Small Cells

Image of three small cell towers

The City of Santa Rosa is exploring the need for an ordinance to regulate certain aspects of the location, design, and placement of small cell antenna. Small cell antenna (also known as small cells or single small antenna) are small short-range cellular transmitters placed on existing utility poles—mainly steel street lights and wood powerline poles—to provide cellular service for wireless devices such as smart phones, tablets, health monitors, among others. 

In general, there are three types of poles in the public right-of-way in the City that can have small cells attached: (1) PG&E-owned poles, most of which are made of wood; (2) City-owned poles for traffic and street lighting, most of which are made of steel; and (3) those where the City has joint ownership. A small cell ordinance would expand design guidelines, align and improve noticing requirements, streamline the review process, and build a public process to address small cells inclusion on City-owned or joint-owned poles in the CIty.

Below is a map of City of Santa Rosa Encroachment Permits that are in review, issued or completed for small cellular towers. Small cell sites located in county islands or otherwise outside of City limits are not included with this map:

Past and Upcoming Meetings

Meeting Date
Type of Meeting / Resources
February 14, 2017
City Council: Amendment to Council Policy 300-04 Telecom Facilities in City Right of Way
City Council Video
Verizon Informational Brochure - Santa Rosa

March 6, 2018
Study Session: Small Cell Cellular Network Deployment 
City Council Video 

December 10, 2019
Study Session: Small Cell Deployments (Street Lights & Joint Utility Poles)
City Council Video
Small Cell Presentation 
Small Cell Staff Report