ARTICLE TWELVE - WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES
(added Special Town Meeting February 10, 1997)
The purpose of this section is to minimize adverse impacts of wireless communications facilities, satellite dishes and antennas on adjacent properties and residential neighborhoods; minimizing the overall number and height of such facilities to only what is essential, promoting shared use of existing facilities to reduce the need for new facilities. Specifically, the Wireless Communication Services article has been created to:
A. protect the general public from hazards associated with wireless communications towers; and
B. minimize visual impacts from wireless communications towers in residential districts within Raynham.
For the purpose of this section, “wireless communication services” shall mean the provision of the following types of services: radio, television, cellular telephone service, personal communications and enhanced specialized mobile radio service. Such services, it is anticipated, will be provided via wireless communications towers, including antennas and accessory structures, if any.
Antennas and directly related facilities used exclusively for communications for the purpose of federally licensed amateur radio operators, shall be exempt from the requirements of Article 12.
12.2 EXISTING FACILITIES
Antennas and/or transmission devices can be located on existing public utility structures that technologically can be utilized. The following requirements must be met:
A. The antennas and/or transmission devices must be colored or painted to blend in with the landscape or the structure on which they are located.
B. Accessory structures associated with the service that are necessary shall be designed to architecturally blend-in with the surrounding building(s) and/or structures. Existing tower facilities that are utilized for new services shall be in conformance with Section 12.18.
C. Accessory structures shall be screened (year-round) with vegetation from residentially occupied buildings and public ways.
D. If applicable, a written statement shall be supplied to the Building Inspector that the proposed facility complies with, or is exempt from, applicable regulations administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public health.
12.3 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
No wireless communication facility or facilities, which shall include monopoles, shall be erected except in compliance with the provisions of this Article. In all cases, a Special Permit is required from the Zoning Board of Appeals (the “Board”). All other sections of the Zoning By-laws are superseded by this article. Any proposed extension in the height of a facility, the construction of a new facility or replacement of a facility shall be subject to a new application for a Special Permit.
12.4 SUBMITTAL REQUIREMENTS
As part of any application for a special permit, an applicant shall submit at a minimum six (6) copies of the following:
The site plan prepared by a professional engineer at a scale of 1” = 40’ which will show the following:
1. Tower location, including guy wires, if any, and tower height.
2. Accessory building or structures for switching equipment
3. Topography at five (5) foot contour intervals
4. Other feasible sites, if any, shown on a separate plan
5. Fencing and landscaping
6. Access and parking
8. Areas to be cleared of vegetation and trees
9. Site boundaries
11. Eight (8) view lines in a one (1) mile radius from the site,
shown beginning at True North and continuing clock-wise at
forty- five (45) degree intervals
12. All other items required by Massachusetts Department of Public
12.5 The locus map at a scale of 1” = 1000’ which shall show all streets, bodies of water, landscape features, historic sites, habitats for endangered species within the parcel and within two hundred (200) feet of the parcel, and all buildings within the parcel and within five hundred (500) feet of the parcel.
12.6 Reports prepared by one or more professional engineers, which shall:
a. Describe the tower and the technical, economic and other reasons for the tower design.
b. Demonstrate that the tower complies with all applicable standards of the Federal and State governments.
c. Describe the capacity of the tower, including wattage of tower devices and including the number and type of transmitter receivers that it can accommodate and the basis for the calculations of capacity.
d. Demonstrate that the tower and site comply with this regulation.
e. Describe the antenna to be mounted and number of same.
12.7 Between submittal and the date of the advertisement of the public meeting, a balloon shall be put in place at the height of the proposed tower. The balloon shall be of a size and color that can be seen from every direction for a distance of one (1) mile. After the close of the public hearing, the balloon forthwith shall be removed.
12.8 USE RESTRICTIONS -
A wireless communications tower and its appurtenances shall be located in accordance with the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations in effect at the time of construction; further, the operation shall comply with all requirements of these agencies. The tower (including antennas and accessory structures, if any,) may be erected only upon the issuance of a Special Permit by the Board of Appeals pursuant to Article 7.
a. To the extent feasible, all service providers shall co-locate on a single tower. Towers shall be designed to structurally accommodate the maximum number of foreseeable users (within a ten year period) technically practicable.
b. New towers shall be allowed only upon a finding by the Board of Appeals that existing or approved towers cannot accommodate the wireless communications equipment planned for the proposed towers.
c. Shared use of towers is required. When technically not practical, towers shall be separated on the site so that, if the support structure of one fails, it will not strike another.
d. In no event shall any such tower site be located closer than one (1) mile to any other such tower site.
e. Tower height shall not exceed one hundred and twenty (120) feet above the existing terrain in Residential Zoning Districts and shall not exceed one hundred and fifty (150) feet above the existing terrain in all other zoning districts.
f. A tower shall not be erected nearer to any property line than a distance equal to the vertical height of the tower (inclusive of any appurtenant devices), measured at the mean finished grade of the tower base.
g. Distance from all residentially occupied building(s) shall be at least five hundred (500) feet.
h. To the extent feasible, all network interconnections from the communications site shall be via land lines.
12.9 Clearing shall be performed in a manner which will maximize preservation of natural beauty and conservation of natural resources and which shall minimize marring and scarring of the landscape or silting of streams.
a. The time and method of clearing right-of-way should take into account soil stability, the protection of natural vegetation, the protection of adjacent resources, such as the protection of natural habitat for wildlife, and appropriate measures for the prevention of silt deposition in watercourses.
b. Clearing of natural vegetation should be limited to the material which poses a hazard to the tower.
c. The use of “bush blades” instead of dirt blades on bulldozers shall be used in clearing operations where such use will preserve the cover crop of grass, low growing brush or other vegetation.
d. Areas should be cleared only when necessary to the operation, maintenance, and construction of the tower.
12.10 The tower shall minimize, to the extent feasible, adverse visual effects on the environment. The Board of Appeals may impose reasonable conditions to ensure this result, including painting and lighting standards.
12.11 Traffic associated with the tower and accessory facilities shall not adversely affect abutting ways, and access shall be provided to a site by a roadway which respects the natural terrain, does not appear as a scar
on the landscape, and is approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals to assure emergency access at all times. Consideration shall be given to design which minimizes erosion, construction on unstable soils and steep slopes.
12.12 Applicants proposing to erect wireless communications towers, accessory facilities and structures on land or structures shall provide evidence of contractual authorization from the owner(s) to conduct wireless communications services on the property.
12.13 Any extension or construction of new or replacement towers of trans- mitters shall be subject to an amendment to the Special Permit, following the same procedures as for an original grant of a special permit.
12.14 Setback from designated wetlands, water bodies and areas with a slope in excess of five (5) percent shall be at least one hundred and fifty (150) feet.
12.15 Fencing shall be provided to control access to the base of the tower, which fencing shall be compatible with the scenic character of the Town and shall not be of barbed wire or razor wire.
12.16 The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Zoning Board of
Appeals that the location of the tower is suitable and that the size and height is the minimum necessary for the purpose.
12.17 There shall be no signs, except for announcement signs, no trespassing signs and a required sign giving a phone number where the owner can be reached on a twenty-four (24) hour basis. All signs shall conform with the sign requirements of this By-law and shall be subject to review.
12.18 Accessory uses shall be limited to one (1) structure per use per tower, but shall not exceed ten (10) structures per tower. (amended ATM 05/2007) Each structure shall not exceed four hundred (400) square feet in size and ten (10) feet in height, and shall be designed to architecturally blend in with the surrounding buildings or structures.
12.19 DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENT - Visual impacts of the tower shall be minimized.
a. Accessory uses shall be screened (year-round) with vegetation from residentially occupied buildings and public ways.
b. All towers shall be monopole in type.
c. Silver paint or a galvanized finish shall be used on the tower above the tree line to blend in with the skyline. Green paint or an earth tone color shall be used on the tower below the tree line to blend in with the landscape.
d. Night lighting of towers shall be prohibited unless required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Lighting shall be limited to that needed for emergencies and/or as required by the FAA.
e. Siting shall be such that the view of the tower from other areas of Town shall be as minimal as possible.
f. The tower shall be designed to accommodate the maximum number of uses technologically practical.
12.20 CONDITIONS OF USE AND NON-USE
All unused towers or parts thereof or accessory facilities and structures which have not been used for one year shall be dismantled and removed at the owner’s expense.
a. The tower and its transmission shall comply in all respects with the current standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the National Council for Radiation Protection (NCRP), whichever are stricter.
b. If new technology is developed which is determined by the SPGA to be safer and less obtrusive to the landscape, it shall be substituted.
12.21 PERFORMANCE GUARANTEE
Insurance in a reasonable amount determined and approved by the Board of Appeals after consultation at the expense of the Applicant with one (1) or more insurance companies shall be in force to cover damage from the structure, damage from transmissions and other site liabilities. Annual proof of said insurance shall be filed with the Town Clerk.
Monitoring, testing and inspection shall be in accordance with the Regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The following types of wireless communications towers are exempt from this Article:
a. Amateur radio towers used in accordance with the terms of any amateur radio service license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, provided that:
- the tower is not used or licensed for any commercial purpose; and,
- the tower must be removed if the use is discontinued for six months.
b. Towers used for the purpose set forth in M.G.L. Chapt. 40A, Section 3.