The “Uniform Wireless Communications Infrastructure Deployment Act,” HB 345 (Rep. Cierpiot) and SB 241 (Sen. Lager), significantly preempts current municipal authority to review and regulate telecommunication facilities locating in a municipality. Despite erroneous claims from wireless industry advocates to the contrary, these bills represent extreme changes in the law regarding local control over siting of wireless towers and antenna to solve problems even the industry has admitted do not currently exist in Missouri. Among many other provisions, effects on local government control contained in the current versions of the bills include:
Police Departments cannot prevent interference with police antennas even on city-owned land.
Prohibits regulation of antennas on poles in rights-of-way – leaving open possibility of unlimited height or size with no local control!
Prohibits requiring collocation of antennas to reduce number of towers, effectively allowing for a proliferation of new towers.
Prohibits airport safety zones beyond minimum FAA regulations (that may not address future development, among other concerns).
Prohibits inquiry into nature of the services being provided – something that is essential to determine regulatory and tax applicability.
Prohibits local requirements for appearance such as monopole design, lattice or guy wire design regulations or prohibitions, etc.
Requires Cities to offer private companies long-term leases for use of City property and forces rent to be determined by third-parties appraisers.
Imposes short time limitations on collocation applications that even the industry-supportive FCC has already rejected as too short for general application.
If your community or residents care about protecting public safety and property values from the construction of wireless towers without meaningful local review or control, you are encouraged to contact your State Senator and Representative and make information regarding these bills and their impact on property values and public safety issues available to your residents.