You gotta get a better lawyer.  Some of this stuff, especially RF emissions 
are federally regulated and wholly prempts local officials. It is actually 
easier if you call your facility cellular like in most cases because federal 
code can get most of this off your back.  The building code/engineering 
folks will still require soils analysis and structural engineering but much 
of the other stuff including visual impacts cannot be applied.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Fiero" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "'WISPA General List'" <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:30 AM
Subject: Re: [WISPA] Tower site licensing problem

> My first question is, where is this taking place?
> I ran into this in one market just recently, but it was the first time we
> had been classified as a "telecommunications facility", and been require 
> to
> go through the extensive permitting process.
> The requirements we faced were above and beyond anything I had experienced
> in 35 years in the wireless industry.  There was always a distinction made
> between a single use site and a leased telecom facility.  That seems to be
> coming to a close as the billion dollar mergers between the tower giants 
> act
> as a catalyst driving these municipalities to score what they perceive as
> their piece of the pie.
> In this new world order everyone gets to "eat".  And we are the ones they
> expect to provide the meals.
> First off we were faced with a $8500 escrow account which the municipality
> could use any way they deem necessary and proper to facilitate the
> permitting process.  That includes paying for their engineers, lawyers, or
> any other costs they incur for "experts" to testify at our hearings.
> As they depleted this fund we would be notified when the balance fell 
> below
> $2500 and then required to replenish the funds within 5 business days. 
> That
> was in addition to the $5000 non-refundable permit fee for a new facility,
> or a $2500 fee for an existing facility.  It also had nothing to do with
> building or construction permits.
> After the permit was granted, we were still required to maintain at least
> $2500 in this escrow account so the municipality would have available 
> funds
> to, at their discretion, order future inspections and studies to assure 
> our
> continued compliance.  This was arbitrary, and completely at their
> discretion.  Effectively, they could spend our money any time they wish 
> and
> there was no means to appeal the action.
> All this hooplah over a 70 foot free standing tower that was being placed 
> on
> a hill 3/4 miles outside of town on more than an acre of property that we
> were buying for the purpose of placing this tower on it.
> Additional requirements included mandatory core sampling to ascertain the
> quality of the soil and assure it is sound enough to support a structure, 
> A
> visual impact study that includes floating a balloon and taking photos of
> it, coordinated with a map by GPS points, that required no less than 58
> photos be taken.
> In addition to the municipal engineer, we had to provide our own 
> engineering
> report.  The fact that the tower was available stamped was not good 
> enough.
> It had to be a local engineer who told us he would do his best to keep his
> fees as close to $10,000 as possible.
> They wanted the engineering to cover the foundation, structure, each 
> antenna
> both current use and planned, road design, secondary egress, RF emissions,
> and even an environmental impact study on the area we would disturb to 
> place
> the tower.  This was to include a foliage replacement and erosion control
> plan.
> Mostly, this tower was being sited to use unlicensed spectrum and up until
> now I never came across a telecom ordinance that specifically included 
> that
> spectrum.  In most cases they specify by stating something like "cellular,
> SMR, paging, broadcast", or some other specific descriptors.
> One of the most disturbing aspects of this was that we had no control over
> who used the tower when we were done.  The ordinance specifically calls 
> for
> us to build the facility for collocation and gives the municipality the
> right to determine who collocates and what their "fair value" is for
> collocation.  There was nothing preventing the mayor's son from setting up 
> a
> LPTV station, or a competitive WISP, and requiring us to house his 
> operation
> at our site for $10 per month.
> You are 100% correct.  This new generation of ordinances for telecom
> facilities make no distinction between the mom and pop garage or feed 
> store
> that wants to put up a 50 foot tower for his 2-way to his trucks, a WISP, 
> or
> a large telecom facility being sited by a nationwide service or operator.
> In fact, this particular ordinance did not apply to just towers.  It
> included any placement of any radiating device in any spectrum.  That 
> means
> if you deploy a mesh network in this town you are required to obtain 
> permits
> for each and every node you place.
> With respect to OTARD, I have had quite a bit of experience with it over 
> the
> years.  I have challenged CC&R's from condos and townhomes as well as
> township ordinances for anything from yagi antennas for 2-way clients to
> reach a repeater, to 10 foot satellite dishes, to DBS and even satellite
> Internet services.  Each was successfully resolved because of the strength
> of OTARD.
> However, OTARD does nothing for you and I as the operator of a commercial
> antenna, no matter it's size or intent.  OTARD applies only to the end 
> user.
> Now that this has reared its ugly head for the second time to me I see a
> trend.  We solved the issue by not building in that location.  We moved
> outside of town and received a county level permit with no questions 
> asked.
> For the record, this was not NY, Chicago or LA.  It was a small town of 
> less
> than 4000 on the Ohio River that covers less than 1.2 square miles of 
> land.
> I think we, as a group, need to be proactive in this area before we are 
> shut
> out of locations.  Even existing sites could become untouchable with
> exorbitant fees and unduly restrictive requirements.  It may be time to
> approach the FCC, in conjunction with other industries such as 2-way radio
> retailers, to assure that low impact telecommunications facilities are not
> painted with the same brush as the monoliths built by the cellular
> companies.
> Joe
> Joe Fiero
> NuTel Broadband Corporation
> 769 Basque Way  Suite 650
> Carson City, Nevada  89706
> Direct-732-364-4161
> -----Original Message-----
> Behalf Of Isp Operator
> Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 6:38 AM
> To:
> Subject: [WISPA] Tower site liscensing problem
> Hi Gang,
> We recently received notice that one of our locations has received the
> interest of our county planning department, who has determined that the
> location requires a 'use permit' for a major impact utility location
> (eg: Cellular telephone). Naturally, we strongly disagree with this
> determination.
> The site is in a remote location, on private property completely out of
> view of anybody(*), solar powered, on a 25' mast, with only the most
> basic of equipment installed including two access points with an omni
> and a sector. Aside from being 'outdoors', really, there's no
> resemblance to a 'cellphone tower' as the gear is equivalent to what
> most people use for their home wireless networks, albeit with slightly
> larger externally mounted antennas. The planning department DID NOT cite
> any building codes or height restrictions, just that we seem to be
> 'transmitting' as well as 'receiving', and we're certain that the
> determination has to do ONLY with the fact that it's a wireless repeater
> and otherwise wouldn't receive any attention at all if it was a wind
> generator, weather station or other application.
> The substantial weight of the use permit process they wish us to go thru
> is exactly that for a major cellphone site, complete with hefty
> application fees, public hearings, zoning approvals, and the whole nine
> yards. Assuming we made it all the way thru the process, we would then
> also be required to build it up with severe site upgrades including fire
> access and other features, which is simply too much overkill and we
> would not be able to comply.
> Isn't there some kind of exemption or otard-similar ruling or legal
> guidelines from the fcc regarding this type of situation?  I can only
> imagine that the criteria cited would also apply to many, many other
> uses of part-15 devices and that the regulations just predate (2001 in
> our case) the real onslaught of linksys in every home. I also imagine
> that there would be substantial damage if every wisp was required to get
> cellphone tower permits for every single repeater in use according to
> these strict interpretations. We're going to need more than common sense
> here, we're going to need legal precedence or references to directly
> refute this determination, and we would appreciate your help.
> Thanks all.
> (* We were turned in by a certain tin hat, who has been dogging us for
> some time now and attempting to create sympathy for their extreme views
> which we are sure you all are aware of. Just one more reason to not
> share detailed system information with anybody....)
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