Representing Landowners in Cell Tower Leasing
Cell tower leasing is a lucrative business for landowners that is growing rapidly in Colorado. If you own property and want to lease it, you will have a leg up on the competition if you know what type of land cell phone companies are looking for. This gives you an advantage in negotiating a deal or convincing the company to add another tower to your land.
What Type of Site Is Ideal for a Cell Phone Tower?
Cell towers cannot be constructed just anywhere. Certain requirements exist for an ideal cell phone tower site:
- Cell tower companies need a lot of space for their towers. In some cases, they sublet space or use it for expansion. They may be looking for anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 square feet of land.
- Access is important. Any parcel leased for a cell tower construction needs to have easy access, preferably to a public road.
- Cost of construction is a crucial factor cell phone companies will weigh into their decision on whether to lease a parcel. The characteristics of the property must allow for minimum costs. Access also affects the costs of construction.
- The property must be located inside a search ring – the area the company has designated in which a cell tower must be placed. Both location and topography factor in. Land that sits at a higher altitude is better.
- The property must be zoned for cell tower construction and, ideally, located in a city and county that are cell tower friendly. Cell phone companies cannot put a cell tower in a location that is not zoned for it. To find out how your property is zoned, call your city or county zoning office, and ask about prohibitions or requirements for a cell tower on your land.
What Is the Importance of Current Tower Density in the Area?
The need for a tower must exist before companies begin looking for a site. Companies only need to construct towers in areas where none exist, or the coverage is limited. With heavy cell phone traffic, the company may need a second tower to avoid poor service and dropped calls.
How Do You Check Coverage Maps for Cell Tower Need?
To check for cell tower needs around the land you want to lease, check wireless service providers’ coverage maps. You can find these maps on the companies’ websites. In reading a coverage map, the darkest areas indicate the best coverage, and the white areas indicate no coverage. If there are coverage gaps within one-half mile of your property, it could be considered as an option for a new cell tower location.
In addition to checking coverage maps, you can also look for physical structures. If you find a tower or a structure hosting cell sites within the following distances, it is likely that no need exists:
- Rural areas – 3 miles
- Suburban areas – 1 mile
- Urban areas – ½ mile
How Can an Experienced Telecommunications Law Attorney Help?
Complex laws exist around wireless telecommunications, including local, state, and federal regulations. Without an in-depth understanding of these laws, property owners may face roadblocks. A single mistake could jeopardize a lease agreement with a cell tower company.
Our Colorado wireless telecommunications law attorney can assist with all the important aspects of getting a cell tower placed on your property. This includes handling zoning issues, easements, and negotiating the terms of the lease. At Welsh Law, LLC, we have helped landowners work through business, regulatory, and other obstacles to lease a parcel for a cell tower. If you are leasing land for cell tower construction, call us at (720) 836-1777.