Item Coversheet



TO: Public Safety and Neighborhood Quality of Life Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak

DATE: March 22, 2023




At its June 22, 2022 meeting, the City Commission approved a referral to the Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee to discuss wrapping 5G poles in something aesthetically pleasing.


Much of what the City can do in order to regulate, maintain or repair utility poles is preempted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and State Statue, specifically, Florida Statue 337.401 which dictates what municipalities can do with regard to telecommunication in the right-of-way.


At the December 7, 2022 Public Safety and Quality of Life Committee (PSNQL) meeting, Public Works discussed the wrapping of 5G poles in something aesthetically pleasing and shared that the department is working closely with the City Attorney’s office in updating the current Telecommunications City Code.  Currently under Chapter 104, Telecommunications, the City requirements under aesthetics and design exceeds the statutory requirement.  However, there is a provision that says that a municipality or authority can come up with what is called an objective design guideline.


A motion was made to bring the proposed guidelines in March of 2023 if ready, for review and further direction.


In the upcoming days, the Administration will be meeting with telecom industry representatives regarding proposed updates to the City Code to conform the City’s telecom regulations to State law. Part of these amendments will include drafting “objective design standards.”


Under Sec. 337.401, Florida Statutes, we are limited to adopting design standards that meet the following criteria:


(r) An authority may require wireless providers to comply with objective design standards adopted by ordinance. The ordinance may only require:


1. A new utility pole that replaces an existing utility pole to be of substantially similar design, material, and color.


2. Reasonable spacing requirements concerning the location of a ground-mounted component of a small wireless facility which does not exceed 15 feet from the associated support structure; or


3. A small wireless facility to meet reasonable location context, color, camouflage, and concealment requirements, subject to the limitations in this subsection; and


4. A new utility pole used to support a small wireless facility to meet reasonable location context, color, and material of the predominant utility pole type at the proposed location of the new utility pole.


Such design standards under this paragraph may be waived by the authority upon a showing that the design standards are not reasonably compatible for the particular location of a small wireless facility or utility pole or are technically infeasible or that the design standards impose an excessive expense. The waiver must be granted or denied within 45 days after the date of the request.

The Administration recommends that the PSNQLC transmit a recommendation to the City Commission to include, in its updates to the City’s Telecommunications Ordinance (Chapter 104 of the City Code), objective design standards that will minimize, to the maximum extent permitted by law, the visual impacts of wireless facilities in the right-of-way.

Applicable Area

Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
Yes No 
Commission referral to PSNQLCOther