Member Notice: Cellular Tower Placements in Public Rights-of-Way
Members in various counties have contacted the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) about visits or other communication from representatives of cellular tower companies informing them that they intend to place cellular towers in the borough’s right-of-way access.
Reports to PSAB have also indicated that these companies tell officials that the borough cannot regulate the industry’s placement of cellular towers, and are ignoring municipal zoning regulations.
Furthermore, company representatives argue that they have an ordinance which was endorsed by PSAB. Please note that PSAB has not endorsed any ordinances. Any pronouncement by outside industry representatives claiming that PSAB has endorsed any ordinance regarding the placement of cellular towers is inaccurate.
These matters should be addressed to your borough solicitor. PSAB cannot dispense legal advice.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 states that local governments cannot “prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting wireless facilities,” but also preserves local zoning authority over the “placement, construction, and modification of wireless facilities.”
Read the November Borough News for more information on zoning regulations your municipality should consider when addressing wireless facilities in the public right-of-ways.