Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 56. Public Service Companies
Chapter 15.1. Wireless Communications Infrastructure
9/19/2020

§ 56-484.29. Access to locality rights-of-way for installation and maintenance of small cell facilities on existing structures.

A. Upon application by a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider, a locality may issue a permit granting access to the public rights-of-way it operates and maintains to install and maintain small cell facilities on existing structures. Such a permit shall grant access to all rights-of-way in the locality for the purpose of installing small cell facilities on existing structures, provided that the wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider (i) has permission from the owner of the structure to co-locate equipment on that structure and (ii) provides notice of the agreement and co-location to the locality. The locality shall approve or disapprove any such requested permit within 60 days of receipt of the complete application. Within 10 days after receipt of an application and a valid electronic mail address for the applicant, the locality shall notify the applicant by electronic mail whether the application is incomplete and specify any missing information; otherwise, the application shall be deemed complete. Any disapproval shall be in writing and accompanied by an explanation for the disapproval. The 60-day period may be extended by the locality in writing for a period not to exceed an additional 30 days. The permit request shall be deemed approved if the locality fails to act within the initial 60 days or an extended 30-day period. No such permit shall be required for providers of telecommunications services and nonpublic providers of cable television, electric, natural gas, water, and sanitary sewer services that, as of July 1, 2017, already have facilities lawfully occupying the public rights-of-way under the locality's jurisdiction.

B. Localities shall not impose any fee for the use of the rights-of-way, except for zoning, subdivision, site plan, and comprehensive plan fees of general application, on a wireless services provider or wireless infrastructure provider to attach or co-locate small cell facilities on an existing structure in the right-of-way. However, a locality may prescribe and charge a reasonable fee not to exceed $250 for processing a permit application under subsection A.

C. Localities shall not impose any fee or require any application or permit for the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro-wireless facilities that are suspended on cables or lines that are strung between existing utility poles in compliance with national safety codes. However, the locality may require a single use permit if such activities (i) involve working within the highway travel lane or require closure of a highway travel lane; (ii) disturb the pavement, shoulder, roadway, or ditch line; (iii) include placement on limited access rights-of-way; or (iv) require any specific precautions to ensure the safety of the traveling public or the protection of public infrastructure or the operation thereof, and either were not authorized in or will be conducted in a time, place, or manner that is inconsistent with terms of the existing permit for that facility or the structure upon which it is attached.

2017, c. 835.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.