New Jersey Town Takes Proactive Stance Against Small Cell Development


In an effort to exert more control over small cell development in their community, Spring Lake Heights, NJ has proposed an ordinance that would limit the growth and placement of communications equipment. Named the Small Wireless Facilities Regulations, the measure asserts that 5G poles cannot be more than 50-feet tall and must conceal equipment, reports TAP Into Gold Coast. The motion to introduce Ordinance No. 2024-08 received the unanimous approval of both the Mayor and Council.

“While there is no current means to stop the one hundred percent building of cell towers,” stated Business Administrator John Barrett, “This ordinance creates a real hurdle for wireless carriers and shifts some of the control back to our town.”

Other towns in New Jersey have also attempted to address the spread of small cell units. Spring Lake Heights officials said that they expect their ordinance to be adopted by other communities in the state that worry about FCC allowances overriding local regulations.  

“We are trying to provide some control over our own rights-of-way,” explained Town Attorney, Dennis Collins. “This came from conversations we had when this issue was emerging in other towns. If I have a building permit, the moment it goes in, you are bound by the laws on the books at that time. They can’t change laws retroactively. This ordinance proactively allows us to protect our residents and properties. Should we have a problem here, we have at least established a framework to protect our community.”

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