Wireless Communication Facilities Update

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ZTA 2017-02 Wireless Communication Facilities Update –Chapter 17.70 EWMC

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was adopted by Congress as a way to remove regulatory barriers and encourage competition among all types of communications companies. Limitations were placed on local governments regarding regulation of such facilities to ensure that adequate locations would be available for siting facilities.

On November 12, 2002, the City adopted Ordinance No. 2002-22 adding Chapter 17.70 to the East Wenatchee Municipal Code (“EWMC”) establishing standards applicable to wireless communication facilities.

Recent changes to federal laws, regulations and court cases related to wireless communication services as well as the development of new technology has increased the demand for and complexity of siting wireless communication facilities.

The City needs to review its codes and ordinances related to wireless communications facilities and right of way use permits in a comprehensive manner to determine what amendments are necessary to more adequately address the siting and permitting process for these facilities.

The City Council adopted Ordinance 2017-05 on February 28, 2017 enacting a 6-mont moratorium on the acceptance of applications for new wireless communication facilities to allow time for this review and update of City WCF regulations. A public hearing was held on March 14, 2017.