Telecom Hotels: A Planners Guide

PAS Report 505

By Jennifer Evans-Cowley, FAICP

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Do you know what a telecom hotel is?

Beginning in 1999, they began showing up in the downtowns of many American cities. And most of these cities had never seen this type of use before. Many had to draft emergency legislation to prevent these new developments from disrupting downtown plans. This report provides a review of existing regulations, as well as a model ordinance for telecom hotel development, so that your city can be prepared. You will find the definitions, standards, and innovative ideas employed by cities from Sacramento to Cleveland.

Given the expected explosion of high-speed Internet connections in the next few years, especially for residential users, telecom hotels are likely to become more prevalent. And the need to disperse these high-tech facilities for security and back-up purposes is likely to mean the siting of telecom hotels in suburbs and areas within metropolitan regions where they might not have sited before. Remember what happened with cell towers; get your plan and regulations in order before the permit applications start to flow.

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Page Count
Date Published
May 2, 2002
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Table of Contents

1. Definitions, location criteria, building types, and demand

2. Telecom speak for the purposes of planning and regulation

3. Telecommunications planning

4. Two sample ordinances and a model ordinance

Appendix A: References

Appendix B: Locations of Telecom Hotels (March 2002)