City Tries to Get Ahead of State Bill With New Antenna Ordinance

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Grosse Pointe’s City Council recently passed an ordinance regulating the public rights-of-way for wireless systems, granting the city more control over the location and number of installations on a given site.

According to city Attorney Charles Kennedy III, the ordinance allows for the design and location of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) on public property, plus the collection of fees for the review process and use of public property, the Grosse Pointe News reported. With increased demand for wireless service, comes additional infrastructure, and the city wants to advocate for themselves.

According to Kennedy, the State Senate is currently considering a bill preempting local control of public rights-of-way use by wireless providers. “In other words, the wireless providers want one uniform system of regulation for the whole state…so they are able to obtain that for very little cost,” said Kennedy. 

Regarding fees, Kennedy said the state bill would allow providers to use right-of-way structures for $20 per year. Currently, city ordinance requires applicants to pay $600 per year per facility site and a one-time application fee of $2,500 per site.  In light of the pending state legislation, the city is laying the groundwork for their best interests, said Kennedy.

City Manager Peter Dame noted that, “It could potentially be a major issue if we don’t regulate it properly and if our rights are taken away by the state legislature and also by the FCC…We would have very little ability to control the property we own on behalf of the residents and obtain very little compensation for their right to make profit off of public property.”

March 26, 2018      

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