Small Cell Ordinance Drafted to Set Standards in Moscow…Idaho


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Moscow, Idaho’s Planning and Zoning Commission recently drafted a small cell ordinance to circumvent potential problems with the deployment of 5G networks. 

With a population of 25,000 people and home to the University of Idaho, planning officials are concerned about aesthetics and the hypothetical health effects of small cells. 

Moscow Planning Manager Mike Ray said, “There’s just a lot of visual clutter concerns that come along with it. A lot of these (cells) are going to be located in the public right-of-way because that’s where a lot of the light posts and telephone poles are located.” 

According to the Daily News, Ray presented the ordinance to the Commission last night. Drafted to allow reasonable access to provide 5G services, the ordinance also set standards for height, co-location, number of shrouds, and distance between wireless facilities. If approved, a new tower could be permitted as high as 40 feet and have a maximum of one shroud; could be located no closer than 250 feet away from another small wireless facility antenna tower; and the tower pole would need to be powder-coated black with no more than a 14-inch diameter antenna shroud. 

Commissioner Victoria Seever, concerned about the overall number of towers and shrouds, was pleased to hear the ordinance will limit shrouds to one per antenna support structure. “I wouldn’t want to see our downtown buildings, which are much lower and in your face, have a ton of shrouds on them,” Seever said. “That would not look good.” 

The draft ordinance will be presented at a public hearing this summer and is expected to reach city council for approval in September. 

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