Chapter 15.42   WIRELESS COMMUNICATION FACILITIES

Sections:


15.42.010   Purpose and intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish appropriate siting standards, site development standards, and permit requirements to address the location and construction of wireless communication facilities within the city of Black Diamond. Key goals of this chapter relate to the need to minimize the unsightly visual characteristics associated with the full range of wireless communication facilities, and the encouragement of creative approaches to locating wireless communications facilities within the scenic city of Black Diamond.

In general, it is the goal of this chapter to ensure that (1) wireless communications facilities and support structures are encouraged to locate only in nonresidential or commercially zoned or designated areas and preferably on city owned property, (2) co-location be strongly encouraged prior to the construction of any new support structures exclusively for wireless communications facilities, (3) the adverse visual impact of WCF towers and antennas be minimized to the greatest degree possible, especially where views of Mount Rainier could be impacted, and (4) the ability of wireless telecommunications facility providers to provide service within the city be enhanced through a clearly defined permitting process.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.020   Exemptions and applicability.

A.

Pre-existing WCF's. WCF's for which approval has been issued prior to the effective date of this chapter shall not be required to meet the requirements of this chapter. Location of new equipment, antennas or other facilities by other providers upon pre-existing WCF's may require city approval as set forth in this chapter.

B.

Amateur Radio Facilities. This chapter shall not govern the installation of any amateur radio facility that is owned and operated by a federally licensed amateur radio station operator, or which is utilized exclusively for a receive only antenna.

C.

Small Satellite Dishes. This chapter shall not apply to the installation of satellite dishes utilized for purposes other than wireless telecommunications.

D.

Relationship to Other Ordinances. Where conflict may occur with other ordinances and codes relating to the permitting or construction of WCF' s, this chapter shall supersede.

E.

Minor Modifications. Minor modifications to existing and previously permitted WCF facilities shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter so long as such modifications do not significantly impact the visual character of a permitted facility as determined by the city administrator or his/her designee.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.030   Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

"Alternative antenna support structure" means alternative support structures including bell towers, church steeples, water towers, street light standards, or other man-made structures and devices that extend vertically from the ground to a sufficient height to accommodate the attachment of antennas at an altitude or elevation that is commercially desirable for wireless communications signal transmission and reception.

"Ancillary antenna." This antenna is less than twelve inches in height and is not directly utilized to provide personal wireless communications services, but is utilized by WCF providers for GPS or global positioning satellite purposes.

"Antenna support structure" means a structure or device specifically designed, constructed and/or erected for the purpose of attaching, mounting, or otherwise affixing antennas at a height or altitude which is significantly above the base of such structure, and may include the following:

1.

"Lattice tower." A vertical support structure consisting of a network of crossed metal braces forming a tower, which may be three, four, or more sided.

2.

"Monopole tower." A vertical support structure consisting of a single vertical metal, concrete or wooden pole, typically round or square, and driven into the ground or attached to a foundation.

"Co-location" means the use of a single antenna support structure by one or more wireless telecommunications service providers.

"Directional antenna." Also known as a "panel" antenna, this antenna receives and transmits radio frequency signals in a directional pattern, typically encompassing an arc of one hundred twenty degrees.

"Equipment enclosure" means a small structure, shelter, cabinet, box, or vault designed for and used to house and protect the electronic equipment necessary for processing wireless communications signals and data, including any provisions for air conditioning, ventilation or auxiliary generators.

"FAA" means the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States of America.

"FCC" means the Federal Communications Commission of the United States of America as charged with the responsibility for regulation of interstate and foreign communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

"Micro cells" means a wireless communications facility consisting of an antenna that is either: (1) Four feet in height and with an area of not more than five hundred eighty square inches; or (2) if a tubular antenna, no more than four inches in diameter and not more than six feet in length.

"Omnidirectional antenna." Also know as a "whip" antenna, this antenna receives or transmits radio frequency signals in a three hundred and sixty degree radio pattern, and is up to fifteen feet in height and up to four inches in diameter.

"Other." All other transmitting and receiving devices and equipment not specifically defined herein shall be regulated in conformity with the type of antenna described herein which most closely resembles such equipment as determined by the city administrator or his/her designee.

"Parabolic antenna." Also known as a "dish" antenna, this antenna is a bowl shaped device for the reception and/or transmission of radio frequency signals in a specific direction.

"Small satellite dish" means a satellite dish that is one meter or less in diameter.

"Wireless communications facility (WCF)" means an unstaffed facility for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency (RF), microwave, or other signals for communications purposes, typically consisting of an equipment enclosure, an antenna support structure, or an alternative antenna support structure and one or more antennas.

"Wireless communications service" means the providing or offering for rent, sale, lease, or other consideration of the transmittal and reception of voice, data, image, graphic, and other information by the use of wireless communications facilities.

"Wireless communications service provider" means every person who provides wireless telecommunications service, for rent, sale, or in exchange for other consideration, through the use of wireless telecommunications facilities, whether or not such facilities are owned by or under the control of such person.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.040   Permit requirements.

A.

Building Permit(s). A building permit is required for all wireless telecommunications facilities and equipment unless otherwise exempted by this chapter.

B.

Wireless Communications Facility Permit(s). A wireless communications facility permit is required for all wireless telecommunications facilities, including those that do not require a conditional use permit. A wireless communications facility permit will be required for all WCF's attached to existing structures such as existing WCF antenna support structures, utility poles, buildings, water towers, etc.

C.

Conditional Use Permit. A conditional use permit is required for any WCF requiring the construction of an antenna support structure as defined in this chapter, unless said proposed antenna support structure is proposed to be located upon city owned property or city controlled facilities.

D.

Site Plan Review. Applications for the new construction or installation of WCF facilities shall be exempt from the site plan review process.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.050   Fees.

Application fees and review deposits for all permits required as a part of this chapter shall be as set forth in the Black Diamond Fee Schedule as adopted by resolution by the city of Black Diamond.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.060   Permit Processing.

A.

Building permit(s) shall be reviewed and subject to approval by the city of Black Diamond building official and/or his or her designee for all aspects of a proposed wireless communications facility.

B.

Telecommunications facility permits shall be reviewed by the city's planning commission subject to the following guidelines:

1.

Conditional Use Permit Required. Any conditions set forth in the conditional use permit shall be incorporated by the planning commission as a part of their final review. No public hearing by the planning commission shall be required.

2.

No Conditional Use Permit Required. If no conditional use permit is required by this chapter, the planning commission shall have the authority to issue a telecommunications facility permit, and may elect to hold a public hearing as a part of their application review process.

C.

Conditional use permits shall be processed as set forth in Chapter 18.28 of this code.

D.

For applications requiring both a telecommunications facility permit and conditional use permit approval, no final decision by the planning commission on the telecommunications facility permit shall occur prior to the expiration of the appeal period associated with the conditional use permit approval.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.070   General siting criteria and policy guidelines.

A.

Location Priority. The following sites shall be considered by applicants as the preferred order of location of proposed wireless telecommunications facilities within the city of Black Diamond. These sites are generally described as follows:

1.

Existing WCF Antenna Support Structures. On any existing site or tower where a legal wireless telecommunications facility is currently located regardless of underlying zoning, so long as the overall height is not increased.

2.

Publicly-Used Structures. On any existing public facilities or property including water towers, radio towers or other public buildings within all zoning districts.

3.

Industrial or Light Industrial Zones. Upon structures or sites zoned for industrial or light industrial use as identified in the city's zoning code.

4.

Commercial, Residential or Other Zoning Districts. New WCF's antenna support structures shall be prohibited from locating within any of the city's commercial, residential or other zoning districts unless it can be demonstrated by the applicant, and confirmed by the city, that the coverage area sought by the applicant cannot be met outside an industrial or light industrial zoning district.

B.

Mount Rainier View Corridors. WCF's shall be prohibited from locating upon any site that would result in an obstruction or interference with the views of Mount Rainier enjoyed by residents, business owners, and/or visitors to the city of Black Diamond, unless compelling cause can be shown. View corridors of special concern to the city of Black Diamond include those from the Black Diamond Historic District, State Route 169 (Third Avenue), Robert's Drive, 222nd Pl. S.E., S.E. Lake Sawyer Road, Lake Sawyer itself, and any established residential neighborhood within the city, and as otherwise may be determined by the city council.

C.

Cooperation in Co-location Efforts. A permittee shall coordinate with other WCF providers in co-locating additional antennas on support structures, provided that such proposed co-locators have received city approval. A permittee shall exercise good faith in co-locating with other providers and sharing a permitted site, provided that such use does not give rise to substantial technical level of impairment of the ability to provide the permitted use (i.e. a significant interference in broadcast or reception capabilities as opposed to a competitive conflict or financial burden). Such good faith shall include sharing of technical information to evaluate the feasibility of co-location. In the event a dispute arises as to whether a permittee has exercised good faith in accommodating other users, the city may require a third party technical study at the expense of either or both the applicant and permittee.

D.

Reasonable Co-location Efforts. All applicants shall demonstrate reasonable efforts in developing a co-location alternative for their proposal.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.080   General Development Standards.

A.

Setback and Clear Zones. No WCF equipment or antenna support structures shall be proposed or located within the required building setback areas of a parcel set forth within the Black Diamond zoning code. New WCF support structures shall be located in such a manner that if the structure should fall along it's longest dimension, it will avoid habitable structures, public rights-of-way, sidewalks, parks, trails, and children's play areas.

B.

Maximum Height. The maximum height of any WCF shall include both the antenna support structure and the antenna(s). The maximum height of any WCF shall be one hundred seventy-five feet.

C.

Signage. No WCF shall be utilized for the purpose of signage or message display of any kind, except as may be required by this chapter or the FAA.

D.

Screening. Location of wireless communications antennas upon alternative support structures shall be screened or camouflaged to the greatest extent possible through the use of compatible materials, location, color, and/or other "stealth" tactics to maximize compatibility of the antenna with its support structure.

E.

Equipment Enclosures, Vaults, Sheds, Etc. All equipment enclosures, cabinets, vaults, etc., designed for and used to house and protect the electronic equipment necessary to process wireless communication signals and data, including any provisions for air conditioning, ventilation or auxiliary electric generators, shall be placed in close proximity to the antenna support structures, antenna arrays, or antennas to which they are connected. Such enclosures shall be kept locked at all times, and shall be clearly labeled on at least two sides with information including owner's name, operator or a person to contact in case of emergency (twenty-four hours), and the telephone numbers for each.

F.

Fencing. Security fencing is required to enclose all antenna support structures and related WCF equipment. Fencing shall be one hundred percent sight obscuring if the site is visible from any public right-of-way or residentially zoned parcel. All fencing shall be no less than six feet in height, topped with barbed wire, and shall be vinyl coated and colored as approved by the planning commission.

G.

Landscaping. Landscaping shall be required in addition to required fencing of the proposed WCF if the equipment is visible from the public right-of-way or a residential zoning district. Landscaping shall be approved by the planning commission during their review or as conditioned by the city council as a part of any conditional use approval.

H.

Lighting. WCF antenna support structures shall not be artificially lighted unless specifically required by the FAA or applicable authority. Any proposed lighting shall be submitted at the time of original application. Security lighting for the on-ground equipment or shelters shall be permitted so long as it is appropriately shielded so that the light generated is kept within the site or lease area.

I.

Noise. No equipment shall be operated so as to produce noise in levels above forty-five dB as measured from the nearest property line on the parcel upon which the facility is located. Operation of a back-up power generator in the event of a natural disaster or power failure is exempt from this standard.

J.

Safety and Access. All new antenna support structures shall incorporate access safety features to prevent unauthorized access to WCF equipment and support structures. A minimum separation or demonstrated effective barrier of fifteen feet shall be maintained between the lowest ladder rung and the ground or any equipment cabinet or related equipment located within six feet of the base of the support structure.

K.

Antenna Support Structures. Monopole towers are required by the city except in situations where it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the city's planning commission that an alternative support structure will provide for the significant achievement of the goals of this ordinance. In no case shall a antenna support structure requiring wire-guys be permitted.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.090   Application contents.

A.

In addition to other application requirements of the city for required permits or approvals, including the conditional use permit required for certain WCF's, the following additional information shall be provided at the time of all telecommunications facility permit and conditional use for wireless telecommunications facility applications. A complete application for telecommunications facility permit shall include the following:

1.

A site plan drawing at a scale no less than one inch equaling fifty feet showing:

a.

Location of existing and proposed support structures;

b.

Setbacks from property lines and any existing structures or facilities located within a distance equal to one hundred fifty percent of the height of the proposed facility;

c.

Proposed landscaping and/or methods of screening of the proposed facility or equipment;

d.

Means of vehicular ingress and egress, including gate locations and dimensions;

e.

Detail drawings for all proposed or required fencing and landscaping, including size and type;

f.

The boundaries and dimensions in feet of the subject parcel or lease area; and

g.

An elevation view drawing showing the support structure and all proposed equipment or equipment cabinets.

2.

Map. A map showing the entire geographical service area of the proposed facility.

3.

Map of View Area. A diagram or map depicting where within the city limits and urban growth area of the city of Black Diamond any portion of the proposed facility would be visible.

4.

Photo Simulations. If any portion of the proposed facility would fall within thirty horizontal degrees on either side of a snow covered portion of Mt. Rainier as viewed from a commercial or residentially zoned area of the city, a photo simulation of the proposed facility shall be provided showing the visual impact from these areas. The planning commission may require additional simulations as part of their review.

5.

Minimum Height. A report, signed by a qualified radio frequency engineer or expert with similar qualifications, explaining and attesting to the fact that the height of the facility, equipment, or antenna support structure proposed is the minimum height necessary to fulfill the site's function within the provider's system.

6.

Statement. A signed statement indicating and providing evidence that:

a.

The wireless communications service provider holds a valid FCC license as required by state and/or federal law;

b.

The applicant agrees to allow for the co-location of additional WCF equipment or antenna owned by other providers upon the applicant's proposed structure or site;

c.

The applicant agrees to purchase and maintain a city of Black Diamond business license within thirty days of building permit issuance, and agrees to require the same for any contractor or subcontractor hired by the applicant to install or otherwise construct the proposed facility; and

d.

The applicant agrees to remove the facility within nine months after the site is discontinued for the use proposed in the application.

A notarized signed affidavit by the property owner, if different from the applicant, stating that (1) the applicant has a legal lease agreement, or option to lease agreement, (2) such agreement does not restrict future co-location by other service providers, and (3) if the applicant fails to remove the WCF upon nine months of its discontinued use, the responsibility for removal falls upon the property owner.

7.

If a conditional use permit is also required due to the construction of a new WCF antenna support structure, the applicant shall provide evidence to the city demonstrating that no existing tower or structure can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna. Evidence submitted to demonstrate that no existing tower or structure can accommodate the applicant's proposed antenna may consist of any combination of the following:

a.

No existing structures or towers are located within the geographic area required to meet the applicant's engineering requirements;

b.

Existing towers or structures are not of sufficient height to meet the applicant's engineering requirements;

c.

Existing towers or structures do not have sufficient structural strength to support the applicant's proposed antenna and related equipment;

d.

The applicant's antenna would cause interference with the antenna on the existing tower or structure, or the antenna on the existing tower or structure would cause interference with the applicant's proposed antenna;

e.

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 co-location are unreasonable. Costs exceeding the new tower development are considered to be unreasonable; and

f.

The applicant demonstrates that there are other limiting factors that render existing towers and structures unsuitable.

8.

Lighting. If artificial lighting is required to be placed upon the support structure or antenna as required by the FAA or other applicable authority, the applicant shall provide a copy of the report or decision requiring said lighting.

9.

Inventory of Existing Sites. A list of the provider's existing WCF sites located within the city of Black Diamond and within two miles of the city limits of the city of Black Diamond. The listing shall include the type of support structure if one exists, the age of the structure, and the existing or proposed height for each facility.

10.

Structural Integrity Documentation. Documentation establishing the structural integrity for the support structure's proposed use.

11.

Checklist. A statement signed by the applicant or applicant's agent attesting to the understanding of the application requirements as set forth in this chapter, and stating that all information submitted is true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

12.

Color Photograph, Etc. An eight and one-half inch by eleven inch color photograph of a similar facility illustrating the proposed color of the WCF including equipment cabinets, etc. If not photo is available, a color swatch shall be provided matching the proposed color.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.100   Location in a residential or commercially zoned area.

When an applicant seeks to locate a WCF antenna support structure outside one of the city's industrial or light industrial zoning districts, the applicant shall bear the responsibility of proving that the needs of the applicant cannot be met within the city's industrial or light industrial zoning districts at the time of conditional use approval. The applicant shall be responsible for all costs associated with the city's review and confirmation of the documentation supporting the application, including review by city hired engineers or technicians qualified to perform this work.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.110   Annual certification.

A.

Each permitted WCF provider within the city of Black Diamond shall provide to the city at the time of their annual business license renewal, a letter of certification providing the following:

1.

Evidence that the provider continues to hold a valid operating permit as may be required by the FCC or other regulating agency.

2.

A statement certifying the number of months each facility owned and operated by the provider within the city of Black Diamond was actually utilized for the purposes set forth in the original application.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.120   Radio frequency standards.

A.

Verification of Compliance. The applicant shall comply with federal standards for radio frequency emissions. Within sixty days after the issuance of its final building inspection approval, the applicant shall submit a project implementation report which shall provide cumulative field measurements of radio frequency emissions of all antennas installed at the subject site, and shall compare these emissions with the established federal standards. If upon review it is determined that the WCF does not meet federal standards, the city may revoke or modify such permit.

B.

Interference with Local TV or Radio. The applicant shall ensure that the WCF will not cause localized interference with the reception of area television or radio broadcasts. If, upon review or complaint investigation, the city finds that the WCF interferes with such reception, and if said interference is not remedied within thirty days, the city may revoke or modify the permit.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.130   Change of ownership.

A.

The applicant shall notify the city planning department of any changes in ownership or operation of a WCF within thirty days of the change. Notice shall be provided in a written form and shall identify the new owner and a new contact address and phone number.

B.

Within thirty days of a change in ownership or operation of a WCF, required site signage shall be replaced with new owner, operator, and emergency contact phone information.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.140   Maintenance.

A.

The applicant shall maintain the WCF site to standards that may be imposed by the city at the time of permit approval. Such maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to, maintenance of the paint, structural integrity, safety measures, fencing, and landscaping.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)

15.42.150   Variances.

A variance from the requirements of this chapter may be granted by the city council as set forth in Chapter 18 of this code.

(Ord. 719 § 1 (part), 2001)