Under authority granted in 24 V.S.A. § 2291(19) and 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, the Selectboard of

the Town of Rutland (Selectboard) hereby adopts the following civil ordinance concerning

telecommunications facilities. Under this Ordinance, the Selectboard shall have the power:

A. to regulate the construction, alteration, development, decommissioning or dismantling of

wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements;

B. to hire, at the expense of the applicant, qualified person(s) to conduct an independent

technical review and evaluation of the application, including without limitation, to evaluate

compliance with Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rules, regulations and

standards; and

C. to require the posting of a bond or other acceptable security in order to finance the future

decommissioning or dismantling of a permitted telecommunication facility.



The purposes of this Ordinance are to:

A. Allow the development of adequate telecommunications services, while preserving the

character and appearance of the Town of Rutland (Town) while ;

B. Protect the scenic, historic, environmental and natural resources of theTown;

C. Provide standards and requirements for the operation, siting, design, appearance,

construction, monitoring and removal of telecommunications facilities and towers;

D. Minimize tower and antenna proliferation by requiring the sharing of existing

telecommunications facilities, towers and sites where possible and appropriate;

E. Facilitate the provision of telecommunications services to the community;

F. Minimize the adverse visual effects of telecommunications facilities and towers through

careful design and siting standards;

G. Encourage the location of towers and antennas in non-residential areas and away from

other sensitive areas such as those that have schools and child care facilities;

H. Advance the objectives of the Rutland Town Plan; and

I. Protect the public health, safety and general welfare of the Town of Rutland.



Adequate Capacity: Capacity is considered to be “adequate” if the grade of service is p.05 or

better for a least 50% of the days in a preceding month, prior to the date of application, as

measured using direct traffic measurement of the telecommunications facility in question,

where the call blocking is due to frequency contention at the antenna(s).

Adequate Coverage: Coverage is “adequate” within that area surrounding a base station

where the predicted or measured median field strength of the transmitted signal is such that

the majority of the time, transceivers properly installed and operated will be able to

communicate with the base station without objectionable noise (or excessive bit-error-rate for

digital) and without calls being dropped. In the case of cellular communications in a rural

environment, this would be a signal strength of at least -90dBm. It is acceptable for there to be

holes within the area of adequate coverage as long as the signal regains its strength further

away from the base station. The outer boundary of the area of adequate coverage, however,

is that location past which the signal does not regain.

Alternative Design Tower Structure: Artificial trees, clock towers, bell steeples, light poles,

silos and similar alternative-design mounting structures that camouflage or conceal the

presence of antennas or towers.

Antenna: A device which is attached to a tower or other structure for transmitting and

receiving electromagnetic waves.

Antenna Height: The vertical distance measured from the base of the antenna support

structure at grade to the highest point of the antenna. If the support structure is on a sloped

grade, then the average between the highest and lowest grades shall be used in calculating

the antenna height.

Applicant: The telecommunication services provider and the owner of the propertyupon

which the telecommunications facility is proposed to be located that submit an application for

a permit pursuant to this Ordinance.

Base Station: The primary sending and receiving site in a telecommunications facility

network. More than one base station and/or more than one variety of telecommunications

provider can be located on a single tower or structure.

Cellular Service: A telecommunications service that permits customers to use wireless,

mobile telephones to connect, via low-power radio transmission sites called cell sites, either

to the public switched network or to other mobile cellular phones.

Channel: The segment of the radiation spectrum to or from an antenna, which carries one

signal. An antenna may radiate on many channels simultaneously.

Collocation: Locating wireless communications equipment from more than one provider on a

single site.

Engineer: An engineer who is licensed to practice in the State of Vermont and who is qualified

in the relevant field of knowledge or engineering specialty (e.g., a structural engineer in

questions of load-bearing, shear forces, etc.; an electrical engineer in questions of radi

ation effects, interference, etc.).

Facility Site: A property, or any part thereof, which is owned or leased by one or more

telecommunications facility(s) and where required landscaping is located.

FCC: Federal Communications Commission. The government agency responsible for

regulating telecommunications in the United States.

Frequency: The number of cycles completed each second by an electromagnetic wave

measured in Hertz (Hz).

GIS: Geographic Information Services.

Location: References to site location shall be the exact longitude and latitude, to the nearest

tenth of a second. Bearing or orientation should be referenced to true North.

Monopole: A single self-supporting vertical pole with no guy wire anchors, usually consisting

of a galvanized or other unpainted metal, or a wooden pole with below grade foundations.

Permit: Embodies the rights and obligations extended by the Town of Rutland to an operator

to own, construct, maintain, and operate a telecommunications facility within the boundaries

of the Town.

Personal Wireless Services: Commercial mobile services, unlicensed wireless exchange

access services. These services include cellular services, personal communications services,

specialized mobile radio services, and paging services.

Repeater: A small receiver/relay transmitter and antenna of relatively low power output

designed to provide service to areas which are not able to receive adequate coverage directly

from a base or primary station.

Scenic Character: May include consideration of a field of sight or view corridor that may

include natural and/or manmade structures and activities. The objects considered may be far

away or nearby. The scenic character of an area may include consideration of the view from a

stationary point or the view seen as one travels along a roadway, waterway, or path.

Telecommunications Facility: A land facility supporting antennas and microwave dishes that

send and/or receive radio frequency signals, and all equipment (including repeaters) with

which a telecommunications provider transmits and receives the waves which carry their

services.. Communications facilities includes structures, towers or accessory buildings

associated with the provision of telecommunication services.

Telecommunications Services Provider: An entity licensed by the FCC to provide

telecommunications services to individuals or institutions.

Telecommunications Tower: A guyed, monopole, or self-supporting vertical structure,

constructed as a free standing structure or in association with a building, other permanent

structure or equipment, containing one or more antennas intended for transmitting and/or

receiving television, AM/FM radio, digital, microwave, cellular, telephone, or similar forms of

electronic communication.

USGS: United States Geological Survey.

VCGI: Vermont Center for Geographic Information.

View Corridor: A three-dimensional area extending out from a viewpoint. The width of the

view corridor depends on the focus of the view. The focus of the view may be a single object,

such as a mountain, which would result in a narrow corridor, or a group of objects, such as a

downtown skyline, which would result in a wide corridor. Panoramic views have very wide

corridors and may include a 360-degree perspective. Although the view corridor extends from

the viewpoint to the focus of the view, the mapped portion of the corridor extends from the

viewpoint and is based on the area where base zone heights must be limited in order to

protect the view.



In addition to other findings required by this Ordinance, the Board shall find that its decision

regarding an application is intended to be consistent with federal law, particularly the

Telecommunications Act of 1996. This Ordinance:

A. Does not prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the provision of personal wireless


B. Does not unreasonably discriminate among providers of functionally equivalent services;


C. Does not regulate personal wireless services on the basis of the environmental effects of

radio frequency emissions to the extent that the regulated serves and facilities comply with

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations concerning such emissions.



A. No construction, alteration, addition, modification, installation or use of any

telecommunications tower or facility shall commence until a telecommunications tower/facility

permit (permit) has been issued by the Selectboard. This includes installation of antennas for

new uses, change in the number of buildings or facilities, material change in technology used,

or addition or change of any equipment resulting in greater visibility or structural wind-

loading, or additional height of the tower or profile change of the facility due to additional

antennas not included in the original application

B. A pre-existing telecommunications facility may remain in place and in operation. No

alteration, modification, repair, or upgrade of a pre-existing telecommunication tower and/or

facility shall be commenced until the Selectboard has issued a permit required by this


C. A telecommunications facility may be permitted upon compliance with this Ordinance and

upon proof of compliance with all other local, state or federal laws applicable to land use and

development and to such towers or facilities.

D. The Selectboard may in the exercise of its discretion impose conditions upon the issuance

of a permit. All permit conditions shall be written on or attached to the permit;

E. The telecommunication services provider or FCC licensee must be an applicant for a

permit. Where the telecommunication services provider or FCC licensee does not own the

land upon which the telecommunication facility is located, the land owner(s) must also be an

applicant on the permit application.

F. If any other applicable regulation, bylaw, ordinance or statute which differs from this

Ordinance, the most strict shall apply.

G. In the event that the Town has incurred expenses for the review and evaluation of an

application, no permit shall be issued until the applicant has paid the Town for the expenses




A. Application for a permit for a telecommunications facility shall be made to the municipal

official designated by the Selectboard by the telecommunication services provider and the

owner of the property upon which the telecommunications is proposed to be located.

B. An application for a telecommunications facility in the Town shall include at least the

following information:

1. The name(s) and address(es) of each applicant and of their agents. If any applicant is not a

natural person, the name and address of the business and the state in which it is

incorporated and has its principle office;

2. The name(s) and address(es) of the record landowners and their agent(s);

3. The name(s) and address(es) of the record landowners of each abutting property;

4. The name(s), address(es), fax/telephone numbers and e-mail address(es) of the persons to

be contacted who are authorized to act in event of an emergency regarding the structure or

safety of the tower or facility;

5. A vicinity map showing the entire vicinity within a 2500 foot radius of the tower or facility

site, including the location of the telecommunications facility or tower, topography, public and

private roads and driveways, buildings and structures, utilities, water bodies, wetlands,

landscape features, historic sites and habitats for endangered species. It shall indicate the

property lines of the proposed tower site parcel and all easements or rights of way needed for

access from a public way to the tower and/or other structures;

6. The location of the proposed structure on a USGS Topographic Map or Survey with 20-foot

elevations or a GIS-generated map compatible with VCGI standards and encompassing the

area within at least two-mile radius of the proposed tower site;

7. Elevations and proposed site plans of the entire development showing all facades and

indicating all exterior materials and colors of towers, buildings and associated facilities, as

well as all proposed landscaping, utility wires, guy wires and screening. (All plans shall be

drawn at a minimum scale of 1 inch = 50 feet);

8. In the case of a proposed site which is forested, the approximate average height of the

existing vegetation within 200 feet of the tower base;

9. Construction sequence and time schedule for completion of each phase of the entire


10. A copy of any executed contracts to provide land, tower access, or facilities to the


11. A copy of the application or draft applicationfor an Act 250 permit, if applicable; and

12. A report from an engineer that:

a. Describes the tower height, design and elevation;

b. Documents the height above grade for all proposed mounting positions for antennas to be

collocated on a telecommunications tower and the minimum separation distances between


c. Describes the tower’s proposed capacity, including the number, height and types of

antennas that the tower is proposed to accommodate;

d. Documents the steps the applicant will take to avoid interference with any established

public safety telecommunications;

e. In the case of new tower proposals, demonstrates that existing telecommunications towers

and other existing structures within 5 miles of the proposed site cannot reasonably be

modified to provide adequate coverage and adequate capacity to the community;

f. Describes potential changes or additions to those existing structures or towers that would

enable them to provide adequate coverage and adequate capacity;

g. Describes the output frequency, number of channels and the power output per channel for

each proposed antenna;

h. Includes a written five-year plan for use of the proposed telecommunications facility,

including reasons for seeking capacity in excess of immediate needs (if applicable), as well as

plans for additional development and coverage within the Town;

i. Demonstrates the proposed tower’s, facility’s and other structure’s compliance with the

standards set forth in this Ordinance or other applicable standards;

j. Provides proof that at the proposed site the applicant will be in compliance with all FCC

regulations, standards and requirements, and includes a statement that the applicant

commits to continue to maintain compliance with all FCC regulations, standards and

requirements regarding both radio frequency interference (RFI) and radio frequency radiation


k. Includes such other information required by the Board or its consultants necessary to

evaluate the application; and

l. Includes each engineer’s stamp and registration number;

C. A letter of intent committing the tower or facility owner and his or her successors to permit

shared use of the tower if the additional user(s) agree to meet reasonable terms and

conditions for shared use, including compliance with all applicable FCC regulations,

standards and requirements and the provisions of this Ordinance and all other applicable

laws; and

D. To the extent required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and as

administered by the FCC, a complete Environmental Assessment (EA) draft or final report

describing the probable impacts of the proposed facility.

E. Each application shall be signed by the applicant(s) and the contributing engineer(s) under

the pains and penalties of perjury.

F. The Selectboard shall establish application fees for small scale facilities and all other

telecommunication facility.



A. Towers shall be designed to allow for future rearrangement of antennas upon the tower

and to accept antennas mounted at varying heights where overall permitted height allows

. Towers shall be designed structurally, electrically and in all other respects to accommodate

both the applicant’s antennas and additional antennas where overall permitted height allows.

B. The Selectboard may deny an application for a new telecommunications tower or facility

where the Selectboard finds that the antennas and other equipment planned for the proposed

tower or facility can be accommodated on an existing or approved tower or facility.


A. In order to protect public safety and to preserve the scenic character and appearance of

the area, the height limit for towers, antennas and tower-related fixtures shall be not more

than 20 feet above the average height of the tree line measured within 100 feet of the highest

vertical element of the telecommunications facility. Notwithstanding the above, additional

height may be approved upon a finding by the Selectboard that the additional height is

necessary in order to provide adequate coverage in the or to accomplish collocation of

facilities and that the additional height will not cause an undue visual impact on the scenic

character or appearance of the area.

B. The minmum lot size for a telecommunication facility shall be one acre.

C. The minimum distance from any freestanding telecommunications tower or facility to any

property line, dwelling or other occupied structure shall be no less than the height of the

tower, including antennas or other vertical appurtenances, plus an additional 20 feet.

D. Where a telecommunications facility 15 feet or greater in height is mounted on an existing

structure such as a silo, church steeple or utility pole, and thereby extends the overall height

of the structure as measured from ground level to the top of the telecommunication facility,

including antennas and other vertical appurtenances, the minimum distance from the base of

the existing structure to any property line, dwelling or other occupied structure shall be no

less than the distance from ground level to the top of the telecommunication facility, including

antennas and other vertical appurtenances.

E. Where a telecommunications facility less than 15 feet in height is mounted on an existing

structure such as a silo, church steeple or utility pole, and thereby extends the overall height

of the structure as measured from ground level to the top of the telecommunication facility

, including antennas and other vertical appurtenances, minimum distance from the base of

the existing structure to any property line, dwelling or other occupied structure shall be no

less than the distance from ground level to the top of theexisting structure.

F. Where a telecommunications facility is mounted on an existing structure such as a silo,

church steeple or utility pole, but the highest vertical appurtence thereof does not extend

above the top of the existing structure, there shall be no required minimum distance to any

property line, dwelling or other occupied structure.

G. The Selectboard may impose conditions to minimize the effect of noise from the operation

of telecommunication facility upon adjacent properties.


A. Towers shall not be illuminated by artificial means and shall not display strobe lights

unless such lighting is specifically required by FAA or other federal or state law. If any lighting

is required solely because of the height of a tower, the Selectboard may review the plan to

determine if the lighting requirement can be eliminated by a reduced height or a change in

location of the tower.

B. No commercial signs or lettering shall be placed on the tower or its appurtenances.

C. Signage shall be limited to that required by state or federal law.



A. The Selectboard may require telecommunications towers, equipment, antennas and their

support structures to be designed to blend into the surrounding environment though the use

of color camouflaging, architectural design, and other alternative design tower structures as

well as by minimal disruption of existing vegetation.

B. The Selectboard may require materials used for the exterior of any telcommunications

facility or structure shall be of a type, color and location so as to minimize glare and the

impact on any scenic or historic areas, public vantage points or abutting properties.



The Selectboard may require screening at the perimeter of the site by existing natural foliage

or by planted new foliage or other means approved by the Selectboard.



A. Where telecommunications facilities require construction of a new access road or

improvement to existing access roads, the Selectboard may, without limitation, require such

roads to follow the contour of the land, to be constructed or improved within existing forest or

forest fringe areas and not in open fields.

B. The Selectboard may, without limitation, require utility or service lines to be designed and

located so as to minimize or prevent disruption of the scenic character and beauty of the area,

or that the underground installation of utility and service lines.



The Selectboard, in consultation with the applicant and others, may consider the likely visual

impact of any proposed telecommunications facility or tower and may require the applicant to

provide photographs, simulations, conduct tests and supply any other necessary, helpful and

relevant information. Based on the information presented, the Selectboard may designate an

alternative location for the facility or tower or may request a redesign in order to minimize the

visual impact on the scenic character and beauty of the area. In determining whether or not a

facility or tower would have an undue adverse visual impact and when setting conditions in

the permit, the Selectboard may consider:

A. The period of time during which it would be viewed by persons traveling on public


B. The frequency with which persons traveling on public highways will view the facility;

C. The degree to which it will be screened by existing vegetation, the topography of the land,

and existing structures;

D. Background features that will either obscure it or make it more conspicuous;

E. Its distance from key vantage points and the proportion of it which will be visible above the

skyline or tree line;

F. The number of members of the traveling public or residents of the Town and neighboring

municipalities who will be affected by the alteration of the scenic character and beauty of the


G. The sensitivity or unique value of the particular view affected by it; and

H. Significant disruption of a viewshed that provides context to a historic or scenic resource.



A. The placement of wireless telecommunications antennas, repeaters, or micro-cells on

existing buildings, structures, roofs, or walls, and not extending more than 10 feet from the

same, or the installation of ground facilities less than 20 feet in height, may be approved by

the designated municpal official, provided the antennas, repeaters, or micro-cells meet the

requirements of this Ordinance.

B. An application for a small scale telcommunication facility shall include:

1. A final site and building plan;

2. A report prepared by a qualified engineer which documents the proposed

telecommunication use's compliance with state and federal regulations, the structure's

suitability for the telecommunications antenna, repeater, or micro-cell, and the proposesd

method of afixing same to the structure complies with standard engineering practices, and

provides complete details of the fixtures, couplings and points of attachment to the existing


3. Where the applicant does not own the existing structure, a copy of the applicant's executed

contract with the owner of the existing structure authorizing the proposed use of the




A. The following telecommunication facilities are exempt from the requirements of this

Ordinance: police, fire, ambulance and othe emergency dispatch; amateur (ham) radio,

citizen's band radio, single-use local business radio dispatch, and television antennas for

home use.

B. No FCC-licensed telecommunications facility shall be considered exempt from this

Ordinance for any reason, whether or not said facility is proposed to share a tower or other

structure with such exempt uses.



A. Upon receiving a permit, the applicant shall annually demonstrate that it is in compliance

with all FCC standards and requirements regarding RFR, the basis for its representations and

the date that the most recent actual readings of RFR were performed at the site. The applicant

shall provide a list of RFR readings, their distances from the tower/transmitter, dates of the

readings and names of the person or company who took the readings.

B. The telecommunications facility or tower owner shall maintain adequate insurance on the

facility, tower and the entire site.

C. All facility and tower sites shall be properly fenced and identified by signage that indicates

the presence of RFR and any other appropriate warnings required by the permit conditions.


An alteration, modification, or addition to a previously permitted telecommunication facility

shall require a permit amendment when any of the following are propsed:

A. A change in the number of telecommunication facilities permitted on the site;

B. An addition or change of equipment resulting in greater visibility or strucural wind loading;

C. Any change, or proposed change in dimensions of an existing and permitted tower or

other structure designed to support telecommunications transmission, receiving and/or

relaying antennas and/or equipment; and

D. Any change in power input or output, an increase in the height of an antenna, an increase

in the number of antennas, change in antenna type(s) or model(s), repositioning of

antenna(s), change in number of channels per antenna above the maximum number

approved under an existing permit.




Abandoned or unused towers or other portions of telecommunication facilities shall be removed as follows:

A. The owner of a tower shall annually, on January 15, file a declaration with the Selectboard

certifying the continuing safe operation of the entire tower and other portions of the facility.

Failure to file a declaration shall mean that it is no longer in use and the Selectboard shall

declare it to have ceased operation and to be abandoned.

B. Abandoned or unused towers and facilities shall be removed within 180 days of cessation

of operations unless a time extension is approved by the Selectboard. If the tower is not

removed within 180 days of cessation of operations at a site, the municipality shall notify the

land owner and the permit holder that the Town may remove the tower and all associated

facilities and assess the costs of removal against the permit holder and/or the land owner.

C. Unused portions of towers shall be removed within 180 days of the time that such portion

is no longer used. Replacement of portions of a tower previously removed shall require a new


D. An owner who has failed to file an annual declaration with the Selectboard by January 15

may, by February 15, file a declaration of use or intended use and may request the ability to

continue use authorized by the permit.



A. The Selectboard may revoke any permit issued pursuant to this Ordinance for the any of

the following reasons:

1. The provision of false, fraudulent, misleading or inaccurate information in connection with

the permit application approval by the applicant or the engineer, or any representative or

agent thereof;

2. The failure to install, construct, or complete work on the telecommunication facility in

accordance with the requirements and/or conditions of any applicable permit;

3. The violation or failure to comply with the terms, requirements, or conditions of any

applicable permit;

4. The alteration or modification of a telecommunication facility without obtaining a permit as

required by this Ordinance; or

5. The violation of or failure to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance or any applcable

state or federal laws or regulations.



A. A civil penalty of not more than $500 may be imposed for a violation of this Ordinance. Each

week that the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation of this Ordinance.

B. An issuing municipal official is authorized to recover by the issuance of a municipal

complaint, civil penalties in the following amounts for each violation of this Ordinance:

First Violation $100

Second Violation $200

Third Violation $400

Fourth and Subsequent Violations $500

C. In lieu of the civil penalties provided in subsection B of this section, an issuing municipal

official is authorized to recover a waiver fee in the following amount, from any person to

whom a municipal complaint is issued, who declines to contest the municipal traffic complaint

and pays the waiver fee:

First Violation $50

Second Violation $100

Third Violation $200

Fourth and Subsequent Violations $250

D. Other Relief - In addition to the enforcement procedures available before the Traffic and

Municipal Ordinance Bureau, the Town may pursue any remedy authorized by law, including

without limitation, the maintenance of a civil action in superior court pursuant to 24 V.S.A. §

1974a(b) to obtain injunctive and other appropriate relief ; or the revocation of a permit or.

E. Costs incurred by the Town pursuant to any enforcement action, including but not limited

to attorney fees, court costs, and removal of the tower or facility or parts of the tower or

facility shall be assessed against the permit holder and/or the land owner.



The provisions of this Ordinance are severable. If any provision of this Ordinance, or its

application to any person or circumstances or within any part of the Town of Rutland is held

invalid, illegal, or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, the invalidity shall not

apply to any other portion of this Ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid

provision or application thereof.



This Ordinance shall become effective sixty (60) days after its adoption by the Selectboard. If

a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A. § 1973, that statute shall govern the taking effect of this



Town of Rutland P.O. Box 225 181 Business Route 4 Center Rutland, VT. 05736 802.773.2528

? Town of Rutland, Vermont