Several wireless companies have recently drafted a bill for introduction in the Pennsylvania General Assembly that would 1) prohibit municipalities from exercising their zoning authority to regulate and control the construction and location of towers and antennas in the public rights-of-way, and 2) usurp the municipalities’ ability to assess fees for such facilities.
These towers, known as distributed antenna systems, can be up to 120 feet in height and many experts anticipate that the number of towers will grow considerably in the short term as consumer demand for wireless broadband capability continues to swell. These sweeping changes to municipalities’ zoning authority could have a profound and negative impact on a municipality’s ability to sufficiently control development in an organized and safe manner, while imposing undesirable ramifications on public rights-of-way and your residential neighborhoods. We will continue to monitor this emerging matter and keep you informed of any changes. For more information contact Kristin Camp or Jon Williamson.