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The Tucsonans' Wireless

Telecommunications Facilities 

Ordinance

Submitted to the City of Tucson

on March 24, 2021 

This ordinance provides the means for the City of Tucson to protect public safety, privacy and property values, while meeting the City’s telecommunications needs, within State of Arizona and Federal law.

We, the dedicated and informed residents and business owners of Tucson,  submit this Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ordinance with the purpose to promote and protect safety, privacy, life, and property, as well as a “sustainable community that embraces prosperity, equity, and a healthy environment” for the Tucson community (Plan for Tucson, 2013). Accordingly, the purpose of this ordinance is to: 

 

  1. Provide benefits to the City, its residents and general public from access to personal wireless services while minimizing their detriments;

  2. Ensure minimum power necessary to provide personal wireless communications, thereby protecting public safety, privacy, and property values;

  3. Permit placement, construction, modification, and operation of personal wireless facilities and other wireless infrastructure only where needed, thereby reducing adverse economic impacts and impacts on, safety, privacy, and/or aesthetics of nearby properties and the community as a whole;

  4. Comply with applicable law, including the 1996 Telecom Act and Arizona HB2365.

 

In the interest of practicing cooperative federalism, the ordinance establishes more attentive and balanced Wireless Telecommunications Facility (hereinafter: WTF) development standards that provide sufficient wireless telecommunications service without violating the inalienable rights preserved by the Arizona and U.S. Constitutions to life and property of Tucson residents and businesses and to the quiet enjoyment of our streets.
 

The ordinance proposes the “Tucson Wireless Telecommunications Facility code” (hereinafter: WTC-code) to modify the current code in Chapter I of Section 4.9.4 of the Tucson Arizona Unified Development Code in conjunction with defining and enforcing compliance with federal law. In so doing, it provides the means for the City of Tucson to protect public safety, privacy and property values, as well as the City of Tucson’s financial security, within the directives of applicable state and federal laws. It thereby grants more competent fulfillment of the Mayor’s and City Council’s Loyalty Oath of Office.

 

The ordinance is intended to institute local WTF standards, a procedure to manage the operations of WTFs and permit needed WTFs, with an emphasis on the assessment and minimization of any negative impacts from WTFs within the boundaries of the City of Tucson, Arizona. The ordinance ensures that “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (hereinafter: sWTFs) currently permitted or installed in Tucson’s public rights-of-way comply with local, state and federal law.
 

Highlights of the proposed ordinance include

     1)   Enforce collocation of infrastructure on nearby towers;

     2)   Limit maximum effective radiated power (ERP) to a level providing 5-bar telecom service;

     3)   Retrofit ~450 currently permitted sWTFs to ensure minimum power necessary;

     4)   Require NEPA review and compliance on all permit applications;

     5)   Require “fiber sharing boxes” in public rights-of-way to promote Fiber To The Premises (FTTP);

     6)   Implement fuse boxes and policing fees to ensure compliance and generate revenue for 
           the City of Tucson, Arizona.

Executive Summary 

University of Arizona Professor Russ Witte discusses the principles underlying the Tucsonans' Ordinance at a meeting of Chandler residents with their City Council members. 

Full Ordinance