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NO. 94. AN ACT RELATING TO AUTHORIZING DISBURSEMENT OF PLANNING ASSISTANCE TO CERTAIN MUNICIPALITIES THAT DO NOT ALREADY HAVE AN APPROVED PLAN.

(H.616)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 6030 is added to read:

§ 6030. MAP OF WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES

The board shall maintain a map that shows the location of all wireless telecommunications facilities in the state.

Sec. 2. 24 V.S.A. § 2291 is amended to read:

§ 2291. ENUMERATION OF POWERS

For the purpose of promoting the public health, safety, welfare and convenience, a town, city or incorporated village shall have the following powers:

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(19) To regulate the construction, alteration, development, and decommissioning or dismantling of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements where the city, town or village has not adopted zoning or where those activities are not regulated pursuant to a duly adopted zoning bylaw. Regulations regarding the decommissioning or dismantling of telecommunications facilities and ancillary structures may include requirements that bond be posted, or other security acceptable to the legislative body, in order to finance facility decommissioning or dismantling activities. These regulations are not intended to prohibit seamless coverage of wireless telecommunications services.

Sec. 3. 24 V.S.A. § 4348a(a)(5) is amended to read:

(a) A regional plan shall be consistent with the goals established in section 4302 of this title and shall include but need not be limited to the following:

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(5) A utility and facility element, consisting of a map and statement of present and prospective local and regional community facilities and public utilities, whether publicly or privately owned, showing existing and proposed educational, recreational and other public sites, buildings and facilities, including public schools, state office buildings, hospitals, libraries, power generating plants and transmission lines, wireless telecommunicationsfacilities and ancillary improvements, water supply, sewage disposal, refuse disposal, storm drainage and other similar facilities and activities, and recommendations to meet future needs for those facilities, with indications of priority of need;

Sec. 4. 24 V.S.A. § 4407 is amended to read:

§ 4407. PERMITTED TYPES OF REGULATIONS Any municipality may adopt zoning regulations that may include, but shall not be limited to, any of the following provisions:

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(17) Technical review. A bylaw enacted under this chapter may include procedures to require an applicant to pay for reasonable costs of an independent technical review of the application.

(18) Moratorium relating to the siting of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements. If a municipality has begun a process to adopt or amend regulations relating to the siting of wireless telecommunications facilities, a municipality may adopt a regulation that establishes a moratorium on issuing permits to allow the siting and construction of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements, and, if necessary, that requires that such permits be obtained.

(A) This moratorium may be adopted by vote of the municipality's legislative body, subject to disapproval by the voters under section 1973 of this title, or it may be adopted by vote of a majority of the voters of the municipality present and voting at a duly warned meeting of the voters of the municipality.

(B) A moratorium adopted under this subdivision shall run for no more than 180 consecutive days, covering dates which shall be identified in the regulation adopting the moratorium, and which shall fall between the effective date of this act and July 1, 1999.

(C) A moratorium adopted under this subdivision shall terminate upon the effective date of new regulatory provisions relating to the siting of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements, upon expiration of 180 days from the effective date of the moratorium, or upon June 30, 1999, whichever comes first.

(D) When a moratorium is adopted under this subdivision, anytelecommunications facility-related application pending as of the date of the adoption of the moratorium shall be entitled to a permit only when the applicant meets the requirements of the regulations as they exist at the termination of the moratorium.

(19) Provision for the decommissioning or dismantling of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements. Regulations regarding the decommissioning or dismantling of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements may include requirements that bond be posted, or other security acceptable to the legislative body, in order to finance facility decommissioning or dismantling activities.

Sec. 5. 10 V.S.A. § 6001(26) is added to read:

(26) "Telecommunications facility" means a support structure which is primarily for communication or broadcast purposes and which will extend vertically 20 feet, or more, in order to transmit or receive communication signals for commercial, industrial, municipal, county or state purposes.

Sec. 6. 24 V.S.A. § 4303(23) is added to read:

(23) "Telecommunications facility" means a support structure which is primarily for communication or broadcast purposes and which will extend vertically 20 feet, or more, in order to transmit or receive communication signals for commercial, industrial, municipal, county or state purposes.

Sec. 7. ATTORNEY GENERAL

Notwithstanding provisions of law to the contrary, the office of the attorney general, on request of the municipal legislative body, will intervene to defend the lawfulness of the statute when litigation is commenced that alleges as unlawful a moratorium on issuing permits to allow the siting and construction of wireless telecommunications facilities and ancillary improvements, if such a moratorium has been adopted by a municipality under authority of this act.

The scope of representation by the office of attorney general shall be limited to the issue of the lawfulness of the town's authority to impose a moratorium.

Sec. 8. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved: April 15, 1998