Adopted: June 24, 1997

Revised: October 26, 2004

The Rancho Palos Verdes General Plan states that "[it] shall be the goal of the City to ensure adequate public utilities and communication services to all residents, while maintaining the quality of the environment." Along with the recent increase in wireless communication systems has come a corresponding increase in demand for antenna sites on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. However, due to the unique topography of the Peninsula, there are a limited number of sites available that meet all of the technical specifications for providing these services. Therefore, in reviewing these proposals, the City must balance the need to accommodate wireless communications coverage in the community with the need to protect and maintain the quality of the environment for residents.

The guidelines listed below are intended to provide direction for proposals involving new wireless communications antenna installations, including co-location on existing antenna sites. They are a supplement to the City's regulations for commercial antennae, as codified in Section 17.76.020(A) of the Rancho Palos Verdes Development Code. These guidelines have been reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission, and will be used as a basis for its decision on applications for wireless communications facilities.

1) Expeditious Processing of Applications: The City will process applications for new wireless communications facilities in an expeditious manner, based upon the timely submittal of all requested information from the wireless communications service provider applying for a given permit.

2) Preference for Existing, Non-Single-Family Structures as Antenna Sites: Install-ations on existing buildings, light standards, utility poles and other structures on public property or commercial, institutional and multi-family residential private property are encouraged. Installations on single-family residences and property are discouraged.

3) Encourage Co-Location: Where physically and technically feasible, all wireless communications service providers and property owners are encouraged to work cooperatively to facilitate co-location of new antennae on existing monopoles or sites with existing antennae.

4) Preservation of View Corridors: All new antenna installations should be sensitive to impacts upon protected views from adjacent residential properties, particularly ocean views. Locations on visually-prominent sites or in view corridors are discouraged. The Planning Commission may require project modifications or additional conditions of approval in order to ensure that there is no significant impairment of protected views as a result of a new antenna installation.

5) Balance of Public and Private Costs and Benefits: The Planning Commission shall consider the effect that any proposed antenna and/or monopole has upon the greater public good versus the financial or other gain to any private individual or entity. Proposals which benefit wireless communications service providers and/or private property owners at a significant adverse expense to the general public are discouraged.

6) Submittal of Network Master Plan Required: All wireless communications service providers shall submit a network master plan for the City and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as a part of their application materials. The master plan shall show the location of all existing wireless antennas, proposed antenna locations, and any antennas that are obsolete and can be removed. Said master plans shall be updated with each subsequent application to reflect evolving wireless communications technologies.

7) Photographic Simulations and Full-Scale Mock-Ups Required: All wireless communications service providers shall provide photographic simulations of any proposed antenna and/or monopole as a part of their application materials. In addition, full-scale mock-ups of proposed antennae and/or monopoles shall be erected on site, during the 15-day public notice period prior to the Planning Commission hearing and for at least one (1) continuous week before the public hearing date. The property owner and the wireless communications service provider shall also submit a liability waiver indemnifying the City against any claim for damage or injury caused by the construction or any subsequent failure of the mock-up antenna(e).

8) Periodic Updates on Wireless Communications Technology Required: All wireless communications service providers shall submit periodic updates on wireless communications technology for their respective systems to the Director of Planning, Building and Code Enforcement . The purpose of these updates is to identify both new and emerging technologies, as well as outdated or obsolete technologies whose facilities and infrastructure (i.e., antennae, monopoles, etc.) could be replaced or removed. The frequency of these updates shall be every three (3) to five (5) years or as needed, to be determined by the Director.

  1. Screening of Support Equipment and Structures Required: All accessory support equipment and structures shall be screened by either placing them inside the primary structure, integrating them into the exterior design of the primary structure, or concealing them behind solid walls or landscaping. Colors and materials for screening must match or be consistent with those of the site and primary structure(s).
  2. Expiration of Conditional Use Permit: A condition of approval should be included with all Conditional Use Permits for Wireless Communication Antennas that reads, "This Conditional Use Permit shall expire ten (10) years after its approval date; at such time, the wireless antennas and all related equipment shall be removed from the site. However, the Planning Commission shall grant an extension to the Conditional Use Permit provided the service provider demonstrates that the antennas and related equipment are not using obsolete technology and are still in use."