SECTION 1401 INTENT
The Village of Cassadaga (hereinafter “Village”) recognizes the increased demand for wireless communication transmitting facilities and the need for the services they provide. Often, these facilities require the construction of a communications tower and/or similar facilities. The intent of this local law is to regulate the location, construction, and modification of Telecommunication Facilities in accordance with the guidelines of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and other applicable laws by:
1.) Facilitating the provision of wireless telecommunications services to the residents and businesses of the Village;
2.) Regulating the location and number of Towers/Antennas in the Village;
3.) Minimizing adverse visual impacts of these Tower/Antennas through proper design, siting, and screening;
4.) Preserving and enhancing the positive aesthetic qualities of the natural and man-made environment in the Village;
5.) Avoiding potential damage to adjacent properties from Tower failure or falling debris through engineering and careful siting of Tower structures;
6.) Providing for the general health, safety, and welfare of the Village in and by the regulation of these facilities as such regulation is permitted under applicable Federal and/or State Law;
7.) Requiring the joint use of Towers when available and encouraging the placement of Antennas on existing structures wherever possible.
SECTION 1402 DEFINITIONS
A. Accessory Structure - A non-habitable accessory facility or structure serving or being used in conjunction with a communications Tower and/or a similar facility or an Antenna and located on the same lot as the communications Tower or Antenna. Examples of such structures include utility or transmission equipment, storage sheds, or cabinets.
B. Antenna - A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency signals. Such signals shall include but not be limited to radio, television, cellular, paging, personal communication service (PSC) and microwave communications.
C. Co-Located Antennas - Telecommunications Facilities which utilize existing Towers, buildings, or other structures for placement of Antennas and which do not require construction of a new Tower.
D. Fall Down Zone - The radius around a Tower within which all portions of the Tower and Antennas would fall in the event of a structural failure of the Tower.
E. Telecommunications Facilities - Towers and/or Antennas and accessory structures together used in connection with the provision of cellular telephone service, personal communication services (PCS), paging services, radio and/or television broadcast services, microwave transmission, and/or similar or like broadcast services.
F. Tower - A structure designed to support Antennas. It includes without limitation freestanding Towers, guyed monopoles, and similar structures which do or do not employ camouflage technology.
SECTION 1403 TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY PERMIT REQUIRED
A. A Telecommunications Facility is permitted in an Industrial District and on any municipal property, only if the Village Zoning Board of Appeals (hereinafter “Zoning Board”) grants a Special Use Permit for such a facility pursuant to this ordinance. The Zoning Board shall have the right to waive any provision of this Article for facilities whose total height above ground does not exceed thirty-five feet.
B. Any and all grants of a Special Use Permit for a Telecommunications Facility under this Article shall be non-assignable and non-transferable and shall not run with the land.
C. All applications for Telecommunications Facilities shall be treated as a Type One Action under the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Act.
SECTION 1404 GENERAL STANDARDS FOR ISSUANCE OF A PERMIT
A. No permit or renewal thereof or modification of the conditions of a current permit relating to a Telecommunications Facility shall be authorized by the Zoning Board unless it finds that such Telecommunications Facility:
1.) Is necessary to meet current or expected demands for the services supported by the Telecommunications Facility;
2.) Conforms with all applicable regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission;
3.) Is designed and will be constructed in a manner which minimizes its visual impact;
4.) Complies with all other requirements of this Law and any other applicable Village Laws, including the Zoning Law, and
5.) Is the most appropriate site within the immediate area for the location of the Telecommunications Facility.
B. All applicants are required to provide a report which establishes to the satisfaction of the Zoning Board that the applicant is required to provide service to locations which it is not able to serve through existing facilities which are located either within or outside of the Village, showing the specific locations and/or areas that applicant is seeking to serve.
SECTION 1405 CO-LOCATED ANTENNAS PREFERRED
A. The shared use of existing or approved Telecommunications Facilities or other structures shall be preferred to the construction of new facilities. Any application for a Telecommunications Facility permit or renewal or modification thereof, shall include proof that reasonable efforts have been made to co-locate with an existing or approved Telecommunications Facility or upon an existing structure. The application shall include an adequate inventory report specifying existing or approved Telecommunications Facilities and structures within a one-mile radius of the proposed site if the application is for cellular telephone or personal communication use or a five-mile radius for other services, and outlining opportunities for shared use as an alternative to the proposed location. The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed Telecommunications Facility cannot be accommodated on all sites in the inventory due to one or more of the following reasons:
1.) The planned equipment would exceed the structural capacity of the existing or approved Telecommunications Facility or structure, as documented by a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer, and the existing or approved Tower could not be reinforced, modified, or replaced to accommodate planned or equivalent equipment at a reasonable cost.
2.) The planned equipment would cause interference materially impacting the usability of other existing or planned equipment at the Telecommunications Facility or structure, as documented by a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer, and the interference could not be prevented at a reasonable cost.
3.) Existing or approved Telecommunications Facilities and structures within the search radius could not accommodate the planned equipment at a height necessary to function reasonably as documented by a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer; and
4.) Other technical reasons would make it impracticable to place the planned equipment on existing Telecommunications Facilities or structures.
B. Any proposed Telecommunications Facility shall be structurally, electrically, and in all respects, designed to accommodate both the applicant’s Antennas and comparable Antennas for at least two additional users if the Telecommunications Facility is over one hundred feet in height or for at least one additional user if the Telecommunications Facility is over sixty feet in height, but no higher than one hundred feet in height. Telecommunications Facilities must be designed to allow for future rearrangement of Antennas upon the facility and to accept antennas mounted at varying heights.
SECTION 1406 PREFERENCES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES
A. If the applicant demonstrates that the proposed Telecommunications Facility cannot be accommodated on an existing or approved Telecommunications Facility or upon an existing structure, the proposed Telecommunications Facility shall be located in a higher intensity use district or on higher intensity use property, provided there is a technologically feasible and available location. The from most favorable to least favorable locations, are as follows:
1.) Municipal or government-owned property, including schools and other institutional sites;
2.) Utility property;
3.) Church sites, when camouflaged as steeples or bell towers; and
4.) Industrial zoned sites.
B. Any request by the Village for information on a preferred alternate site shall not unreasonably delay the application for a Special Use Permit.
SECTION 1407 APPLICATION PROCEDURES
A. Application Materials - All applicants for a Special Use Permit for a Telecommunications Facility shall make written application to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which application shall include the following in triplicate:
1.) Village-supplied permit application form;
2.) Village-supplied Long Form Environmental Assessment Form in accordance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act;
3.) Site plan, in form and content acceptable to the Village, prepared to scale and in sufficient detail and accuracy showing at a minimum:
a.) The exact location of the proposed Tower, together with guide wires and guide anchors, if applicable;
b.) The maximum height of the proposed Tower;
c.) The detail of the type of Tower (monopole, guyed, freestanding, or other);
d.) The color or colors of the Tower;
e.) The property’s boundaries, including a property survey;
f.) Proof of the landowner’s consent to construct the Tower at the location if the applicant is not the landowner, including any lease agreement;
g.) The location of all structures on the property and all structures on any adjacent property within fifty feet of the property lines, together with the distance of these structures to the Tower;
h.) The names of adjacent landowners;
i.) The location, nature, and extent of any proposed fencing and landscaping or screening;
j.) The location and nature of any proposed utility easements and access roads, if applicable; and
k.) Building elevations of accessory structures or immediately adjacent buildings.
4.) Proof of efforts to co-locate as required in Section 1405, Paragraph (A) of this Law;
5.) Proof of compliance with Section 1405, Paragraph (B) of this Law regarding accommodations for future Antennas;
6.) “Before” and “after” propagation studies prepared by a qualified Radio Frequency Engineer demonstrating existing signal coverage contrasted with the proposed signal coverage resulting from the proposed Telecommunications Facility;
7.) A “Search Ring” prepared by a qualified Radio Frequency Engineer and overlaid on an appropriate background map demonstrating the areas within which the Telecommunications Facility needs to be located in order to provide proper signal strength and coverage to the target cell;
8.) A statement from the applicant indicating:
a.) Why it chose the proposed site;
b.) If the site is not a co-located facility, the availability of a suitable structure within the search ring which would have allowed for co-located Antennas, with correspondence with other Telecommunications companies concerning co-location attached;
c.) If the site is not a preferred site as described in Section 1406 of this ordinance, to what extent the applicant explored locating the proposed Tower in a preferred site, with documentation attached; and
d.) Its policy regarding co-location on the proposed Tower with other potential future applicants.
9.) A report from a qualified New York State licensed professional engineer which:
a.) In case of a Tower:
i.) Describes its height and design, including a cross-section;
ii.) Demonstrates its compliance with applicable structural standards; and
iii.) Describes its capacity, including the number and type of Antennas it can accommodate.
b.) In the case of an Antenna(s) mounted on an existing or proposed Telecommunications Facility or structure:
i.) Describes whether and how the Telecommunications Facility or structure is suitable to accept the Antenna(s);
ii.) Describes the proposed method of affixing the Antenna(s) to the Telecommunications Facility or structure, including details of all fixtures and couplings; and
iii.) Indicates the precise point of attachment.
10.) An agreement by the applicant, in writing, to remove the Tele-communications Facility if such facility becomes technically obsolete or ceases to be used for its originally intended purpose for twelve months;
11.) An agreement by the applicant, in writing, to secure a financial security bond with the Village as assigned, in an amount fixed by the Zoning Board to cover the cost of removal of the Telecommunications Facility should the Village be required to do so;
12.) The Village reserves the right upon review of the application to request reasonable, additional, visual, and aesthetic information it deems appropriate on a case-by-case basis and as it may pertain to a residential zone, historic district, agricultural use, or other special situation; and
13.) An application fee as set by the Village.
B. Referral to Zoning Board and Planning Board
Upon receipt of the application materials set forth in Paragraph One of this Section, the Village shall refer the application to the Village Planning Board. The Planning Board shall review the site plan and recommend changes, if any, to the Zoning Board in accordance with procedures and standards set forth herein. Once review is completed, the Planning Board shall transmit the application to the Zoning Board. The Zoning Board shall consider the application and approve or deny the same in accordance with the procedures and standards set forth herein.
C. Planning Board Procedures and Standards
The Planning Board shall review the site plan in accordance with the requirements for any site plan as set forth in Section 1101, Article XI, Paragraph B of the Village Zoning Law.
D. Zoning Board Procedures and Standards
The Zoning Board shall determine whether the application shall be approved or denied, with conditions set by the Zoning Board if it deems it necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the Village and its residents, in accordance with the requirements established for determining a Special Use Permit pursuant to Article IX, Section 905 of the Village Zoning Law.
E. Special Use Permit Transferability
Any and all grants of a Special Use Permit for a Telecommunications Facility under this Article shall be non-assignable and non-transferable and shall not run with the land.
SECTION 1408 DESIGN STANDARDS
A. Setback Requirements
1.) Each Telecommunications Facility shall be separated from residential dwellings, schools, houses of worship, and places of public assembly by the greater of five hundred feet or five times the height of the facility. The Zoning Board may modify this condition if the facility is attached to an existing structure or for other satisfactory reasons supported by substantial evidence.
2.) Towers shall meet the setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
B. Height Restrictions
The maximum height of any Tower, including all Antennas and other attachments, shall not exceed one hundred and fifty feet. The height of Towers shall be determined by measuring the vertical distance from the Tower’s point of contact with the ground or, if attached to a structure, the structure’s point of contact with the ground to the highest point of the Tower including all Antennas and other attachments. When Towers are mounted on other structures, the combined height of the structure and the Tower must meet the height restriction.
C. Fall Zone
All permits shall include a fall zone surrounding any support, which fall zone must have a radius of at least equal to the height of such support Tower and any Antenna(s) attached thereto. The entire fall zone may not include public roads, must be on private property, either owned or leased by the applicant or for which the applicant has obtained an easement. It may not contain any structure other than those associated with the Telecommunications Facility and may not be located within any setback area established by this Article. If the Facility is attached to an existing structure, fall zone requirements may be modified by the Zoning Board.
Towers, Antennas, and masts shall not be artificially lit and shall not display strobe lights unless otherwise required by the Federal Aviation Administration or other Federal, State, or local authority. When incorporated into the approved design of the Tower, light fixtures used to illuminate ball fields, parking lots, or similar areas may be attached to the Tower.
E. Signs and Advertising
No Tower shall contain any signs or advertising devices. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Zoning Board may require appropriate signage indicating ownership of the facility and telephone numbers in case of emergency.
Towers and Antennas shall be designed to blend into the surrounding environment through the use of color and camouflaging architectural treatment except in instances where the color is dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration or other Federal, State, or local authorities.
Reasonable landscaping is required consisting of trees or shrubs to screen the Tower from adjacent residential property or when located in a residential zone. Existing on-site trees and vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent possible.
Towers and auxiliary structures shall be surrounded by a fence or wall at least eight feet in height of a design approved by the Code Enforcement Officer, so as to make intrusion extremely difficult but with limited visual impact. Barbed wire is not to be used in residential areas or on public property unless specifically permitted by the Zoning Board.
I. Alarm Systems
Towers shall be equipped with an alarm system providing that any intrusion or attempt to climb the fence or wall is signaled to both the local law enforcement agency and to the owner of the facility.
J. Climbing Pegs
There shall be no permanent climbing pegs within fifteen feet of the ground on any Tower.
A road turnaround and one parking space shall be provided to assure adequate year-round emergency and service access. Maximum use of existing roads, public or private, shall be made.
L. Other Uses
All other uses ancillary to the Antenna/Tower and associated equipment including, but not limited to, a business office, maintenance depot or vehicle storage, are prohibited from the site unless otherwise permitted by the zoning of the particular district.
SECTION 1409 CONTINUING STANDARDS
All Telecommunications Facilities, both predating and postdating this Law, shall fulfill the requirements of this Section. The Village Code Enforcement Officer is empowered to assist all local law enforcement agencies to enforce these regulations as follows:
1.) The sufficiency of the financial security bond shall be confirmed at least every five years by an analysis of the cost of removal and property restoration performed by a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer. The results of such analysis shall be forwarded immediately to the Village Code Enforcement Officer. If the bond amount in force is insufficient to cover the cost of removal and restoration, the permit holder shall immediately increase the amount of the bond to cover the full costs.
2.) The Facility shall be inspected every two years for structural integrity by a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer who must submit a copy of his/her inspection report to the Village Code Enforcement Officer.
3.) Any work to augment or repair the facility must comply with all applicable code requirements, and a building permit shall be obtained to conduct such work.
4.) Any additional Antennas, reception or transmission dishes, or other similar devices proposed for attachment to an existing facility shall require review in accordance with this Section. The intent of this requirement is to ensure the structural integrity, visual aesthetics, and land use compatibility of the Facility upon which the additional device(s) are to be installed. The application for approval to install the additional device(s) shall include certification from a qualified and New York State licensed professional engineer, indicating that the additional device(s) will not adversely affect the structural integrity of the Facility. A visual impact analysis shall be included as part of the application for approval to install one or more additional communications devices on an existing facility.
5.) No outside storage of vehicles, materials or waste shall be allowed except for limited periods when the facility is undergoing construction, additions, repairs, or renovations.
6.) The Facility shall be maintained in good order and repair at all times. Paint and other finishes on Towers, auxiliary buildings, fences, and walls shall be renewed as required to maintain the good appearance of the facility. Accumulations of rubbish, papers, and other trash on the ground shall be promptly removed. Trees, grass, and shrubs shall be trimmed as necessary. Access roads are to be maintained in good working order.
SECTION 1410 EXEMPTIONS
The following are exempt from these regulations:
1.) Repair and maintenance of existing Towers and Antennas;
2.) Antennas used solely for private, residential household television and radio reception; and
3.) Satellite Antennas regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.
SECTION 1411 VIOLATIONS/PENALTIES
1.) This Local Law is adopted pursuant to the zoning and planning powers granted to the Village of Cassadaga under the Village Law 7-700 of the State of New York. In the event of any violation of this Law or any permit(s) issued hereunder, the Village may seek enforcement under any available authority including, but not limited to, Village Law Section 7-714 as from time to time amended.
2.) Any Facility receiving a Village Special Use Permit under this Article which does not substantially meet the requirements and/or conditions of that permit, shall have its permit revoked, and the Tower and other facilities shall be removed within ninety days of notification of revocation by the Village.