AN ACT TO REFORM COLLOCATION OF SMALL WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE TO AID IN DEPLOYMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES. Enacted July 21, 2017. Effective July 21, 2017.
Summary date: Jul 25 2017 - View summary
Summary date: May 30 2017 - View summary
House amendment makes the following change to the 4th edition.
Amends proposed GS 160A-400.55 (Use of public right-of-way). Adds that, notwithstanding subsection (d) (regarding compliance with a city's undergrounding requirements), no utility pole, city utility pole, or wireless support structure placed in an area zoned single-family residential where the existing utilities are installed underground may exceed 40 feet above ground level, unless the City grants a waiver or variance approving a taller utility pole, city utility pole, or wireless support structure.
Summary date: May 24 2017 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 3rd edition.
Modifies subsection (f) in proposed GS 160A-400.54 (Collocation of small wireless facilities), authorizing cities to engage an outside consultant (was, a third-party consultant) for technical consultation and review of an application for the collocation of small wireless facilities. Makes conforming changes concerning the prohibited use of technical consulting fees collected by cities, prohibiting cities from using the fees to pay travel expenses incurred in the review by an outside consultant or other third party, or to directly pay or reimburse an outside consultant or other third party based on a contingent or results-based arrangement.
Amends subsection (h) in proposed GS 160A-400.54, expanding the prohibitions to also prohibit cities from charging fees for the previously specified activities, including routine maintenance, the replacement of small wireless facilities with similar facilities, and the installation or maintenance of authorized suspended micro wireless facilities that are in compliance with applicable codes and remitting taxes. Makes change to clarify that cities are prohibited from requiring an application or permit, or to charge fees, for the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of suspended micro wireless facilities strung by or for a communication service provider authorized to occupy the city rights-of-way (previously, did not specify city rights-of-way).
Makes a similar clarifying change in GS 160A-400.55 (Use of public right-of-way), clarifying the limitations for a city to assess a right-of-way charge for use or occupation of the city right-of-way by a wireless provider. Provides that the right-of way charge cannot exceed the direct and actual cost of managing the city right-of-way. Further, clarifies the reference in subsection (i), concerning applications by a wireless provider to a city to place, replace, or modify utility poles in the city rights-of-way (was, public rights-of-way) to support the collocation of small wireless facilities.
Renames proposed GS 160A-400.56, Access to city utility poles to install small wireless facilities. Modifies subsection (h), providing that Part 3E, as amended (previously, referenced the statute, not the Part), does not apply to an entity whose poles, ducts, and conduits are subject to regulation under the Communications Act of 1934, as specified, or GS 62-350.
Amends proposed GS 160A-400.57 (Applicability). Modifies subsection (b) to clarify that nothing in Part 3E affects any easement between private parties (previously, private easement). Modifies subsection (c), prohibiting cities from adopting or enforcing any regulation on the placement or operation of communications facilities in the rights-of-way of State-maintained highways or city rights-of-way by a provider authorized by State law to operate in those areas (previously, in the rights-of-way, with no specification).
Makes clarifying changes to proposed GS 136-18.3A (Wireless communications infrastructure).
Summary date: May 18 2017 - View summary
House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the long title.
Amends the legislative findings.
Recodifies GS 160A-400.51(4a) as GS 160A-400.51(4d) (was, (4b)).
Amends GS 160A-400.51 (Definitions). Amends definitions of application, city utility pole, small wireless facility, utility pole, wireless infrastructure provider, and wireless service. Excludes from the term collocation the installation of new utility poles, city utility poles, or wireless support structures. Adds and defines communication facility, communications service, and micro wireless facility.
Amends proposed GS 160A-400.54 (Collocation of small wireless facilities) as follows. Prohibits cities from establishing (was, instituting) the currently described moratoria regarding applications and permits for small wireless facilities. Replaces the provisions directing small wireless facilities to be classified as permitted uses with the following: provides that small wireless facilities that meet the height requirements of GS 160A-400.55(b)(2) are only subject to administrative review and approval under this statute if they are collocated in a city right-of-way within a zoning district or outside of rights-of-way on property other than single-family residential property. Deletes the provision requiring city-mandated permits for collocated small wireless facilities to be of general applicability, and to not apply exclusively to wireless facilities. Amends the requirements for a city receiving applications for, processing, and issuing such permits as follows: (1) Amends the definition ofservices unrelated to the collocation, deleting the language explicitly stating that the services might be other than those described. (2) Requires a wireless provider to complete the applicantion as specified in form and content by the city. (3) Replaces the provision requiring the city to notify an applicant within 10 days of the completeness of an application with one providing that a permit application is deemed complete unless the city provides written notice otherwise to the applicant within 30 days of submission, or some other mutually agreed upon time frame, and provides requirements for the contents of the notice and procedure for correction. (4) Shortens the time in which the city must process an application from 60 days to 45 days from the time the application is deemed complete, or another mutually agreed upon time frame. (5) Adds reasons a city may deny an application, including failure to comply with local code provisions or regulations concerning public safety or other listed topics, public safety and reasonable spacing requirements, or historic preservation requirements in GS 160A-400.55(h). (6) Clarifies that the city must approve or deny a revised application within 30 days of the date on which an application is resubmitted. (7) Authorizes an applicant to file a consolidated application for no more than 25 separate facilities and receive a single permit for the collocation of those facilities (1st edition contains no limit on the number of facilities), and authorizes the city to remove small wireless facility collocations for which incomplete information has been provided, or that will be denied, from a consolidated application and treat them separately and authorizes the city to issue separate permits for each collocation that is approved. (8) Authorizes the permit to specify that collocation shall commence within six months of approval (was, one year), and be activated for use no later than one year from the permit issuance date, unless otherwise agreed upon, or a delay is caused by a lack of commercial power. (9) Adds the requirement that the application include an attestation that the small wireless facilities must be collocated on the pole or structure and that the facilities must be activated for use by a provider no later than one year from the permit issuance date unless an extension is agreed to or a delay is caused by lack of power. Amends the authorized fees that a city may charge, eliminating the requirement that a city charge a fee for other similar activities, setting out requirements for determining an application fee amount, authorizing a technical consulting fee of up to $500, and making other changes. Authorizes a city to require a wireless services provider to remove an abandoned wireless facility within 180 days of abandonment, and to remove the facility if the provider fails to timely remove the facility and recover costs from the provider. Specifies when a wireless facility is considered to be abandoned. Prohibits a city from requiring an application or permit (was, application) for routine maintenance, or other currently listed activities. Adds that an application or permit may not be required for installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro wireless facilities suspended on cables strung between existing poles in compliance with applicable codes by or for a provider authorized to occupy the rights-of-way and who is paying specified taxes. Does not prevent a city from requiring a work permit for work that involves excavation, affects traffic patterns, or obstructs vehicular traffic in the city right-of-way.
Amends proposed GS 160A-400.55 as follows. Deletes the provision applying the statute to the activities of a wireless provider within any city right-of-way. Replaces subsection (c), regarding the zoning review or approval of collocation of wireless facilities, with a provision authorizing the collocation of small wireless facilities and accompanying placement, maintenance, modification, operation, or replacement of the facilities along, across, upon, or under any city right-of-way, subject to GS 160A-400.54, with review and approval only under GS 160A-400.54(d) if the wireless provider meets two listed limits regarding the size and placement of the wireless facilities. Does not prohibit a city from allowing utility poles, city utility poles, and wireless facilities that exceed those size and placement limits. Amends subsection (e), regarding city undergrounding requirements, to delete the language referring specifically to communications undergrounding requirements, and to further condition compliance with the undergrounding requirements upon their containing a waiver process. Amends the provisions regarding a right-of-way charge, deleting the $20 annual limit for each utility pole in certain circumstances, and making other changes. Does not establish or affect rates charged for attachments to utility poles, city utility poles, or wireless support structures, and authorizes a city to provide free access to rights-of-way at its discretion. Does not authorize the placement, maintenance, modification, operation, or replacement of a privately owned utility pole or wireless support structure, or the collocation of small wireless facilities on such structures, without the consent of the property owner. Further authorizes a city to require a wireless provider to repair all damage to a city right-of-way directly caused by its activities while occupying, installing, repairing, or maintaining city utility poles. Authorizes the city to maintain an action to recover the costs of repairs. Does not limit local government authority to enforce historic preservation zoning regulations, federal zoning authority, federal facility modification requirements, or the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and accompanying regulations, local acts, and charter provisions. Authorizes a wireless provider to apply to a city to place utility polls in the public rights-of-way, or to replace or modify such poles, to support the collocation of small wireless facilities. Directs a city to accept and process the applications under GS 160A-400.54(d), and other listed codes. Authorizes the application to be submitted in conjunction with the associated small wireless facility application.
Deletes the content of GS 160A-400.56 and replaces it with the following. Prohibits a city from entering into an exclusive arrangement with any person for the right to collocate small wireless facilities on city utility poles. Directs a city to allow any wireless provider to collocate small wireless facilities on its city utility poles at just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory rates, terms, and conditions, not to exceed $50 per pole per year. Directs the NC Utilities Commission not to consider this requirement as evidence in proceedings under GS 62-350(c). Requests to collocate may only be denied for insufficient capacity, or for irremediable reasons of safety, reliability, and engineering principles. Directs a city, in granting a request under this statute, to require a requesting entity to comply with applicable safety requirements. Directs cities operating public enterprises with existing city utility pole attachment rates, fees, or other terms with an entity, to apply them to collocations by that entity or its related entities on city utility poles. Directs a city to establish rates, terms, and conditions for use or attachment to its city utility poles within 60 days of receiving a first request from a wireless provider to collocate on a city utility pole. Directs the city to provide a good faith estimate for any make-ready necessary to enable the city utility pole to support the requested collocation within 60 days of receiving a complete application, and directs make-ready work to begin within 60 days of written acceptance of the good faith estimate. Prohibits requiring more make-ready work than required to meet applicable codes or industry standards. Describes calculation of make-ready estimates. Does not apply to an entity whose poles, ducts, and conduits are subject to regulation under section 224 of the Communications Act of 1934 or GS 62-350. Does not apply to an excluded entity, or affect the authority of an excluded entity (as defined) to deny, limit, restrict, or determine the rates, fees, terms and conditions for the use of poles, ducts, or conduits by communications service providers.
Deletes the previous content of GS 160A-400.57 and replaces it with the following. Prohibits a city from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, rule, regulation, or resolution that regulates the design, engineering, construction, installation, or operation of any small wireless facility in an interior structure or on the site of a stadium or athletic facility, except for stadiums or facilities owned or controlled by the city. Does not prohibit the enforcement of applicable codes. Does not affect private easements. Except as under this Part (GS Chapter 160A, Part 19), or otherwise under the General Statutes, prohibits a city from adopting or enforcing regulations on the placement or operation of communications facilities in the rights-of-way by a provider authorized by State law to operate there. Except as under this Part or otherwise under the General Statutes, prohibits a city from imposing or collecting a tax, fee, or charge to provide a communications service over a communications facility in the right-of-way. Approval of a small wireless facility under this Part does not authorize the provision of any communications services or communications facility, other than a small wireless facility, in the right-of-way.
Deletes proposed changes to GS 62-350 and Section 2(e), regarding the effectiveness of Section 2.
Amends proposed GS 136-18.3A (Wireless communications infrastructure). Authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue permits to wireless providers for collocation of wireless facilities, as currently described, along, across, upon, or under (was, along, across, upon and under) the rights-of-way of State highways. Directs the DOT to take action to approve or deny a permit under this statute within a reasonable period of time (was, application is deemed approved if no action within 60 days). Replaces subsection (d), which authorized DOT to charge a wireless provider for use of the right-of-way, with a provision requiring collocation of small wireless facilities in State highway rights-of-way to comply with specified requirements regarding obstruction or hindrance of travel or public safety, and the construction, operation, and modification of related appurtenances and facilities, and height and placement of the facilities. Deletes subsection (e), which authorized DOT to require repair of damage to a right-of-way.
Makes the entire act effective when it becomes law.
Summary date: Mar 9 2017 - View summary
Section 1 sets forth seven findings by the General Assembly.
Recodifies GS 160A-400.51(4a) defining eligible facilities request as GS 160A-400.51(4b), and GS 160A-400.51(7a) defining substantial modification as GS 160A-400.51(7b) as those terms apply to Part 3E of Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A (Wireless Telecommunications Facilities).
Makes the following changes to Part 3E of Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A, Wireless Telecommunications Facilities.
Clarifies that Part 3E does not authorize a city to require construction or installation of wireless facilities or to regulate wireless services other than as set forth in Part 3E.
Adds applicable codes, city right-of-way, city utility pole, communications service provider, small wireless facility, wireless infrastructure provider, wireless provider, wireless services, and wireless services provider to the defined terms in GS 160A-500.51. Amends the definitions provided for collocation, utility pole, and wireless facility.
Enacts GS 160A-400.54, providing that a city cannot prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities except as expressly provided in Part 3E. Defines a small wireless facility as a wireless facility that meets both of the following: (1) each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet in volume or, in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of its exposed elements, if enclosed, could fit within an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet; and (2) all other wireless equipment associated with the facility has a cumulative volume of no more than 28 cubic feet. Prohibits a city from instituting, either expressly or in practice, a moratorium on filing, receiving, or processing applications, or issuing permits or any other approvals for the collocation of small wireless facilities. Requires small wireless facilities to be classified as permitted uses and not subject to zoning review or approval authorized by Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A (Planning and Regulation of Development) if they are collocated in a city right-of-way within any zoning district or outside of rights-of-way on any property other than property zoned exclusively for single-family residential use. Authorizes a city to require an applicant to obtain a building permit to collocate a small wireless facility so long as the permit is of general applicability and does not apply exclusively to wireless facilities. Details seven requirements a city must comply with in receiving applications for, processing, and issuing building permits to collocate a small wireless facility. Authorizes the city to charge a fee to offset the cost of reviewing and processing applications subject to specified limitations. Prohibits a city from requiring an application for routine maintenance or the replacement of wireless facilities with wireless facilities substantially similar or the same size or smaller. Allows a city to require a permit, subject to the requirements provided by subsections (d) and (e) of the statute (as discussed above), to work within a city right-of-way for the activities of routine maintenance or the replacement of wireless facilities with wireless facilities that are substantially similar or the same size or smaller.
Enacts GS 160A-400.55 prohibiting a city from entering into an exclusive arrangement with any person for use of the city rights-of-way for the construction, operation, marketing, or maintenance of wireless facilities or wireless support structures or the collocations of small wireless facilities. Clarifies that this statute applies to activities of a wireless provider within any city right-of-way. Sets forth qualifications for exemption from zoning review or approval authorized by Article 19 of GS Chapter 160A that a wireless provider wishing to undertake the collocation of wireless facilities and the construction, operation, modification, or maintenance of utility poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and related appurtenances and facilities along, across, upon, and under any city right-of-way must satisfy. Provides that a city cannot prohibit the construction, modification, or maintenance of utility poles, wireless support structures, or wireless facilities that exceed the height limits set forth in subsection (c)(3) if those structures and facilities comply with applicable zoning requirements for the site. Requires applicants for use of a city's right-of-way to comply with the city's undergrounding requirements prohibiting communications service providers from installing structures in the rights-of-way without prior zoning approval in areas zoned for single-family residential use so long as those requirements are nondiscriminatory with respect to type of utility and do not prohibit the replacement of structures existing at the time of adoption of the requirements. Authorizes a city to charge a wireless provider for the use of a city right-of-way to construct, collocate, install, mount, maintain, modify, operate, or replace a wireless facility or wireless support structure if the city charges other communications service providers or publicly, cooperatively, or municipally owned utilities for similar uses of the right-of-way. Details limitations on the authorized charges. Clarifies that the provision is not intended to prevent a city from providing free access to city rights-of-way on a nondiscriminatory basis in order to facilitate the public benefits of deployment of wireless services. Allows a city to require a wireless provider to repair all damage to a city right-of-way directly caused by the activities of the wireless provider, and allows the city to undertake the repairs and charge the party the reasonable and documented costs if the wireless provider fails to make the repairs required by the city within a reasonable time after written notice.
Enacts GS 160A-400.56, providing for dispute resolution regarding fees or charges before the Utilities Commission pursuant to GS 62-350(c). Requires the city to allow the placement of a wireless facility or wireless support structure at a temporary rate of one-half of a city-proposed annual fee or charge or $20, whichever is less, pending resolution of the dispute. Makes conforming changes to GS 62-350(c) and (e).
Enacts GS 160A-400.57 limiting the city's authority to adopt or enforce any ordinance, rule, regulation, or resolution that (1) regulates the design, engineering, construction, installation, or operation of any small wireless facility located in an interior structure or upon the site of any stadium or athletic facility or (2) requires a wireless provider to indemnify the city and its officers and employees as specified.
Effective July 1, 2017, and applies to applications for wireless communications infrastructure received by cities on or after that date. Requires any charge imposed by a city on wireless providers for use of rights-of-way owned, leased, or operated by a city to construct, collocate, install, mount, maintain, modify, operate, or replace a wireless facility or wireless support structure to comply with the requirements of GS 160A-400.55, as enacted, no later than January 1, 2018.
Amends GS 136-18 to add to the powers of the Department of Transportation the duty to make reasonable rules, regulations, and ordinances for the placing, erection, change, or removal of wireless facilities that may contribute to the hazard upon or interfere with any State-maintained highways.
Enacts GS 136-18.3A to authorize the Department of Transportation (Department) to issue permits to wireless providers for the collocation of wireless facilities and the construction, operation, modification, or maintenance of utility poles, wireless support structures, conduit, cable, and related appurtenances and facilities for the provision of wireless services along, across, upon, and under the rights-of-way of State-maintained highways. Requires the permits and included requirements to be issued and administered in a reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner. Sets forth that a permit is deemed approved if the Department does not take action to approve or deny a permit application within 60 days of receipt. Authorizes the Department to charge a wireless provider for the use of rights-of-way of a State-maintained highway to construct, collocate, install, mount, maintain, modify, operate, or replace a wireless facility or wireless support structure as provided. Sets limitations on the authorized charges. Allows the Department to require a wireless provider to repair all damage to a right-of-way directly caused by the activities of the wireless provider, and allows the Department to undertake the repairs and charge the party the reasonable and documented costs if the wireless provider fails to make the repairs required by the Department within a reasonable time after written notice.