ALEC Offers Model Bill on Tower Siting

Published February 1, 2007

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Model Wireless Communications Tower Siting Act sets guidelines and limits for municipalities on the regulation of new and existing wireless towers and antennas. Generally, the act allows cities and towns to enforce the same local zoning and construction laws on cell tower siting that apply to other development, but attempts to legislate against discriminatory treatment of wireless service providers.

Under the model legislation, local authorities may not:

  • Impose environmental testing or monitoring on radio frequency emissions that are categorically excluded under FCC rules.
  • Institute construction moratoria greater than 90 days, or institute a second moratorium within six months of an earlier one.
  • Charge fees on wireless applications that are not required for other types of development, nor impose fees for third-party consulting or technical review that “exceed what is usual and customary.”
  • Prohibit the placement of emergency power systems that otherwise comply with federal and state environmental requirements.
  • Condition the approval of construction on the agreement of the owner to provide tower space for local government services at less than market rates.

For more information …

The text of ALEC’s Model Wireless Communications Tower Siting Act is available through PolicyBot™, The Heartland Institute’s free online research database. Point your Web browser to and search for document #20452.