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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXVI
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
Chapter 337
CONTRACTING; ACQUISITION, DISPOSAL, AND USE OF PROPERTY
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F.S. 337.401
1337.401 Use of right-of-way for utilities subject to regulation; permit; fees.
(1)(a) The department and local governmental entities, referred to in this section and in ss. 337.402, 337.403, and 337.404 as the “authority,” that have jurisdiction and control of public roads or publicly owned rail corridors are authorized to prescribe and enforce reasonable rules or regulations with reference to the placing and maintaining across, on, or within the right-of-way limits of any road or publicly owned rail corridors under their respective jurisdictions any electric transmission, voice, telegraph, data, or other communications services lines or wireless facilities; pole lines; poles; railways; ditches; sewers; water, heat, or gas mains; pipelines; fences; gasoline tanks and pumps; or other structures referred to in this section and in ss. 337.402, 337.403, and 337.404 as the “utility.” The department may enter into a permit-delegation agreement with a governmental entity if issuance of a permit is based on requirements that the department finds will ensure the safety and integrity of facilities of the Department of Transportation; however, the permit-delegation agreement does not apply to facilities of electric utilities as defined in s. 366.02(2).
(b) For aerial and underground electric utility transmission lines designed to operate at 69 or more kilovolts that are needed to accommodate the additional electrical transfer capacity on the transmission grid resulting from new base-load generating facilities, the department’s rules shall provide for placement of and access to such transmission lines adjacent to and within the right-of-way of any department-controlled public roads, including longitudinally within limited access facilities where there is no other practicable alternative available, to the greatest extent allowed by federal law, if compliance with the standards established by such rules is achieved. Without limiting or conditioning the department’s jurisdiction or authority described in paragraph (a), with respect to limited access right-of-way, such rules may include, but need not be limited to, that the use of the right-of-way for longitudinal placement of electric utility transmission lines is reasonable based upon a consideration of economic and environmental factors, including, without limitation, other practicable alternative alignments, utility corridors and easements, impacts on adjacent property owners, and minimum clear zones and other safety standards, and further provide that placement of the electric utility transmission lines within the department’s right-of-way does not interfere with operational requirements of the transportation facility or planned or potential future expansion of such transportation facility. If the department approves longitudinal placement of electric utility transmission lines in limited access facilities, compensation for the use of the right-of-way is required. Such consideration or compensation paid by the electric utility in connection with the department’s issuance of a permit does not create any property right in the department’s property regardless of the amount of consideration paid or the improvements constructed on the property by the utility. Upon notice by the department that the property is needed for expansion or improvement of the transportation facility, the electric utility transmission line will be removed or relocated at the electric utility’s sole expense. The electric utility shall pay to the department reasonable damages resulting from the utility’s failure or refusal to timely remove or relocate its transmission lines. The rules to be adopted by the department may also address the compensation methodology and removal or relocation. As used in this subsection, the term “base-load generating facilities” means electric power plants that are certified under part II of chapter 403.
(2) The authority may grant to any person who is a resident of this state, or to any corporation which is organized under the laws of this state or licensed to do business within this state, the use of a right-of-way for the utility in accordance with such rules or regulations as the authority may adopt. No utility shall be installed, located, or relocated unless authorized by a written permit issued by the authority. However, for public roads or publicly owned rail corridors under the jurisdiction of the department, a utility relocation schedule and relocation agreement may be executed in lieu of a written permit. The permit shall require the permitholder to be responsible for any damage resulting from the issuance of such permit. The authority may initiate injunctive proceedings as provided in s. 120.69 to enforce provisions of this subsection or any rule or order issued or entered into pursuant thereto.
(3)(a) Because of the unique circumstances applicable to providers of communications services, including, but not limited to, the circumstances described in paragraph (e) and the fact that federal and state law require the nondiscriminatory treatment of providers of telecommunications services, and because of the desire to promote competition among providers of communications services, it is the intent of the Legislature that municipalities and counties treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral manner when imposing rules or regulations governing the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in the public roads or rights-of-way. Rules or regulations imposed by a municipality or county relating to providers of communications services placing or maintaining communications facilities in its roads or rights-of-way must be generally applicable to all providers of communications services, taking into account the distinct engineering, construction, operation, maintenance, public works, and safety requirements of the provider’s facilities, and, notwithstanding any other law, may not require a provider of communications services to apply for or enter into an individual license, franchise, or other agreement with the municipality or county as a condition of placing or maintaining communications facilities in its roads or rights-of-way. In addition to other reasonable rules or regulations that a municipality or county may adopt relating to the placement or maintenance of communications facilities in its roads or rights-of-way under this subsection or subsection (7), a municipality or county may require a provider of communications services that places or seeks to place facilities in its roads or rights-of-way to register with the municipality or county. To register, a provider of communications services may be required only to provide its name; the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person for the registrant; the number of the registrant’s current certificate of authorization issued by the Florida Public Service Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, or the Department of State; a statement of whether the registrant is a pass-through provider as defined in subparagraph (6)(a)1.; the registrant’s federal employer identification number; and any required proof of insurance or self-insuring status adequate to defend and cover claims. A municipality or county may not require a registrant to renew a registration more frequently than every 5 years but may require during this period that a registrant update the registration information provided under this subsection within 90 days after a change in such information. A municipality or county may not require the registrant to provide an inventory of communications facilities, maps, locations of such facilities, or other information by a registrant as a condition of registration, renewal, or for any other purpose; provided, however, that a municipality or county may require as part of a permit application that the applicant identify at-grade communications facilities within 50 feet of the proposed installation location for the placement of at-grade communications facilities. A municipality or county may not require a provider to pay any fee, cost, or other charge for registration or renewal thereof. It is the intent of the Legislature that the placement, operation, maintenance, upgrading, and extension of communications facilities not be unreasonably interrupted or delayed through the permitting or other local regulatory process. Except as provided in this chapter or otherwise expressly authorized by chapter 202, chapter 364, or chapter 610, a municipality or county may not adopt or enforce any ordinance, regulation, or requirement as to the placement or operation of communications facilities in a right-of-way by a communications services provider authorized by state or local law to operate in a right-of-way; regulate any communications services; or impose or collect any tax, fee, cost, charge, or exaction for the provision of communications services over the communications services provider’s communications facilities in a right-of-way.
(b) Registration described in paragraph (a) does not establish a right to place or maintain, or priority for the placement or maintenance of, a communications facility in roads or rights-of-way of a municipality or county. Each municipality and county retains the authority to regulate and manage municipal and county roads or rights-of-way in exercising its police power, subject to the limitations imposed in this section and chapters 202 and 610. Any rules or regulations adopted by a municipality or county which govern the occupation of its roads or rights-of-way by providers of communications services must be related to the placement or maintenance of facilities in such roads or rights-of-way, must be reasonable and nondiscriminatory, and may include only those matters necessary to manage the roads or rights-of-way of the municipality or county.
(c) Any municipality or county that, as of January 1, 2019, elected to require permit fees from any provider of communications services that uses or occupies municipal or county roads or rights-of-way pursuant to former paragraph (c) or former paragraph (j), Florida Statutes 2018, may continue to require and collect such fees. A municipality or county that elected as of January 1, 2019, to require permit fees may elect to forego such fees as provided herein. A municipality or county that elected as of January 1, 2019, not to require permit fees may not elect to impose permit fees. All fees authorized under this paragraph must be reasonable and commensurate with the direct and actual cost of the regulatory activity, including issuing and processing permits, plan reviews, physical inspection, and direct administrative costs; must be demonstrable; and must be equitable among users of the roads or rights-of-way. A fee authorized under this paragraph may not be offset against the tax imposed under chapter 202; include the costs of roads or rights-of-way acquisition or roads or rights-of-way rental; include any general administrative, management, or maintenance costs of the roads or rights-of-way; or be based on a percentage of the value or costs associated with the work to be performed on the roads or rights-of-way. In an action to recover amounts due for a fee not authorized under this paragraph, the prevailing party may recover court costs and attorney fees at trial and on appeal. In addition to the limitations set forth in this section, a fee levied by a municipality or charter county under this paragraph may not exceed $100. However, permit fees may not be imposed with respect to permits that may be required for service drop lines not required to be noticed under s. 556.108(5) or for any activity that does not require the physical disturbance of the roads or rights-of-way or does not impair access to or full use of the roads or rights-of-way, including, but not limited to, the performance of service restoration work on existing facilities, extensions of such facilities for providing communications services to customers, and the placement of micro wireless facilities in accordance with subparagraph (7)(e)3.
1. If a municipality or charter county elects to not require permit fees, the total rate for the local communications services tax as computed under s. 202.20 for that municipality or charter county may be increased by ordinance or resolution by an amount not to exceed a rate of 0.12 percent.
2. If a noncharter county elects to not require permit fees, the total rate for the local communications services tax as computed under s. 202.20 for that noncharter county may be increased by ordinance or resolution by an amount not to exceed a rate of 0.24 percent, to replace the revenue the noncharter county would otherwise have received from permit fees for providers of communications services.
(d) In addition to any other notice requirements, a municipality must provide to the Secretary of State, at least 10 days prior to consideration on first reading, notice of a proposed ordinance governing a telecommunications company placing or maintaining telecommunications facilities in its roads or rights-of-way. In addition to any other notice requirements, a county must provide to the Secretary of State, at least 15 days prior to consideration at a public hearing, notice of a proposed ordinance governing a telecommunications company placing or maintaining telecommunications facilities in its roads or rights-of-way. The notice required by this paragraph must be published by the Secretary of State on a designated Internet website. The failure of a municipality or county to provide such notice does not render the ordinance invalid, provided that enforcement of such ordinance must be suspended until 30 days after the municipality or county provides the required notice.
(e) The authority of municipalities and counties to require franchise fees from providers of communications services, with respect to the provision of communications services, is specifically preempted by the state because of unique circumstances applicable to providers of communications services when compared to other utilities occupying municipal or county roads or rights-of-way. Providers of communications services may provide similar services in a manner that requires the placement of facilities in municipal or county roads or rights-of-way or in a manner that does not require the placement of facilities in such roads or rights-of-way. Although similar communications services may be provided by different means, the state desires to treat providers of communications services in a nondiscriminatory manner and to have the taxes, franchise fees, and other fees, costs, and financial or regulatory exactions paid by or imposed on providers of communications services be competitively neutral. Municipalities and counties retain all existing authority, if any, to collect franchise fees from users or occupants of municipal or county roads or rights-of-way other than providers of communications services, and the provisions of this subsection shall have no effect upon this authority. The provisions of this subsection do not restrict the authority, if any, of municipalities or counties or other governmental entities to receive reasonable rental fees based on fair market value for the use of public lands and buildings on property outside the public roads or rights-of-way for the placement of communications antennas and towers.
(f) Except as expressly allowed or authorized by general law and except for the rights-of-way permit fees subject to paragraph (c), a municipality or county may not levy on a provider of communications services a tax, fee, or other charge or imposition for operating as a provider of communications services within the jurisdiction of the municipality or county which is in any way related to using its roads or rights-of-way. A municipality or county may not require or solicit in-kind compensation, except as otherwise provided in s. 202.24(2)(c)8., provided that the in-kind compensation is not a franchise fee under federal law. Nothing in this paragraph impairs the authority of a municipality or county to request public, educational, or governmental access channels pursuant to s. 610.109. Nothing in this paragraph shall impair any ordinance or agreement in effect on May 22, 1998, or any voluntary agreement entered into subsequent to that date, which provides for or allows in-kind compensation by a telecommunications company.
(g) A municipality or county may not use its authority over the placement of facilities in its roads and rights-of-way as a basis for asserting or exercising regulatory control over a provider of communications services regarding matters within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Florida Public Service Commission or the Federal Communications Commission, including, but not limited to, the operations, systems, equipment, technology, qualifications, services, service quality, service territory, and prices of a provider of communications services. A municipality or county may not require any permit for the maintenance, repair, replacement, extension, or upgrade of existing aerial wireline communications facilities on utility poles or for aerial wireline facilities between existing wireline communications facility attachments on utility poles by a communications services provider. However, a municipality or county may require a right-of-way permit for work that involves excavation, closure of a sidewalk, or closure of a vehicular lane or parking lane, unless the provider is performing service restoration to existing facilities. A permit application required by an authority under this section for the placement of communications facilities must be processed and acted upon consistent with the timeframes provided in subparagraphs (7)(d)7., 8., and 9. In addition, a municipality or county may not require any permit or other approval, fee, charge, or cost, or other exaction for the maintenance, repair, replacement, extension, or upgrade of existing aerial lines or underground communications facilities located on private property outside of the public rights-of-way. As used in this section, the term “extension of existing facilities” includes those extensions from the rights-of-way into a customer’s private property for purposes of placing a service drop or those extensions from the rights-of-way into a utility easement to provide service to a discrete identifiable customer or group of customers.
(h) A provider of communications services that has obtained permission to occupy the roads or rights-of-way of an incorporated municipality pursuant to s. 362.01 or that is otherwise lawfully occupying the roads or rights-of-way of a municipality or county shall not be required to obtain consent to continue such lawful occupation of those roads or rights-of-way; however, nothing in this paragraph shall be interpreted to limit the power of a municipality or county to adopt or enforce reasonable rules or regulations as provided in this section and consistent with chapters 202, 364, and 610. Any such rules or regulations must be in writing, and registered providers of communications services in the municipality or county must be given at least 60 days’ advance written notice of any changes to the rules and regulations.
(i) Except as expressly provided in this section, this section does not modify the authority of municipalities and counties to levy the tax authorized in chapter 202 or the duties of providers of communications services under ss. 337.402-337.404. This section does not apply to building permits, pole attachments, or private roads, private easements, and private rights-of-way.
(j) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 202.19, when a local communications services tax rate is changed as a result of an election made or changed under this subsection, such rate may not be rounded to tenths.
(4) As used in this section, “communications services” and “dealer” have the same meanings ascribed in chapter 202, and “cable service” has the same meaning ascribed in 47 U.S.C. s. 522, as amended.
(5) This section, except subsections (1) and (2) and paragraph (3)(g), does not apply to the provision of pay telephone service on public, municipal, or county roads or rights-of-way.
(6)(a) As used in this subsection, the following definitions apply:
1.a. A “pass-through provider” is any person who places or maintains a communications facility in the roads or rights-of-way of a municipality or county that levies a tax pursuant to chapter 202 and who does not remit taxes imposed by that municipality or county pursuant to chapter 202.
b. Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph a., a person who does not remit taxes imposed by a municipality or county pursuant to chapter 202, but pursuant to s. 202.16(2) sells communications services for resale to a person who sells such services at retail or who integrates such services into communications services sold at retail in that municipality or county and who remits taxes imposed by that municipality or county pursuant to chapter 202, is not a pass-through provider.
2. A “communications facility” is a facility that may be used to provide communications services. Multiple cables, conduits, strands, or fibers located within the same conduit shall be considered one communications facility for purposes of this subsection.
(b) A municipality that levies a tax pursuant to chapter 202 may charge a pass-through provider that places or maintains a communications facility in the municipality’s roads or rights-of-way an annual amount not to exceed $500 per linear mile or portion thereof. A municipality’s roads or rights-of-way do not include roads or rights-of-way that extend in or through the municipality but are state, county, or another authority’s roads or rights-of-way.
(c) A county that levies a tax pursuant to chapter 202 may charge a pass-through provider that places or maintains a communications facility in the county’s roads or rights-of-way, including county roads or rights-of-way within a municipality in the county, an annual amount not to exceed $500 per linear mile or portion thereof. However, a county shall not impose a charge for any linear miles, or portions thereof, of county roads or rights-of-way where a communications facility is placed that extend through any municipality within the county to which the pass-through provider remits a tax imposed pursuant to chapter 202. A county’s roads or rights-of-way do not include roads or rights-of-way that extend in or through the county but are state, municipal, or another authority’s roads or rights-of-way.
(d) The amounts charged pursuant to this subsection shall be based on the linear miles of roads or rights-of-way where a communications facility is placed, not based on a summation of the lengths of individual cables, conduits, strands, or fibers. The amounts referenced in this subsection may be charged only once annually and only to one person annually for any communications facility. A municipality or county shall discontinue charging such amounts to a person that has ceased to be a pass-through provider. Any annual amounts charged shall be reduced for a prorated portion of any 12-month period during which the person remits taxes imposed by the municipality or county pursuant to chapter 202. Any excess amounts paid to a municipality or county shall be refunded to the person upon written notice of the excess to the municipality or county. A municipality or county may require a pass-through provider to provide an annual notarized statement identifying the total number of linear miles of pass-through facilities in the municipality’s or county’s rights-of-way. Upon request from a municipality or county, a pass-through provider must provide reasonable access to maps of pass-through facilities located in the rights-of-way of the municipality or county making the request. The scope of the request must be limited to only those maps of pass-through facilities from which the calculation of the linear miles of pass-through facilities in the rights-of-way can be determined. The request must be accompanied by an affidavit that the person making the request is authorized by the municipality or county to review tax information related to the revenue and mileage calculations for pass-through providers. A request may not be made more than once annually to a pass-through provider.
(e) This subsection does not alter any provision of this section or s. 202.24 relating to taxes, fees, or other charges or impositions by a municipality or county on a dealer of communications services or authorize that any charges be assessed on a dealer of communications services, except as specifically set forth herein. A municipality or county may not charge a pass-through provider any amounts other than the charges under this subsection as a condition to the placement or maintenance of a communications facility in the roads or rights-of-way of a municipality or county by a pass-through provider, except that a municipality or county may impose permit fees on a pass-through provider consistent with paragraph (3)(c).
(f) The charges under this subsection do not apply to communications facilities placed in a municipality’s or county’s rights-of-way prior to the effective date of this subsection with permission from the municipality or county, if any was required, except to the extent the facilities of a pass-through provider were subject to per linear foot or mile charges in effect as of October 1, 2001, in which case the municipality or county may only impose on a pass-through provider charges consistent with paragraph (b) or paragraph (c) for such facilities. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this subsection does not impair any written agreement between a pass-through provider and a municipality or county imposing per linear foot or mile charges for communications facilities placed in municipal or county roads or rights-of-way that is in effect prior to the effective date of this subsection. Upon the termination or expiration of any such written agreement, any charges imposed must be consistent with this section.
(g) The charges authorized in this subsection shall not be applied with respect to any communications facility that is used exclusively for the internal communications of an electric utility or other person in the business of transmitting or distributing electric energy.
(7)(a) This subsection may be cited as the “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act.”
(b) As used in this subsection, the term:
1. “Antenna” means communications equipment that transmits or receives electromagnetic radio frequency signals used in providing wireless services.
2. “Applicable codes” means uniform building, fire, electrical, plumbing, or mechanical codes adopted by a recognized national code organization or local amendments to those codes enacted solely to address threats of destruction of property or injury to persons, and includes the National Electric Safety Code and the 2017 edition of the Florida Department of Transportation Utility Accommodation Manual.
3. “Applicant” means a person who submits an application and is a wireless provider.
4. “Application” means a request submitted by an applicant to an authority for a permit to collocate small wireless facilities or to place a new utility pole used to support a small wireless facility.
5. “Authority” means a county or municipality having jurisdiction and control of the rights-of-way of any public road. The term does not include the Department of Transportation. Rights-of-way under the jurisdiction and control of the department are excluded from this subsection.
6. “Authority utility pole” means a utility pole owned by an authority in the right-of-way. The term does not include a utility pole owned by a municipal electric utility, a utility pole used to support municipally owned or operated electric distribution facilities, or a utility pole located in the right-of-way within:
a. A retirement community that:
(I) Is deed restricted as housing for older persons as defined in s. 760.29(4)(b);
(II) Has more than 5,000 residents; and
(III) Has underground utilities for electric transmission or distribution.
b. A municipality that:
(I) Is located on a coastal barrier island as defined in s. 161.053(1)(b)3.;
(II) Has a land area of less than 5 square miles;
(III) Has less than 10,000 residents; and
(IV) Has, before July 1, 2017, received referendum approval to issue debt to finance municipal-wide undergrounding of its utilities for electric transmission or distribution.
7. “Collocate” or “collocation” means to install, mount, maintain, modify, operate, or replace one or more wireless facilities on, under, within, or adjacent to a wireless support structure or utility pole. The term does not include the installation of a new utility pole or wireless support structure in the public rights-of-way.
8. “FCC” means the Federal Communications Commission.
9. “Micro wireless facility” means a small wireless facility having dimensions no larger than 24 inches in length, 15 inches in width, and 12 inches in height and an exterior antenna, if any, no longer than 11 inches.
10. “Small wireless facility” means a wireless facility that meets the following qualifications:
a. Each antenna associated with the facility is located inside an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet in volume or, in the case of antennas that have exposed elements, each antenna and all of its exposed elements could fit within an enclosure of no more than 6 cubic feet in volume; and
b. All other wireless equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively no more than 28 cubic feet in volume. The following types of associated ancillary equipment are not included in the calculation of equipment volume: electric meters, concealment elements, telecommunications demarcation boxes, ground-based enclosures, grounding equipment, power transfer switches, cutoff switches, vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services, and utility poles or other support structures.
11. “Utility pole” means a pole or similar structure that is used in whole or in part to provide communications services or for electric distribution, lighting, traffic control, signage, or a similar function. The term includes the vertical support structure for traffic lights but does not include a horizontal structure to which signal lights or other traffic control devices are attached and does not include a pole or similar structure 15 feet in height or less unless an authority grants a waiver for such pole.
12. “Wireless facility” means equipment at a fixed location which enables wireless communications between user equipment and a communications network, including radio transceivers, antennas, wires, coaxial or fiber-optic cable or other cables, regular and backup power supplies, and comparable equipment, regardless of technological configuration, and equipment associated with wireless communications. The term includes small wireless facilities. The term does not include:
a. The structure or improvements on, under, within, or adjacent to the structure on which the equipment is collocated;
b. Wireline backhaul facilities; or
c. Coaxial or fiber-optic cable that is between wireless structures or utility poles or that is otherwise not immediately adjacent to or directly associated with a particular antenna.
13. “Wireless infrastructure provider” means a person who has been certificated under chapter 364 to provide telecommunications service or under chapter 610 to provide cable or video services in this state, or that person’s affiliate, and who builds or installs wireless communication transmission equipment, wireless facilities, or wireless support structures but is not a wireless services provider.
14. “Wireless provider” means a wireless infrastructure provider or a wireless services provider.
15. “Wireless services” means any services provided using licensed or unlicensed spectrum, whether at a fixed location or mobile, using wireless facilities.
16. “Wireless services provider” means a person who provides wireless services.
17. “Wireless support structure” means a freestanding structure, such as a monopole, a guyed or self-supporting tower, or another existing or proposed structure designed to support or capable of supporting wireless facilities. The term does not include a utility pole, pedestal, or other support structure for ground-based equipment not mounted on a utility pole and less than 5 feet in height.
(c) Except as provided in this subsection, an authority may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way or for the installation, maintenance, modification, operation, or replacement of utility poles used for the collocation of small wireless facilities in the public rights-of-way.
(d) An authority may require a registration process and permit fees in accordance with subsection (3). An authority shall accept applications for permits and shall process and issue permits subject to the following requirements:
1. An authority may not directly or indirectly require an applicant to perform services unrelated to the collocation for which approval is sought, such as in-kind contributions to the authority, including reserving fiber, conduit, or pole space for the authority.
2. An applicant may not be required to provide more information to obtain a permit than is necessary to demonstrate the applicant’s compliance with applicable codes for the placement of small wireless facilities in the locations identified in the application. An applicant may not be required to provide inventories, maps, or locations of communications facilities in the right-of-way other than as necessary to avoid interference with other at-grade or aerial facilities located at the specific location proposed for a small wireless facility or within 50 feet of such location.
3. An authority may not:
a. Require the placement of small wireless facilities on any specific utility pole or category of poles;
b. Require the placement of multiple antenna systems on a single utility pole;
c. Require a demonstration that collocation of a small wireless facility on an existing structure is not legally or technically possible as a condition for granting a permit for the collocation of a small wireless facility on a new utility pole except as provided in paragraph (i);
d. Require compliance with an authority’s provisions regarding placement of small wireless facilities or a new utility pole used to support a small wireless facility in rights-of-way under the control of the department unless the authority has received a delegation from the department for the location of the small wireless facility or utility pole, or require such compliance as a condition to receive a permit that is ancillary to the permit for collocation of a small wireless facility, including an electrical permit;
e. Require a meeting before filing an application;
f. Require direct or indirect public notification or a public meeting for the placement of communication facilities in the right-of-way;
g. Limit the size or configuration of a small wireless facility or any of its components, if the small wireless facility complies with the size limits in this subsection;
h. Prohibit the installation of a new utility pole used to support the collocation of a small wireless facility if the installation otherwise meets the requirements of this subsection; or
i. Require that any component of a small wireless facility be placed underground except as provided in paragraph (i).
4. Subject to paragraph (r), an authority may not limit the placement, by minimum separation distances, of small wireless facilities, utility poles on which small wireless facilities are or will be collocated, or other at-grade communications facilities. However, within 14 days after the date of filing the application, an authority may request that the proposed location of a small wireless facility be moved to another location in the right-of-way and placed on an alternative authority utility pole or support structure or placed on a new utility pole. The authority and the applicant may negotiate the alternative location, including any objective design standards and reasonable spacing requirements for ground-based equipment, for 30 days after the date of the request. At the conclusion of the negotiation period, if the alternative location is accepted by the applicant, the applicant must notify the authority of such acceptance and the application shall be deemed granted for any new location for which there is agreement and all other locations in the application. If an agreement is not reached, the applicant must notify the authority of such nonagreement and the authority must grant or deny the original application within 90 days after the date the application was filed. A request for an alternative location, an acceptance of an alternative location, or a rejection of an alternative location must be in writing and provided by electronic mail.
5. An authority shall limit the height of a small wireless facility to 10 feet above the utility pole or structure upon which the small wireless facility is to be collocated. Unless waived by an authority, the height for a new utility pole is limited to the tallest existing utility pole as of July 1, 2017, located in the same right-of-way, other than a utility pole for which a waiver has previously been granted, measured from grade in place within 500 feet of the proposed location of the small wireless facility. If there is no utility pole within 500 feet, the authority shall limit the height of the utility pole to 50 feet.
6. The installation by a communications services provider of a utility pole in the public rights-of-way, other than a utility pole used to support a small wireless facility, is subject to authority rules or regulations governing the placement of utility poles in the public rights-of-way.
7. Within 14 days after receiving an application, an authority must determine and notify the applicant by electronic mail as to whether the application is complete. If an application is deemed incomplete, the authority must specifically identify the missing information. An application is deemed complete if the authority fails to provide notification to the applicant within 14 days.
8. An application must be processed on a nondiscriminatory basis. A complete application is deemed approved if an authority fails to approve or deny the application within 60 days after receipt of the application. If an authority does not use the 30-day negotiation period provided in subparagraph 4., the parties may mutually agree to extend the 60-day application review period. The authority shall grant or deny the application at the end of the extended period. A permit issued pursuant to an approved application shall remain effective for 1 year unless extended by the authority.
9. An authority must notify the applicant of approval or denial by electronic mail. An authority shall approve a complete application unless it does not meet the authority’s applicable codes. If the application is denied, the authority must specify in writing the basis for denial, including the specific code provisions on which the denial was based, and send the documentation to the applicant by electronic mail on the day the authority denies the application. The applicant may cure the deficiencies identified by the authority and resubmit the application within 30 days after notice of the denial is sent to the applicant. The authority shall approve or deny the revised application within 30 days after receipt or the application is deemed approved. The review of a revised application is limited to the deficiencies cited in the denial. If an authority provides for administrative review of the denial of an application, the review must be complete and a written decision issued within 45 days after a written request for review is made. A denial must identify the specific code provisions on which the denial is based. If the administrative review is not complete within 45 days, the authority waives any claim regarding failure to exhaust administrative remedies in any judicial review of the denial of an application.
10. An applicant seeking to collocate small wireless facilities within the jurisdiction of a single authority may, at the applicant’s discretion, file a consolidated application and receive a single permit for the collocation of up to 30 small wireless facilities. If the application includes multiple small wireless facilities, an authority may separately address small wireless facility collocations for which incomplete information has been received or which are denied.
11. An authority may deny an application to collocate a small wireless facility or place a utility pole used to support a small wireless facility in the public rights-of-way if the proposed small wireless facility or utility pole used to support a small wireless facility:
a. Materially interferes with the safe operation of traffic control equipment.
b. Materially interferes with sight lines or clear zones for transportation, pedestrians, or public safety purposes.
c. Materially interferes with compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or similar federal or state standards regarding pedestrian access or movement.
d. Materially fails to comply with the 2017 edition of the Florida Department of Transportation Utility Accommodation Manual.
e. Fails to comply with applicable codes.
f. Fails to comply with objective design standards authorized under paragraph (r).
12. An authority may adopt by ordinance provisions for insurance coverage, indemnification, force majeure, abandonment, authority liability, or authority warranties. Such provisions must be reasonable and nondiscriminatory. An authority may require a construction bond to secure restoration of the postconstruction rights-of-way to the preconstruction condition. However, such bond must be time-limited to not more than 18 months after the construction to which the bond applies is completed. For any financial obligation required by an authority allowed under this section, the authority shall accept a letter of credit or similar financial instrument issued by any financial institution that is authorized to do business within the United States, provided that a claim against the financial instrument may be made by electronic means, including by facsimile. A provider of communications services may add an authority to any existing bond, insurance policy, or other relevant financial instrument, and the authority must accept such proof of coverage without any conditions other than consent to venue for purposes of any litigation to which the authority is a party. An authority may not require a communications services provider to indemnify it for liabilities not caused by the provider, including liabilities arising from the authority’s negligence, gross negligence, or willful conduct.
13. Collocation of a small wireless facility on an authority utility pole does not provide the basis for the imposition of an ad valorem tax on the authority utility pole.
14. An authority may reserve space on authority utility poles for future public safety uses. However, a reservation of space may not preclude collocation of a small wireless facility. If replacement of the authority utility pole is necessary to accommodate the collocation of the small wireless facility and the future public safety use, the pole replacement is subject to make-ready provisions and the replaced pole shall accommodate the future public safety use.
15. A structure granted a permit and installed pursuant to this subsection shall comply with chapter 333 and federal regulations pertaining to airport airspace protections.
(e) An authority may not require any permit or other approval or require fees or other charges, costs, or other exactions for:
1. Routine maintenance, the performance of service restoration work on existing facilities, or repair work, including, but not limited to, emergency repairs of existing facilities or extensions of such facilities for providing communications services to customers;
2. Replacement of existing wireless facilities with wireless facilities that are substantially similar or of the same or smaller size; or
3. Installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro wireless facilities that are suspended on cables strung between existing utility poles in compliance with applicable codes by or for a communications services provider authorized to occupy the rights-of-way and who is remitting taxes under chapter 202. An authority may require an initial letter from or on behalf of such provider, which is effective upon filing, attesting that the micro wireless facility dimensions comply with the limits of this subsection. The authority may not require any additional filing or other information as long as the provider is deploying the same, a substantially similar, or a smaller size micro wireless facility equipment.

Notwithstanding this paragraph, an authority may require a right-of-way permit for work that involves excavation, closure of a sidewalk, or closure of a vehicular lane or parking lane, unless the provider is performing service restoration on an existing facility and the work is done in compliance with the 2017 edition of the Florida Department of Transportation Utility Accommodation Manual. An authority may require notice of such work within 30 days after restoration and may require an after-the-fact permit for work which would otherwise have required a permit.

(f) Collocation of small wireless facilities on authority utility poles is subject to the following requirements:
1. An authority may not enter into an exclusive arrangement with any person for the right to attach equipment to authority utility poles.
2. The rates and fees for collocations on authority utility poles must be nondiscriminatory, regardless of the services provided by the collocating person.
3. The rate to collocate small wireless facilities on an authority utility pole may not exceed $150 per pole annually.
4. Agreements between authorities and wireless providers that are in effect on July 1, 2017, and that relate to the collocation of small wireless facilities in the right-of-way, including the collocation of small wireless facilities on authority utility poles, remain in effect, subject to applicable termination provisions. The wireless provider may accept the rates, fees, and terms established under this subsection for small wireless facilities and utility poles that are the subject of an application submitted after the rates, fees, and terms become effective.
5. A person owning or controlling an authority utility pole shall offer rates, fees, and other terms that comply with this subsection. By the later of January 1, 2018, or 3 months after receiving a request to collocate its first small wireless facility on a utility pole owned or controlled by an authority, the person owning or controlling the authority utility pole shall make available, through ordinance or otherwise, rates, fees, and terms for the collocation of small wireless facilities on the authority utility pole which comply with this subsection.
a. The rates, fees, and terms must be nondiscriminatory and competitively neutral and must comply with this subsection.
b. For an authority utility pole that supports an aerial facility used to provide communications services or electric service, the parties shall comply with the process for make-ready work under 47 U.S.C. s. 224 and implementing regulations. The good faith estimate of the person owning or controlling the pole for any make-ready work necessary to enable the pole to support the requested collocation must include pole replacement if necessary.
c. For an authority utility pole that does not support an aerial facility used to provide communications services or electric service, the authority shall provide a good faith estimate for any make-ready work necessary to enable the pole to support the requested collocation, including necessary pole replacement, within 60 days after receipt of a complete application. Make-ready work, including any pole replacement, must be completed within 60 days after written acceptance of the good faith estimate by the applicant. Alternatively, an authority may require the applicant seeking to collocate a small wireless facility to provide a make-ready estimate at the applicant’s expense for the work necessary to support the small wireless facility, including pole replacement, and perform the make-ready work. If pole replacement is required, the scope of the make-ready estimate is limited to the design, fabrication, and installation of a utility pole that is substantially similar in color and composition. The authority may not condition or restrict the manner in which the applicant obtains, develops, or provides the estimate or conducts the make-ready work subject to usual construction restoration standards for work in the right-of-way. The replaced or altered utility pole shall remain the property of the authority.
d. An authority may not require more make-ready work than is required to meet applicable codes or industry standards. Fees for make-ready work may not include costs related to preexisting damage or prior noncompliance. Fees for make-ready work, including any pole replacement, may not exceed actual costs or the amount charged to communications services providers other than wireless services providers for similar work and may not include any consultant fee or expense.
(g) For any applications filed before the effective date of ordinances implementing this subsection, an authority may apply current ordinances relating to placement of communications facilities in the right-of-way related to registration, permitting, insurance coverage, indemnification, force majeure, abandonment, authority liability, or authority warranties. Permit application requirements and small wireless facility placement requirements, including utility pole height limits, that conflict with this subsection must be waived by the authority. An authority may not institute, either expressly or de facto, a moratorium, zoning-in-progress, or other mechanism that would prohibit or delay the filing, receiving, or processing of registrations, applications, or issuing of permits or other approvals for the collocation of small wireless facilities or the installation, modification, or replacement of utility poles used to support the collocation of small wireless facilities.
(h) Except as provided in this section or specifically required by state law, an authority may not adopt or enforce any regulation on the placement or operation of communications facilities in the rights-of-way by a provider authorized by state law to operate in the rights-of-way and may not regulate any communications services or impose or collect any tax, fee, or charge not specifically authorized under state law. This paragraph does not alter any law regarding an authority’s ability to regulate the relocation of facilities.
(i)1. In an area where an authority has required all public utility lines in the rights-of-way to be placed underground, a wireless provider must comply with written, objective, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory requirements that prohibit new utility poles used to support small wireless facilities if:
a. The authority, at least 90 days prior to the submission of an application, has required all public utility lines to be placed underground;
b. Structures that the authority allows to remain above ground are reasonably available to wireless providers for the collocation of small wireless facilities and may be replaced by a wireless provider to accommodate the collocation of small wireless facilities; and
c. A wireless provider may install a new utility pole in the designated area in the right-of-way that otherwise complies with this subsection and it is not reasonably able to provide wireless service by collocating on a remaining utility pole or other structure in the right-of-way.
2. For small wireless facilities installed before an authority adopts requirements that public utility lines be placed underground, an authority adopting such requirements must:
a. Allow a wireless provider to maintain the small wireless facilities in place subject to any applicable pole attachment agreement with the pole owner; or
b. Allow the wireless provider to replace the associated pole within 50 feet of the prior location in accordance with paragraph (r).
(j) A wireless infrastructure provider may apply to an authority to place utility poles in the public rights-of-way to support the collocation of small wireless facilities. The application must include an attestation that small wireless facilities will be collocated on the utility pole or structure and will be used by a wireless services provider to provide service within 9 months after the date the application is approved. The authority shall accept and process the application in accordance with subparagraph (d)6. and any applicable codes and other local codes governing the placement of utility poles in the public rights-of-way.
(k) This subsection does not limit a local government’s authority to enforce historic preservation zoning regulations consistent with the preservation of local zoning authority under 47 U.S.C. s. 332(c)(7), the requirements for facility modifications under 47 U.S.C. s. 1455(a), or the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and the regulations adopted to implement such laws. An authority may enforce local codes, administrative rules, or regulations adopted by ordinance in effect on April 1, 2017, which are applicable to a historic area designated by the state or authority. An authority may enforce pending local ordinances, administrative rules, or regulations applicable to a historic area designated by the state if the intent to adopt such changes has been publicly declared on or before April 1, 2017. An authority may waive any ordinances or other requirements that are subject to this paragraph.
(l) This subsection does not authorize a person to collocate or attach wireless facilities, including any antenna, micro wireless facility, or small wireless facility, on a privately owned utility pole, a utility pole owned by an electric cooperative or a municipal electric utility, a privately owned wireless support structure, or other private property without the consent of the property owner.
(m) The approval of the installation, placement, maintenance, or operation of a small wireless facility pursuant to this subsection does not authorize the provision of any voice, data, or video communications services or the installation, placement, maintenance, or operation of any communications facilities other than small wireless facilities in the right-of-way.
(n) This subsection does not affect provisions relating to pass-through providers in subsection (6).
(o) This subsection does not authorize a person to collocate or attach small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities on a utility pole, unless otherwise permitted by federal law, or erect a wireless support structure in the right-of-way located within a retirement community that:
1. Is deed restricted as housing for older persons as defined in s. 760.29(4)(b);
2. Has more than 5,000 residents; and
3. Has underground utilities for electric transmission or distribution.

This paragraph does not apply to the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro wireless facilities on any existing and duly authorized aerial communications facilities, provided that once aerial facilities are converted to underground facilities, any such collocation or construction shall be only as provided by the municipality’s underground utilities ordinance.

(p) This subsection does not authorize a person to collocate or attach small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities on a utility pole, unless otherwise permitted by federal law, or erect a wireless support structure in the right-of-way located within a municipality that:
1. Is located on a coastal barrier island as defined in s. 161.053(1)(b)3.;
2. Has a land area of less than 5 square miles;
3. Has fewer than 10,000 residents; and
4. Has, before July 1, 2017, received referendum approval to issue debt to finance municipal-wide undergrounding of its utilities for electric transmission or distribution.

This paragraph does not apply to the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro wireless facilities on any existing and duly authorized aerial communications facilities, provided that once aerial facilities are converted to underground facilities, any such collocation or construction shall be only as provided by the municipality’s underground utilities ordinance.

(q) This subsection does not authorize a person to collocate small wireless facilities or micro wireless facilities on an authority utility pole or erect a wireless support structure in a location subject to covenants, conditions, restrictions, articles of incorporation, and bylaws of a homeowners’ association. This paragraph does not apply to the installation, placement, maintenance, or replacement of micro wireless facilities on any existing and duly authorized aerial communications facilities.
(r) An authority may require wireless providers to comply with objective design standards adopted by ordinance. The ordinance may only require:
1. A new utility pole that replaces an existing utility pole to be of substantially similar design, material, and color;
2. Reasonable spacing requirements concerning the location of a ground-mounted component of a small wireless facility which does not exceed 15 feet from the associated support structure; or
3. A small wireless facility to meet reasonable location context, color, camouflage, and concealment requirements, subject to the limitations in this subsection; and
4. A new utility pole used to support a small wireless facility to meet reasonable location context, color, and material of the predominant utility pole type at the proposed location of the new utility pole.

Such design standards under this paragraph may be waived by the authority upon a showing that the design standards are not reasonably compatible for the particular location of a small wireless facility or utility pole or are technically infeasible or that the design standards impose an excessive expense. The waiver must be granted or denied within 45 days after the date of the request.

(8)(a) Any person aggrieved by a violation of this section may bring a civil action in a United States District Court or in any other court of competent jurisdiction.
(b) The court may:
1. Grant temporary or permanent injunctions on terms as it may deem reasonable to prevent or restrain violations of this section; and
2. Direct the recovery of full costs, including awarding reasonable attorney fees, to the party who prevails.
(9) All work in the authority’s rights-of-way under this section must comply with the 2017 edition of the Florida Department of Transportation Utility Accommodation Manual.
History.s. 127, ch. 29965, 1955; s. 1, ch. 63-279; s. 1, ch. 65-52; ss. 23, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 141, ch. 84-309; s. 8, ch. 85-174; s. 8, ch. 86-155; ss. 2, 21, ch. 88-168; s. 8, ch. 89-232; s. 41, ch. 91-221; s. 26, ch. 94-237; s. 1, ch. 98-147; s. 2, ch. 99-354; ss. 50, 51, 58, 59, ch. 2000-260; ss. 34, 35, 38, ch. 2001-140; s. 81, ch. 2002-20; s. 6, ch. 2002-48; s. 57, ch. 2003-286; s. 13, ch. 2004-366; s. 6, ch. 2005-171; s. 10, ch. 2006-138; s. 5, ch. 2007-29; s. 29, ch. 2008-227; s. 22, ch. 2010-225; s. 2, ch. 2016-44; s. 5, ch. 2017-42; s. 1, ch. 2017-136; s. 15, ch. 2019-42; s. 2, ch. 2019-131.
1Note.Section 3, ch. 2019-131, provides that “[n]othing in this act shall be construed to delay the issuance of permits for other utility work, including, but not limited to, permits related to electricity or gas work in the rights-of-way.”
Note.Former s. 338.17.