City Scene

Proposed FCC Small Cell Regs Could Supersede City Regs

Public comment is needed on proposed FCC regulations that would allow placement, installation & configuration of small cell structures regardless of local concealment standards. The FCC is seeking public comment on these proceedings by Tuesday, Oct. 15. For more information and to comment, visit

To ensure that the city was prepared for requests for Small Cell Antenna installations, the Gaithersburg Mayor and City Council adopted rights-of-way (ROW) regulations in December 2017. Those regulations were amended by the city in early 2019 to address issues raised in a September 2018 Order of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

The new petitions before the FCC, filed by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association & the Wireless Infrastructure Association, may impact the city regulations again, if granted. The city intends to submit its opposition to these industry requests.

The new petitions seek to clarify terms, provide that an application be deemed “granted” if a local government fails to act in a timely manner, liberalize the standard of what constitutes a substantial change to a facility, declare that conditional approvals violate the law, and prohibit any process or conditions that effectively defeat or reduce the protections afforded under the law.

If granted by the FCC, these changes could allow placement of as many equipment cabinets as can fit on a pole, open up installations on utility company poles, allow for virtually any configuration vertically or horizontally if the structure is allowed on a pole regardless of local concealment standards, and create a new building standard whereby if a small cell facility is allowed on any portion of a building, it must be allowed elsewhere on the same building regardless of its visibility.

Young Artist Award Applications Now Open

The city and Kentlands Community Foundation present the annual Young Artist Award, a juried competition culminating in a concert for the top prize winners.

The goal of the Young Artist Award is to provide musicians, ages 12 to 18, with an enriching artistic experience and encourage them in their love of music. Applications are due by Dec. 4. Auditions will be held Jan. 4 and 5, 2020.

Participants are encouraged to apply online through the city’s website. A hard copy of the application may be requested by contacting the program coordinator at the Arts Barn or visiting the Arts Barn.

City Launches Recycle Coach

This free app is designed to help residents reduce their household waste and recycle right with up-to-the-minute information.

“We were looking for a tool to help our residents make smarter recycling decisions, and we think the Recycle Coach fits the bill nicely,” said Michael Johnson, the city’s director of public works. “We encourage our residents to sign up for the notifications and take advantage of Recycle Coach’s many tools to increase recycling rates and prevent non-recyclable materials from contaminating the recycling stream.”

With Recycle Coach, residents can:

  • Stay organized with custom curbside collection and events calendars;
  • Receive collection reminders and real-time updates on service disruptions;
  • Become recycling experts with a comprehensive “What Goes Where?” search tool, including local disposal information and collection requirements for common and uncommon items;
  • Take the “What Type of Recycler Are You?” quiz for helpful recycling tips and tricks.

Recycle Coach is accessible from desktop computers, mobile devices, and through digital assistants like Amazon Alexa & Google Home. The app is available free at the iTunes Store and Google Play.