Middleburg, OH will closely regulate small cell facilities in right-of-ways
Law Director Gary Ebert will create a new chapter in the Middleburg Heights codified ordinances to define city standards for small cell facilities and wireless support structures in the right-of-ways.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich recently signed a bill containing small cell regulations that will go into effect July 31. Ebert told City Council in early May there is enough time for Middleburg to further define cellular guidelines for right-of-ways ahead of the new law.
The draft ordinance Ebert presented to council emphasized the need to "preserve the character of the city by minimizing the potentially adverse visual impact of small cell facilities and wireless support structures." Throughout the industry, small cell and wireless equipment often is affixed to new or existing poles, or they can be short, freestanding structures.
Middleburg officials will encourage collocation on existing poles where possible, according to Service Director Jim Herron. In addition, an application process and fee structure will be put in place.
"This is something that is going to be very important for cities to adopt because once it comes into effect, the various vendors are going to inundate the cities for locations based on their transmissions," Ebert told council members.
Currently there are between six and eight small cell facilities installed in Middleburg Heights.
"If cities do not get this under control, we will be inundated," Herron said. "We want to control this and make sure the aesthetics are pleasing in the right-of-ways, and then control the process so we get a product that benefits our business community, our residents and us at the same time."
Both City Council and the Planning Commission must approve the legislation before it can become part of the codified ordinances.
This article originally ran on cleveland.com.