Current Issues in Cell Tower Regulation

April 25, 2012 — 1,288 views  

The prevalence of cell phone towers has grown enormously in the past decade, to the extent that many municipalities and citizens are starting to question how they should be installed. As such, there is quite a bit of cell tower regulation that needs to be addressed before any can be built in certain areas.

One important aspect of cell tower development is the fact that cities and towns are changing the zoning laws affecting how they can be built. For instance, many areas have deemed them unfit for residential regions and force carriers to construct them only where commercial properties have already been established.

Local land use boards, however, cannot prohibit towers from being built since they largely constitute a public service. What they can do is regulate where they're placed and how they're made. Besides keeping them from residential zones, local groups might limit their heights, require security fencing to be constructed around them, force companies to notify all nearby neighbors and decree they even be disguised with foliage or camouflage so they appear to be trees.

What's most important to realize about cell tower development is that there are no national or even state-wide laws governing them. Property is largely a municipal matter, which means any investigations should begin at town halls and relevant city departments.