Sec. 27-284.  Communications, microwave, and cellular towers.


(a)   In any district where radio, television, microwave, cellular, or other communication towers are allowed as a permitted or conditional uses, such towers are subject to the following additional requirements.


(1)       It is the policy of the city to encourage collocation of new communications towers with existing towers or as part of suitable existing structures. All applications for approval of a communications tower location shall include evidence that all potential alternatives for location on existing towers have been explored and exhausted.  Applicants may not be denied space on an existing tower within the city and its jurisdiction unless mechanical, structural, regulatory factors, or legitimate business expansion plans prohibit collocation.


(2)       The applicant for a communications tower location is required to demonstrate as part of its application that the tower must be located on the proposed site in order to satisfy its function in the company’s system.  The applicant must also demonstrate that the proposed height is the minimum height necessary for the successful functioning of the tower.


(3)       Freestanding towers shall be located so that the distance from the base of the tower to any adjoining property line or the supporting structure of a separate neighboring tower is a minimum of 100% of the tower height.  The planning commission may reduce the set back with a conditional use permit if it determines that such reduction does not constitute a hazard to safety or property on adjacent properties or rights-of-way.


(4)       The tower installation shall be designed to be aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the built environment of the city.  The city encourages efforts to hide towers or restrict their visibility from public right-of-way or neighboring properties. Associated support buildings shall be designed with materials that are consistent with those in the surrounding neighborhood.  Metal exteriors shall generally not be permitted for accessory support buildings.


(5)       All tower installations shall maintain landscaped peripheral yards with a minimum depth of 35 feet from surrounding property lines.  One tree consistent with the provisions of Sec. 27-309 shall be planted for every 500 square feet of required peripheral yard area.


(6)       As part of its conditional use approval process, the planning commission may, after public notice and hearing, permit the tower to  exceed the height restrictions otherwise allowable in the district. 


Source:  Ord. No. 4603, § 1, 9-16-02