Town Sets Up “The Tower Zone”

A proposed ordinance will create a new section called the Communications Tower Overlay Zone in Bandon, OR, which will specify the location of new cell towers, as well as the height, materials and landscaping, according to Bandon Western World. The ordinance would also encourage the use of concealment methods.

Stipulations of the zoning by the City of Bandon Planning Department are:

  • Telecommunication facilities shall be located in the area of minimal visual impact within the site which will allow the facility to function consistent with its purpose.
  • Height Restrictions: The height restriction will be the minimum necessary to achieve the desired results. However, in the event of dense vegetation or other substantial obstacles to signal propagation, facilities can extend to a height of no more than 20 percent above the average tree canopy height within 1,000 feet of the proposed facility.
  • Concealment Technology: The applicant may propose a telecommunications facility that simulates objects that typically occur in landscapes similar to the proposed location (except billboards, electrical transmission or telecommunications towers). This consideration will be at the discretion of the City Planning Department and Planning Commission with approval criteria based on the appearance of the structure in the context of the landscape, the aesthetic appropriateness, and if it would be a preferable alternative to an undisguised facility.
  • Lattice towers are prohibited as freestanding wireless communication support structures.
  • Setbacks: No new tower shall be constructed without a setback from the tower’s base of at least 1.5 times the tower height to a public or private road and at least 2.5 times the tower height to the nearest property line. Reductions of up to 50 percent of the setback may be considered subject to review under the Conditional Use Permit criteria.
  • Finished color: The preferred finished color of all communication towers shall be black.
  • All structures must have a non-reflective finish and color that will mitigate visual impact, unless otherwise required by other government agencies.
  • Landscaping: The communication tower shall be improved in a way that maintains and enhances existing vegetation. In addition to the required fencing, the applicant shall install suitable landscaping to screen the base of the tower and all accessory equipment where necessary. The tower must be kept mowed, clean and maintained, free from tall weeds.
  • Fencing: A fence no less than six feet in height shall be provided around the communication tower, providing access through a locked gate. The fence shall be landscaped with appropriate materials to sufficiently block the view of the fence from the public.
  • Signs: No commercial messages nor any other signs beyond safety warnings and an identification sign of not greater than 6 square feet shall be placed on any tower or facility.
  • Illumination: The communication tower shall not be artificially lighted unless required by the FCC or FAA and approved by the City of Bandon Planning Department.
  • Maintenance: The applicant, co-applicant, or tenant shall maintain the communication tower. Such maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to painting, maintaining structural integrity, and landscaping. Also, to ensure the structural integrity of communication towers, the owner of a communication tower shall be in compliance with all applicable local, state and federal maintenance standards for communication towers.
  • Abandonment: The owner of a facility shall establish a cash security fund or provide the City with an irrevocable letter of credit in an amount to secure the cost of removing an antenna, antenna array, or tower that has been abandoned. Such amount to be submitted by the project engineer and confirmed by the City. In the event of a transfer of ownership, the seller shall be responsible for notifying the buyer of this requirement and for notifying the City of the transfer.

The ordinances are expected to be passed at this week’s City Council meeting, but public comment will be allowed, the World reported.

November 2, 2018

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