Bedford Adopts New Cell Tower Law

On December 14, 2018 the Board of Trustees of the Town of Bedford, New York, Westchester County, adopted a new local law governing wireless telecommunications facilities.

According to the new law, its purpose is to establish “uniform standards for the siting, design, permitting, maintenance, and use of wireless telecommunication facilities in the Town of Bedford. While the Town recognizes the importance of wireless communication facilities in providing high quality communication service to its residents and business, the Town also recognizes that it has an obligation to protect public safety and to minimize the adverse effects of such facilities.”

The law further states as follows : “By enacting this chapter, the Town intends to:

(1) Provide for the managed development of wireless telecommunication facilities in a manner that enhances the benefits of wireless communication and accommodates the needs of Town residents and wireless carriers in accordance with federal, state and local laws and regulations;

(2) Establish fair and efficient processes for review and approval of applications;

(3) Establish procedures for the design, siting, construction, installation, maintenance and removal of wireless telecommunication facilities in the Town;

(4) Address and provide for new wireless technologies, including but not limited to micro cell and distributed antenna systems (“DAS”) technologies;

(5) Encourage the collocation of wireless communication facilities, on existing structures rather than the construction of new support structures;

(6) Protect Town residents and businesses from potential adverse impacts of wireless communication facilities, to the extent permitted under law, and to attempt to preserve the visual character of established communities and the natural beauty of the landscape;

(7) Minimize safety hazards and avoid potential damage to adjacent properties through proper locational, engineering and operational requirements;

(8) Minimize adverse visual and aesthetic impacts of wireless telecommunication facilities to the maximum extent practicable through careful design, siting, landscaping, screening and innovative camouflaging techniques;

(9) Protect the physical appearance of the Town and preserve its scenic and natural beauty;

(10) Protect the public health, safety and welfare;

(11) Protect property values of the community;

(12) Minimize the impact of such facilities on residential properties;

(13) Encourage the siting of wireless telecommunication services facilities on properties and areas which are not used exclusively for residential purposes;

(14) Protect, to the maximum extent practicable, aesthetic qualities, the open space character of the Town of Bedford, the property values of the community, the health and safety of citizens and a citizen’s ability to receive communication signals without interference from other communication providers, while not unreasonably limiting competition among communication providers.”

The new law also includes a location hierarchy as follows (in order from highest to lowest priority):

(1) Collocation on existing wireless telecommunication facilities on lands owned or controlled by the Town, not including the public right-of-way;

(2) Collocation on a site with existing wireless telecommunication facilities or other tall structures in the Town;

(3) On other lands owned or controlled by the Town including but not limited to the Town public right-of-way;

(4) On lands owned or controlled by other municipal corporations within the Town, to the extent permitted by such other municipal corporation;

(5) On non-residential zoned properties;

(6) On residential zoned properties; and

(7) No large wireless facilities shall be permitted in the Bedford Historic District, Katonah Historic District, or on any property designated as a Tier I or Tier II property, unless the applicant demonstrates to the Planning Board’s satisfaction that the selected site is necessary to provide adequate service and no feasible alternative site exists. Approval shall be required from the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission, the Katonah Historic District Advisory Commission, or the Historic Building Preservation Commission, as appropriate, before any large wireless facility is approved in the Bedford Historic District, Katonah Historic District, or on any property designated as a Tier I or Tier II property.

If the proposed facility is not located on the highest priority site listed above, then a detailed explanation must be provided as to why a site of a higher priority was not selected.

For more information about the Town of Bedford’s new wireless law, click here.

For more information on public utility/wireless telecommunications law and other related real estate issues, please contact us at (914) 338-8050.

For general information about the firm, including our contact information, please click here.

The Law Offices of Keith R. Betensky, Esq.
The Empire Building
26 Village Green, Suite 4
P.O. Box 22
Bedford, New York 10506-0022
(914) 338-8050

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