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Land Development Code

Amateur Radio Communication Amendments

Amateur radio communication is a legally protected form of communication that can be beneficial to local communities for emergency response and disaster preparedness. The proposed amendments would clarify in the Land Development Code that communication services by licensed amateur radio operators is a permitted land use citywide. The amendments would also clarify the applicable height and placement criteria that apply to minimize negative impacts of associated amateur radio antenna structures, and the available discretionary permit process to request special height or placement accommodations to achieve effective communication.

The proposed amendments would allow amateur radio antennas to exceed the maximum zoning height by 35 percent or up to 70 feet above grade, whichever is less, through a staff level decision (Process 1); except in the Coastal Height Limit Overlay Zone, Clairemont Mesa Height Limit Overlay Zone, Planned Districts, and Historical Districts/sites containing historical resources, where the maximum height of the applicable zone would apply to ministerial antenna requests. Citywide, antenna placement would be required to meet the setback standards of the applicable base zone, and may not encroach into environmentally sensitive lands, or into a designated public access way or public view corridor identified in an adopted land use plan, unless such placement met the deviation requirements discussed below. Purely wire or cord-like amateur radio antennas operated without structural support or a permanent mount would be exempt from permit review.

The proposal would allow for site specific deviations to be requested citywide with a Neighborhood Development Permit (Process 2) to allow for effective communication by reasonably accommodating amateur radio communication in accordance with State and Federal law. Site specific height and placement needs for amateur radio antennas would be accommodated through this discretionary permit process without limit as necessary to effectively communicate.

This amendment project is subject to City Council adoption and Coastal Commission certification would follow. If you have questions related to this project, please contact Amanda Lee, Senior Planner at (619) 446-5367.