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Thread: Cell tower zoning regulation

  1. #1
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    Cell tower zoning regulation

    Hello,
    I am a citizen working on an amendment to our land development code and am looking for studies on cell towers falling and or appropriate fall zones for towers. Is there any consensus or industry standard for adequate distances from towers to residentially zoned property.
    Thank you in advance for your professional input, it is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    I don't know if you'll find studies on them falling but we use 110% of the height as a minimum setback unless they are on top of a building, in which case we don't have that rule.

  3. #3
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    Hello,
    Thank you so much for your response. Do you have any data on how your county/state arrived at 110%? What county/state do you work for? Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    110% means if the tower fell straight over you'd still be 10% of the height away from any building. It has no meaning beyond that. Commissions always want more research so the quicker you can give them a number the quicker you can move on to other issues.

  5. #5
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    does you code also stipulate no buildings in the fall zone?

  6. #6
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    Telecoms Have a License to Kill

    There is more and more discussion about the health effects of wireless technology and non-ionizing radiation. Even the American media can't stop the snowballing of one study after another that confirms the devastating health and environmental problems we will soon be facing if something isn't done to reel in this nightmare. Enough is not being done by cities, counties, states and the Federal Government. What is being done is everything to shield the telecoms from responsibility and liability. Initially cell phones were released with no pre-market safety testing. Health studies were suppressed and the 4 trillion dollar a year industry was given a pass with no consideration of the carnage that is and will be facing us. It is said that city governments are "not allowed" to discuss health issues when licensing the placement of towers. They should anyway. Is it not the moral and legal obligation of our governments to look after and protect our health and welfare?? When did this become an obsolete concept?
    On it's face, the 1996 telecommunications act is unconstitutional, a cover-up and a license to kill. A cell tower is a microwave weapon capable of causing cancer, genetic damage and a host of other very serious health problems. The telecoms are shielded from "health concerns" as a valid consideration when challenging the location of a cell tower. Free speech? We don't use it anyway. "Health Concerns" why? What do they know and when did they know it? The Government and the Military have known for over 50 years that radio frequency is harmful to all biological systems. Bees, bats, humans, plants and trees are all affected by it. While people complain about cell towers going in next to schools we allow the school board to install wi fi in all the schools and irradiate our kids for 6-7 hours each day before they go home and let their parents finish the job with DECT portable phones, wi fi and Wii's. A tsunami of cancers and early alzheimer's await our kids while the Portland School Board won't even consider adding to the health curriculum information on "safer" cell phone use and the dangers of wireless technology. We teach about alcohol, tobacco, drugs and safe sex but not about cell phone use. Young people under the age of 20 are 420% more at risk of forming brain tumors because of their soft skulls, brain size and cell turn over time. We are in a wireless trance and many scientists are in a state of panic as they see this thing expand with no safety testing or public education programs in place.

    Moderator note:
    (Dan) Deleted the link to a wireless blog. We want to make sure this isn't a drive-by post with the sole intent of posting a link.

  7. #7
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    jailbush, in the United States, planners can't consider the perceived health risks of a wireless facility in the development review process. If you're interested in discussing it, I recommend starting a new thread.

    Moderator note:
    Also, you might want to consider changing your username. The members of Cyburbia come in all political persuasions, and your posts will be taken more seriously by those on the right if your username isn't so incendiary. Thanks.
    Back on topic: has there ever been an instance of a monopole falling? A monopole is more or less the same structure as a 96 sheet billboard support, and I've never heard of one of those monsters toppling. Also,some taller monopoles are engineered to collapse rather than topple.

    If your community is sufficiently built up, a fall zone that is too large might restrict the placement of towers to an extent where adequate service would be difficult to provide. If there's very few possible tower sites, and few possibilities for building-mounted facilities, it could be a violation of the Telecom Act.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cleocesar757 View post
    Hello,
    I am a citizen working on an amendment to our land development code and am looking for studies on cell towers falling and or appropriate fall zones for towers. Is there any consensus or industry standard for adequate distances from towers to residentially zoned property.
    Thank you in advance for your professional input, it is greatly appreciated.
    Have a look at Section 3-2001. - Telecommunication towers and antennas. of the Clearwater Code.

    You can access it via municode:
    http://library.municode.com/index.as...teName=Florida
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Here is my photo collection of cell towers, including several monopoles affected by Katrina (listing) or clueless contractors using acetylene torches (flames).

    A cell tower represents a substantial investment for the company that owns it and the carriers installed on it. The installation process includes soil testing, structural and wind load analysis of the tower and its foundation, and considerable effort on the real estate side to make sure that this is pretty much a permanent installation. It's bad business to set up something that's going to fall over and hurt someone/thing, or (worse!) cause an interruption in signal.

    For a monopole, it's sitting on a caisson of cement that goes quite some distance into the ground (if I still worked in the industry, I could access some tower drawings and tell you how deep...remembering thirty feet in one instance).

    Here's a Google search that might help.
    Last edited by Veloise; 02 Aug 2010 at 10:30 AM.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian vagaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cleocesar757 View post
    Is there any consensus or industry standard for adequate distances from towers to residentially zoned property.
    You might be worrying too much about fall zones. Nowadays, most towers are designed to "implode" so that they don't fall "over". Fall zones that are the height of the tower or larger create a heck of a lot of wasted land. Good luck!!
    ...my lifestyle determines my death style!
    - Metallica

  11. #11
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
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    Thought I'd chime in as a Florida planner. Dan is correct that health risks can't be considered, period. Fall zone is legitimate, as shown by some of Veloise' photos (which is a great collection, by the way!)

    We allow the applicant to supply an engineer's certification as to the fall zone (we don't accept a statement that it will never fall down), and it is usually somewhere around 25% of the tower height. The fall zone has to be entirely under the control of the applicant (either by ownership or easement) and only structures directly associated with the tower (i.e., equipment buildings, tanks, etc.) are allowed in the fall zone.

  12. #12
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    The story was above the fold this morning...

    Neighbors appealed our approval of a cell tower allowed as a matter-of-right in the zone district where it's proposed. I hate my name appearing in the newspaper especially when associated with this type of use. The writer treated and quoted me fairly--which I appreciate. Of course, the appellants are raising issues totally unrelated to the matter at hand--the children, the wildlife, EMR. On the other hand, I wouldn't want one in my neighborhood either.


    Oh, I didn't feel like starting a new thread on this issue. Sorry.
    RJ is the KING of . The One

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