Carroll County Town Sets the Rules on Public Rights-of-Way

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The Taneytown City Council took action in advance of the oncoming assault of wireless providers to their town last Wednesday, by implementing ordinances on small cell wireless applications to public property sites, according to the Carroll County Times.

Officials discussed the details of Ordinance 03-2019 and how it was different than the codes enacted for macro cell towers on private property or antenna attachments to the city’s water tower.

“Small cell deployments are going to be made up of basically two components: an antenna and the box — the stuff that goes with it,” City Attorney Jay Gullo told the council. 

“The antenna goes on top of the pole, the box goes somewhere else.” Gullo said wireless developers are looking to put their equipment on public property, such as poles because it’s cheaper than negotiating with a private property owner. 

The council noted they were bound by FCC rules, capping rates of small cell deployment in the public right-of-way at $270 per site and $500 for non-recurring application fees, the County Times reported. The ordinance states that support structures for such facilities must, “maximize the use of building materials, colors and textures designed to blend with the structure to which it may be affixed and to harmonize with the natural surroundings. This shall include the utilization of stealth or camouflage or concealment technique.”

A wireless developer, per the ordinance, must first get a Right-of-Way Agreement from the city if the property is owned by the city, state or county. Along with a “shot clock,” to review an application, all small cell poles must be set back 40-feet from residential properties and be no taller than 30-feet, to ensure safety in case of a pole collapse.

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March 19, 2019      

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