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This online version of the Zoning Ordinance has not been checked for accuracy. Neither the Town of Wilton nor the Zoning Board can be responsible for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of any errors in the online text. The official text of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance is available in printed form at the Wilton town offices, and as a PDF file on the Town of Wilton web site.

This is the 2000 version of the Zoning Ordinance, including all amendments up to and including those passed by Town Meeting in March, 2000, but not any amendments passed in 2001 or later.

15.0 Wireless Communications Overlay District (Adopted March 1998).

15.1 Purpose.
15.2 District Boundary.
15.3 Definitions.
15.4 Height Restriction.
15.5 Permitted Uses.
15.6 Performance Standards.
15.7 Lot Requirements.
15.8 Landscaping.
15.9 Abandoned Towers.

15.1 Purpose.

In recognition of the provisions of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, and in accordance with the authority granted in New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated 674:16 and procedurally under 675:1, II, the WCOD applies to all wireless communications infrastructure that emit radio frequency (RF) signals that are radiated through the air by means of an antenna, to be located within the Town of Wilton. The intent of this section is to ensure the coordinated development of the communications infrastructure necessary to provide communications services for the Town of Wilton while preserving the public health, welfare and aesthetic qualities of the Town and its residents.

15.2 District Boundary.

a. The WCOD will apply only to the Industrial and/or Commercial District(s) within the Town of Wilton. If any section of this Ordinance is found to be in conflict with any other section of the Ordinance, or with any local, state, or federal regulation, the more stringent standard shall apply as stated in Section 23.00 Savings Clause of this Ordinance.

15.3 Definitions.

a. Wireless Communications Facility: Any towers, poles, antennas or other accessory structures intended for use in connection with transmission or receipt of radio or television signals, or any other spectrum-based transmission/reception. These include, but are not limited to, radio broadcast facilities, television stations, wireless devices such as pagers, cellular telephones, and personal communications services or otherwise as defined by the Federal Communications Act of 1996, as amended from time to time.

b. Tower: Any structure, such as a lattice tower, guy tower, or monopole that supports devices to transmit or receive analog or.digital signals, including but not limited to microwave, cellular, telephone, personal wireless service or similar forms of electronic communication.

c. Antenna: Any exterior structure designed for the sending and/or receiving of electromagnetic waves for telephonic, radio, television, or personal wireless services.

d. Colocation: Colocation is the use of an existing tower or an existing wireless communications facility, for multiple purposes or users.

15.4 Height Restriction.

a. Towers, or any other related structures or equipment shall be no higher than 250 feet.

15.5 Permitted Uses.

a. Any use permitted in the Underlying Zone(s) shall be permitted following the same provisions as apply to that use in that district.

b. Any Wireless Communications facility as defined by 15.3(a).

15.6 Performance Standards.

a. All new wireless communications facilities or any related infrastructure must comply with the Town land use Performance Standards set forth in Section 4.6 the Wilton Zoning Ordinance.

b. It is required by this ordinance that new wireless communications facilities shall be colocated with existing facilities, unless it can be demonstrated by the applicant during site plan review, that such colocation would be otherwise not feasible.

c. New towers shall reserve space for municipal emergency communications equipment, as necessary.

d. Towers shall be designed for and shall permit the colocation of future facilities. New wireless communications facilities to be collocated either on the same structure or the same site shall require site plan review by the Planning Board. Each application for a new tower shall submit a written document to the Planning Board specifying that the applicant agrees to provide for the shared use of the facility to accommodate the equipment of at least three (3) competitive carriers, and that the applicant agrees to provide for shared use of the facility to a maximum structural capacity at reasonable and prevailing market lease rates.

e. Total Radio Frequency (RF) exposure limits, measured in microwatts per square centimeter (uW/cm2), for a controlled or uncontrolled environment, shall.be no more than the most recent regulations set forth by.the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as per Section 704(b) of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.

f. Wireless communications facilities, and all structures accessory thereto, are subject to site plan review by the Wilton Planning Board. The addition of new antennas or other structures, placed at an existing facility also requires site plan review by the Planning Board.

g. Placement of more than one tower on a lot shall be permitted. Structures may be located as close to each other as technically feasible, provided tower failure characteristics of the towers on the site will not lead to multiple failures in the event that one fails.

h. Towers shall be enclosed by a decay-resistant security fencing not less than eight (8) feet in height and shall be equipped with an appropriate anti-climbing device or other similar device to prevent tower access.

i. Visual impacts shall be minimized to the greatest extent possible. The visual extent shall be represented in map form and shall be demonstrated by a balloon test as part of site plan review. Multi-telecommunication providers are required to locate facilities with creative aesthetics so as to enhance the immediate neighborhood.

15.7 Lot Requirements.

a. Area: The minimum lot size for new wireless communications facilities shall be 2 acres within the WCOD.

b. Setbacks:

1. Towers shall be setback at least 200% or twice the height of the tower from existing Class V roads or better.

2. Towers shall be setback at least 150% or 1 1/2 times the height of the tower from the lot line of a residentially zoned lot.

3. No parking, storage of materials or structures are allowed within 75 feet of any lot line. This 75 foot setback shall retain its existing vegetation and remain undisturbed.

15.8 Landscaping.

a. Buffer Zones shall be provided between Wireless Communications Facilities and existing residential structures or residentially zoned parcels to provide the maximum amount of visual buffer possible. Existing vegetation shall be removed only within the immediate area of the access route (driveway or road) and new Wireless Communications Facility footprint and may not be removed from the setback area.

15.9 Abandoned Towers.

a. Any wireless communications facility that is not operated for a continuous period of twelve (12) months shall be considered abandoned, whether or not the owner or operator intends to make use of it or any part of it. The owner of the facility and the owner of the property upon which the facility is located shall be under a duty to remove the abandoned facility within (60) sixty days of receipt of notice from the Town of Wilton. Failure to remove the abandoned communications equipment may result in the Town removing the equipment at the expense of the property owner and/or the facility operator. As part of site plan review, the owner or operator will be required to post a bond sufficient to cover all costs related to the removal and disposal of abandoned equipment or materials as determined by the Wilton Planning Board.