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Published on Friday, February 3, 2017

Sweeping pre-emption of city authority included in small cell deployment bills

Identical bills were introduced this week in the House and Senate that would preempt city authority to manage the rights of way and would impose a cost formula for charging for pole attachments.

HB 1921, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Morris (D-Mount Vernon), has not yet had a hearing. SB 5711, sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) is scheduled for a hearing on February 8.

The bills are long, covering areas such as permitting and zoning, application timelines, accessing the rights of way, accessing municipally owned properties both in and out of the rights of way, utility relocation pertaining to regional transit authorities, and universal service. Most aspects of these bills are of great concern to cities.

AWC has convened a technical committee of cities to help review bill language and prepare material. In addition, we will keep cities updated here in the Legislative Bulletin as the legislative session proceeds. More than 30 cities around the state are working to develop and adopt updated codes to manage small cell facilities and at least a half-dozen cities have already completed the process. This sweeping preemption proposal is simply unnecessary.

For further information about these proposals, contact Victoria Lincoln or Dave Catterson at AWC.

Categories: Telecommunications