Snowmass Council Approves Aesthetics of Small Cells

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During an early February Snowmass Village (CO) Town Council meeting, 5G small cell guidelines passed the first reading, reported the Snowmass Sun. The unanimous approval established the framework and design guidelines for new small cells around town. This week, the council will meet again to review a second reading of the ordinances.

The ruling gives the town as much control as possible regarding the infrastructure, reported the Sun. According to Assistant Town Manager Travis Elliott, there’s an upside and downside to the communication upgrades. On the plus side, developing the network would bring the “latest and greatest” technology to the town, but a downside is “densification,” Elliott said. 

He noted that to make 5G available, carriers like AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile would need to use “16 times the number of towers required for a 4G network in the same space.” Due to the Federal Communications Commission guidelines on placement in the public rights-of-way, the new rules will ensure that small cells have a “minimal impact on the town’s character,” reported the Sun

“While we can’t say no, the FCC did say we have the ability to regulate their aesthetics,” Elliott said. 

Regulations include:

  • Height limits (25 feet maximum)
  • Spacing regulations (no less than 600 feet between any two towers)
  • A $1,000 application fee for a new structure
  • Design guidelines encouraging co-location, though the town can’t require it 

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