There will be intermittent outages to the City's Website on Sunday, September 19th between 5:00 am and 4:00 pm for a planned system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Everyone is required to stay home, except for essential needs. When out, protect yourself and those around you by wearing a face covering, staying 6 feet away from others, and washing your hands often. Learn more at cityofberkeley.info/covid19. City offices are closed to the public. Some services are available remotely.

The City of Berkeley Health Officer has ordered all residents to shelter at home, leaving only to receive or provide essential services, starting 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 17. See details of the Order, frequently asked questions, and recommendations from Berkeley Public Health at https://www.cityofberkeley.info/coronavirus.

City Council Live Stream: Please visit https://www.cityofberkeley.info/CalendarEventWebcastMain.aspx

ZAB Live Stream: Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx.

The City of Berkeley web site is undergoing scheduled maintenance starting on Friday night, September 13 and ending on Saturday afternoon, September 14. During this time, most web pages should be available, but some resources may become unavailable for short periods of time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 5/9/19, at 7:00pm? Please visit https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1UAnZ8kU8EWllREyOY7rwQ/. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same time.

Looking for a live stream of the Zoning Adjustments Board (ZAB) meeting on 2/28/19, from 6:00 to 11:00 PM? Please visit http://www.cityofberkeley.info/Clerk/Commissions/Zoning_Adjustment_Board_Meeting_-_Video_Stream.aspx. The normal viewing methods will not work this time due to a concurrent City Council Special Meeting at the same date and time.

PG&E is reporting a widespread outage affecting thousands of customers in Berkeley and many City buildings, including the Finance Customer Service Center and the Permit Service Center. Call respective City services for further details, or check the PG&E outage page. Power is expected to return by 12:45pm. Traffic lights that are not working should be treated as a four-way stop sign.

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Department of Public Works
Department of Public Works

Information on Small Cell Wireless Facilities

Backround

The utility permitting section of the Department of Public Works receives many inquiries regarding the permit applications and installation of wireless communication facilities that are planned by the various telecommunication companies within the City.

Cellular communications antennae have traditionally been deployed on tall towers and rooftops to transmit over low frequency bands that travel long distances. Cell sites are increasingly being installed on streetlights and utility infrastructure on new frequency bands that travel shorter distances. The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has determined that these “small wireless facilities” or “small cells” are essential to the next technological evolution and has adopted regulations to streamline their deployment. One technological evolution includes being able to handle massive amounts of data at fast speeds.

Regulations

On September 27, 2018, the FCC adopted a Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order, FCC 18-133 (the “Small Cell Order”).

In general, the Small Cell Order imposes the following requirements:  

(1) restricts the fees and other compensation state and local governments may receive from applicants;  
(2) requires all aesthetic regulations to be reasonable, no more burdensome than those applied to other infrastructure deployments, objective and published in advance; 
(3) mandates that local officials review permit applications and conduct any appeals within significantly shorter timeframes; 
(4) prohibits the application of local regulations in a way that materially inhibits wireless companies from establishing or expanding their services; and
(5) creates new evidentiary presumptions that may make it more difficult for local governments to defend themselves if an action or failure to act is challenged in court.  

The regulations adopted in the Small Cell Order significantly curtail the local authority over wireless communication facilities reserved to State and local governments under sections 253 and 704 in the Telecommunications Act.

Local Control

In order to adjust to the changing telecommunications environment, the City of Berkeley recently updated the existing Aesthetic Guidelines for Telecommunications Facilities in the Public Right-of-Way to reflect the increase in small wireless facilities deployment, construction, installation, collocation, modification, operation, relocation and removal within the City’s boundaries, consistent with and to the extent permitted under federal and California state law. The standards and procedures contained in the Policy are intended to, and should be applied to, protect and promote public health, safety and welfare, and balance the benefits that flow from robust, advanced wireless services with the City’s local values.

Radio Frequency Emissions Testing Program 

The City has also implemented a program to randomly select and test small cell antenna installations, on a biannual basis, to verify conformance with FCC regulations for radio frequency emissions. These results will be made available to the public, and can be found at the link below.

Radio Frequency Testing Reports   

More Information on Small Cell Wireless:

List of Recent Small Cell Permits Issued

Guide to Transmitting Antenna RF Emission Safety

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Fact Sheet

City of Berkeley Wireless Telecommunications Aesthetic Guidelines

City of Berkeley Municipal Code 16.10 Excavation for Video and Telecom (Public ROW)  

 City of Berkeley Municipal Code 23C.17 Wireless Telecommunication Facilities (PrivateProperty) 

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Questions or comments? Email: publicworks@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6300
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
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