City Opposes State Small Cell Bill, Sees Own Ordinance as a Model

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A new critic of an Illinois small cell bill has resisted the measure. Earlier this week, the city of Aurora joined other municipalities across the state to publicly oppose SB 1451, which would take away some local zoning authority and regulatory powers from municipalities in the state, reports the Chicago Tribune.  

The city recently passed its own ordinance to regulate the siting of wireless equipment, which it believes should be the standard for the rest of the state’s municipalities. The city spent a year working with carriers to address the installation of wireless infrastructure, particularly on city-owned utility poles in public rights-of-way.  

Bill Wiet, Aurora’s chief development officer, recently penned a letter to state Sen. Terry Link, criticizing SB 1451, which is currently being weighed by the state senate. Weit said the bill is unfair to the concept of home rule, and the measure would give wireless carriers the authority to place poles wherever they wanted.  

“It allows them to stick up poles in any location,” Bill Wiet told the Chicago Tribune. “The city might have a problem with how it impacts it residents. Poles should not be in front of someone’s living room window.”  

The city of Aurora also opposes the bill on public safety grounds, arguing it will make it difficult to keep track of equipment installation to deploy FirstNet. SB 1451, among other things, would institute a shot clock for local municipalities—meaning an application automatically wins approval if the city doesn’t act on it within 60 days. The measure also changes the classification of small cells to permitted uses, meaning they would not be subject to zoning review and approval.

June 2, 2017       

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