Cell Tower (Wireless Communication Facilities) Code Update


The City Council placed a six month moratorium on new cell towers within the City of Spokane beginning March 9th to tentatively conclude in August of this year. On August 17th City Council voted to extend the moratorium until November 05, 2015, or until the update of the City's regulations concerning wireless communications support tower siting in residential zones goes into effect, whichever occurs first, to allow for additional time to complete the process of updating the code.

After citizen input, the City Council desires to update the City's cell tower regulations to address aesthetic concerns, new technology and to establish a hierarchy of preferred locations for new wireless communication towers and base stations. The City has retained experts in the industry to assist the city with the code revisions. They will be addressing the needs of Spokane, new federal regulations relating to the Federal Telecommunications Act and best practices from cities across the United States.

What's Happening Now

City Council Approved the Ordinance

The following Ordinance was approved on by City Council at a public hearing on November 2, 2015, and is effective immediately.

For additional information please contact:

City of Spokane Planning & Development, Attn: Tami Palmquist
808 West Spokane Falls Boulevard
Spokane, WA 99201-3333

Description of Proposal: The City of Spokane's wireless code, Chapter 17C.355 of the Spokane Municipal Code, is being substantially amended primarily as it relates to the construction of new wireless communication facility support towers primarily in and near the City’s residential zones. All other zones will be updated as well. Amendments will also be made to other sections of Title 17 for purposes of consistency with the amendments to Chapter 17C.355.

The City Council previously adopted Ordinance No. C35246 on an emergency basis, relating to collocation, modification, removal, and replacement of wireless communication facilities. The Ordinance was adopted on an interim basis in order to bring the City's regulations into compliance with Federal laws and regulations relating to eligible facilities requests. The current proposal is to implement the interim regulations on a permanent basis. View the regulations.

SEPA: A Determination of Non Significance was issued on September 29, 2015 under WAC 197-11-340(2) for both proposals.

Only the applicant, persons submitting written comments and persons testifying at a hearing may appeal the decision of the City Council.


  • 11/02/2015 – City Council Public Hearing
  • 10/26/2015 – City Council First Reading
  • 10/19/2015 – PCED Presentation
  • 10/14/2015 – Plan Commission Public Hearing
  • 09/23/2015 – Plan Commission
  • 09/21/2015 – PCED Presentation
  • 09/11/2015 – Community Assembly update
  • 09/10/2015 – City Council Study Session
  • 09/02/2015 – Present draft to the Park Board Land Committee
  • 08/26/2015 – Present working draft to Plan Commission
  • 08/17/2015 – City Council voted to extend the moratorium
  • 08/05/2015 – Stakeholder Meeting to discuss preliminary draft
  • 07/21/2015 – Industry Stakeholder meeting
  • 07/10/2015 – Community Assembly update
  • 06/10/2015 – Initial information to be shared with Plan Commission
  • 06/05/2015 – Initial information to be shared with Community Assembly.
  • The Consultants and staff met with stakeholder groups on 04/29/2015 & 04/30/2015 to receive initial input.
  • City Council held the public hearing on the Moratorium on 04/13/2015.
  • City Council adopted the Moratorium on Cell Towers in Residential Zones on 03/09/2015.

Project Documents

Other helpful links

Contact Information

For more information or to submit comments:

Rae-Lynn Barden
Legislative Assistant to Council Member Mike Allen

Tami Palmquist
Associate Planner