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Local Tower Regulations

Village of Bee Cave

In the Village of Bee Cave, antenna regulations are part of the Zoning Regulations. The relevant section is §14.130(c) "Use Regulations: Communications Antennas and Support Structures/Towers". Some of these regulations may be in conflict with FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order PRB-1 and Texas state law. CTDXCC member Terry Gerdes AB5K reports that there have been revisions to this ordinance in a later draft.

(c) Communications Antennas and Support Structures/Towers 

  (1) Applicability:

    (A) These regulations apply to all commercial and amateur antennae and 
        support structures, unless exempted in subsection (B) below.

    (B) Direct broadcast satellite reception, multi-channel multi-point 
        distribution, as defined by the FCC, television reception antennae, 
        and amateur radio antennae meeting the following requirements do not 
        require a permit unless mounted on a pole or mast that is twenty feet 
        (20') or more in height:

      (i) In any zoning district, antennae that are one meter (39 inches) or 
          less in diameter;

      (ii) In a non-residential zoning district, antennae that are two meters 
          or less in diameter;

      (iii) In any zoning district, antennae designed to only receive 
          television broadcasts;

      (iv) In any zoning district, amateur radio antennae concealed behind or 
          located upon or within attics, eaves, gutters or roofing components 
          of the building;  and

      (v) In any zoning district, amateur radio ground-mounted whips and wire 
          antennae, unless mounted upon a pole or mast over twenty feet (20') 
          in height.

    (C) Support structures or antennae legally installed before adoption of 
        these regulations are not required to comply with this article, but 
        must meet all applicable State, Federal and local requirements, 
        building codes and safety standards.

  (2) Special Definitions - For the purpose of this section, the following 
      special definitions shall apply:

    (A) Antenna, Microwave Reflector & Antenna Support Structure - An antenna 
        is the arrangement of wires or metal rods used in transmission, 
        retransmission and reception of radio, television, electromagnetic or 
        microwave signals, including microwave reflectors and antennae. A 
        microwave reflector is an apparatus constructed of solid, open mesh, 
        bar-configured, or perforated materials of any shape or configuration 
        that is used to receive or transmit microwave signals from a 
        terrestrial or orbitally located transmitter or transmitter relay. 
        Microwave reflectors are also commonly referred to as satellite 
        receive only earth stations (T.V.R.O.S.), or satellite dishes. An 
        antenna support structure is any tower, mast, pole, tripod, box 
        frame, or other structure utilized for the purpose of supporting one 
        or more antennae or microwave reflectors.

    (B) Antenna (Non-Commercial/Amateur) - An antenna or antenna support 
        stucture used for the purpose of transmission, retransmission, or 
        reception of radio, television, electromagnetic, or microwave signals 
        for private or personal use and not for the purpose of operating a 
        business or for financial gain.  A satellite dish antenna not 
        exceeding six feet (6') in diameter shall also be considered as a 
        non-commercial antenna.

    (C) Antenna (Commercial) - An antenna or antenna support structure used 
        for the purpose of transmission, retransmission, or reception of 
        radio, television, electromagnetic, or microwave signals primarily
        for the purpose of operating a business or for financial gain, such 
        as commercial broadcasting and cellular wireless telecommunications.  
        A satellite dish antenna that exceeds six feet (6') in diameter shall 
        also be considered as a commercial antenna.

    (D) Collocation - The use of a single support structure or site by more 
        than one communications provider.

    (E) Communications Operations (Non-Commercial/Amateur) - The transmission,
        retransmission or reception of radio, television, electromagnetic, or 
        microwave signals for private or personal use, and not for the purpose
        of operating a business or for financial gain.

    (F) Communications Operations (Commercial) - The transmission, 
        retransmission, or reception of radio, television, electromagnetic, 
        or microwave signals primarily for the purpose of operating a business 
        or for financial gain.

    (G) Height - The distance measured from the finished grade of the lot or 
        parcel to the highest point on the support structure or other 
        structure, including the base pad and any antennae.

    (H) Radio, Television or Microwave Tower - See "Antenna, Microwave 
        Reflector & Antenna Support Structure."

    (I) Telecommunications Tower or Structure - See "Antenna, Microwave 
        Reflector & Antenna Support Structure."

    (J) Temporary/Mobile Antenna - An antenna and any associated support 
        structure or equipment, including, but not limited to, a support 
        pole, a vehicle that is placed and used on a temporary basis only not 
        intended to be permanent, usually in conjunction with a special event,
        news coverage or emergency situation, or in case of equipment failure 
        or temporary augmentation of permanent communications equipment.

    (K) Wireless Communication Tower or Structure - See "Antenna, Microwave 
        Reflector & Antenna Support Structure."

  (3) General Requirements

    (A) Antennae and support structures may be considered either principal 
        or accessory uses.

    (B) Antenna installations shall comply with all other requirements of 
        this article and the Code of Ordinances with the exception of those 
        specifically cited within these regulations.

    (C) No commercial antenna support structure shall be closer to any 
        residential district boundary line or residential dwelling than a 
        distance equal to twice the height of the support structure.  Such 
        setback distance shall be measured as the shortest possible distance 
        in a straight line from the structure to the closest point of a 
        residential district boundary line or residential dwelling.  Setbacks 
        from residentially zoned property do not apply to antennae attached 
        to utility structures that exceed fifty feet (50') in height, or to 
        antennae placed wholly within or mounted upon a building.

    (D) No amateur or commercial antenna, antenna support structure, microwave
        reflector or antenna, or associated foundations or support wires or 
        appurtenances shall be located within any required setback area for 
        the front, side or rear yards.

    (E) All antennae and support structures must meet or exceed the current 
        standards and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission 
        (FCC), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and all other 
        applicable Federal, State and local authorities. If those standards 
        change, then the owner and user of an antenna or support structure 
        must bring the antenna or structure into compliance within six (6) 
        months or as may otherwise be required by the applicable regulating 
        authority.

    (F) A building permit is required to erect or install an antenna, antenna 
        support structure and related structures or equipment, unless the 
        particular antenna is exempt from these regulations.  All 
        installations shall comply with applicable Federal, State and local 
        building codes and the standards published by the Electronic 
        Industries Association.  Owners and users shall have thirty (30) days 
        after receiving notice that an installation is in violation of 
        applicable codes in order to bring it into full compliance.

    (G) Antennae, whether amateur or commercial, shall not create 
        electromagnetic or other interference with the village's and Travis 
        County's radio frequencies and public safety operations, as required 
        by the FCC.  Antennae also shall not interfere with radio or 
        television reception of nearby property owners.  In no manner shall 
        the use of such equipment infringe upon adjoining property owners.

    (H) No antenna or support structure shall be located so as to create a 
        visual obstruction within critical visibility areas, such as at 
        street intersections or where a private driveway enters a roadway, 
        or a traffic safety problem.

    (I) Safeguards shall be utilized to prevent unauthorized access to an 
        antenna installation, such as on a water tower or utility structure, 
        and at a free-standing installation. Safeguards include certain 
        devices identified and recommended by the manufacturer of the antenna 
        or support structure, a fence, a climbing guard, or other 
        commercially available safety devices.  Climbing spikes or other 
        similar climbing device, if utilized, shall be removed immediately 
        following use.

    (J) Temporary antennae shall only be allowed in the following instances:

      (i) In conjunction with a festival, carnival, rodeo or other special 
          event or activity;

      (ii) In case of an emergency, such as severe weather, or a news 
          coverage event;

      (iii) When needed to restore service on a temporary basis after failure 
          of an antenna installation.  The village must be notified within 72 
          hours of the placement of a temporary antenna.  If the temporary 
          atenna is to be needed for more than seven (7) days, then the owner 
          and user must apply for and acquire a permit for the temporary 
          installation on or before the eighth (8th) day following initial 
          placement of the antenna.

    (K) Collocation is greatly encouraged by the village.

      (i) All new support structures over fifty feet (50') in height shall be 
          constructed to support antennae for at least two carriers, unless 
          the structure is an alternative or stealth design, or the support 
          structure is replacing an existing utility structure or light 
          standard.  Sufficient area for associated structures and equipment 
          shall also be provided.

      (ii) A support structure which is modified or reconstructed in order to 
          accommodate collocation shall be of the same type, design and 
          height as the existing structure, and it may be moved on the same 
          property within fifty feet (50') of its original location provided 
          that it is not moved any closer to residentially zoned property.  
          If the structure was allowed by CUP, then its new location shall be 
          within the land boundaries of the CUP.  The original support 
          structure shall be removed from the property within ninety (90) 
          days following completion of the new structure.

      (iii) Where an additional antenna is to be attached to an existing 
          support structure that already has an antenna mounted upon it, the
          new antenna shall comply with and be compatible with the design 
          of the existing antenna on the collocated structure.

    (L) Support buildings and equipment storage areas and buildings shall be 
        screened from public view if mounted on a rooftop.  When ground 
        mounted, they shall meet all applicable front, side and rear yard 
        setback requirements of the applicable base zoning district.  They 
        shall also be of a neutral color and shall use exterior finish colors 
        and materials that are compatible with nearby structures.  They shall 
        be screened from public view by a dense, opaque evergreen landscaped 
        screen with an initial planting height of three feet (3'), and which 
        will attain an ultimate height of six feet (6') at maturity. A 
        six-foot (6') solid masonry wall may be used in lieu of the landscaped
        screen provided exterior finish materials are compatible with nearby 
        structures. The use of a wood fence for screening is prohibited, and 
        wrought iron or chain link may only be used in conjunction with a 
        landscaped screen as specified above.

    (M) Satellite dishes and other similar antennae shall be permitted on the 
        roof of a building, as long as satellite dishes do not exceed one 
        meter (39") in diameter and antennae do not extend over ten feet (10')
        above the roof of the building.  A letter certifying the roof's and 
        building's structural stability shall be written and sealed by a 
        licensed engineer, and shall be submitted to the village administrator,
        prior to any approval of a roof-mounted antenna. Roof-mounted antennae
        that comply with the provisions of these regulations do not require 
        additional yard setbacks or setbacks from residential areas or 
        dwellings.

    (N) Only one (1) amateur antenna and support structure shall be permitted 
        per residential lot, except that a maximum of two (2) satellite 
        dishes may be allowed if both units are no larger than one meter (39")
        in diameter. Satellite dishes in any residential district shall not 
        exceed twelve feet (12') in diameter, and must be permitted by the 
        village administrator.

    (O) All commercial signs, flags, lights and attachments other than those 
        required for emergency identification, communications operations, 
        structural stability, or as required for flight visibility by the 
        FAA or FCC shall be prohibited on any antenna or antenna support 
        structure.  However, lights may remain or be placed upon light 
        standards that are altered or replaced in order for them to serve as 
        antenna support structures provided that said lights are not 
        commercial in nature, and provided that said lights are placed and 
        replaced as the same size, configuration, number of bulbs and degree 
        of luminance as they previously existed prior to support structure 
        modification or replacement.

    (P) Any publicly owned antennae or antenna support structures shall be 
        permitted in any zoning district, including public safety 
        communications.

    (Q) In all residential zoning districts, including Agriculture, SF-RR, 
        SF-20, SF-PH, SFA, and MF-1, commercial antennae and antenna support 
        structures are prohibited, except as specified within this section.

      (i) A commercial antenna may be attached to a utility structure, 
          including electrical transmission and distribution towers and 
          elevated water storage tanks, provided that the utility structure 
          exceeds fifty feet (50') in height, and provided that the antenna 
          does not extend more than ten feet (10') above the height of the 
          utility structure.

      (ii) A commercial antenna may be placed wholly within any building 
          permitted in the zoning district.  A commercial antenna may also 
          be mounted flush to the exterior of a building or structure if it 
          is painted or disguised to integrate into the overall architectural 
          design and it is not readily visible or identifiable as an antenna 
          from public roadways or from neighboring residential properties.

    (R) In nonresidential zoning districts (including O, NS, R, TC, C, MU, P 
        and DR), commercial antennae and antenna support structures are 
        allowed as follows:

      (i) Commercial antenna support structures are allowed by right if they 
          do not exceed the maximum building height allowed for the zoning 
          district in which they are located.  Structures in excess of the 
          height allowed in the zoning district may be allowed by Conditional 
          Use Permit (CUP) provided the structure conforms in all other 
          aspects of the base zoning district's regulations, and provided 
          that all applicable setback requirements are satisfied.  In all 
          nonresidential zoning districts, antenna support structures must 
          meet all setback requirements, particularly from residential 
          zoning districts.

      (ii) A commercial antenna may be attached to a utility structure, 
          including electrical transmission, distribution towers and elevated 
          water storage tanks, provided that the utility structure exceeds 
          fifty feet (50') in height, and provided that the antenna does not 
          extend more than ten feet (10') above the height of the utility 
          structure.

      (iii) A commercial antenna may be placed wholly within any building 
          permitted in the zoning district.  A commercial antenna may also be 
          mounted flush to the exterior of a building or structure if it is 
          painted or disguised to integrate into the overall architectural 
          design, and it is not readily visible or identifiable as an antenna 
          from public roadways or from neighboring residential properties.

For more information, see the Village of Bee Cave Website.

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided "as is" without any warranty, condition, or representation of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, any warranty respecting non-infringement, and the implied warranties of conditions of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall the Central Texas DX and Contest Club, or any officers or members thereof be liable for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential or other damages howsoever caused whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of the information contained on this web site.

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Last updated: 8 January 2016