Cellular Tower Updates

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Small Wireless Facilities

The City Council initiated an update to the City’s Zoning Code to better regulate small wireless telecommunications facilities (“small cells”), in response to recent changes in Federal regulations that limit the City’s local control over small cell permitting. In August, staff provided an update on the Small Cell Ordinance to City Council. To view the report, click here.

Draft Ordinance Available for Review:

The proposed ordinance and supporting documents are available for public review and comment. Please click here (LINK) to view or download the documents. Questions or comments can be directed to Associate Planner, Katie Crockett at crockettk@san-clemente.org. The draft will be discussed at the upcoming Workshop on November 20 (see below for Workshop details).

 Upcoming/Recent public meetings related to the Small Cell Ordinance:

  • Small Cell Wireless Facilities Workshop   

    Presentations will be made going over key elements of the draft Ordinance and Design Standards at a Planning Commission Study Session on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672. To view the Workshop agenda, click here. Time will be reserved to field questions and hear comments. Because time is limited, written comments and questions are encouraged to be submitted to crockettk@san-clemente.org ahead of the workshop so staff can tailor the presentation portion of the meeting to address areas of concern and interest, and make the best use of the time available. The Workshop will be recorded and available online following the Workshop.

  • Design Review Subcommittee Meeting
    The Design Review Subcommittee will review the Draft Design and Development Standards for Small Cells on Wednesday, October 23 at 4:00 p.m., at the Council Chambers, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672. The Design and Development Standards will be incorporated into the Small Cell Ordinance. For the DRSC agenda, click here (LINK). For the staff report, click here (LINK). Comments and questions on the Draft Design and Development Standards can be directed to Associate Planner, Katie Crockett, at crockettk@san-clemente.org

  • Planning Commission Study Session
    A Planning Commission Study Session is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 6 p.m. to be held at the Council Chambers, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente, CA 92672 to provide an overview of state and federal regulations that limit the City’s discretion over small wireless telecommunications facilities (“small cells”) and new regulations that necessitate modification to the City review of small cell applications. For the Study Session report, click here (LINK). For the presentation, click here (LINK)

Current City Regulations Related to Wireless Telecommunications Facilities:

The City requires a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) or City Antenna Permit for wireless telecommunications facilities depending on where they are located and how the facility is designed. These regulations can be found in Zoning Code Section 17.28.240 (Public Utilities) and Section 17.28.070 (Antennas on City Property).

Other Regulations Applicable to Wireless Telecommunications Facilities:

The Communications Act of 1934 as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“The Act”) governs local authority over decisions regarding the placement, construction, and modification of wireless telecommunication facilities. Recently, new federal regulations enacted by the FCC went into effect further limiting local government authority over small cells in particular went into effect. You can find additional information about that FCC order here [LINK]. Many provisions of California State Law, including the Public Utilities Code, are also applicable to the City’s review and regulation of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities. A summary of applicable key provisions of Federal and State law will be provided by the City Attorney’s office at the Planning Commission Study Session on October 16. The presentation will be made available here following the study session.

Small Cell Applications at the City by Status:

AT&T Wireless has submitted a number of applications from small cell facilities. A list of their current status is below. If you have any questions related to these applications, please contact Associate Planner, Katie Crockett, at crockettk@san-clemente.org

Approved by Planning Commission 7/17/19 (No scheduled date of installation – applicants need to pull encroachment permits)

  • CUP 18-529, 802 Avenida Vista Hermosa CS, AT&T DANAP 001 (Site 1)
  • CUP18-533, 791 Avenida Vista Hermosa CS, AT&T MSVJO 013 (Site 2)
  • CUP18-540, 948 Calle Amanacer CS, AT&T MSVJ1 001 (Site 3)
  • CUP 18-541, 2801 Camino Vera Cruz CS, AT&T MSVJ1 002 (Site 4)
  • CUP 18-543, 901 Avenida Vista Hermosa CS, AT&T MSVJ1 004 (Site 5)

approvedbyPC071719

Denied by Planning Commission 8/22/19

  • CUP 18-530, 2400 Camino Faro CS, AT&T MSVJO 009 (Site 1)
  • CUP 18-532, 2411 Via Turqueza CS, AT&T MSVJO 012 (Site 2)

Denied by Planning Commission 8/22/19, Appealed to City Council by Applicant, next scheduled City Council Hearing is 11/19/19**

  • CUP 18-534, 3018 Camino Vera Cruz CS, AT&T MSVJO 014 (Site 3)
  • CUP 18-535, 1101 Calloe Del Cerro CS, AT&T MSVJO 016 (Site 4)
**The staff recommendation for the 11/19/19 City Council hearing is to TABLE these items. AT&T has agreed to toll the shotclocks on these appeals until the development of the City’s small cell ordinance before determining how to proceed on the appeals. The agenda and reports for this meeting will be posted to the City’s website here by Friday, November 15.**