160D-934. Collocation and eligible facilities requests of wireless support structures.

(a) Pursuant to section 6409 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, 47 U.S.C. 1455(a), a local government may not deny and shall approve any eligible facilities request as provided in this section. Nothing in this Part requires an application and approval for routine maintenance or limits the performance of routine maintenance on wireless support structures and facilities, including in-kind replacement of wireless facilities. Routine maintenance includes activities associated with regular and general upkeep of transmission equipment, including the replacement of existing wireless facilities with facilities of the same size. A local government may require an application for collocation or an eligible facilities request.

(b) A collocation or eligible facilities request application is deemed complete unless the local government provides notice that the application is incomplete in writing to the applicant within 45 days of submission or within some other mutually agreed upon time frame. The notice shall identify the deficiencies in the application which, if cured, would make the application complete. A local government may deem an application incomplete if there is insufficient evidence provided to show that the proposed collocation or eligible facilities request will comply with federal, State, and local safety requirements. A local government may not deem an application incomplete for any issue not directly related to the actual content of the application and subject matter of the collocation or eligible facilities request. An application is deemed complete on resubmission if the additional materials cure the deficiencies indicated.

(c) The local government shall issue a written decision approving an eligible facilities request application within 45 days of such application being deemed complete. For a collocation application that is not an eligible facilities request, the local government shall issue its written decision to approve or deny the application within 45 days of the application being deemed complete.

(d) A local government may impose a fee not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) for technical consultation and the review of a collocation or eligible facilities request application. The fee must be based on the actual, direct, and reasonable administrative costs incurred for the review, processing, and approval of a collocation application. A local government may engage a third-party consultant for technical consultation and the review of a collocation application. The fee imposed by a local government for the review of the application may not be used for either of the following:

(1) Travel expenses incurred in a third-party review of a collocation application.

(2) Reimbursement for a consultant or other third party based on a contingent fee basis or results-based arrangement. (2019-111, s. 2.4; 2020-3, s. 4.33(a); 2020-25, s. 51(a), (b), (d).)