Information on Small Cell Antennas

Information forum on small cell towers

The County held an informational public meeting on cell towers on October 26,2016 at Ridgeview Middle School in Gaithersburg. Watch the full video.

The Council held a public forum on small cell antennas on Oct. 26, 2016 at Ridgeview Middle School in Gaithersburg. If you missed the meeting or want to learn more about issues associated with small cell antennas, please review the information provided on this page.

What is allowed under the current law?


Proposal before the Council

ZTA 16-05, Telecommunications Towers - Limited Use, would allow poles, within the Zoning Ordinance’s definition of Telecommunications Towers, no higher than 30 feet in various zones as a limited use. The demand for wireless services has increased the need for wireless coverage in residential areas. The telecommunications industry can meet this need with small antennas on short poles; however, this new equipment cannot be supported on existing street lights. Also some neighborhoods have underground utilities. The current Zoning Ordinance requires a conditional use approval for every new pole, no matter how short the pole.

Most Frequently Asked Questions About Cell Towers and County’s Authority to Regulate

Tower and antenna applications and locations

In Montgomery County, the Telecommunications Facility Coordinating Group (Tower Committee) is composed of representatives from relevant land owning and land use agencies to review all new telecommunications facilities and antenna siting applications. The Committee meets frequently with industry representatives to review all applications and makes recommendations based on legal requirements and technical and co-location considerations. The meetings are open to the public.

What do small cell antennas look like?

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Simulation of small cell antenna in a residential neighborhood Photo simulation provided by Crown Castle.

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Simulation of small cell antenna in a busy intersection Photo simulation provided by Crown Castle.

More questions or concerns?

Email County Council