Bucks County Herald

Sellersville updates regulations on wireless communication facilities

CHRIS RUVO

Sellersville Borough Council has adopted updated rules for regulating wireless communication facilities like cell phone towers and wireless antennae used to transmit mobile communications.

On Monday, council approved an ordinance that establishes standards for the location, placement, construction and maintenance of tower and non-tower wireless communication facilities in the borough.
Among other things, the ordinance sets in place rules for such facilities both within and outside public rights-of-way.

Borough Manager David Rivet explained the need for the new regulations.

“The old ordinance addressed large towers but did not address types of wireless facilities now being put up around the country and therefore needed to be updated,” Rivet said.

An objective of the new rules is to allow for quality wireless coverage to be provided locally while minimizing potential intrusive impacts from the infrastructure needed to support such coverage.

“One of the ordinance goals is to encourage co-location of wireless antennae on existing structures within the street right of way, such as power poles, rather than having companies install new poles for their antennae,” Rivet said.

Among other regulations in the lengthy legal document: The ordinance says that tower-based wireless communication facilities must employ the “most current stealth technology available” to blend in with their surroundings to the best extent possible. This includes making the facility and its related equipment “aesthetically and architecturally compatible with the surrounding environment” – i.e., using like facades to visually blend the infrastructure with neighboring buildings.

Currently, no new wireless communication facilities are proposed in Sellersville, Rivet said. Still, officials deemed it wise to put the rules in place now.

“Borough Council and the Planning Commission wanted to be proactive,” Rivet said.

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