Approximate Review Time: Up to 70 days
Regulations: Zoning for Wireless Telecommunications Infrastructure
Form: Zoning Telecommunications Permit Application
As of July 1, 2017, an administrative permit will be required from the Arlington County Zoning Division for telecommunications facilities on private property in accordance with regulations set forth in Section 2316 of the Virginia State Code. The regulations define what small cell facilities are and how local jurisdictions must approve them. All wireless service providers must apply for the permit to install a small cell facility. A permit is also required for any proposed changes or modifications to previously approved small cell facility.
Submission & Review Process
STEP 1: Pre-Submission – Determine Type of Project
Before applying for a small cell facilities permit, determine if your project meets all four criteria in the table below.
|Does your project involve the installation of an antenna?||Yes → Go to the next criteria.||No →||Explore:|
|Is the antenna 6 cu. ft. or smaller?||Yes → Go to the next criteria.||No →||Explore:|
|Is the cumulative area of the associated equipment for your antenna 28 cu. ft. or smaller?||Yes → Go to the next criteria.||No →||Explore:|
|Is your project on an existing structure outside of the Public Right-of-Way (PROW)?||Yes → Proceed to Step 2.||No →||Explore:|
If you answered ‘No’ to any of the above four questions, your project is not considered a small cell facility for zoning purposes. In this case, you must use one of the following processes to apply for a permit:
STEP 2: Submit Zoning Telecommunications Permit Application
- Zoning Telecommunications permit applications are filed with the Zoning Division.
- Two (2) copies of the application and supporting documents are required.
- Zoning counter services staff will review the application and use the above table above to determine if the project qualifies as a small cell facility.
- If the project meets these requirements, the application will be accepted and fees collected.
STEP 3: Zoning Telecommunication Permit Application Review
The plan reviewer assigned to your application will, within 10 days of application filing, let you know via email, if there are any missing elements to your application.
Once the application is deemed complete, Zoning staff will, within 60 days, approve or disapprove the application.
If more time is necessary, Zoning staff will email you to request up to an additional 30 days for review.
Small cell facility application submission requirements:
Properly filled out and signed application meeting all requirements stated therein, including:
- Statement of consent from property owner
- Specifications for all equipment
- Site plan including vicinity map, location of the proposed antennas in relation to adjacent properties, the zone of adjacent properties
- 11” x 17” drawings to scale showing the elevation profile of the structure indicating:
- Heights of proposed antennas, existing antennas (with carrier names and antenna type)
- Heights designated for future attachments, if any
- Any equipment sheds or cabinets, ice bridge, cabling, etc.
- The location of other existing or approved carrier facilities, antennas, and equipment; A professional engineer must stamp drawings.
Apply In-Person or Mail
Arlington County Ellen M. Bozman Government Center
CPHD – Zoning Division
2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1000
Arlington, VA 22210
Each application will require the following fees:
|New Structure||$500 per application|
|Co-location||$500 per application|
|Small Cell Facilities||$100 per facility||1st through 5th facility|
|$50 per facility||6th through 35th facility|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is my project a small cell wireless facility?
The Virginia State Code defines a small cell facility as a wireless facility that meets both following qualifications:
- (i) each antenna is located inside an enclosure of no more than six cubic feet in volume, or, in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of its exposed elements could fit within an imaginary enclosure of no more than six cubic feet and;
- (ii) all other wireless equipment associated with the facility has a cumulative volume of no more than 28 cubic feet, or such higher limit as is established by the Federal Communications Commission
Zoning staff will review your proposed project and determine if it meets with this definition.
I am co-locating equipment; why can’t I apply for a co-location permit instead.
If the proposed wireless facility is being installed on an existing structure and on private property and its dimensions fall within the legal definition of a small cell facility, you must apply for a zoning telecommunications permit for a small cell facility. Per 2316 regulations, Zoning’s co-location permit is reserved for non-small cell facilities.
The existing structure to which I am attaching a small cell facility was approved through a Special Exception County Board Use Permit. Is this the correct small cell facility permit that is applicable to co-locating equipment?
If the existing structure to which you are proposing to co-locate equipment was approved through Special Exception County Board Use Permit, please see the following to determine which permits you should apply for:
- If you are co-locating a new facility (antenna + supporting equipment), and the dimensions of the facility fall within the parameters of the definition for a small cell facility, apply for a Zoning Telecommunication Permit for Small Cell Facility.
- If you are co-locating supporting equipment only (without antenna), apply for Zoning Telecommunications Permit to Co-Locate a non-Small Cell Facility.
I already have an approved small cell facility permit and I am proposing to add or replace equipment on same small cell facility. Which permit application should I use?
- If you are specifically replacing supporting equipment only, use the Zoning Telecommunication Permit for Small Cell Facility
- If you are specifically adding supporting equipment, the existing supporting equipment and the requested new supporting equipment together may not exceed 28 cubic feet for consideration as a small cell facility.
- If it exceeds 28 cubic feet; apply using the Zoning Telecommunications Permit to Co-locate a non-Small Cell facility.
- If it does not exceed 28 cubic feet, use the Zoning Telecommunications Permit for a Small Cell facility.
Will I require a building permit for a small cell facility?
The Inspection Service Division (ISD) can provide guidance and help you determine if your proposed project requires a building permit. Contact ISD at 703-228-3800 .