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City Council to consider adding wireless facilities ordinance

July 16, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – Advanced wireless internet technology may be coming to Sycamore soon, and the city council is considering a plan to make it easy for providers to fit in.

A state law which became effective in June requires municipalities including Sycamore to pass an ordinance that will pave the way for newer technology, such as so-called 5G, or fifth generation, wifi service. The law limits permit regulations and rate fees that communities can impose and requires they pass a law to that effect by Aug.1, according to the Illinois Municipal League.

Gov. Bruce Rauner originally signed Senate Bill 1451 with the intent to help make Illinois more competitive for businesses and to further advanced technology in Illinois.

The bill ensures that local governments keep their role and authority in the permitting process of telecommunications equipment by allowing them to exercise their zoning, land use, planning, and permitting authorities within their territorial boundaries, including with respect to wireless support structures and utility poles.

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City Manager Brian Gregory said the ordinance would be customized for Sycamore, which includes outward appearance regulations for the small wireless facilities. He said there aren’t a lot of other anticipated added local amendments to the model ordinance beyond the outward appearance concern.

“Really, it’s more or less the model ordinance from the Illinois Municipal League,” Gregory said.

Instead of building new cell phone data towers in the city, Gregory said, the small wireless devices could be placed on top of a structure that already exists.

“So it could go on a streetlight,” Gregory said.

Gregory said the city council will also consider whether to pass revised plans for the new Meijer store coming to the corner of Peace Road and Illinois Route 23. That comes after the Planning Commission voted, 7-0, in a favor of the redone plans for the building.

The City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at 308 W. State St.