[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of East Orange 12-24-2002 by Ord. No. 20-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide sound land use policies, procedures and regulations for personal wireless telecommunications facilities to protect the East Orange community from the visual or other adverse impacts of these facilities while encouraging their unobtrusive development to provide comprehensive wireless telecommunications service in the East Orange community with its benefits to residents and businesses. The chapter expresses a preference that antennas be located on existing buildings and towers, preferably on municipal or other public property, and not on newly constructed telecommunications towers and encourages co-location and site-sharing of new and existing PWTFs.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- 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.
- Use of a common PWTF 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 PWTF on a structure owned or operated by a utility or other public entity.
- PERSONAL WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT FACILITIES (PWTEFs)
- 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 TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES (PWTFs)
- Facilities for the provision of wireless communications services, including, but not limited to, antennas, antenna support structure, telecommunications towers, and related facilities other than PWTEFs.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER
- A freestanding structure on which one or more antennas are located, including lattice towers, guyed towers, monopoles and similar structures.
- WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS
- 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 communication 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.
Height standards. Where permitted, PWTFs may exceed the maximum building height limitations, provided the height has the least visual impact and is not greater than required to achieve service area requirements and potential co-location, when visually appropriate. PWTEFs are limited to 12 feet in height.
All PWTFs and PWTEFs shall be subject to the minimum yard requirements of the zoning district in which they are located, provided the minimum setback may be increased where necessary to address safety concerns.
If PWTFs are located on the roof of the building, the area of the PWTEFs and other equipment and structures shall not occupy more than 25% of the roof area. The location on the roof shall be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Locational priority. If needed in accordance with an overall comprehensive plan for the provision of full wireless communications service within the East Orange community, PWTFs and PWTEFs shall be permitted as a conditional use at the following prioritized locations:
The first priority location shall be lands or structures owned by the City of East Orange;
The second priority location shall be on lands or structures owned by the East Orange School District;
The third priority location shall be co-location on existing PWTFs (or existing water tanks), provided that the new installation does not increase the height by more than 10%; and
The fourth priority location shall be such locations as the applicant proves are essential to provide required service to the East Orange community.
Conditional use standards. All PWTFs and PWTEFs shall be located to minimize visual impacts on the surrounding area in accordance with the following standards. In applying these standards, locations in a higher priority category under § 262-4A shall be deemed more acceptable than lower priority sites.
Sites for PWTFs and PWTEFs must demonstrate that they provide the least visual impact on residential areas and public way. All potential visual impacts must be analyzed to illustrate the selected site provides the best opportunity to minimize the visual impact of the proposed facility.
PWTEFs should be located to avoid being visually solitary or prominent when viewed from residential areas and the public way. The facility should be obscured by vegetation, tree cover, topographic features and/or other structures to the maximum extent feasible.
PWTFs and PWTEFs shall be placed to ensure that historically significant viewscapes, streetscapes and landscapes are protected. The views of and vistas from architecturally and/or significant structures should not be impaired or diminished by the placement of telecommunications facilities.
The following design standards shall apply to PWTFs and PWTEFs installed or constructed pursuant to the terms of this chapter:
Fencing and other safety devices. PWTFs and PWTEFs shall be surrounded by a security feature such as a fence. All towers shall be designed with anticlimbing devices in order to prevent unauthorized access. Additional safety devices shall be permitted or required, as needed, and as approved by the Planning Board.
Landscaping. Landscaping shall be provided along the perimeter of the security fence to provide a visual screen or buffer for adjoining private properties and the public right-of-way. Required front yard setback areas shall be landscaped. All PWTEFs shall be screened by an evergreen hedge eight to ten feet in height at planting time and/or a solid fence eight feet in height.
Signs. Signs shall not be permitted except for signs displaying owner contact information, warnings, equipment information and safety instructions. Such signs shall not exceed two square feet in area. No commercial advertising shall be permitted on any PWTF or PWTEF.
Color. PWTFs shall be of a color appropriate to the tower's locational context and to make it as unobtrusive as possible, unless otherwise required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Activity and access. All equipment shall be designed and automated to the greatest extent possible in order to reduce the need for on-site maintenance and thereby to minimize the need for vehicular trips to and from the site, Access shall be from established site access points whenever possible. Minimal off-street parking shall be permitted as needed and as approved by the Planning Board.
Dish antennas. Dish antennas shall be colored, camouflaged or screened to make them as unobtrusive as possible, and in no case shall the diameter of a dish antenna exceed six feet.
Lighting. No lighting is permitted except as follows:
PWTEFs enclosing electronic equipment may have security and safety lighting at the entrance, provided that the light is attached to the facility, is focused downward and is on timing devices and/or sensors so that the light is turned off when not needed for safety or security purposes; and
No lighting is permitted on a PWTF except lighting that specifically is required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and any such required lighting shall be focused and shielded to the greatest extent possible so as not to project towards adjacent and nearby properties.
Monopole. Any proposed new telecommunications tower shall be a monopole unless the applicant can demonstrate that a different type pole is necessary for the co-location of additional antennas on the tower. Such towers may employ camouflage technology.
Radio frequency emissions. The FTA gives the FCC sole jurisdiction of the field of regulation of radio frequency (RF) emission, and PWTFs which meet the FCC standards shall not be conditioned or denied on the basis of RF impacts. Applicants shall provide current FCC information concerning PWTFs and radio frequency emission standards. PWTFs shall be required to provide information on the projected power density of the proposed facility and how this meets the FCC standards.
Structural integrity. PWTFs must be constructed to the Electronic Industries Association/Telecommunications Industries Association (EIA/TIA) 222 Revision F Standard, entitled "Structural Standards for Steel Antenna Towers and Antenna Supporting Structures," (or equivalent), as it may be updated or amended.
Maintenance. PWTFs shall be maintained to assure their continued structural integrity. The owner of the PWTF shall also perform such other maintenance of the structure and of the site as to assure that it does not create a visual nuisance.
The Director of Public Works shall maintain an inventory of existing PWTF locations within or near the East Orange community.
An applicant proposing a PWTF at a new location shall demonstrate that it made a reasonable attempt to find a co-location site acceptable to engineering standards and that none was practically or economically feasible.
Each applicant for a PWTF shall be accompanied by a plan which shall reference all existing PWTF locations in the applicant's City of East Orange inventory, any such facilities in the abutting towns which provide service to areas within the City of East Orange, any changes proposed within the following twelve-month period, including plans for new locations and the discontinuance or relocation of existing facilities.
Each application shall include a site location alternative analysis describing the location of other sites considered, the availability of those sites, the extent to which other sites do or do not meet the provider's service or engineering needs, and the reason why the subject site was chosen. The analysis shall address the following issues:
How the proposed location of the PWTF relates to the objective of providing full wireless communication services within the City of East Orange at the time full service is provided by the applicant throughout the City of East Orange.
How the proposed location of the proposed PWTF relates to the location of any existing antennas within and near the City of East Orange.
How the proposed location of the proposed PWTF relates to the anticipated need for additional antennas within and near the City of East Orange.
How the plan specifically relates to and is coordinated with the needs of all other providers or wireless communication services within the City of East Orange.
The Planning Board may retain technical consultants as it deems necessary to provide assistance in the review of the site location alternatives analysis. The service provider shall bear the reasonable cost associated with such consultation, which cost shall be deposited in accordance with the City's escrow provisions.
Any PWTF that is not operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be considered abandoned. If there are two or more users of a single PWTF, then the abandonment shall not become effective until all users cease using the PWTF for a continuous period of 12 months. The owner of such PWTF shall remove same within 90 days of notice from the Zoning Officer that the PWTF is abandoned. If such PWTF is not removed within said 90 days, the municipality may remove such PWTF at the property owner's expense.
If the facility is to be retained, the provider(s) shall establish that the facility will be reused within one year of such discontinuance. If a facility is not reused within one year, a demolition permit shall be obtained and the facility removed. At the discretion of the Zoning Officer, upon good cause shown, the one-year reuse period may be extended for a period not to exceed one additional year.
PWTFs in existence on the date of the adoption of this chapter which do not comply with the requirements of this chapter (nonconforming PWTFs) are subject to the following provisions:
Nonconforming PWTFs may continue in use for the purpose now used, but may not be expanded without complying with this chapter.
Nonconforming PWTFs which are partially damaged or destroyed due to any reason or cause may 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 chapter. If the destruction is greater than partial, then repair or restoration will require compliance with this chapter.
The owner of any nonconforming PWTF may repair, rebuild and/or upgrade such PWTF (but not expand or increase its height or reduce its setbacks), in order to improve the structural integrity of the facility, to allow the facility to accommodate co-located antennas or facilities, or to upgrade the facilities to current engineering, technological or communications standards, without having to conform to the provisions of this chapter.
In addition to the applicable documentation and items of information required for site plan approval, the following additional documentation and items of information are required to be submitted to the Planning Board for review and approval as part of the site plan submission:
Documentation by a qualified expert regarding the capacity of any proposed PWTF for the number and type of antennas;
Documentation by a qualified expert that any proposed PWTF will have sufficient structural integrity to support the proposed antennas and the anticipated future co-located antennas and that the structural standards developed for antennas by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) and/or the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA) have been met;
A letter of intent by the applicant, in a form which is reviewed and approved by the Office of Corporation Counsel, indicating that the applicant will share the use of any PWTF with other approved providers of wireless communication services; and
A visual impact study, graphically simulating through models, computer-enhanced graphics, or similar techniques, the appearance of any proposed tower and indicating its view from at least the five locations around and within 2,000 feet of the proposed PWTF where the PWTF will be most visible. Aerial photographs of the impact area shall also be submitted.