18.53.010        Title.

18.53.020        Definitions.

18.53.030        General purposes of telecommunication tower chapter.

18.53.040        General requirements for telecommunication towers.

18.53.050        Additional special use permit application requirements.

18.53.060        Development standards.

18.53.070        Advisory development plan review


18.53.010  Title.  This chapter shall be known as Telecommunication Towers, Antennas and Accessory Structures. 

(Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part)); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.020  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated.

“Antenna” means any device used in communications which transmits and/or receives telecommunications signals as part of a personal wireless services facility. Examples of such devices include, but are not limited to, dish, panel and whip devices, but do not include structures to which they may be attached.

"Co-location" means an installation wherein more than one wireless communications provider mounts equipment and accessories on a single tower or support structure at one site.

"Telecommunication tower" means a structure intended to support antennas, waveguide and associated equipment for the transmission of signals for wireless communication such as television, radio, radio telephone, telephone or cellular land mobile communications.

 (Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.030  General purposes of telecommunication tower chapter.  The general purposes of this chapter are:


A.  To manage the total number of towers, and/or antennae, throughout the community;


B.  To encourage installation of towers, and/or antennae, in areas where adverse impacts upon the community are minimized;


C.  To encourage tower, and/or antennae, configuration that minimizes adverse visual impact on the community;


D.  To encourage co-location of equipment.

(Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.040 General requirements for telecommunication towers.  Any equipment buildings and structures shall be considered accessory to the telecommunication tower and shall meet the yard setback requirements for accessory structures in the zoning district in which they are located.   

(Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.050  Application requirements for telecommunications towers.  

A.  An application for a special use permit or an application for development plan approval for a telecommunications tower shall include the following information:

      1.   The equipment load carrying capacity for the telecommunication tower and the method by which the calculation was made.

      2.   Evidence that the tower is designed to be as visually unobtrusive as possible given technical, engineering and other pertinent considerations;

      3.   Evidence that the height proposed is the minimum height necessary to accommodate the proposed equipment and to service the area.

      4.   Evidence that co-locations were considered and why those co-locations are inadequate. 


B.  For three continuous weeks before the public hearing, an applicant for a special use permit for a telecommunications tower shall fly a helium balloon at the proposed tower location and at the proposed tower height. The balloon shall be of sufficient size and color to be visible at a distance of one mile.   

(Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.060  Development standards.  

A.  When the telecommunication tower site abuts a non-residential zoning district, the distance between the base of the telecommunication tower and any abutting property lines, measured from the center of the telecommunication tower, shall be a minimum of one foot for each one foot of telecommunication tower height.


B.  Where the telecommunication tower site abuts a residential zoning district, the distance between the base of the telecommunication tower and abutting property lines, measured from the center of the telecommunication tower, shall be one and one-half feet for each foot of telecommunication tower height.


C.  All telecommunication towers and supports shall be clearly marked for the first fifteen feet above grade so as to be visible at all times. All supports shall meet the minimum yard setback requirements for the zoning district in which they are located, but in no case shall the setback be less than twenty-five feet.


D.  All supports and anchors shall have a minimum of a ten-foot horizontal setback from any overhead utility lines.


E.  All telecommunications towers and poles shall be enclosed by a fence no less than six feet in height or more than ten feet in height from natural grade. Access shall be through a locked gate.  Vegetation shall be planted to screen fences and accessory buildings.


F.  Telecommunication towers shall not be artificially lighted except as required for public safety purposes by federal regulations.


G.  No signs shall be allowed on any telecommunication tower except as required by federal regulations.


H.  All telecommunication towers, together with any accessories, structures or buildings shall be removed from the site within one year from the date that they cease to function. The owner shall notify the building official of cessation of operation and shall immediately commence the removal of the structures and equipment that have ceased to function.


I.  Site location and development shall preserve, as closely as possible, the preexisting character of the abutting lands and surrounding zoning districts.  Insofar as possible, all telecommunication towers, equipment structures and facilities shall be integrated through appropriate location and design to blend with the existing character of the site.


J.  Existing site vegetation shall be preserved or improved, and disturbance of existing topography shall be minimized unless appropriate site development would result in less visual impact of the sight on the surrounding area. 

(Ord. dated 10-7-97 (part); Ord. dated 8-23-22)


18.53.070   Advisory development plan review. Advisory development plan review is required for all telecommunication towers allowed by special use permit. An applicant for a special use permit shall submit an application for advisory development plan review pursuant to Chapter 18.54 of this Title with the special use permit application. The planning board’s review of the development plan shall take place before the public hearing on the special use permit.

(Ord. dated 8-23-22)



R.I. Gen. Laws § 45-24-30(3)(v).


Published by ClerkBase
©2023 by Clerkbase. No Claim to Original Government Works.