Looking to sack a wireless ordinance introduced in August, the Borough of Oradell, N.J., has implemented a four-month moratorium on cell site development, according to the Oradell Record and Town News.
The Borough’s council also plans to hire an independent consultant to assist in drafting the ordinance.
The ordinance proposed in August, which was drafted by a Borough attorney, is seen as too lax by residents. It would have allowed cell towers in business zones, only if borough-owned property was not an option. Wireless sites facilities would also have been prohibited within 500 feet of a residential neighborhood. The maximum allowable height of a tower would have been increased from 120 feet to 150 feet for towers with three or more carriers.
California City Says No to Cell Tower Moratorium
Meanwhile on the West Coast, another town is holding off on declaring a moratorium on cell tower development.
The Walnut Creek City Council voted unanimously to delay consideration of a moratorium until it can hear the work-study plan at its January meeting.
City Attorney Paul Valle-Riestra noted that a study session with neighbors of a church resulted in the realization that a wholesale rewrite of the ordinances was not necessary, but some “tweaks” could make the regulations better. Planning staff will not able to provide a work program to the council until January, he added.
“Federal law gives local government latitude to set almost any standards that you want [in a wireless ordinance],” he said.
Councilman Bob Simmons said he is looking for a higher level of protection for the neighborhoods and questioned whether a moratorium is needed to avoid further cell site development while a new ordinance is written. Two use permits for residential areas are currently being processed; both are for sites that already have antennas.
If another controversial site is proposed, he said, a moratorium could be reconsidered at that time. “A moratorium should be a selective tool that we use only if something is pending,” Simmons said.
James Singleton of Verizon Wireless urged the council not to adopt a moratorium because it already takes a significant amount of time in the planning process. He noted that wireless providers look into public areas first. If those don’t work out, then they also look at mixed commercial, public and residential areas, which makes it challenging to come to develop a solution for the process.