Like Danville, cities around the country are working to update their wireless ordinances to address small cell facilities in a manner complies with new federal and state laws. Also like Danville, these updated ordinances include similar design standards and acknowledge that FCC regulations preempts the consideration of health impacts when reviewing wireless applications.
While some ordinances appear to be more restrictive, they all contain provisions that allow wireless facilities to be approved in order to comply with federal and state law. For example, the City of Mill Valley lists most wireless facilities as “Not Permitted” in residential districts. However, the “Exceptions” section of their ordinance allows the city to approve a wireless installation anywhere if the city finds that:
1. Denial of the facility as proposed would violate federal law, state law, or both; or
2. A provision of this chapter, as applied to applicant, would deprive applicant of rights under federal law, state law, or both.