Wireless communications infrastructure; zoning. (SB405)

Introduced By

Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Mechanicsville) with support from co-patron Sen. Roz Dance (D-Petersburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Zoning for wireless communications infrastructure. Establishes parameters regarding applications for zoning approvals for certain wireless support structures. Applications for certain new wireless support structures that are 50 feet or less above ground level and for the co-location on an existing structure of a wireless facility that is not a small cell facility are exempt from requirements that they obtain a special exception, special use permit, or variance, though a locality may require administrative review for the issuance of any zoning permits or an acknowledgement that zoning approval is not required for such projects. Aspects of the zoning approval process addressed in this measure include periods for approval or disapproval of applications; a requirement that applications are deemed approved if not approved or disapproved within the applicable period; application fees; a prohibition against unreasonably discriminating between applicants and other wireless services providers, providers of telecommunications services, and nonpublic providers of cable television and electric services; and limits on the number of new wireless support structures that can be installed in a specific location. The measure prohibits a locality, in its receiving, consideration, and processing of an application for zoning approval, from engaging in certain activities. The measure states that it does not prohibit a locality from disapproving an application submitted under a standard process project on the basis of the availability of existing wireless support structures within a reasonable distance that could be used for co-location at reasonable terms and conditions without imposing technical limitations on the applicant. The measure also requires that any publicly owned or privately owned wireless service provider operating within the Commonwealth or serving residents of the Commonwealth shall, by January 1, 2019, and annually thereafter until January 1, 2025, provide to the Department of Housing and Community Development a report detailing, by county, city, or town, enhanced service capacity in previously served areas and expansion of service in previously unserved geographic areas that are provided access to wireless service. This bill is identical to HB 1258. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/09/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18103990D
01/09/2018Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2018Referred to Committee on Local Government
01/10/2018Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/18 18101342D
01/10/2018Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
01/10/2018Introduced bill reprinted 18101342D
02/05/2018Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (12-Y 0-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
02/05/2018Committee substitute printed 18106360D-S1
02/07/2018Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2018Read second time
02/08/2018Reading of substitute waived
02/08/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18106360D-S1
02/08/2018Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB405S1
02/09/2018Read third time and passed Senate (22-Y 13-N 4-A) (see vote tally)
02/14/2018Placed on Calendar
02/14/2018Read first time
02/14/2018Referred to Committee on Commerce and Labor
02/27/2018Reported from Commerce and Labor with substitute (16-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2018Committee substitute printed 18107475D-H1
03/01/2018Read second time
03/02/2018Passed by for the day
03/05/2018Read third time
03/05/2018Committee substitute agreed to 18107475D-H1
03/05/2018Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB405H1
03/05/2018Passed House with substitute (49-Y 48-N 2-A)
03/05/2018VOTE: PASSAGE (49-Y 48-N 2-A) (see vote tally)
03/06/2018House substitute agreed to by Senate (25-Y 11-N 4-A) (see vote tally)
03/06/2018Title replaced 18107475D-H1
03/06/2018Reconsideration of House substitute agreed to by Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/06/2018House substitute agreed to by Senate (20-Y 16-N 4-A) (see vote tally)
03/08/2018Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB405ER)
03/08/2018Signed by Speaker
03/09/2018Impact statement from DPB (SB405ER)
03/10/2018Signed by President
03/16/2018Enrolled Bill Communicated to Governor on March 16, 2018
03/16/2018G Governor's Action Deadline Midnight, April 9, 2018
04/09/2018Governor's recommendation received by Senate
04/18/2018Senate concurred in Governor's recommendation (36-Y 0-N 3-A)
04/18/2018House concurred in Governor's recommendation (90-Y 6-N 1-A)
04/18/2018VOTE: ADOPTION (90-Y 6-N 1-A)
04/18/2018G Governor's recommendation adopted
04/18/2018Reenrolled bill text (SB405ER2)
04/18/2018Signed by President as reenrolled
04/18/2018Signed by Speaker as reenrolled
04/18/2018Enacted, Chapter 844 (effective 7/1/18)
04/18/2018G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0844)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 12 minutes.