It is clear that many municipalities expected that the growth of cell towers had slowed- not increased in pace. We spoke to a planner director in a top 10 city who suggested that she currently had 85 new applications in- and that the shear number of applications were preventing her from focusing on other planning matters. (She also said that some of the site ac/zoning contractors were some of her worst constituents to deal with- apparently they believe they are entitled to immediate review and can’t understand that they are in line).
Many municipalities wrongfully believed that they had already experienced the worst- but that is frankly incorrect. The industry has already gotten the easy sites- the industrial and commercial sites- now the carriers are looking to infill the more difficult areas to cover and are willing to pay for that coverage. New applications are being submitted in residential areas- where historically the municipality had no issue with keeping them out. From my own data- there are far more stealth type structures being proposed- partially because zoning and planning commissions are getting smarter.
If you are a municipality- feel free to post your experience or contact us directly for more information.