Cell Towers/Telecommunication Facilities
Applications received by the City related to this topic are searchable via the alert in the upper-right corner of this page.
Planning Commission Update
On June 15, 2022, the Planning Commission reviewed the request for approval of a Design Review Permit and Conditional Use Permit for the proposed rooftop wireless facility located at 202 West Ojai Avenue. The Planning Commission continued the item to the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting on July 20, 2022, with a request for more information related to the noise study, initially submitted with the project, and the proposed color and materials. The requested information was submitted by the applicant on July 5, 2022. On July 20, 2022, the Planning Commission approved the requested Design Review Permit and Conditional Use Permit.
Historic Resources Report Prepared and Available for Review
In November 2021, Community Development staff determined a Historic Resources Report was required for the proposed wireless facility for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act located at 202 W. Ojai Avenue. The reason for this determination is because the subject site is listed in the California Register of Historic Resources as a contributor to the State designated Downtown Ojai Historic District. A request for proposals was posted shortly thereafter, and the Community Development Department, with input from the applicant, contracted with GPA Consulting for the preparation of a Historic Resources Report. A draft Historic Resources Report was submitted on April 12, 2022 by GPA Consulting and is currently being reviewed by staff and the applicant (Chris Doheny – Smartlink). The information is available for public review at City Hall – 401 S. Ventura Street, Community Development Department, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. or by clicking this link.
City of Ojai Has Received Incomplete Items for a Wireless Facility Located at 202 W Ojai Avenue
On December 1, 2020 the Community Development Department provided an incomplete letter regarding a proposed rooftop wireless facility. The applicant (Smartlink) resubmitted additional information on June 21, 2021, and the Community Development Department Staff is currently reviewing the submitted information. The information is available for public review at City Hall – 401 S. Ventura Street, Community Development Department, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m or by clicking this link.
November 20, 2020 City Received Application for Cell Tower Installation at 202 West Ojai Avenue (AT&T Building)
On Friday, November 20, 2020, wireless representative, Chris Doheny, with Smart Link, submitted a Design Review Permit (DRP 20-004) and Conditional Use Permit (CUP 20-005) application to Community Development staff for the following Telecommunications project at 202 West Ojai Avenue (AT&T Building):
AT&T proposes to build an unmanned wireless telecommunications facility consisting of a three (3) sector array with three (3) panel antennas per sector that is concealed behind FRP screening, designed to blend in with existing architecture and compliment the surrounding vicinity. All associated equipment will be located within the screened enclosure. AT&T will work with the city and the community to install a state-of-the-art fully concealed structure that will improve communications services for the residents and visitors in the Ojai area.
A wireless carrier requires the installation of a cell site within a specified area to close a “significant gap in coverage.” Other criteria for selecting sites include the following:
1. The radio signal must be of sufficient strength to achieve consistent, sustainable, and reliable service to customers at a level sufficient for outdoor, in-vehicle, and in-building penetration with good voice quality (Threshold, 15.85 db).
2. When nearby other sites become overloaded and more enhanced voice and data services are used (4G and other high-speed data services), signal contracts and a gap is created. With heavy use it is intensified due to the unique properties of digital radio transmissions.
In this specific case, AT&T’s radio-frequency engineers (RF) have identified a significant gap in coverage in the vicinity of Ojai Ave, and central downtown Ojai area. A photo simulation is viewable here.
Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to the Community Development Manager at 805.646.5581 or via email at Seibert@ojaicity.org
August, 2020, City Received Inquiry about Cell Tower Installation at
202 West Ojai Avenue (AT&T Building) – No Application at this Time
A wireless representative with Smart Link recently reached out to Community Development staff inquiring about the standards and process to potentially locate a rooftop telecommunications facility at 202 West Ojai Avenue (AT&T building). No application has been submitted, however a photometric simulation was included which is viewable here. Any further questions regarding this matter should be directed to the Community Development Manager at 805.646.5581 or via email at Seibert@ojaicity.org
City of Ojai Municipal Code on Cell Towers/Telecommunication Facilities and related City Council Actions:
The Ojai Municipal Code section dealing with telecommunications facilities (Section 10-2.1712) was originally adopted in 2004. Recent actions taken by the Ojai City Council are listed below, followed by earlier actions. The Council’s most recent action was in 2019:
2019: At its Regular Meetings on March 12 and March 26, 2019, the Ojai City Council discussed protocols for small cell wireless communication equipment applications . At the March 26, 2019 meeting the Council voted to adopt a resolution establishing such protocols.
- For City Council Resolution No. 19-06, adopted on March 26, 2019 and setting the City’s policies regarding certain “small cell” cell tower communication equipment, click here.
- For the Agenda packet of the March 12, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
- For the Agenda packet of the March 26, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
- For minutes of the March 12, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
- For minutes of the March 26, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
To watch video of the same meetings:
- For video of the March 12, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
- For video of the March 26, 2019 Regular Meeting, click here.
- Versions of these videos with clickable shortcuts to each agenda item can be found here and here.
2015: At its Regular Meeting on March 24, 2015, the Ojai City Council adopted procedures for public notice of applications related to Cell Towers/Telecommunication Facilities. At its Regular Meeting on March 10, 2015 the Ojai City Council adopted Ordinance No. 851, making modifications to the City’s telecommunication facility standards.
- To read Ordinance No. 851 adopted on March 10, 2015, making modifications to the City’s telecommunication facility standards, click here.
- To read Resolution 15-13 adopted on March 26, 2015, adopting procedures for public notice of applications related to Cell Towers/Telecommunication Facilities, click here.
Earlier 2015 Actions:
February 24, 2015: City Council Hearing
- PC Recommended Telecommunications Ordinance
- Supplemental Telecommunications Ordinance Memo
- Watch meeting Video of this item
February 9, 2015: Adjourned Planning Commission Meeting
- Memo – telecommunications adjournment Meeting
- Attachment A – Red-line Version
- Attachment B – Proposed ordinance
- Attachment C – Zoning Map
- Watch Meeting Video
February 4, 2015: Planning Commission Hearing
- Item 5 – Wireless Telecommunication Facilities Administrative Report
- Watch Meeting Video of this item
January 20, 2015: City Council/Planning Commission Workshop
- Administrative Report
- Background and Summary (Attachment A)
- DRAFT Ordinance (Attachment B)
- League of California FCC Wireless Siting Information
- Shameless Plug for the League (Information Only)
- Ojai Telecommunication Workshop Power Point
- Watch Meeting Video
Earlier Council Actions:
On April 8, 2014 the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance establishing a 45 day moratorium on new telecommunications pending development of new local regulations. The moratorium was extended on May 13, 2014 and was set to expire on April 7, 2015.
December 9, 2014: Meeting with Industry Representatives