Baton Rouge has introduced a revised working draft of a 5G tower ordinance that’s now circulating among city-parish departments, telecom providers, and community groups. According to the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, the best-case scenario for introducing the rewritten ordinance to the Metro Council could occur by January 22.
If introduced this month, the ordinance will come about five months later than expected.
“There’s no set date at this point,” says Courtney Humphrey, a legislative section chief at the parish attorney’s office, who has assisted with drafting the ordinance. “Our working draft was sent to the affected parties about a week before Christmas. Once we get all their feedback, then hopefully, a draft will be ready for submission to the council agenda.”
Since the FCC has enacted federal guidelines to expedite the rollout of 5G wireless networks, Baton Rouge is scrambling to get its buildout regulations in place. Gary Patureau, who is leading the 5G cell tower task force established in the summer of 2019, also submitted a document to the parish attorney’s office last October, per the Business Report.
The task force’s draft is based on best practices of local 5G ordinances across the U.S., prioritizing the aesthetics of small cell tower installation, which local civic associations say affect property values. “We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and the 22nd,” Patureau says.
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