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Government and People
GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Office of the Director
TO: D.C. Zoning Commission
SUBJECT: Supplemental Prehearing Report on proposed zoning text amendments regarding development standards and review procedures for antennas, antennas towers and monopoles in the Capitol Interest District (CAP) and the issue of stealth structures.
The Office of Planning recommends the following:
Capitol Interest (CAP) District
Through review of the technical corrections regarding antenna tower, ZC Case No. 01-02TA, it was clarified that antenna towers or monopoles may be allowed in the CAP zone through special exception uses of the underlying zones. OP believes antenna towers and monopoles are not uses compatible with the purposes of the CAP district, as stated in the §1200 Preamble, in particular the following:
OP also recognizes the CAP district is a small discreet area extending eastward from the Capitol to 6th Street, northward to F Street, NE at Union Station and southward to the Southeast Freeway. The CAP district is also part of the Capitol Hill Historic District. OP believes that restricting towers and monopoles from the CAP district is consistent with §106 - RESPECTING AND IMPROVING THE PHYSICAL CHARACTER OF THE DISTRICT and §108 - PRESERVING THE HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE DISTRICT PRESERVING THE HISTORIC CHARACTER OF THE DISTRICT of the Comprehensive Plan.
Therefore to restrict antenna towers and monopoles from the CAP district, OP recommends adding the following new language to the Section 1201.3 (b) (4) and (c) (4) as part of the proposed antenna regulations:
1201.3 The following uses shall be permitted if approved by the Board of Zoning
Adjustment subject in accordance with the conditions specified in §3108 and in this section in each case:
(b) In the CAP/SP District, any use permitted as a special exception in the SP District, except that the following uses shall not be permitted:
(c) In the CAP/C-2-A District, any use permitted as a special exception in the C-2-A District, except that the following uses shall not be permitted:
To be consistent with the other proposed text amendments, OP recommends §1203.2 be amended by the addition of the following subsection (c) :
1203 HEIGHT, AREA, AND BULK REGULATIONS
1203.2 The height of buildings or structures as specified in 1203.1 may be exceeded in the following instances:
(c) This section shall not be interpreted to bypass otherwise required special exception reviews.
While an antenna tower or monopole would be restricted from the CAP district under the proposed language, if there were no other technically viable option for service delivery in the district the situation could be addressed by applying for a variance and providing evidence of "undue hardship" during a public hearing.
Stealth Structures - Alternate Language 2606
The proposed alternate language considers a new provision for stealth structures (structures built for the purpose of concealing antennas). This optional language was proposed in the alternative because the proposed language was submitted after the last review group meeting. OP supports the idea of stealth structure enclosures but has concluded that that the provision could easily result in the proliferation of unanticipated structures. A "real world" proposal was presented to OP in July 2002, after the proposed regulations were setdown for hearing. The proposal involved the addition of multiple stealth flag poles on a private site, however, each application was a different carrier and each had no relationship to the other. OP is concerned that stealth structures could result in the proliferation of unanticipated structures. Therefore, OP recommends the following limitations for stealth structures:
Residence Zone Districts:
All Zone Districts except M:
M General Industry Districts:
Removal of Antennas, Antenna Towers, Monopoles, and Related Equipment
OP recommends the following language be included as §2614 in the proposed regulations to ensure that antennas, antenna towers, monopoles, and related equipment be removed if it has not been used for a period of one year. This provision will help ensure the appearance of the Nation’s Capitol skyline and is consistent with §§102, 106 and 108 of the Comprehensive Plan and §2600 of the proposed regulations.
2614 REMOVAL OF ANTENNAS, ANTENNA TOWERS, MONOPOLES, AND RELATED EQUIPMENT
2614.1 Antennas, antenna towers, monopoles or equipment cabinets shall be removed at the expense of the owner if they have not been used for a period of one year. A one year exceptions may be granted by the Board of Zoning Adjustment to this requirement for good cause shown.
CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATION
The Office of Planning recommends that the supplemental zoning text be included into the proposed new Chapter 26, REGULATIONS OF ANTENNAS, ANTENNA TOWERS,AND MONOPOLES.
OP continues to recognize that the regulation of antennas and their related structures and facilities is a complex issue and OP welcomes public input on the proposed regulations.
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