City Council Chamber, 1st floor, City Hall

March 12, 2018

2:00 p.m.


Location: City Council Chamber, City Hall – St. James Building, 117 West Duval Street


In attendance: Council Members Lori Boyer (Chair), Al Ferraro, Joyce Morgan, Tommy Hazouri, Aaron Bowman,  Jim Love, John Crescimbeni, Danny Becton


Also: Paige Johnston – Office of General Counsel; Heather Reber and Kim Taylor – Council Auditor’s Office; Yvonne P. Mitchell – Council Research Division


Meeting Convened: 2:02 p.m.


Council Member Lori Boyer called the meeting to order and the attendees introduced themselves for the record. CM Boyer clarified that the meetings are workshops and do not require the attendance of members from both standing committees. The purpose of the meeting is to review and gather information about to pending legislation 2017-863.


Mr. Jason Teal briefed the members on the content of the legislation which is a substitute for Chapter 711, Florid Statutes. This workshop focuses on subpart C as it relates to the regulation of small wireless facilities. Approximately year ago, the Florida Legislature amended the statutes to require local governments to allow the location and co-location of small wireless facilities in public rights-of-way. However, local governments may provide input on design standards.  Also, they are subject to limitations in determining the maximum heights allowed and placement of separate pole instead of utilizing existing pole. Mr. Teal stated that he and Ms. Lawsikia Hodges researched other jurisdictions (Orlando, Tampa, Hillsborough County, Leon County, City of Miami and Atlantic Beach) and spoken with various county attorneys regarding drafting and implementing the best plan. The process will require registration and permit component. Businesses must first register with the City of Jacksonville. Before installation, the service provider must apply for a permit to determine the logistics (location, height, design) of the SWF. Within this component, the company must provide supporting evidence to utilize a different pole rather than the existing pole. The City can receive $150.00 annually per SWF located on City-owned infrastructure. There are no other fees that the City may charge.


It should be noted that the majority of infrastructure within the typical rights-of-way are the street lights which are the property of JEA. As a municipal-owned electric facility, JEA is exempt from abiding by the regulations per the Florida Statutes. The City does own some infrastructure in rights-of-way. In 1978, the City and JEA created a Street Light Tariff Agreement which identifies various types of infrastructure and its ownership. JEA is currently processing applications for third-party providers requesting to utilize their infrastructure.


There was extensive discussion regarding the ascetics of the SWFs.  CM Crescimbeni requested that organizations such as CPACs, Visit Jacksonville, and City Beautiful are invited to the meetings to participate in the discussion. Per his request, Mr. Teal agreed to send CM Crescimbeni the section of the statute that references the exemption of utility companies. CM Boyer requested that Mr. Teal review the tariff agreement and the statutory exemption to determine whether the City has the initial authority to regulate standards, including JEA design parameters; and whether the contract with JEA permits a unique provision. None action from the Council would allow all entities unregulated access to the infrastructure. Per CM Bowman’s inquiry, Mr. Teal stated that the Council needs to decide on objective design standards for the SWF for equipment co-located on existing infrastructure and the cosmetics of the new free-standing pole; the physical location of SWFs; and the review of the application process. CM Hazouri requested the amount the City received from the tariff agreement. He suggested that a special design is created to ensure the aesthetics of all areas, especially historic districts, are maintained. Mr. Teal confirmed that JEA is currently reviewing approximately 210 applications to locate SWF on their infrastructure. CM Becton inquired about the status of state road rights-of-way. Mr. Teal commented that infrastructure on state roads is handled separately.  CM Boyer requested clarification on whether adjacent private properties with homeowner associations (HOA) are exempt from the public rights-of-way. CM Crescimbeni suggested that undergrounding language is added to the legislation as a forward-thinking measure. In regards a collective HOA, CM Crescimbeni requested information on the City’s ability to establish one for areas without governance.


Ms. Hodges shared that the pending legislation covers two new subparts, currently not in our existing ordinance. The two new subparts are small wireless facilities and small wireless utility poles. Since the design standards are different, it was best to have separate categories. Some of the proposed amendments to Chapter 711 include the registration of communication services providers every two years, more stringent insurance requirements, improved performance bond requirement, and an increase of security fund fee.  Ms. Hodges agreed to research the City’s ability to require undergrounding instead of installing new infrastructure as it relates to the Florida Statute.


Jordan Pope, JEA, briefly explained that the Street Light Tariff Agreement includes the rate the City pays JEA for the electric services for street lights.


Gary Vondrasek, JEA Telecom Service & Sales, shared that applications are being reviewed for co-location on JEA infrastructure. Currently, three SWF have been installed at this time. There are several executed master agreements with service providers with companies such as Verizon, Spirit, AT&T, and T-Mobile. He stated that JEA has uniformed and discreet design standards. Mr. Vondrasek was requested to submit copies of the design standards to the committee. Some of the standards require an antenna at the top of the pole, an equipment cabinet, and an electric disconnect. There was some discussion regarding the size of the equipment cabinet. Since JEA has existing contracts with service providers, the question remains whether the City has the authority to regulate the entire right-of-way. Mr. Vondrasek clarified that site licenses for SWF are separate from the master agreements and reviewed on a case by case. The locations for the three SWF are Wildwood Road, Collins Road, and Old Kings Road South. Mr. Vondrasek agreed to send pictures and actual addresses for each SWF.


Mr. Pope stated that JEA wants to work with the committee to create uniformed and discreet design standards that are most appropriate for the needs of the City. Thus, JEA would temporarily stop approving site licenses until the joint committee completed its work with the pending legislation.

In response to CM Becton’s inquiry, Mr. Vondrasek commented that JEA owns approximately 150,000 electric distribution poles and 60,000 standalone street light poles. This is a huge opportunity for co-location and has been discussed with the various service providers. The SWF is geared toward providing 5G service. Therefore, it is expected that a large number of SWF will be requested. It is the expectation that all applications can be approved for co-location with a minimum request for new infrastructure. Mr. Vondrasek stated that JEA’s rates ($1,200 per location) were negotiated before the change in the Florida Statute.


Bill Ferry, Comcast, requested clarification on whether existing wireline facilities would have to adhere to the additional permitting and requirements addressed in the pending legislation. He shared that the wireline facilities are different than the wireless facilities and additional requirements may impact service to the community. It should be noted that these wireline facilities are utilizing micro wireless facilities (small equipment boxes) and currently operating in the ROW.


Mr. Tracy Hatch, AT&T, provided comments on several sections of the pending legislation. He stated that the three options listed under Section 711.431 were problematic and did not meet the aesthetic requirement of the statute. He stated that service providers are only required to blend infrastructure into the existing background not improve the area with added features. Mr. Hatch commented that the law does not permit local governments to dictate a provider to use a specific pole or any class of pole. Mr. Hatch stated that the statutes allow providers to utilize poles in the public ROW even if an HOA governs the private roads. Also, he shared that the City cannot require multiple locations of SWF on one pole. CM Crescimbeni requested Mr. Hatch to submit a copy of AT& T cabinet and equipment. Mr. Hatch explained that capacity areas are targeted to handle large technology needs. The SWF is being utilized to broadcast better coverage for a concentrated area with capital improvement development.


As it relates to the three installed SWF, CM Becton requested to information from JEA regarding the reasons for approving those specific locations.  Mr. Mike Sands confirmed that an exemption is available for drainage through tree mitigation requirements. CM Boyer will follow up with Mr. Teal regarding a list of items to discuss at next meeting which include development standards from the City and JEA; city permits from the three SWF locations; and whether fees can be charged under the tree mitigation requirements in addition to the $150 annual service fee.  CM Crescimbeni requested a copy of the suggested checklist provided by the Municipal Lawyers Association to incorporate in pending legislation.


The next meeting will be noticed on March 26, 2018.


 Meeting adjourned: 4:09 p.m.


The written minutes of this meeting are only an overview of what was discussed. The following items have been submitted for the public record. Please contact legislative services for these items.


Minutes: Yvonne P. Mitchell, Council Research

   03.22.18     Posted 1:00 p.m.


Tapes:  Joint LUZ and TEU Special Committee Meeting – LSD