Personal Wireless Service Facilities
The City of El Paso classifies cell phone towers as personal wireless service facilities and regulates them under section 20.10.455 of the city's municipal code.
- Update November 12, 2015
The applications and related documents for PWSF submitting have been updated.
- Update April 8
A recent FCC order has established new guidelines for processing applications for wireless communications facilities. Effective April 8, 2015, the Planning &Inspections Department is revising its application and permitting process for Personal Wireless Service Facilities (PWSF). These changes affect the review of new infrastructure, colocations to existing infrastructure, and modifications. This is necessary for the City to comply with new Federal Communications Commission (FCC)rules that govern how municipalities regulate PWSF.
The chart below lists the criteria that will be used for the 60, 90, and 150 day review (as applicable) for a PWSF application. The City will be required to complete all necessary public hearings and issue all permits necessary to act on the application within the applicable time periods.
60 DAY REVIEW - PROJECTS WHICH DO NOT RESULT IN ANY SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN PHYSICAL DIMENSIONS OF EXISTING WIRELESS TOWER OR BASE STATION
- Does not defeat existing concealment elements of the tower or base station
- Complies with conditions related to prior approval of construction or modification of the tower or base station
- Installation of no more than four cabinets
- Increasing the size of existing cabinets by 10% or less
- Excavation or deployment within the previously approved site of the tower or base station
- Increases in tower height no more than 10%, or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed twenty feet, whichever is greater
- It protrudes from the edge of the tower no more than 20 feet, or no more than the width of the tower structure at the level of the appurtenance, whichever is greater
- Cannot protrude over the edge of the structure by more than 6 feet
- Increase in the height of the structure by no more than 10% or 10 feet, whichever is greater
90 Day Review - Projects which do not involve a substantial increase in the size of a tower
- Height – the mounting would increase the existing height by no more than 10%, or by the height of one additional antenna array with separation from the nearest existing antenna not to exceed twenty feet, whichever is greater
- The mounting of the antenna may exceed the size limits if necessary to avoid interference with existing antennas
- Installation of no more than the standard # of cabinets not to exceed four, or no more than one new equipment shelter
- Width – adding an appurtenance to the body of the tower that would protrude from the edge of the tower no more than twenty feet, or no more than the width of the tower structure at the level of the appurtenance
- The mounting may exceed the size limits if necessary to shelter the antenna from inclement weather or to connect antenna to the tower via cable
- Mounting of the antenna would not involve excavation outside the current tower site
150 Day Review - All Others
- New towers
- Collocations and modifications exceeding the thresholds for 60 or 90 day review
- Excavating outside the project site
- Anything else not on the 60 day review or 90 day review lists