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Local Tower Regulations

City of Harker Heights

In the City of Harker Heights, antenna regulations are part of the Harker Heights Code of Ordinances. The relevant section is Chapter 157 "Broadcasting and Telecommunications Towers". This is a very long chapter, and anyone interested should read it in its entirety.

§157.01 PURPOSE AND APPLICATION

(A) This chapter is adopted to:

  (1) Allow broadcasting or reception towers or antennas that are intended 
      for transmitting or receiving television, radio, cellular, or telephone 
      communications to be situated on non-residential sites;

  (2) Establish guidelines for the location of towers and antennas;

  (3) Encourage the joint use of new and existing tower sites;

  (4) Balance the need of providers of telecommunications services to provide 
      quick, effective, and efficient service with the safety and welfare of 
      the public pursuant to federal law; and

  (5) Promote the attractive installation of broadcast or reception 
      facilities in a manner which is in harmony with surrounding land uses.

(B) This chapter shall not apply to any wireless telecommunication facility 
     for which a permit has been properly issued prior to the effective date 
     hereof, unless either the facility itself or the use thereof is hereafter 
     discontinued or altered. Upon alteration of such facility or the use 
     thereof or in the event that the facility is to be used again after such 
     use is discontinued, the facility must first comply with all applicable 
     provisions of this chapter.

(C) The following are exempt from regulation under this chapter:
         
  (1) An antenna used exclusively for dispatch communications by a public 
      emergency agency;

  (2) Home use of an accessory antenna or satellite dish which receives 
      radio or television broadcast signals, or internet access; and,

  (3) An amateur radio antenna not exceeding by more than five feet the 
      maximum permitted building height of the zoning district within which 
      it is located.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.02 DEFINITIONS

Unless the contrary is stated or clearly appears from the context, the 
following definitions shall govern the construction of the words and phrases 
used in this chapter:

  DIRECTOR.  Means the Director of Planning and Development.

  HIGH IMPACT WIRELESS TELECOM- MUNICATION FACILITY.   An exterior apparatus 
  designed for telephonic, radio, or television communication through the 
  transmission or reception of electromagnetic waves which consists of one or 
  more antennas mounted on a freestanding tower that exceeds five feet above 
  the maximum permitted building height of the applicable zoning district. The 
  term does not include an antenna structure used exclusively for dispatch 
  communications by a public emergency agency.

  LOW IMPACT WIRELESS TELECOM- MUNICATIONS FACILITY.   An exterior apparatus 
  designed for telephonic, radio, or television communication through the 
  transmission or reception of electromagnetic waves, and which consists of 
  any of the following:

  (1) An antenna mounted as an accessory on a building, water tower, lighting 
      standard, electric utility transmission tower, or other tall structure 
      having another primary function allowed in the zoning district within 
      which it is located;

  (2) An antenna mounted on an existing tower that already supports one or 
      more telecommunication antennas; or

  (3) An antenna mounted on a freestanding tower, which tower does not extend 
      more than five feet above the maximum building height of the zoning 
      district within which it is located.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.03 ZONING; APPROVAL REQUIRED

(A) Except as set forth in division (C) of this section, any high impact 
    wireless telecommunication facility constructed after the effective date 
    of this chapter is permitted only in the B5, MI, and M2 zoning districts, 
    and shall require a Conditional Use Permit. Only monopole-type towers 
    shall be permitted.

(B) Low impact wireless telecommunication facilities are allowed in all 
    zoning districts upon receipt of an administrative permit from the 
    Director as set forth in section 157.04.

(C) A wireless telecommunications facility which is to be added on a 
    previously permitted tower , antenna, budding, or other structure, which 
    complies with this chapter and which will not violate the height 
    restrictions applicable to such structure in the zoning district where 
    the facility is located, shall not require a Conditional Use Permit, but 
    shall require an administrative permit as set forth in section 157.04.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.04 ADMINISTRATIVE PERMIT APPLICATION PROCEDURE.

(A) Where an administrative permit is required by section 157.03, the 
    following procedures shall apply.

  (1) An application shall be filed with the Director upon such form as the 
      Director may require, together with a non-refundable filing fee 
      established by the City Council. The Director may require the applicant 
      to submit any information required to be submitted in connection with 
      an application pursuant to section 157.05.

  (2) The Director shall approve an application if the proposed facility 
      complies with the applicable provisions of this chapter and all other 
      applicable laws and regulations. The Director shall approve or deny 
      the application within 30 days after the request is filed. If the 
      application is not denied within the 30 day period, then it shall be 
      deemed approved. The Director shall promptly send written notice to the 
      applicant if the application is approved.

  (3) If the application is denied, the Director shall promptly notify the 
      applicant in writing of such determination, of the reasons for the 
      denial, and of any right to appeal the determination. Any decision by 
      the Director to deny a request for administrative approval under this 
      section shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence 
      contained in a written record.

  (4) If the application is denied, the applicant may appeal the decision of 
      the Director to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council 
      by filing a written notice of appeal with the Director within ten days 
      of the notice of denial. An appeal under this section shall be processed 
      in the same manner as a request for a Conditional Use Permit pursuant 
      to section 157.05(B) and (C), with applicable time limits running from 
      the date the notice of appeal is filed with the Director.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.05 CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT APPLICATION PROCEDURE

(A) Any person required by this chapter to obtain a Conditional Use Permit 
    (CUP) shall file a verified application with the Planning and Development 
    Department upon a form approved by the Director, together with a 
    non-refundable filing fee established by the City Council. A detailed 
    Site Plan shall be submitted with the CUP application for each 
    telecommunication facility location, and all drawings and specifications 
    shall be prepared and sealed by a registered professional engineer. At a 
    minimum, the application shall contain the following:

  (1) Location of the proposed telecommunication facility, including the 
      zoning and land use of adjacent property.

  (2) All significant structures within one half mile of the proposed 
      telecommunication facility location. Significant structures include all 
      publicly or privately owned buildings or structures (excluding utility 
      poles), and street or traffic light standards which are over 75 feet 
      in height.

  (3) Photo or architectural simulation of the proposed telecommunication 
      facility development site from adjacent properties and rights-of-way.

  (4) A detailed landscape/screening plan to include the complete pad site.

  (5) Name, address, and telephone number of the person or entity responsible
      for removal of the telecommunication facility in the event of 
      abandonment.

  (6) Copies of application or approval from any applicable regulatory body, 
      including the Federal Aviation Administration or Federal Communications 
      Commission.

  (7) Explanation justifying the requested height of the tower/antenna.

  (8) If the application is for a new freestanding tower, the applicant shall 
      provide an inventory of its existing towers within the city and the 
      city's extraterritorial jurisdiction, including specific information 
      about the location, height, and design of each such tower and the 
      number of antennas that may be supported by these towers.

  (9) If applicable, a statement that, despite a diligent effort, the 
      applicant has been unable to secure permission to co-locate on any 
      structure identified in division (A)(2) of this section.

  (10) Such supplemental information which the Director shall deem reasonably 
      necessary in order to determine whether to approve or disapprove a 
      permit authorizing construction of the proposed facility.

(B) Once it has been properly completed, the application shall be accepted 
    for filing and placed on the next available meeting of the Planning and 
    Zoning Commission for review in accordance with its then-current 
    procedures. Any decision by the Commission to recommend denial of a 
    Conditional Use Permit for a telecommunication facility shall be in 
    writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in a written 
    record.

(C) Upon final recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Commission, the 
    application shall be placed on the agenda for the next regularly-scheduled 
    City Council meeting designated for hearing zoning matters. The City 
    Council shall approve or deny the application for the CUP no later than 
    60 days after the original filing with the Planning and Development 
    Department. If the application is not denied within said 60 day period, 
    then the application shall be deemed to be approved. Any decision by the 
    City Council to deny a Conditional Use Permit for a telecommunication 
    facility shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence in a 
    written record. The City Secretary shall promptly notify the applicant 
    in writing of the Council decision.

(D) To the extent the procedures set forth in this section are inconsistent 
    with section 155.081, the procedures set forth in this section shall 
    control in connection with all applications made for a permit under this 
    chapter.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.06 CODE REQUIREMENTS

Wireless telecommunication facilities of any type must comply with all 
applicable laws and regulations, including those adopted by the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 
the Joint Airport Zoning Board of the City of Killeen, Texas, the City of 
Harker Heights, Texas, and the County of Bell, Texas, and any other federal 
agency having authority to govern towers/antennas. Freestanding towers  and 
their foundations shall meet all applicable wind, seismic, and all other 
design requirements imposed by Chapter 150. Building permits are required 
for new construction or alteration of a tower, although additional antennas 
not increasing the height of the structure may be added to an existing tower 
without permits except as may be needed for electrical wiring.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.07 CO-LOCATION CAPABILITY

(A) A building permit for new freestanding towers  shall not be approved 
unless the applicant provides satisfactory evidence that there are no 
alternative locations available on existing towers, buildings, or other 
structures that:

  (1) Are structurally capable of supporting the intended antenna;

  (2) Meet the necessary height requirements;

  (3) Provide a location free of electro- magnetic interference; and

  (4) Can comply with the requirements of this chapter.

(B) New freestanding towers classified as high impact wireless 
telecommunication facilities shall be designed and constructed to support 
a minimum of four antenna arrays from separate wireless telecommunication 
system providers or users. Co-location and all other alternatives must be 
exhausted before a new tower is erected. An affidavit shall be submitted 
with the building permit application stating the extent to which the tower 
owner agrees to allow additional equipment by other service providers to be 
located on the tower and its premises on a reasonable and non-discriminatory 
basis.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.08 ABANDONED FACILITIES

The holder of a permit and the owner of the property upon which a wireless 
telecommunications facility is located shall notify the building official at 
such time that a facility ceases operation. Any tower  or antenna that is not 
operated for a continuous period of 12 months shall be conclusively deemed 
abandoned, and the owner of such tower  or antenna, or the owner of the 
property, shall remove same (including any accessory equipment) within 60 
days of receipt of notice from the city. If the tower or antenna is not 
removed within said 60 days, the city may cause removal of such tower or 
antenna at the property owner's expense. After written notice to the property 
owner, the city shall be entitled to a lien on the real estate to secure 
payment for the cost of removal of the abandoned wireless telecommunication 
facility. If there are two or more users of a single tower, this provision 
shall not become effective until all antennas located on the tower cease 
operation for the period specified above.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.09 FACILITIES ON PUBLIC PROPERTY

Wireless telecommunication facilities for use by commercial system providers 
may be allowed in a street right-of-way or on other public property 
controlled by the city only upon approval by the city council of a lease, 
license, or franchise agreement, including arrangements for payment of 
appropriate compensation as may be established by the City Council.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.10 ACCESS

Each site of a freestanding tower shall have direct access to a public street
provided by a driveway that complies with city standards. The driveway shall 
extend from the street to an appropriate location on the premises where a 
maintenance truck and an emergency vehicle would need to be parked to provide 
maintenance, repair or emergency response. A paved area adequate in size to 
permit turnaround of a fire engine is required. If the driveway exceeds 50 
feet in length, other acceptable pavement material for the portion beyond the
first 50 feet may be requested. The driveway required by this section shall 
be clear at all times, and no object shall be placed or permitted to encroach 
upon such driveway in a manner which impedes the free and ready use of any 
portion of the driveway by emergency vehicles.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.11 HEIGHT

No wireless communication facility shall encroach upon the height limits, if 
applicable, of airport hazard zones. In no case shall a freestanding tower  
exceed a height of 150 feet, except where a height variance is granted by the
Planning and Zoning Commission in accordance with its then-current procedures
upon a demonstration of a hardship by the applicant that can only be remedied
by location of the facility on the proposed site within the city limits. 
Antennas mounted as an accessory on top of a building, water tower, lighting 
standard, electric utility transmission tower, or other tall structure having
another primary function shall not extend more than 15 feet above the highest 
point of the structure as measured from the average ground level around the 
structure.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.12 SETBACKS

A nonexempt freestanding tower shall be set back from all boundaries of the 
property on which it is located by a distance equal to the height of the 
tower , and shall be set back from any residential dwelling or residential 
zoning district a distance equal to twice the height of the tower, as measured
from the base of the main tower  structure. Associated equipment enclosures 
or other buildings and structures, if any, located on the same property are 
subject to the otherwise-applicable building setback requirements of the 
district within which the facility is located. Antennas mounted as an 
accessory on the side of a building, water tower, lighting standard, electric 
utility transmission tower , or other tall structure having another primary 
function, may extend up to two feet into the required building setback, but 
in no case shall extend closer than five feet to any property line.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.13 ILLUMINATION AND APPEARANCE

Wireless telecommunication facilities shall not be artificially illuminated 
except as required by the FAA or FCC, and except for motion-detector operated
security lights on any associated equipment enclosure. Freestanding towers  
shall maintain a galvanized steel finish or be painted sky blue or gray, 
except as otherwise required by the FAA or FCC. Unless the tower compound 
is screened by any means from adjacent streets, residential dwellings, and 
residential zoning districts, the design of equipment enclosures shall, to 
the extent possible, use materials and colors that are compatible with the 
natural and built environment of the surrounding area. Antennas mounted as 
an accessory on a building, water tower, lighting standard, electric utility 
transmission tower, or other tall structure having another primary function 
shall be identical in color or closely compatible with the color of the 
adjacent portion of the supporting structure so as to make the antenna as 
visually unobtrusive as possible.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.14 SECURITY AND SCREENING

The base of freestanding towers, and associated equipment enclosures, shall 
be enclosed by a security fence or wall not less than six feet in height with
an access gate that is kept locked at all times except when attended by 
authorized personnel. The base of the tower  and associated equipment 
enclosures shall also be screened and landscaped on any side facing a public
street, residential dwelling, or residential zoning district. Landscaping 
shall either preserve existing dense evergreen vegetation or natural 
landforms that effectively screen the tower  compound, or consist of new 
dense evergreen vegetation having a mature height of at least six feet. A 
security fence is required to provide opaque screening consisting of materials 
and colors that are compatible with the natural and built environment of the 
surrounding area. A knox box is also required in order to provide access to 
emergency response vehicles.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.15 SIGNAGE

No sign, banner, or flag shall be placed in a visible location on the 
exterior of a wireless telecommunication facility or its premises except 
one required non-illuminated permanent sign not larger than two square feet 
for the purpose of identifying the party to be notified in the case of an 
emergency, prohibiting trespassing, or warning of any dangers associated 
with the facility. No commercial advertising is permitted.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

§157.99 OFFENSES

(A) It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, own, operate or
    maintain in the city any wireless telecommunication facility for which 
    a permit is required by this chapter unless a valid permit authorizing
    such facility has been issued and is then in effect.

(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to intentionally or knowingly make 
    any materially false or misleading statement in an application for a 
    permit under this chapter.

(C) It shall be unlawful for the holder of a permit under this chapter to fail
    to notify the Director in writing within ten days after the effective 
    date of any change in the information contained in the holder's most 
    recent application for a permit under this chapter.

(D) It shall be unlawful for any person to construct, own, operate, or 
    maintain any wireless communication facility in the city in violation
    of any applicable provision of this chapter.

(Ord. 2001-14, passed 4-10-01)

For more information, see the City of Harker Heights 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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