Topics Covered in "The Handbook of Wireless Site Acquisition and Permitting"
Part One- Wireless Site Acquisition
“Orientation to Wireless Site Acquisition and Permitting” explains the importance of infrastructure in the wireless industry, the need for real estate entitlements, and the environment in which site acquisition takes place. Twelve qualifications and fifteen essential functions are provided as context for the site acquisition role. Progress milestones are highlighted, casting light on the tasks and outcomes derived from the site acquisition process. Background concerning wireless systems design and the components that make up wireless infrastructure portray the texture of wireless facilities. Finally, an understanding of search area design supllies the perspective needed to understand how site acquisition assignments are generated.
“Site Search Due Diligence” focuses on how each search area assignment is evaluated. Information is gathered to characterize each search area. The search area is mapped to identify existing structures, areas of favorable zoning, and to determine property ownership. Environmental factors are considered. The zone-ability, constructability, and lease-ability of potential locations are evaluated. Conversations and negotiations with property owners of qualified locations take place to determine the most desirable candidates for project development.
“Site Selection Analytics” completes the first half of the story. A search area
report (SAR) is compiled with feasibility data that allows pertinent members of the project team to decide which location to develop. Upon site selection, an in-depth report of due diligence information collected for the chosen property is compiled for distribution to the project team. At this point the project transforms from a site selection process to development preparation for site construction.
Part Two- Wireless Site Development
“Project Preparations” addresses the process of initiating development activities leading toward the procurement of the real estate entitlements needed to prepare a location for construction or implementation of wireless facility infrastructure. Interim work is necessary to secure initial rights to survey the property, conduct due diligence regarding the property’s title or ownership status, develop drawings, and account for environmental considerations. To facilitate the project team’s due diligence efforts, a group visitation to the selected development location is scheduled with the property owner.
“Space Rights” is exclusively devoted to space agreements that need to be negotiated to secure real estate entitlement space and occupancy rights from the property or existing structure owner. Preliminary property rights, general considerations for leasing property, collocation agreements, standard wireless industry leasing provisions, and purchase contracts are all discussed. Often, additional agreements, waivers, and other documents are drafted and signed by parties related in some way to the property owner’s interest in the property. These additional documents help to secure the wireless site developer’s desired interest in the property and quality real estate entitlements. Finally, some attention to closing and documenting the leasing process finishes this section.
“Local Permit Rights” explores the procurement of local permits necessary for construction and facility operation. These rights are land-use or zoning permission and building permits. Preparing and submitting applications, planning staff and building department review of applications, and governing bodies involved in granting final permit approvals are discussed. Our treatment of permit rights includes topics typically subject to local inquiry about wireless facilities. Finally, guidance to secure support resources and strategies for responding to inquiries is provided for the reader.
“Real Estate Entitlement Completion” is a wrap up elaborating three perspectives: a project management point of view, the importance of close-out documentation, and the types of inquiries that may follow completion of the site acquisition and permitting phase of a wireless infrastructure project.
The Fifteen Essential Job Functions of Wireless Site Acquisition and Development
These are the standard tasks to perform wireless site acquisition in securing necessary real estate entitlements. These fifteen essential functions incorporate the entire cycle of the site acquisition process, from receiving a search area assignment through the acquisition and documentation of the entitlements necessary for a new facility to be installed or constructed and operated. The text is organized to correspond with the sequence of the essential job functions. As such, subsections within each of the six sections following Section I group essential functions into the category of that section. Chapters are organized to address the sequence of essential functions throughout the process.
Search and identify specific properties as candidates for development based upon client-provided criteria, property owner interest, and the application of land-use regulations. This is addressed in Chapter 8, “Search Area Mapping”; Chapter 9, “Zone-ability”; Chapter 10, “Constructability”; Chapter 11, “Lease-ability”; and Chapter 12, “Property Owner Communications.”
Assemble and submit a detailed report identifying qualifying candidates for selection consideration. Addressed in Chapter 13, “Search Area Report.”
Participate in the site selection discussion by answering other team members’ questions, conducting further research, and reporting prior to site selection. Addressed in Chapter 14, “Project Team.”
Complete in-depth report to satisfy data requirements for the team to proceed with the project to develop wireless infrastructure on the selected site. Addressed in Chapter 15, “Site Candidate Information Package.”
Coordinate, schedule, and track site due diligence visits with or for technical teams. Addressed in Chapter 16, “Project Initiation.”
Prepare, coordinate, and process applications for collocations. Addressed in Chapter 17, “Collocation Applications.
Coordinate, order, and track title work, site surveys, lease exhibits, environmental reports, regulatory reports, and construction drawings. Addressed in Chapter 18, “Title Insurance Commitment,” and then in Chapter 19, “Site Design—Standard Drawings and Reports.”
Advise and assist project managers and construction managers with project perspective. Interpret, review, and redline, if necessary, site sketches, surveys, and construction drawings. Addressed in Chapter 19, “Site Design—Standard Drawings and Reports,” Chapter 20, “Site Design—Supplemental Drawings and Reports.”
Negotiate agreements to acquire or modify space and use rights for infrastructure installation and operation, including maintenance and repair. Obtain property owner approval on engineering drawings and zoning/permit applications. Addressed in Chapter 21, “Initial Space Rights”; Chapter 22, “Leasing Concepts”; Chapter 23, “Collocation Agreements”; Chapter 24, “Lease Provisions”; Chapter 25, “Purchase Contracts”; and Chapter 26, “Miscellaneous Agreements.”
Coordinate the process to finalize desirable space rights agreements and actively pursue processing so that projects may progress without unnecessary delays. Addressed in Chapter 27, “Finalize Space Rights.”
Prepare, complete, obtain property owner approval for, and submit zoning and building permit applications to local authorities. Serve as the point of contact for local community inquiries. Addressed in Chapter 28, “Local Permit Applications,” and Chapter 29, “Planning Staff Review.”
Coordinate the permit process, including support from vendors and outside counsel. Prepare for and attend public hearings, as necessary, to secure permit approvals. Addressed in Chapter 30, “Community Due Diligence,” and Chapter 31, “Local Governing Bodies, Public Hearings, and Final Documentation.”
Track, expedite, and document the progress of events leading to the acquisition of all real property entitlements necessary to build and operate wireless infrastructure (Project Management). Addressed in Section VII, “Real Estate Entitlement Completion.”
Coordinate handoff of the project with real estate entitlement close-out documentation for construction personnel to commence site construction (Close Out). Addressed in Section VII, “Real Estate Entitlement Completion.”
Remain the primary contact for the property owner and jurisdiction project contact regarding issues as they arise (Customer Service). Addressed in Section VII, “Real Estate Entitlement Completion.”