17.10.070 Decisions, Decision Notices, Limited Exceptions, Protests, Appeals
(a) Decisions. The Director shall approve, conditionally approve, or deny a complete application for a wireless permit. A wireless permit shall be acted on within all processing timelines required by the FCC shot clocks, applicable state or federal laws, or other applicable timelines.
(b) Required Findings for Approval. The Director may approve or conditionally approve an application for a wireless permit submitted under this Chapter when the Director finds all of the following:
(1) the applicant and the proposed wireless facility comply with all applicable requirements of this Chapter and the City Design Standards and Application Requirements; and
(2) the application is deemed complete by the Director; and
(3) the proposed wireless facility complies with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, rules, restrictions and conditions, which includes without limitation, the California Building Standards Code or any local building codes; the Americans with Disabilities Act, and all applicable health and safety requirements, including Public Utilities Commission General Order 95, (and as these rules may be amended or superseded); General Plan and any applicable specific plan; the San Mateo Municipal Code; and any conditions or restrictions in any permit or other governmental approval issued by any public agency with jurisdiction over the project; and
(4) the applicant has demonstrated that its proposed wireless facility will be in compliance with all applicable FCC rules and regulations for human exposure to RF emissions.
(c) Conditional Approvals; Denials without Prejudice. Subject to any applicable federal or California laws, nothing in this Chapter is intended to limit the Director's ability to conditionally approve or deny without prejudice any application governed under this Chapter as may be necessary or appropriate to protect and promote the public health, safety and welfare, and to advance the goals or policies in the General Plan and any specific plan, the San Mateo Municipal Code and/or this Section.
(d) Limited Exceptions for Personal Wireless Service Facilities. In the event that an applicant claims that strict compliance with this Chapter and the Design Standards and Application Requirements would effectively prohibit the applicant's ability to provide personal wireless services, the Director may grant a limited exception from such requirements in accordance with the required findings provided in the Design Standards and Application Requirements.
(e) Decision Notices to the Applicant. After the director acts on an application, and within the timeframe provided in the Design Standards and Application Requirements or before the FCC Shot Clock expires (whichever occurs first), the Director or designee shall send a written notice to the applicant. In the event that the Director denies the application (with or without prejudice), the written notice to the applicant must contain: (1) the reasons for the decision and (2) instructions for how and when to file an appeal.
(f) Decision Notice to Public. The decision on an application along with the appeal process, shall be posted on the city's webpage on the same date as the decision is made. Notices to property owners and residents within 500' of the project site shall be sent within the timeframe provided in the Design Standards and Application Requirements.
(g) Appeals. The applicant or any person who is a property owner or resident within 500' of the project site may appeal any decision by the Director to approve or deny an application for a wireless permit. Appeals must be filed with the Secretary of the Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission within five calendar days following the Director's decision. The Secretary shall set the appeal for hearing on the agenda for the next regular or special meeting of the Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission, or otherwise within a time frame needed to comply with all applicable state or federal laws. Appeals from an approval will not be permitted to the extent that the appeal is based on environmental effects from RF emissions that comply with all applicable FCC regulations. The Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission shall review the appeal de novo, with the appellant having the burden of proof to establish the basis for seeking a reversal of the Director's decision, and issue a decision at the hearing. The decision of the Sustainability and Infrastructure Commission shall be final and not subject to any further administrative appeals.