Township of Maplewood, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 5-20-2003 by Ord. No. 2220-03; amended 6-17-2003 by Ord. No. 2224-03]
It is the overall purpose of these ordinance provisions to provide specific zoning conditions and standards for the location of personal wireless service facilities (PWSF) and wireless communications antennas within the Township of Maplewood, to recognize the need to safeguard the public good and preserve the intent and the purposes of the Maplewood Township Master Plan and Zone Plan.
The overall objective of these ordinance provisions is to enable the location within the Township of Maplewood of PWSF and antennas which are necessary to provide adequate personal wireless service (PWS) while, at the same time, limiting the number of supporting PWSFs to the fewest possible.
A. 
Specific goals.
(1) 
To minimize the total number of PWSFs within the Township of Maplewood;
(2) 
To limit the impact of wireless communications antennas, PWSFs and related facilities upon the residences and the streetscapes throughout the Township;
(3) 
To safeguard the prevailing and historic character of development throughout the Township;
(4) 
To encourage the location of antennas upon, or within, existing structures, including existing PWSFs, existing buildings, existing water towers or standpipes and existing telephone and electric poles and towers.
(5) 
To encourage as many antennas as possible, of as many of the wireless communications carriers as possible, to be collocated on the fewest number of existing structures within the Township, while complying with the provisions of this article;
(6) 
To discourage the construction of new PWSFs which do not have the likelihood of being used by a number of wireless communications carriers;
(7) 
To encourage the communications carriers to configure their facilities in a manner that minimizes and mitigates any adverse impacts upon affected properties, streetscapes and vistas through careful design, siting, landscape screening and innovative camouflaging techniques;
(8) 
To formulate and maintain, for land use planning purposes, a complete inventory of all wireless communications antennas, PWSFs and related facilities within the Township, and others in the vicinity of the Township, which are capable of providing service within the Township;
(9) 
To enhance the ability of the carriers of PWS who adhere to the letter and intent of these ordinance provisions to provide such services quickly, effectively and efficiently; and
(10) 
To comply with the mandate of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7), which preserves local authority to enforce zoning requirements which protect public safety, public and private property and community aesthetics.
A. 
In order to effectuate the purposes, objectives and goals of these ordinance provisions, any applicant to the Township must prove by substantial evidence that a bona fide need exists for the facility and that no reasonable combination of locations, techniques or technologies will obviate the need for the proposed facility. The applicant must further prove that it has made all reasonable efforts to procure antenna space on existing facilities and that the cost of collocation exceeds the cost of a new facility by at least fifty percent. Therefore, the applicant shall provide an overall comprehensive plan indicating how it intends to provide full service throughout the Township and, to the greatest extent reasonably possible, shall indicate how its plan specifically relates to and is coordinated with the needs of all other providers of wireless communications services within and around the Township.
B. 
More specifically, the overall comprehensive plan shall indicate the following:
(1) 
The mapped location and written description of all existing antennas and existing and approved supporting structures within the Township;
(2) 
The mapped location and written description of all existing or approved water towers or water standpipes and existing telephone or electric poles or towers within the Township;
(3) 
How the proposed location of the proposed antenna(s) specifically addresses the suitability or unsuitability of such existing structures to be utilized to provide the intended wireless communication;
(4) 
How the proposed location of the proposed antenna(s) specifically addresses the anticipated need for additional antennas and supporting structures within and near the Township by the applicant and by other providers of wireless communications services within the Township;
(5) 
How the proposed location of the proposed antenna(s) specifically addresses the objective of collocating the antennas of many different providers of wireless communications services on a single supporting structure, while complying with the provisions of this article;
(6) 
How the proposed location of the proposed antenna(s) specifically addresses the overall objective of providing full wireless communications services within the Township while, at the same time, limiting the number of towers to the fewest possible, including alternative technologies which do not require use of towers; and
(7) 
How no location or set of locations of higher priority will meet the need to provide the requested wireless communications services.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ANTENNA
A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency signals for wireless communications.
ANTENNA SUPPORT STRUCTURE
A structure other than a telecommunications tower which is attached to a building and on which one or more antennas are located.
BOARD
The Township Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Adjustment.
COLLOCATION
Use of a PWSF or a common site by two or more wireless license holders or by one wireless license holder for more than one type of communications technology and/or placement of a PWSF on a structure owned or operated by a utility or other public entity.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
A report prepared by an appropriate qualified expert which includes:
A. 
An inventory of existing environmental conditions at the project site and in the surrounding region which describe air quality, water quality, water supply, land use, aesthetics, public health (except as otherwise regulated by the FCC), visual impact and history;
B. 
A project description which shall specify what is to be done and how it is to be done, during construction and operation;
C. 
A listing of all licenses, permits or other approvals as required by law and the status of each;
D. 
An assessment of the probable impact of the project upon all topics described in Subsection A;
E. 
A listing of adverse environmental impacts which cannot be avoided;
F. 
Steps to be taken to minimize adverse environmental impacts during construction and operation, both at the project site and in the surrounding region;
G. 
Alternatives to all or any part of the project with reasons for their acceptability or nonacceptability;
H. 
A reference list of pertinent published information relating to the project, the project site, and the surrounding region.
HISTORIC LANDMARK OR HISTORIC DISTRICT
Any local site(s) or district(s) designated by the Maplewood Historic Preservation Commission[1] or sites or districts listed or determined eligible for listing in the National or State Register of Historic Places.
PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE (PWS)
Any personal wireless services as defined in the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 (FTA) which includes FCC licensed commercial wireless telecommunications services, including cellular, personal communications services (PCS), specialized mobile radio (SMR), enhanced specialized mobile radio (ESMR), paging and similar services that currently exist or that may in the future be developed. It does not include any amateur radio facility that is owned and operated by a federally licensed amateur radio station operator or is used exclusively for receive-only antennas, nor does it include noncellular telephone service.
PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE EQUIPMENT FACILITIES (PWSEF)
Accessory facilities serving and subordinate in area, extent and purpose to, and on the same lot as, a telecommunications tower or antenna location. Such facilities include, but are not limited to, transmission equipment, storage sheds, storage buildings and security fencing.
PERSONAL WIRELESS SERVICE FACILITIES (PWSF)
Facilities for the provision of wireless communications services, including, but not limited to telecommunications towers and related facilities other than PWSEFs.
SITE
The whole of the land on which the telecommunications tower and any ancillary facilities (fencing, lighting, landscaping, etc.) are situated.The site may include the whole of a single property or a portion thereof.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
A freestanding structure on which one or more antennas are located, including lattice towers, guyed towers, monopoles and similar structures.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Maplewood.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 41, Historic Preservation Commission.
[Amended 12-6-2005 by Ord. No. 2324-05; 5-19-2015 by Ord. No. 2781-15]
If needed in accordance with an overall comprehensive plan for the provision of full PWS within the Township, antennas, antenna support structures, PWSF and PWSEF shall be permitted as follows:
A. 
Antennas, antenna support structures, PFSF and PWSEF shall be a permitted use, subject to all bulk requirements set forth within these regulations, on all Township of Maplewood properties.
B. 
Antennas and antenna support structures shall be permitted as second principal uses on existing structures at the following prioritized zones:
(1) 
The first priority shall be within the SLI, RO, PRB or CI Zone.
(2) 
The second priority shall be within the HB Zone.
(3) 
The third priority shall be within the OB Zone.
(4) 
The fourth priority shall be within the RB Zone.
(5) 
The fifth priority shall be within the NB Zone.
(6) 
The sixth priority shall be within the CCRC, RGA or Residential Zone.
C. 
Provided the applicant has established by substantial evidence that no location or set locations set forth in § 271-70.5A provide a location sufficient for the needed wireless communications service, new PWSFs are a permitted conditional use at the following prioritized zones, and provided all of the separation distance, area, setback, height and design criteria requirements listed herein are met:
(1) 
The first priority shall be within the RO Zone.
(2) 
The second priority shall be within the SLI Zone.
(3) 
The third priority shall be within the CI Zone.
D. 
No antenna, PWSF or PWSEF shall be permitted on an historic landmark or an historic district nor a distance from the border of an historic district less than five times the maximum height of the proposed structure.
The following separation distance requirements shall apply:
A. 
If the proposed antenna(s) will be attached to an existing building, the following separation distance requirements shall apply:
(1) 
Minimum distance between facilities in residential districts or a residential only portion of a duly adopted redevelopment area: 500 feet;
(2) 
Minimum distance from any historic landmark or from the border of an historic district: not less than five times the maximum height of the proposed structure;
(3) 
Minimum distance between facilities located in commercial districts: 300 feet;
(4) 
Minimum distance between facilities located in industrial districts: 200 feet.
B. 
For antennas attached to PWSF or similar structures within an industrial district, the following separation distance requirements shall apply:
[Amended 9-2-2003 by Ord. No. 2228-03]
(1) 
Minimum distance from any regular residential district line: 300 feet;
(2) 
Minimum distance to any historic landmark or from the border of an historic district line: not less than five times the maximum height of the proposed structure;
(3) 
Minimum distance between facilities: 750 feet.
A. 
If the proposed antenna(s) will be attached to an existing building or an existing or approved PWSF, no land area shall be required in addition to the land area upon which the existing structure is situated; or
B. 
If the proposed antenna(s) will be supported by a PWSF:
(1) 
The proposed antenna(s) and proposed supporting PWSF tower and ancillary related electronic equipment and any approved building housing the electronic equipment and any approved camouflaging of the PWSF shall be the only land uses located on the proposed PWSF site, whether a separate lot or a subportion of a lot; and
(2) 
Excepting for any access driveway into the property, any required landscaping and any underground utility lines reviewed and approved by the Board as part of the site plan submission, no building, structure and/or disturbance of land shall be permitted within 100 feet from any street line, from any other existing or proposed property line or from any lease line, provided that if a PWSF will exceed 100 feet in height, the PWSF shall be set back from any street line and from any other existing or proposed property line a distance equal to or greater than the height of PWSF shall be required to be setback a minimum distance of only 100 feet from any line demarcating the leased premises.
A. 
The maximum height of any proposed antenna extending above any existing building or existing structure shall be the minimum height necessary for the proposed installation to provide adequate coverage for the service area.
B. 
The maximum height of any proposed rooftop PWSEF shall be the height of the tallest accessory rooftop structure, such as a stair or elevator housing, provided that no PSWEF shall be located on the rooftop of any building less than 60 feet in height.
C. 
The height of any proposed new supporting PWSF shall not exceed 110 feet in height from the lowest elevation on the ground within the footprint of the proposed facility to the highest structure.
All applications for wireless communications antennas shall adhere to the following design criteria:
A. 
For location on an existing building or structure:
(1) 
Minor site plan application to the Board shall be required.
(2) 
Any antenna(s) located on an existing building shall be surface-mounted on the building facade at the roofline or along the exterior parapet wall so as to reasonably blend in with the architectural features of the building.
(3) 
Antenna(s) and supporting PSWEF shall be of a neutral color that matches, as closely as possible, the background color of the facade on which it is mounted so as to make the antenna(s) and related equipment as visually unobtrusive as possible.
(4) 
All ancillary PSWEF shall be housed either within an enclosed area inside the existing building or on the rooftop of the building provided:
(a) 
The height of rooftop equipment facilities shall not exceed the height of the tallest accessory rooftop structure, such as a stair or elevator housing, be not more than 250 square feet in area and shall be fully enclosed in a cabinet which shall be constructed of a material and color which will match those of the existing rooftop accessory structures as closely as possible; and
(b) 
Documentation by a qualified expert that any existing structure will have sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antennas and PSWEF shall be provided to the Board.
(5) 
Antenna(s), PWSF and PSWEF shall not be visible from any historic landmark or from any property or public right-of-way within an historic district.
(6) 
Any additional public utility lines and/or cables deemed necessary for the operation of the proposed antenna facility shall be located underground. The applicant shall provide documentation to the Board as to the necessity of the additional lines.
(7) 
No signage shall be permitted that is visible from adjacent properties or from the public right-of-way.
B. 
For a new PWSF:
(1) 
Preliminary and final site plan application shall be required.
(2) 
Any proposed PWSF shall be a monopole unless the applicant can demonstrate, and the Board agrees, that a different type of pole is necessary for the collocation of additional antennas on the tower.
(3) 
Unless otherwise required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), all PWSFs shall be either constructed of a neutrally colored material or painted a neutral color or camouflaged so as to reduce the visual obtrusiveness. All applicable FAA or FCC standards regarding color or materials that may apply to the proposed tower shall be provided to the Board.
(4) 
No lighting is permitted on a PWSF except lighting that is specifically required by the FAA, and any such required lighting shall be focused and shielded so as not to project towards adjacent and nearby properties. All applicable FAA standards regarding lighting that may apply to the proposed tower shall be provided to the Board.
(5) 
All ancillary PWSEF shall be located within a building or enclosed structure, which structure shall meet the following design criteria:
(a) 
Each provider of PWS located on the site may have a maximum of one cabinet enclosing required electronic equipment, which cabinet shall not exceed 15 feet in height nor be more than 250 square feet in area. All such cabinets shall be located within a building which shall not exceed 1 1/2 stories and 20 feet in height nor 1,000 gross square feet in area.
(b) 
The structure shall use materials, textures and colors that, together with required screening and landscaping, will cause it to blend into the natural setting and surrounding to the greatest extent possible.
(c) 
Provision for collocation of equipment shall be incorporated into the design of the structure.
(d) 
No electronic equipment shall be designed in such a way as to interfere with any public safety communication.
(e) 
All equipment shall be automated so that, to the greatest extent possible, the need for on-site maintenance and associated vehicular trips to and from the site will be minimized.
(f) 
Lighting shall be limited to a single light at the entrance to the building which shall be focused downward.
(6) 
Landscaping shall be provided between the PWSF and also between any building or structure used to house PWSEF and any public street or residential dwelling unit or residential zoning district in accordance with the following:
(a) 
Required landscaping shall consist of sufficient density of evergreen planting to effectively screen the view of the PWSF base and, in addition, sufficient other plantings which may consist of a combination of shrubs and deciduous trees to screen the PWSF and enhance the appearance, to the maximum extent reasonably possible, from any surrounding residential properties and from any public street.
(b) 
Any newly planted evergreen trees shall be at least eight feet high at the time of planting, and any newly planted deciduous trees shall be a minimum caliper of 3.5 inches at the time of planting.
(c) 
No signage shall be permitted except warning and/or equipment information signs as deemed necessary or as required by state and/or federal regulatory agency for safety purposes and are specifically approved by the Board.
(7) 
Minimal off-street parking shall be permitted as needed to provide maintenance at the site and as specifically approved by the Board.
(8) 
No antenna shall be located on any PWSF in order to provide noncellular telephone service; such service shall be provided via existing telephone lines if available to the site or by the underground extension of telephone lines to the site if necessary.
(9) 
Any new PWSF shall be located behind existing buildings and/or natural topographic elevations in order to screen the PWSF's base from being visible from adjacent properties and from any street right-of-way. No new tower shall be visible from a public street in any residential district.
(10) 
All PWSF's shall be secured from the public.
(11) 
Documentation by a qualified expert that any existing structure will have sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antennas and ancillary equipment shall be provided to the Board.
(12) 
The applicant must supply an environmental impact statement sufficient to establish that the construction of a PWSF or PWSEF will not violate any federal, state, County or local law or regulation or otherwise have significant negative environmental impact on the project site.
Whenever a PWSF or antenna is proposed for a site within an historic district or within a distance five times the proposed height of the structure from the border of an historic district or historic landmark, the application shall be forwarded to the Maplewood Historic Preservation Commission for review and recommendation to the Maplewood Township Committee and to the referring Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 41, Historic Preservation Commission.
Applicants shall provide current FCC information concerning PWSF and radio frequency (RF) emission standards to the Board. Upon documentation by a qualified expert, proposed wireless communications antenna projects which meet the current FCC standards shall not be conditioned or denied on the bases of RF impact.
Any PWSF that does not operate for a continuous period of six months shall be considered abandoned. The owner of such PWSF or the owner of the property upon which it is located shall remove same within 90 days of notice from the Zoning Officer that the PWSF is abandoned. If the PWSF is not removed within 90 days, the Township shall remove such PWSF at the owner's expense. Prior to construction, the owner of a PWSF/PWSEF shall establish a ten-thousand-dollar cash security fund or provide an irrevocable letter of credit in the same amount with the Township to secure the cost of removing the PWSF/PWSEF that has been abandoned. In the event of a transfer of ownership, the seller shall be responsible for notifying the buyer of this requirement and notifying the Township of the transfer.
Any PWSF in existence on the date of the adoption of this article, which does not comply with the requirements of this article, are subject to the following provisions:
A. 
A preexisting nonconforming PWSF may continue in use for the purpose now used, but may not be expanded without complying with this article;
B. 
A preexisting nonconforming PWSF which is partially damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause may, within 90 days, be repaired and restored to their former use, location and physical dimensions subject to obtaining a building permit therefor, but without otherwise complying with this article. If this destruction is greater than partial, then repair or restoration will require compliance with this article. Alternatively, the PWSF will be considered abandoned.
C. 
The owner of a preexisting nonconforming PWSF may repair, rebuild and/or upgrade, but not expand or increase the height or reduce its setbacks in order to improve the structural integrity of the facility, to allow the facility to accommodate pole location antennas or facilities or to upgrade the facilities to current engineering, technical or communications standards without having to conform to provisions of this article.
No equipment shall be operated so as to produce noise in excess of limits set by local Noise Ordinance[1] except in emergency situations requiring the use of a backup generator.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 181, Noise.
PWSF shall be maintained to ensure their continued structural integrity. The owner of the PWSF shall also perform such other maintenance of the structure and of the site as to ensure that it does not create a visual nuisance.
[Added 9-2-2003 by Ord. No. 2228-03]
A. 
The applicant shall provide to the Planning Board a specific written addressment of each of the overall comprehensive plan items enumerated in § 271-70.3 of this article and each of the location priorities enumerated in § 271-70.5 of this article and each of the separation distance requirements enumerated in § 271-70.6 of this article and each of the area and setback requirements enumerated in § 271-70.7 of this article and each of the maximum height enumerated in § 271-70.8 of this article and each of the design criteria enumerated in § 271-70.9 of this article.
B. 
Antennas, and any PWSF and any PWSEF shall require preliminary major site plan and final major site plan approval in accordance with the requirements of the Township Zoning and Development Regulations, except that antennas which are not attached to PWSF and the PWSEF that corresponds to the antenna shall only require minor site plan approval.
C. 
In addition to the applicable documentation and items of information required for preliminary and major site plans specified in this article, the following additional written documentation and items of information specific to PWSF are required to be submitted to the Planning Board for review and approval as part of the submission of the preliminary major site plan application:
(1) 
Documentation by a qualified expert that any existing structure proposed for the location of the antenna will have sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antennas and that the safety hazards resulting from ice falling from the structure and the antennas have been adequately mitigated;
(2) 
Documentation by a qualified expert that any proposed tower will have sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antennas and the anticipated future collocated antennas and that the structural standards developed for antennas by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) and/or the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have been met;
(3) 
A letter of intent by the applicant, in a form which is reviewed and approved by the Township Attorney, indicating that the applicant will share the use of any PWSF with other approved wireless communications service providers at reasonable rates which shall be economically viable;
(4) 
A visual sight distance analysis, including photographic reproductions of a crane or balloon test, graphically simulating the true appearance of any proposed PWSF, with at least three antenna arrays attached thereto, from at least 15 scattered locations around and within one mile of any proposed PWSF where the PWSF will be most visible. The applicant shall schedule the time of the crane or balloon test with the Township Engineer and shall publish notice of the time of the crane or balloon test in a newspaper of general circulation in order to provide the members of the Planning Board and the general public the opportunity to view the crane or balloon;
(5) 
The following provision shall apply to both preliminary major site plan approval and minor site plan approval: Evidence from an independent expert that all antennas, PWSF and PWSEF will comply with the most current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations, including that the radio frequency (RF) emissions are within the FCC guidelines.
D. 
In addition to its normal professional staff, given the technical and specialized nature of the testimony of the applicant's radio frequency experts, the Planning Board may hire its own radio frequency experts with specialized areas of expertise to review and comment upon the testimony presented by the applicant, if deemed necessary. Additionally, based upon other testimony presented by the applicant, the Planning Board may hire other experts with specialized areas of expertise, if deemed necessary. The costs of all experts retained by the Planning Board shall be paid by the applicant.
E. 
All applicants for wireless communications antennas and towers appearing before the Maplewood Planning Board and the Maplewood Board of Adjustment must supply, at their expense, a court stenographer at each meeting. Additionally, the applicant must supply the Board Secretary, at least 14 days prior to each scheduled hearing, a complete copy of the transcript of the preceding hearing. Failure to supply the transcript will delay any subsequent hearing.
[Added 4-20-2004 by Ord. No. 2246-04]