(a) The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Antenna. - Communications equipment that transmits, receives, or transmits and receives electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of all types of wireless communications services.
(2) Buildings. - Structures owned or leased by the State on which equipment may be placed or attached.
(3) Collocation. - The placement or installation of wireless facilities on existing structures, including electrical transmission towers, water towers, buildings, and other structures capable of structurally supporting the attachment of wireless facilities in compliance with applicable building and line safety codes.
(4) Equipment. - Antennas, transmitters, receivers, cables, wires, transformers, power supplies, electric and communication lines necessary for the provision of television broadcast signals, radio wave signals, wireless data or wireless telecommunication services to a discrete geographic area, and all other apparatuses and appurtenances, including shelters, cabinets, buildings, platforms, and ice bridges used to house or otherwise protect equipment.
(5) Ground area. - The area of real property surrounding the base of towers on which the equipment and appurtenances necessary for the operation and stability of the towers, including guy wires and security fencing, are constructed or installed.
(6) Provider. - Any person that is engaged in the transmission, reception, or dissemination of television broadcast signals, radio wave signals, or electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of wireless communications service, or the provisioning of wireless infrastructure.
(7) Tower. - New or existing structures, such as a monopole, lattice tower, guyed tower, fire observation tower or water tower that are designed to support or are capable of supporting equipment used in the transmission or receipt of television broadcast signals, radio wave signals, or electromagnetic radio signals used in the provision of wireless communication service.
(b) The State may lease real property, or may grant an easement or license with an interest in real property for the following communication purposes:
(1) Constructing, installing, and operating towers and equipment on State land.
(2) Installing and operating equipment on towers, buildings, or ground area owned or leased by the State.
(c) If otherwise feasible and determined by the Department of Administration to be in the best interest of the State:
(1) New towers constructed on State land shall be designed for collocation. This requirement shall not apply to towers constructed on State land by the State or any of its agencies or by a "public entity" as that term is defined in G.S. 146-29.1(b).
(2) The State shall encourage the collocation of equipment on existing towers and buildings owned by the State.
(3) The State shall sublease for collocation purposes space on any tower or ground area leased by the State, if allowed under the terms of the lease.
(4) The State shall, to the extent practicable, adopt standard terms and conditions for applications to lease, easements, or other conveyances of an interest in real property for communication purposes.
(d) Pursuant to G.S. 143-341(4)f., the Governor, acting with the approval of the Council of State, may adopt rules authorizing the Department of Administration to enter into or approve classes of leases, easements, or licenses with an interest in real property for the purposes set forth in this section. The rules may allow for execution of leases or other instruments by the Department of Administration rather than execution of the instruments in the manner prescribed in G.S. 146-74 through G.S. 146-78.
(e) Land in the State Parks System, as defined in G.S. 113-449.9, may only be leased or conveyed for the purposes of this section upon the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Lease or conveyance of land in the State Parks System for the purposes of this section shall comply with the requirements of Articles 2 and 2C of Chapter 113 of the General Statutes. When selecting a location for a communications tower or antenna in the State Parks System, the State shall choose a location that minimizes the visual impact on the surrounding landscape. No land acquired or developed using funds from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund shall be leased or conveyed for the purposes of this section.
(f) City and county ordinances apply to communications towers and antennas authorized under this section. (1998-158, s. 3; 2013-185, s. 3.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014