Today, we’ve published the initial draft of our proposed Small Wireless Facility (SWF) design standards. Our goal with these standards is to reduce visual impacts to the streets and sidewalks that form the public right-of-way while establishing rules concerning SWF design.
Most often installed on poles in the public right-of-way, SWF are antennas and related equipment that are smaller than traditional cell towers and extend wireless network coverage. With more people using smart phones and relying on mobile connectivity, wireless providers will need to increase the capacity of their networks and will want to install more SWF throughout Seattle.
Our proposal sets SWF design expectations for wireless providers, the City, and the public and provides clear direction on City requirements. These standards are being developed to benefit the people who live, travel, and work in Seattle.
The design standards we’re proposing will apply to devices installed on all poles — both metal and wood — in Seattle’s right-of-way, such as telephone poles and streetlights. We anticipate receiving applications for pole through the city.
To help you visualize what SWF look like, we’re including some examples on wood and steel poles with designs similar to the standards that we’re proposing.
Among other things, the draft design standards establish the maximum dimensions for any device installed on poles and set the maximum height increase for replacement poles.
Below are line drawings of our design standards.
You can read the initial draft design standards here. There will be standards specific to the Waterfront Project Area included in a future draft.
We invite you to comment on the initial draft of the SWF design standards. The public comment period runs for two weeks from November 13, 2019 and closes at 5pm on November 27, 2019.