Install Wireless Communication Facilities

If you want to install or replace a cell tower or other wireless communication facility, you may need a permit from the City. Wireless communication facilities are any unstaffed facilities that transmit or receive radio frequency signals for commercial wireless communication purposes.

Step 1: Determine if you need a permit

You need a siting permit to install, change, or replace a wireless communication facility in Salem unless your facility meets one of the following requirements for an exemption:

  • Siting of dish antennas solely for the benefit of persons residing on a property

  • Ham (amateur) radios and associated equipment

  • Ordinary maintenance or repair

  • Siting of temporary facilities that are used by a public agency for emergency communications, emergency preparedness, or other public health or safety purposes

  • Modification of an existing support tower (e.g., cell tower) or base station to collocate or attach new transmission equipment or remove or replace existing equipment, provided all of the following criteria are met:

    • Such modification does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such support tower or base station

    • If the mounting of the proposed antenna increases the height of the support tower by more than 10 percent or more than 20 feet, whichever is greater, the applicant establishes that the requested separation between antennas is the minimum necessary to avoid interference

    • To the extent feasible, the additional or modified equipment shall maintain the appearance and design of the original facility

  • Replacement of an existing support tower with one that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of the existing tower

You can review this checklist to help determine if your proposed facility is exempt from a siting permit.

Even if you do not need a siting permit, you may need other City permits or approvals. This could include Historic Design Review, a building permit, a Public Works franchise permit for a facility in the public right-of-way, or a Public Works commercial permit. A proposal that includes changes to an existing parking lot may require a building permit and site plan review.

Step 2: Determine what type of permit you need

The type of permit you need depends on the details of your project. You can call Planning staff for help determining which of the following wireless communication facility permits and associated information packets you need.

Class 1 siting permit

The class 1 permit is required to collocate or attach an antenna or antenna array to a support tower, support structure, or utility structure. The following are examples of different structures and towers:

  • Support tower: Cell tower, monopole, lattice tower

  • Support structure: Existing building or structure (excluding single-family homes and duplexes) such as a steeple, water tower, or billboard

  • Utility structure: Utility pole, light pole

Class 2 siting permit

The class 2 permit is required to replace a utility structure to attach an antenna or antenna array.

Class 3 siting permit

The class 3 permit is required to do any of the following:

  • Substantially change the physical dimensions of a support tower

  • Replace an existing support tower with one that substantially changes the physical dimensions of the existing tower

  • Install a new support tower.

Temporary Siting Permit

A temporary siting permit is required if your proposed facility will only be in use for up to 90 days.

Adjustment

This wireless communication facility adjustment allows your proposed facility to deviate from the development standards in Salem Revised Code Chapter 703 . You cannot get an adjustment for a temporary facility.

You may need to get other permits or approvals along with your siting permit or adjustment. Check with Planning staff to determine what other approvals you may need.

Step 3: Apply for your permit

Submit your application to the Permit Application Center. You must also submit payment for your permit fee, which is based on the type of permit you are requesting.

Step 4: Application review

City staff will review your application for completeness and contact you if more information is required. Once the application is complete, staff will review it for compliance with the applicable requirements. For more information about the specific review process for your permit, you can refer to the information packets listed above.

Contact us

Permit Application Center Planning Desk
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mailing address:
555 Liberty ST SE RM 305
Salem OR 97301
Phone: 
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