COVID-19 Update: To ensure the health, safety and well-being of customers and department staff, the Development Services Department has implemented operational service changes that will be in effect until further notice. Learn more. 

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Wireless Communication Facilities (WCFs)

Wireless communication facility at Hazard Center

Wireless Communication Facilities (WCFs) are the antennas, support structures and other equipment or apparatus necessary for providing personal wireless services and information services. The Development Services Department reviews applications for conventional WCFs, as well as applications to use City of San Diego streetlight and traffic signal poles for small cell WCF (SC-WCF) deployment for compliance with the City's Land Development Code.


For information on conventional (“macro cell”) WCFs, all SC-WCFs outside the public right-of-way, and discretionary (non-City-standard) SC-WCFs in the public right-of-way, please contact one of the Telecom project managers below:

Karen Lynch
Development Project Manager III
619-446-5351
Send Karen Lynch an email

Will Zounes
Development Project Manager II
619-687-5942
Send Will Zounes an email

Nilia Safi
Development Project Manager II
(Contact info to follow)

 


For information on ministerial SC-WCFs in the public right-of-way (on existing City infrastructure, proposed City-standard infrastructure, or non-City infrastructure), please contact:

Simon Tse
Development Project Manager III
619-687-5984
Send Simon Tse an email

WCF Submittal Requirements

The PDF icon  Wireless Communication Facilities Supplemental Application and Checklist will help you determine the relevant City decision process and shot clock. Projects are then submitted for review per PDF icon  Information Bulletin 536, "Wireless Communication Facilities," which describes the submittal requirements for WCFs, including Spectrum Act applications and links to the City Consent Application Form for WCF application on City property.  

WCF Ordinance Update

On August 6, 2019, the City Council approved an update to the Wireless Communication Facility Regulations (SDMC 141.0420), which became effective September 5, 2019. 

As a part of this update, the WCF Guidelines were added to the Land Development Manual. 

WCF Guidelines

Applicants should refer to the PDF icon WCF Guidelines when designing WCFs in the City. These:

  • Outline three unifying principles that govern WCF design: The Principles of Balance, Context and Least Visibility;
  • Describe the specific design and processing requirements the City has instituted to implement all WCF policies and regulations, including state and federal law; and
  • Comprehensively address the design, location, facility type, levels of and incentives for concealment, the Spectrum Act, Substantial Conformance Review, small cells and standards for what should be shown on plans.

WCF Policies and Regulations

Radio Frequency (RF) Safety

The Federal Communications Commission (link is external) (FCC) regulates safety related to cell phones and antenna facilities. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (link is external) prohibits the City from evaluating applications based on health-related concerns, as long as RF emissions are within FCC limits. Wireless carriers must submit a report demonstrating compliance with FCC regulations.

Facilities on City Property, Including the Public-Right-Of-Way

The City's Real Estate Assets Department invites wireless communication carriers to expand network infrastructure on City property and on City-owned property throughout the County of San Diego. Please contact Carla Gresham at [email protected] or 619-236-6729.

Downtown San Diego Projects

As of July 22, 2019, all WCFs in the Downtown area are processed by Development Services. Civic San Diego no longer accepts, processes or reviews WCF applications. Attempted submittals at Civic San Diego will not constitute the start of the applicable shot clock.

Annual Reporting

San Diego Municipal Code 141.0420(d)(10) requires wireless providers and telecom site management companies to submit site listings annually by January 31. Please use one of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets below for annual reporting and follow the detailed instructions.


Visual Case Studies

  • Wireless communication facility in North ParkWireless communication facility on Meade Avenue and Boundary Street designed to look like the historic water tower in the North Park community
  • Wireless communication facility in North ParkWireless communication facility on Meade Avenue and Boundary Street designed to look like the historic water tower in the North Park community
  • Wireless communication facility in North ParkWireless communication facility on Meade Avenue and Boundary Street designed to look like the historic water tower in the North Park community
  • Wireless communication facility at Beyer locationWireless communication facility at Beyer location (3310 Beyer Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Beyer locationWireless communication facility at Beyer location (3310 Beyer Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Beyer locationWireless communication facility at Beyer location (3310 Beyer Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa locationWireless communication facility at Clairemont Mesa location (4282 Genesee Avenue)
  • Wireless communication facility at Crown Point locationWireless communication facility at Crown Point location (3833 Ingraham Street)
  • Wireless communication facility at Crown Point locationWireless communication facility at Crown Point location (3833 Ingraham Street)
  • Wireless communication facility at Crown Point locationWireless communication facility at Crown Point location (3833 Ingraham Street)
  • Wireless communication facility at Crown Point locationWireless communication facility at Crown Point location (3833 Ingraham Street)
  • Wireless communication facility at Hazard Center locationWireless communication facility at Hazard Center location (5664 Mission Center Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Hazard Center locationWireless communication facility at Hazard Center location (5664 Mission Center Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Hazard Center locationWireless communication facility at Hazard Center location (5664 Mission Center Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Hazard Center locationWireless communication facility at Hazard Center location (5664 Mission Center Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Masonic locationWireless communication facility at Masonic location (1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Masonic locationWireless communication facility at Masonic location (1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Masonic locationWireless communication facility at Masonic location (1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Masonic locationWireless communication facility at Masonic location (1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Masonic locationWireless communication facility at Masonic location (1711 Sunset Cliffs Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Scripps Green locationWireless communication facility at Scripps Green (ROW North Torrey Pines Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Scripps Green locationWireless communication facility at Scripps Green (ROW North Torrey Pines Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Scripps Green locationWireless communication facility at Scripps Green (ROW North Torrey Pines Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Scripps Green locationWireless communication facility at Scripps Green (ROW North Torrey Pines Road)
  • Wireless communication facility at Skyline locationWireless communication facility at Skyline (7222 Skyline Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at Skyline locationWireless communication facility at Skyline (7222 Skyline Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe locationWireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe (12025 Sorrento Valley Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe locationWireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe (12025 Sorrento Valley Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe locationWireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe (12025 Sorrento Valley Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe locationWireless communication facility at Sorrento Pointe (12025 Sorrento Valley Boulevard)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
  • Wireless communication facility at UTC locationWireless communication facility at UTC (4465 La Jolla Village Drive)
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