MapLink™ | Procedures | Cellular Tower Sites

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Cellular Tower Sites
(1) Use, bulk and height regulations.
The standards for review of a communications tower proposed for a special exception review:
(a) The applicant shall demonstrate, using technological evidence, that the cellular tower site must go where it is proposed in order to serve the needs of the community based on all providers of the service in the area. Such evidence shall include propagation diagrams and radio frequency studies and the data upon which diagrams and studies rely, submitted with the application at the time of filing, that indicate the height and location are the lowest height and best location to effect the efficient provision of communication services.
(b) The applicant proposing a communications tower is required to demonstrate that it contacted the owners of tall structures within a one-mile radius of the proposed site, whether within or outside the Township, asked for permission to install the antenna on those structures and was denied for reasons other than economic ones. Tall structures include but are not limited to buildings in excess of four stories, water towers, utility poles, support structures of other communications companies and other high structures. The municipality may deny the application to construct a new tower if the applicant has not made a good faith effort to mount the antenna on an existing structure and has not demonstrated that there are no available alternatives. Evidence that one or more of the following was the reason for not selecting such structure is required to demonstrate a good faith effort:
[1] The proposed antennas and related equipment would exceed the structural capacity of the existing structure, and its reinforcement cannot be accomplished at a reasonable cost.
[2] The proposed antennas and related equipment would cause radio frequency interference with other existing equipment for that existing structure, and the interference cannot be prevented at a reasonable cost.
[3] Such existing structures do not have adequate location, space, access or height to accommodate the proposed equipment or to allow it to perform its intended function.
(c) In order to reduce the number of antenna support structures needed in the community in the future, the applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed support structure shall be designed to accommodate other users, including other cellular communications companies and/or local police, fire and emergency responders.
(d) The applicant must demonstrate that the setbacks from the communications tower and all supporting equipment and structures to any property line or right-of-way shall be the largest of the following:
[1] One hundred percent of the height of the communications tower; or
[2] The minimum setback in the underlying zoning district.
(2) Special development regulations.
(a) A land development plan shall be required for all cell sites, showing the antenna, antenna support structure, building, fencing, buffering, access and all items required in the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance.[1]
(b) A fence shall be required around the antenna support structure and other equipment unless the antenna is mounted on an existing structure. The fence shall be a minimum of six feet in height and shall otherwise comply with the height regulations set forth in § 208-119: Fences, walls and security gates.
(c) The applicant proposing a communications tower must demonstrate that the tower and any other equipment or building in support of the tower has been designed to blend in with or mimic existing features in the landscape such as trees, light poles, clock towers and flag poles.
(d) The applicant shall provide a plan prepared by a landscape architect showing landscaping that they will install to screen and buffer as much of the support structure and any other ground level features (such as a building) as possible. The landscape plan may incorporate the use of fences and walls that conform with the regulations in § 208-119: Fences, walls and security gates to screen and buffer the communications tower site. The proposed landscaping shall comply with the requirements of the Township Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance and the following provisions:
[1] Existing vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
[2] Where the site abuts residentially developed land, residential zoning districts, residential uses, public land or streets, the site perimeter shall be landscaped with at least one row of deciduous trees, not less than 3 1/2 inches in caliper, spaced not more than 30 feet apart and within 25 feet of the site boundary, as well as at least one row of evergreen trees or shrubs, at least 14 feet high when planted and spaced not more than 15 feet apart and within 40 feet of the site boundary. Alternatives such as walls or fences that conform with the regulations in § 208-119: Fences, walls and security gates may be permitted by the Zoning Hearing Board based on security or other reasons.
(e) All communication towers located within 750 feet of a structure shall be constructed in compliance with a minimum ninety-mile-per-hour wind load or such greater wind load as is appropriate in the opinion of the Township Engineer.
General regulations.
(1) All communications towers, antennas and associated equipment shall be maintained and kept in good repair as required by applicable federal, state and municipal law.
(2) All applicants for and operators of any communications tower or radio transmission antenna located within the Township and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission shall provide a copy of a valid operator's license from the Federal Communications Commission for the transmission of radio frequencies from such tower or antenna constructed within the Township.
(3) Any communications tower or radio transmission antennas shall be dismantled within 60 days following the expiration date of the operator's license from the Federal Communications Commission provided to the Township or cessation of use. As a condition of approval of any communications tower, the Township may require financial security for the dismantling and removal of such communications tower.
(4) The applicant shall demonstrate that the proposed antenna and support structure are safe and the surrounding areas will not be negatively affected by support structure failure, falling ice or other debris, electromagnetic fields or radio frequency interference. All support structures shall be fitted with anti-climbing devices, as approved by the manufacturers.
(5) No antenna support structure may be lighted except when required by the Federal Aviation Administration.
(6) All other uses ancillary to the antenna and associated equipment (including a business office, maintenance depot, vehicle storage, etc.) are prohibited from the antenna or tower site unless otherwise permitted in the zoning district in which the antenna or tower site is located.
See § 208-115: Cellular towers and equipment for more information.