Boulder County Commissioners concluded a seven month-long review of state and federal regulations regarding small cell wireless facilities by approving revisions to its land use code Article 4-514-Telecommunications Facilities. Code revisions include updates to the approval process for placing small cell boosters in the public right-of-way and align with the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order to comply with the FCC’s approval timelines (shot clock), approval and permitting fees, and design specifications.
Although Boulder City residents expressed concerns related to 5G technology, Boulder City Council learned through extensive study sessions that it had little power to further regulate the wireless towers that have already been approved for sites throughout the city.
“It is always disappointing when we are so preempted by state and federal government to really feel like we don’t have meaningful land use authority over something our constituents care so much about,” Commissioner Elise Jones said. “But that is indeed the situation we’re in…This was the best possible set of design guidelines and code updates to accompany the authority we do have.”
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, city officials ‘initially considered prohibiting small cell wireless facilities from historic districts and open space,’ however, after further review of comments by Verizon, an agreement was made to allow some flexibility in certain circumstances. The updated code supports co-locations of facilities on or in existing structures such as light poles, traffic signs and signals, utility poles, or flagpoles, to preserve the architectural integrity of the city and to reduce the presence of the small cell facilities. The city will also require all towers or poles placed in open spaces or within the city limits to be designed in a way that would minimize bird perching.
As noted in Boulder County BOCC Docket DC-19-0001: Proposed Boulder County Land Use Code Amendments to Article 4-514 Telecommunication Facilities, staff review found “there may be limited situations in which it is appropriate to place a small cell wireless facility on land owned or maintained by county Parks and Open Space or city of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. For example, a small cell wireless facility may be appropriate next to disturbed areas on Parks and Open Space or OSMP land, such as bathrooms at trail heads, or sports recreation areas.”
As reported by Camera, the county land use director can waive the prohibition on open space placement if he or she “determines it is appropriate to do so based on consideration of technological feasibility, environmental and visual impacts and other considerations” deemed pertinent to review.
December 17, 2019
The post Boulder County Follows Seven Month Review With Approval of Regulations appeared first on Inside Towers.