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AB-2421 Land use: permitting: wireless communications.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/12/2020 09:00 PM
AB2421:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 12, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2421


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

February 19, 2020


An act to amend Section 65850.6 of add and repeal Section 65850.75 of the Government Code, relating to land use.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2421, as amended, Quirk. Land use: permitting: wireless communications.
Under existing law, a wireless telecommunications collocation facility, as specified, is subject to a city or county discretionary permit and is required to comply with specified criteria, but a collocation facility, which is the placement or installation of wireless facilities, including antennas and related equipment, on or immediately adjacent to that wireless telecommunications collocation facility, is a permitted use not subject to a city or county discretionary permit. Existing law defines various terms for these purposes.
This bill would revise the definition of “wireless telecommunications facility” to include, among other equipment and network components listed, “emergency backup generators” to emergency power systems that are integral to providing wireless telecommunications services. would, until January 1, 2024, require local agencies to adopt specified approval procedures for an application to install an emergency standby generator, that meets specified standards, within the physical footprint of a macro cell tower site. Because this bill would impose new duties on local agencies, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would define terms for purposes of these provisions and provide legislative findings and declarations in support of these provisions in order to maintain cellular communications during implemented power shutoffs.
The bill would include findings that changes proposed by this bill address a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, apply to all cities, including charter cities.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NOYES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Unprecedented wildfires are forcing California to develop new strategies to preserve public safety and welfare. One strategy is a proactive Public Safety Power Shutoff. In October 2019, three of the largest electric utilities implemented power shutoffs affecting more than 2,000,000 Californians.
(b) These shutoffs interrupted commercial power to wireless infrastructure, resulting in some consumers losing access to communications services. In response, wireless providers have developed backup power solutions to ensure networks remain operational during power shutoffs.
(c) In March 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a proclamation of emergency in response to the wildfire threat, which waived permitting barriers to critical forest management projects. The Legislature has also created exemptions for public safety actions.
(d) Enabling the rapid deployment of emergency standby generators is vital for public safety to help ensure consumers maintain access to 911 services, wireless emergency alerts, and other public safety communications. Fragmented and lengthy permitting requirements could delay these public safety deployments by many months and in some cases could prevent them altogether.
(e) Given the urgency of ensuring wireless providers are prepared for fire-threat events, it is necessary to expedite these public safety deployments. This legislation would create a narrow time-limited exemption and a uniform process for the expedited installation of low emission, emergency standby generators rated by the State Air Resources Board and associated storage tanks located within, or immediately adjacent to, an already permitted macro cell tower site.
(f) Specifically, this legislation will allow wireless providers to prepare for future fire seasons and power outages using an expedited process that does both of the following:
(1) Applies to the installation of a standard-configuration standby emergency generator at previously permitted macro cell tower sites.
(2) Provides for local administrative review with a 60-day deadline for local agencies to approve or deny applications.
(g) This legislation would not apply to any law, regulation, permit, information request, order, variance, or other requirement related to the installation of small cells for the deployment of 5G network technologies.
(h) To assist in expediting deployment of emergency standby generators, this legislation would allow applicants to concurrently seek consent from landowners while applying for permits, but does not allow an applicant to begin installation until approval from the landowner is received by the local agency.

SEC. 2.

 Section 65850.75 is added to the Government Code, immediately following Section 65850.7, to read:

65850.75.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Emergency standby generator” means a stationary generator used for the generation of electricity that meets the criteria set forth in Section 93115(29) of Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.
(2) “Local agency” means a city, county, or city and county.
(3) “Macro cell tower site” means the place where wireless telecommunications equipment and network components, including towers, transmitters, base stations, and emergency powers necessary for providing wide area outdoor service, are located. A macro cell tower site does not include rooftop, small cell, or outdoor and indoor distributed antenna system sites.
(b) An emergency standby generator proposed to be installed within the physical footprint of a macro cell tower site shall be a permitted use subject only to local agency administrative review if it meets both of the following requirements:
(1) The emergency standby generator is rated below 50 horsepower, certified to California emission standards, has a 190-gallon double-wall storage tank, and is mounted on a concrete pad.
(2) The macro cell tower site at which the emergency standby generator is proposed to be installed is an existing site that was previously permitted by the local agency.
(c) A local agency that receives a completed permit application to install an emergency standby generator that meets the requirements in subdivision (b) shall approve or deny the application within 60 days of submittal of the application, subject to both of the following:
(1) If, within 10 days of submission, the local agency notifies the applicant in writing that the application is deficient, then the 60-day period shall be tolled until the applicant provides the information requested.
(2) The local agency shall not require any new or different information for the permit applications than it routinely requires for applications for other emergency standby generators.
(d) A completed application that the local agency has not approved or denied within 60 days of receiving the application or upon expiration of any tolling period shall be deemed approved.
(e) If the local agency requires more than one permit application for the installation of an emergency standby generator, all applications submitted concurrently shall be issued within the same 60-day period set forth in subdivision (c).
(f) The local agency shall not require the applicant to submit proof of consent or other authorization from an underlying property owner as part of the initial application for an emergency standby generator permit; however, the applicant shall not install the emergency standby generator until the applicant provides documentation, if required, to the local agency.
(g) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 The Legislature finds and declares that the installation of an emergency standby generators at wireless telecommunications facility sites as set forth in this section has a significant public safety impact in California and is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution. Therefore, Section 2 of this act adding Section 65850.75 to the Government Code applies to all cities, including charter cities.

SEC. 4.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
SECTION 1.Section 65850.6 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65850.6.

(a)A colocation facility shall be a permitted use not subject to a city or county discretionary permit if it satisfies the following requirements:

(1)The colocation facility is consistent with requirements for the wireless telecommunications colocation facility pursuant to subdivision (b) on which the colocation facility is proposed.

(2)The wireless telecommunications colocation facility on which the colocation facility is proposed was subject to a discretionary permit by the city or county and an environmental impact report was certified, or a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration was adopted for the wireless telecommunications colocation facility in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code); the requirements of Section 21166 do not apply; and the colocation facility incorporates required mitigation measures specified in that environmental impact report, negative declaration, or mitigated negative declaration.

(b)A wireless telecommunications colocation facility, where a subsequent colocation facility is a permitted use not subject to a city or county discretionary permit pursuant to subdivision (a), shall be subject to a city or county discretionary permit issued on or after January 1, 2007, and shall comply with all of the following:

(1)City or county requirements for a wireless telecommunications colocation facility that specifies types of wireless telecommunications facilities that are allowed to include a colocation facility, or types of wireless telecommunications facilities that are allowed to include certain types of colocation facilities; height, location, bulk, and size of the wireless telecommunications colocation facility; percentage of the wireless telecommunications colocation facility that may be occupied by colocation facilities; and aesthetic or design requirements for the wireless telecommunications colocation facility.

(2)City or county requirements for a proposed colocation facility, including any types of colocation facilities that may be allowed on a wireless telecommunications colocation facility; height, location, bulk, and size of allowed colocation facilities; and aesthetic or design requirements for a colocation facility.

(3)State and local requirements, including the general plan, any applicable community plan or specific plan, and zoning ordinance.

(4)The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) through certification of an environmental impact report, or adoption of a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration.

(c)The city or county shall hold at least one public hearing on the discretionary permit required pursuant to subdivision (b) and notice shall be given pursuant to Section 65091, unless otherwise required by this division.

(d)For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1)“Colocation facility” means the placement or installation of wireless facilities, including antennas, and related equipment, on, or immediately adjacent to, a wireless telecommunications colocation facility.

(2)“Wireless telecommunications facility” means equipment and network components such as towers, utility poles, transmitters, base stations, and emergency power systems, including emergency backup generators, that are integral to providing wireless telecommunications services.

(3)“Wireless telecommunications colocation facility” means a wireless telecommunications facility that includes colocation facilities.

(e)The Legislature finds and declares that a colocation facility, as defined in this section, has a significant economic impact in California and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution, but is a matter of statewide concern.

(f)With respect to the consideration of the environmental effects of radio frequency emissions, the review by the city or county shall be limited to that authorized by Section 332(c)(7) of Title 47 of the United States Code, or as that section may be hereafter amended.