In 2008, the City adopted an ordinance requiring approval of a minor conditional use permit (MCUP) for any proposed telecommunication facility within the public right-of-way that does not meet certain criteria listed in Section 19-15 of the Telecommunications Regulatory Ordinance (Chapter I of Title 19) of the Costa Mesa Municipal Code (CMMC). An MCUP is subject to consideration by either the City’s Zoning Administrator or the Planning Commission (depending on project details).
On October 16, 2018, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 18-09, which amended Title 19 of the CMMC, Chapter 1, Article 4 – to include compliance with Small Cell Telecommunication Facility Design Guidelines among the evaluation criteria for small cell facilities. On April 2, 2019, the City Council approved a further refinement of the Design Guidelines to comply with FCC Order 18-133.
Small cell design guidelines were adopted to provide guidance and assure a degree of visual consistency in the design and configuration of wireless telecommunication facilities installed within the City. The intent of the design guidelines and CMMC criteria is to present an objective set of design standards and encourage compliance with those standards by providing a streamlined process for facilities that comply. The design guidelines are in the form of a graphic exhibit, which is available at the City’s Planning Division public counter and online.