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2018 SESSION

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HB 1258 Wireless communications infrastructure; zoning.

Introduced by: Terry G. Kilgore | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles

SUMMARY AS ENACTED WITH GOVERNOR'S RECOMMENDATION: (all summaries)

Zoning for wireless communications infrastructure. Establishes parameters regarding applications for zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Applications for certain new wireless support structures that are 50 feet or less above ground level and for the co-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility are exempt from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance, though a locality may require administrative review for the issuance of any zoning permits or an acknowledgement that zoning approval is not required for such projects. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications; a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonably discriminating between applicants and other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and other providers of functionally-equivalent service; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures that can be installed in a specific location. The measure prohibits a locality, in its receiving, consideration, and processing of an application for zoning approval, from engaging in certain activities. The measure states that it does not prohibit a locality from disapproving an application submitted under a standard process project on the basis of the availability of existing wireless support structures within a reasonable distance that could be used for co-location at reasonable terms and conditions without imposing technical limitations on the applicant. The measure also requires that any publicly owned or privately owned wireless service provider operating within the Commonwealth or serving residents of the Commonwealth shall, by January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2025, provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development a report detailing, by county, city, or town, enhanced service capacity in previously served areas and expansion of service in previously unserved geographic areas that are provided access to wireless service. The measure also directs the Secretariats of Commerce and Trade and Public Safety and Homeland Security to convene a group of stakeholders to develop a plan for expanding access to wireless services in unserved and underserved areas of the Commonwealth. This bill is identical to SB 405.


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