels of anticipated exposure from all users on the site. The report must indicate whether or not the proposed telecommunications tower will comply with FCC emission standards.
E. 
The approving board may require the applicant to submit annual evidence, each December, to the Zoning Administrator, of the following:
(1) 
All licenses and agreements are current and in effect.
(2) 
All telecommunications towers have been inspected for safety by a qualified building inspector.
[Amended 10-2-2001 by L.L. No. 8-2001]
(3) 
A written statement affirming that the antenna(s) is active and intended use is to continue throughout the upcoming year.
F. 
The approving board requires the applicant to notify the Building Inspector within 24 hours if imminent danger is discovered, the applicant's intent to repair it immediately and an action plan with a schedule for completion.
G. 
The approving board will require the applicant to provide a statement that he is in compliance with FCC maximum permissible exposure limits; and in addition, if the applicant files an environmental assessment to the FCC due to noncompliance, a copy shall be sent to the Zoning Administrator (reference FCC Office of Engineering and Technology Bulletin Number 65).
H. 
The approving board may require periodic safety inspections of the telecommunications tower; the results of that safety inspection will be reported to the Building Inspector within 30 days of its completion. The safety inspection shall consist of, but may not be limited to, an inspection of the condition of the tower, its supports, foundations, anchor bolts, coaxial cable, cable supports, ice shields, cable trays, guy wires and antennas affixed to the tower. Other aspects of the inspection shall include inspection for fire, electrical, natural and other man-made hazards that could pose a potential hazard to the telecommunications tower site or the surrounding area. Unsafe conditions shall be corrected immediately by the applicant. An action plan and schedule for completion shall be submitted to the Building Inspector as part of the safety inspection report.
A. 
Each proposed telecommunications tower and its telecommunications facilities structure shall be located on the same parcel.
B. 
Each new telecommunications tower shall have the minimum setback of the height of the tower plus 10% of its height, as measured from the ground level.
C. 
Telecommunications facilities structures shall comply with the setback and height regulations for each district set forth in §§ 108-16 and 108-26 of the Zoning Code of the Town of Hyde Park.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now § 108-5-15, Schedule of Bulk Regulations.
The approving board may require the applicant to undertake a visual impact assessment, which may include:
A. 
A "zone of visibility" map in order to determine locations where the telecommunications tower may be seen.
B. 
Pictorial representations of "before" and "after" views from key viewpoints both inside and outside of the Town, including, but not limited to, state highways and other major roads, state and local parks, other public lands, preserves and historic sites normally open to the public, and from any other location where the telecommunications tower is visible to a large number of visitors, travelers or persons. The approving board shall determine the appropriate key sites at a meeting with the applicant.
C. 
Assessment of alternative telecommunications tower designs and color schemes, as described in § 101-10.
D. 
Assessment of the visual impact of the telecommunications tower base, guy wires, accessory buildings and overhead utility lines from abutting properties and streets.
A. 
The design of a proposed new telecommunications tower shall comply with the following:
(1) 
Towers must be placed to minimize visual impacts. The use of camouflage communications towers shall be required by the Planning Board to further blend the communications tower and/or its accessory structures into the surroundings. The Planning Board may waive the camouflage requirements on already existing telecommunications sites.
(a) 
Camouflage towers may be, but are not limited to, the following commonly found structures and settings:
[1] 
A flagpole in the vicinity of a building of substance, such as governmental, organization or business.
[2] 
A silo attached to a barn in an agrarian setting.
[3] 
A church steeple (either pointed or squared) with a church.
[4] 
A forest ranger tower in a wooded area.
[5] 
An "historic" stone observation tower looking over a scenic vista.
[6] 
A bell tower.
(b) 
In order for the disguise to be effective, it must be appropriate for its setting and should mimic the actual structure that it is imitating, including size.
(2) 
Unless specifically required by other regulations, a telecommunications tower shall have a finish that minimizes its degree of visual impact. Artificial lighting of any kind is prohibited unless required by municipal, state and/or federal laws and/or regulations unless the lighting is part of a camouflage scheme.
(3) 
The Planning Board may request a review of the application at the applicant's expense by a qualified engineer and/or consultant in order to evaluate the application. Fees for the review of the application by a qualified engineer and/or consultant are in addition to the application fee, and shall be the responsibility of the applicant and shall be deposited with the Town in the manner provided in Article XXXI of Chapter 108, § 108-118.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now § 108-36.3, Professional review expenses.
B. 
Accessory structures. Accessory structures shall maximize the use of building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with the natural surroundings. Accessory structures shall be designed to be architecturally similar and compatible with each other. The buildings shall be used only for housing of equipment related to the particular site. Whenever possible, the buildings shall be joined or clustered so as to appear as one building.
C. 
No portion of any telecommunications tower or accessory structure shall be used for a sign or other advertising purpose. However, the name of the facility owner(s) and twenty-four-hour emergency telephone number shall be posted on the structure. In addition, "No Trespassing" or other warning signs may be posted on the accessory structure or the fence surrounding the accessory structure. All signs shall conform to the sign requirements of the Code of the Town of Hyde Park.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 108, Zoning, Art. 24, Signs.
Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible. No cutting of trees shall take place on a site connected with an application made under this chapter prior to the approval of the special use permit.
A. 
Deciduous or evergreen tree plantings may be required to screen portions of the telecommunications tower and accessory structures from nearby residential property as well as from public sites.
B. 
The application shall demonstrate to the approving board that adequate measures have been taken to screen and abate site noises such as heating and ventilating units, air conditioners and emergency power generators. Telecommunications towers shall comply with all applicable sections of the Town Zoning Code as it pertains to noise control and abatement.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 75, Noise.
No exterior lighting shall spill from the site. Telecommunications towers shall not be lighted except where FAA/FCC-required lighting of the telecommunications towers is necessary or unless the lighting is a part of the camouflage scheme, such as a spotlight on a flagpole or church steeple.
A. 
Adequate emergency and service access shall be provided and maintained. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made. Road construction shall, at all times, minimize ground disturbance and vegetation cutting. Road grades shall closely follow natural contours to assure minimal visual disturbance and reduce soil erosion potential.
B. 
If feasible, network interconnections to and from the telecommunications site and all power to the site shall be installed underground.
Parking shall be provided to assure adequate emergency and service access. The Planning Board shall determine the amount of spaces required.
To ensure security of the facility, the telecommunications tower and any accessory structures may be required to be enclosed by a fence, the design of which shall be approved by the Planning Board.
Telecommunications towers and telecommunications facilities shall be dismantled and removed by the applicant and/or the owner of the subject premises when they are no longer used or needed.
A. 
All applications for approval of new telecommunications towers shall be accompanied by a plan covering reclamation of the site after removal of the tower.
B. 
No approvals shall be given under this chapter until all owners of the subject premises give the Town of Hyde Park, in a form suitable to the Town Attorney, a recordable instrument, running with the land, granting the Town of Hyde Park the right to enter upon the premises to dismantle and to remove the tower or facilities in the event of the owners' failure to comply, within three months, with the lawful written directive to do so by the Zoning Administrator. This instrument shall give the Town the right, after the owners of the premises have been given fair notice and opportunity to be heard before the Town Board, to charge the actual costs associated with disassembly or demolition, and of removal, including any necessary and reasonable engineering or attorney's fees incurred to carry out its rights hereunder, by adding that charge to and making it a part of the next annual real property assessment roll of the Town of Hyde Park, to be levied and collected in the same manner and at the same time as Town-assessed real property taxes.
C. 
The giving of such an agreement to the Town shall not preclude the Town from pursuing the alternative enforcement actions of:
(1) 
Seeking an injunction from a court of competent jurisdiction to compel removal; or
(2) 
Seeking judgment to recover the costs, together with reasonable and necessary engineering and attorney's fees, of dismantling and removal by the Town.
D. 
The Town may secure removal of towers or facilities hereunder by requiring the applicant and/or the owner(s) of the premises to provide an undertaking and a continuing letter of credit or other financial security covering the projected costs of dismantling and removal.
A. 
In order to keep neighboring municipalities informed, and to facilitate consideration of an existing tall structure or existing telecommunications towers in a neighboring municipality for shared use, and to assist in the continued development of the county emergency service communications system, the Planning Board shall require that an applicant who proposes a new telecommunications tower shall notify, in writing, the legislative body of each municipality that borders the Town of Hyde Park and the Director of the Office of Emergency Management of Dutchess County.
B. 
Notification shall include the exact location of the proposed tower and general description of the project, including, but not limited to, height of the tower and capacity for future use. Proof of such notification shall be provided at the public hearing.
Notice of any public hearing shall be mailed by the Town of Hyde Park directly to all landowners whose property is located within 500 feet of the property line of the parcel on which a new telecommunications tower is proposed; notice shall also be mailed to the administrator of any state or federal parklands from which the proposed tower would be visible. The cost of such notification shall be borne by the applicant.
The applicant and the owner of the property where the communications tower is to be located shall provide the Town Clerk with proof of liability insurance in the amount not less than $3,000,000 to cover potential personal injury and property damage claims associated with construction and subsequent operation and maintenance.
A. 
Each application for a building permit, special use permit, or site plan review and approval, each report of safety inspection, and each annual report to the Zoning Administrator shall be accompanied by a fee set by resolution of the Town Board.
[Amended 1-1-2007 by L.L. No. 2-2007]
B. 
Rental fee: as determined by the Town Board.
Any person or entity violating this chapter or any condition of approval shall be guilty of a violation, pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. Each week (seven-day period) during which said violation shall continue shall constitute a separate and distinct violation within the meaning of this chapter. The applicant shall first be notified by the Zoning Administrator of the violation(s) and granted a period of 30 days to reestablish compliance. If these violations are not resolved, fines may result beginning on the first day following the thirty-day period.