In an effort to protect property values and to enhance Beaumont’s aesthetic appearance, City Council approved an amendment to regulate wireless facilities within city limits at the Dec. 3 meeting.

The addition places a lot of positioning on stealth design and establishes an ordinance that reflects development standards, consistent with existing standards that make sure residents rights are protected.

Faster internet in the area comes with more tower structures.

Councilman Lloyd White said because of the new 5G technology, there needs to be a lot towers to provide faster broadbands for services like Netflix.

However, some members of the community had concerns about the safety and aesthetics of the devices needed for said better coverage.

Obtrusive and unsightly accessory structures are not only eyesores, but prior to this ordinance, residents did not have a say in where the towers were erected, and cities could not restrict where telecommunications companies built towers.

The only way to limit or control the onslaught of the facilities and to protect our residents is through implementing ordinances, said White.

The ordinance City Council approved regulates the location and design of wireless telecommunication.

Factors like the ability to camouflage the structure, size, proximity to residences, and availability of alternative locations are all considered by the city before granting a permit for a telecommunication facility.

One standard the city established for stealth facilities is that they do not display any signs or advertising devices or be illuminated unless required by the Federal Aviation Administration. If any accessory equipment associated with the operation of the facility is located above ground, they usually look like refridgerator size boxes, it must be visually compatible with the surrounding buildings and natural features and either shrouded by sufficient landscaping or natural features.

Additionally, if the accessory equipment is visible from a residential area, a solid masonry block wall must be put up to screen the equipment.

The facility must blend into the surrounding environment or be architecturally integrated into a concealing structure; and they have to be located at least 50 feet from any public right-of-way and more than 300 feet from any property line of a residential zoning classification or a property line containing a residential use.

Facilities that are exempt are: any structure that is designed to receive direct broadcast satellite service, including direct-to-home satellite service; an antenna structure in a commercial or industrial zone that is designed to transmit or receive radio communication; an antenna structure that is designed solely to receive broadcast signals from licensed radio and television stations.

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