Nevada City makes wireless telecoms pay | TheUnion.com

Nevada City makes wireless telecoms pay

John Orona
Staff Writer

Telecom companies looking to set up wireless facilities in Nevada City will have to pay a price.

In a special meeting Wednesday night, the Nevada City Council voted unanimously to impose fees on telecom companies applying for wireless facility permits. All fees and penalties adopted with the ordinance will take effect in 60 days.

The city has yet to receive an application from a telecom company.

The council set fees for applications requiring a conditional use permit or master deployment plan at $2,000, applications using an administrative permit at $500, and batched facility permits will cost $500 for the first facility and $250 for each following facility.

According to Nevada City Manager Catrina Olson, the goal of imposing the fees is to recoup time lost by staff on reviewing the applications, which takes about 40 hours for the conditional use permit process and six hours for the administrative permit process.

“Any telecom application is going to require staff time,” Olson wrote in an email. “So there will be fees for every permit issues/application processed.”

The city also created a deposit price for permits that incur an extraordinary amount of cost or time, or require the use of a consultant, which would be two to four times more expensive.

According to Nevada City Planner Amy Wolfson, the rates were set based on the anticipated hours staff puts into reviewing each application multiplied by the city’s average hourly staff rate, $85, or the reasonable rate of a highly qualified consultant, $300.

Telecom companies have been able to apply for wireless facilities permits in Nevada City for the last three weeks after the city in September adopted an ordinance that regulates wireless telecom facilities.

PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs affecting the last two Nevada City Council meetings threw off the timing between the adoption of the ordinance allowing wireless telecom permits and this one setting fees for each application.

To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email jorona@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4229.


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