Small Cell Siting Compromise Reached in Ohio

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill to ease siting of small cells in the public Right-of-Way (ROW), into law last week. It becomes effective in about 90 days. A previous law approved in 2016, allowed companies to build in public ROWs without consent or regulation from local governments, reported The Columbus Dispatch. A local court overturned that law last June after 50 cities and villages fought it.

Rep. Sarah LaTourette, R-Chesterland, and Rep. Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell, sponsored Ohio House Bill 478 in this legislative session. After much negotiation, it passed the Ohio General Assembly. The measure received support from local municipalities, AT&T and Verizon, the Central Ohio Mayors and Managers Association, the Ohio Municipal League and CTIA.

Under the new bill, municipalities can regulate the placement and appearance of small cell equipment that is fastened to light poles, traffic lights, utility poles, street signs and other public structures. The new measure also regulates construction of small cell towers, including spelling out how quickly municipalities must act on siting applications.

“This provides more predictability and speed to the industry, while also protecting the character of our cities,” Dublin City Manager Dana McDaniel told The Columbus Dispatch. “We said from the start that it’s in our best interest and the state’s best interest to have small cell technology deployed, but in a way that’s responsible,” Upper Arlington City Manager Ted Staton added.

May 10, 2018

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