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Wireless Facilities FAQ's

Q1. Can the City regulate radiofrequency emission levels from wireless antennas?

No. Congress gave the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) sole authority to set a national standard for human exposure to radio frequency (RF) emissions. The FCC allows local governments to require applicants to demonstrate compliance with the national standard, but preempts all local standards. The City can – and does – require all applicants to show that their sites are compliant with the FCC’s standard. You can learn more about these issues at the FCC’s website (https://www.fcc.gov/general/radio-frequency-safety-0).

Q2. Can the City prohibit wireless facilities in the Right-of-Way?

No. State law grants wireless carriers certain rights to use the rights-of-way, and Federal law prohibits any flat or effective bans on wireless facilities.

Q3. Can the City require a wireless facility proposed in the public right-of-way be moved to other publicly owned or private property?

No. A local government cannot force a “wireless carrier” proposing to locate in the public rights-of-way to move the site out of the public rights-of-way. Cities are preempted by State and Federal laws in regard to licensing wireless carriers. Wireless carriers are franchised by, and have authorities under, the State of California, Public Utilities Commission and the FCC. Cities may consider reasonable alternative locations in the public rights-of-way if appropriate to lessen visual impact.

Q4. Can the City require wireless carriers to use specific equipment?

No. Cities have no control over the type of equipment or technologies used. Thus, the City cannot control the transmission methods of the wireless carrier’s service and deployment nor require multiple wireless carriers to be on the same pole if collocation would be technically impossible.  The City cannot regulate what frequencies the equipment operates on. Federal law grants the FCC sole authority over all technological and engineering issues. The City has some authority to regulate the appearance of the equipment. For example, the City may require the facility to look like a light pole, tree or to be hidden inside a tower.

Q5. Are public notices required for new wireless sites in the City?

Yes. Pursuant to Chino Hills Municipal Code § 16.44.050 (D), notices are required to be mailed to property owners within a 300 foot radius when the proposed location is within a residential neighborhood, or a 500 foot radius when the proposed location is within the public right-of-way. The applicant is required to attain the property owner list from the San Bernardino County Assessor’s Office and submit it with their completed application. The City will send a notice once an application is received and another when the application is scheduled to go before the City’s Planning Commission.