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Small Wireless Facilities in Park City
Small Wireless Facilities (SWF) or “5G” are mobile communications antennas that utilize a complex web of small cells to send large amounts of data over a short distance. Each SWF is in turn connected to an underground fiber connection, a wireless tower, or another small cell.
What can we expect from SWF?
Wireless providers will install SWF related equipment using several methods: Collocated with or replacement of an existing streetlight, traffic signal, or other utility pole and replace it with a similar structure that has a 5G antenna mounted on the pole. Other SWF related infrastructure will either be contained within the pole or located adjacent to it. Separate standalone poles may also be installed to support SWFs.
Why are these facilities coming to Park City?
The Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act (Act) allows the placement of SWF by providers within a city’s right of way. The Act preempts local jurisdictions’ ability to prohibit SWF but does allow municipalities to establish a permitting process for deployment under certain conditions. PCMC has worked to impose conditions on SWF providers to the extent allowed by federal and state law, and to ensure that the permitting and placement of SWF is done according to the Act while maintaining PCMC standards.
Why is the City limited in restricting 5G towers?
A local jurisdiction has some leeway to implement reasonable aesthetic requirements, especially in historic districts, but otherwise remain limited in restricting 5G infrastructure within City limits.
Where are we in the Process of 5G in Park City?
Several work sessions were held in 2021 to establish PCMC code requirements, permit processes, and design standards related to the installation of SWFs within City limits. At the September 1, 2022, Council meeting, Councilmembers will review the proposed changes to the Small Wireless Facility (5G) Design Standards, receive public comment, and consider adopting an ordinance to amend the “Small Wireless Facilities within the City Right-Of-Way Design Standards.” This amendment would add in the Historic District and make changes to Main Street designs. View agenda item here.