Right-of-Way (ROW) Permit: Small Cell

During this critical time, understand that updates will be ongoing. 

Please check here for the latest before submitting.

In order to promote social distancing, the Engineering department is only accepting inquiries and submittals of small cell permits via email. In-person assistance is not available at this time. Email Engineering Permits

What to do When Emailing:

Due to the volume of permit submissions, it is critical that the email’s subject line follows the below format in order to be processed correctly:

Current permit application, respond to the Engineering reviewer’s email

New permit application, submit using subject line formatting:

  • Small Cell New Application – Agency/Contractor

Inquiry on small cell, use subject line formatting:

  • Small Cell – Inquiry Re item

Verify Installation is Located in the Public ROW Before Proceeding

In the ROW - Engineering reviews and approves

Outside the ROW & on private property - Planning department reviews and approves

Follow Submittal Procedures & Criteria (Effective November 1, 2020)

Engineering is pleased to offer the following resources to aid in the small cell permit process and plan review for locations in the right-of-way. 

  • Review the current permitting steps:
  • Follow the current 
  • Comply with Installation Criteria & Requirements set forth in the
  • View City's  to locate current node installations that are active and currently under review, also providing helpful reference data regarding certain criteria
  • Align drawings to meet the City's Specified Design Layout: All construction drawings need to conform to the following template and layout design.

    Cover sheets need to include the data table and abide by the layout and order of sheets as presented. Drafter notes help point to requirements for each sheet.

    Note, there are some sheets within the Index of Sheets that need to be included only as applicable when the scope of work requires them (labeled when applicable or optional).

    There are two examples that provide completed drawings for different facility types.

Design Template (CAD with drafter notes). Can be used as the foundation for drawings. It includes applicable sheets for both 3rd party collocates and new pole installations. Use applicable sheets as needed.

Design Template (PDF showing drafter notes)

Cover Sheet Data Table (Excel)

Construction Drawings Example - 3rd Party Collocate (PDF)

Construction Drawings Example - New Pole (PDF)

Structural Analysis Engineer Certification (PDF). To be completed and incorporated into plan drawings when there is a need for this analysis (required for new pole facilities).

Identifying Applications & Locations: Coordinates and Address

Prior to submittal, each small cell node will have its latitude and longitude in decimal degrees to the 6th place as its identification. Make sure this is used on any plans and forms including the application to reference a location. Only use nearby street intersections, do not use street addresses, on the drawings. 

Engineering will provide unique IDs for each submission after processing. Use these IDs when referencing an application or location during the review process.

Application ID format:   SCAPP#xx-xxxxx      (i.e. SCAPP20-00001)

Location ID format:   SC#xx-x      (i.e. SC20-1)

At permit approval, the City assigns a street address to each approved node. The provided small cell address is then to be used to obtain the electric meter permit with the Building Inspections department. 

Required Agency Information

Before applying for the permits, the agency (facility owner) seeking to install small cell facilities must register with the City of Plano Engineering department by submitting Annual Registration (including a list of all approved contractors) and providing their certificate of insurance. The certificate of insurance needs to meet the coverage requirements set forth in the ROW Ordinance (Sec 19-68). Email Utility Registrations for the necessary forms and to submit this information. Annual Registration expires 1/31 of the subsequent year (i.e. 2020 Registration expires 1/31/2021).

The contractors do not need to supply separate registration and COI as they are covered under the agency.

Permit Application Guidelines

SC Application Form (PDF):
This is a fillable pdf intended to be used with Adobe Reader. Complete all pages of the form leaving blank grayed fields for City Staff. Then sign the form using Adobe’s Fill & Sign feature. This provides the necessary electronic signature and locks all non-City Staff fields. The application is then ready to be submitted.

Permit Holder & Authorizations:
The permit will be issued in the name of the agency that owns the facilities. Therefore, an agency representative needs to sign the permit unless a letter of authorization is provided that authorizes a contractor to act/sign on the agency’s behalf. Provide this documentation at time of submittal.

Contractor List & Consistency:
Include all contractors (design, installation, permitting, etc) on the application form. These contractors will also need to be named in Section II (the approved contractor list) of the Agency’s Registration. Contractors listed on the application must be part of the contractor list in the Agency Registration.

Changes to Contractors:
If contractors need to be added throughout the year, submit an additional contractor sheet so they can be added to the current Agency Registration. If contractors listed on the application change at any point in the review process, request to update the application.  

More than 1 Facility Type:
Please be advised that if a permit includes more than one type of facility, the review and approval time of the facility type with the longest time frame will apply to the entire permit (e.g. if a permit includes both new pole and 3rd party collocate facilities, review will follow the time frame for the new pole facility).

More than 1 Location:
If there is more than one location, all locations on the permit need to be approved (or withdrawn by the applicant) before the permit can be approved.

3rd Party Approvals:
Approvals from 3rd parties are required to be part of the initial submittal to the City when proposed scope involves them, such as collocating a node on an Oncor or CoServ pole. This also includes TxDOT approval when in their ROW and a signed Public Works Service Agreement (PWSA) with the City if collocating on a city pole.

Power Runs:
Power runs can only be included in submitted construction drawings if the electric provider and the agency has made such arrangements and agreed prior to submittal to the City. Approvals by either Oncor or CoServ need to be submitted as part of the initial submittal.

Fiber Runs:
Refer to Engineering’s Public Utility/Franchise Permitting for fiber run permitting.

Additional Permit and Plan Review Information

Limit of 2 administrative checks & 2 reviews:
Engineering provides an initial check or review of the permit and plans and if not approved, the application is denied with deficiencies and sent to the applicant to correct. The applicant updates the application to address these comments and resubmits. Upon Engineering’s second check or review, if the application is not approved, then the application is denied and any locations the applicant continues to pursue will need to be submitted as a new application.

Permit Inactivity:
The application can be administratively closed due to inactivity if the applicant does not resubmit the application to the City within 30 calendar days from the date the City sent its last comments. The City may require resubmittal of any application that is administratively closed and will restart all shot clocks and may require payment of fees for a new application.

Adhere to City Specified Plan Layout:
Follow accompanying drafter notes, example drawings, and the ROW Ordinance to submit plans that match the format outlined and address all criteria. 

  • Vet each location prior to submittal with the criteria set forth in the City’s ROW Ordinance to minimize timelines, review comments, and denials. If a location is not viable, that location will be denied.
  • Traffic Control Plan: If encroaching upon a lane of traffic or a sidewalk during construction, a site specific traffic control plan (TCP) needs to be part of the submitted construction drawings for review.
  • Excavation/Underground Work: When performing any underground work (such as conduit, hand holes, pole foundations), city utility lines (water/sewer/storm) need to be shown, labeled with size, on the drawings to verify there will not be interference. If there are no city lines in the vicinity that can be shown on the plan, then there needs to be a callout saying so. Details such as notating the method of installation of underground facilities and the depth need to be included.
  • Boring: If boring where city utility lines of 12” or larger are going to be crossed, a profile of the crossing is to be provided.
  • City Utility Records: For all As-Built requests, please complete the online form and the Land Records Division will assist.

Post-Permit Approval Steps

Once the permit is approved, Engineering will provide the agency with application approval, the small cell address, and next steps. 

Obtaining Electric Meter Permit: At this point, the electric meter for the node can be applied for with Building Inspections (972-941-7140). Do not use the “Application for Commercial Permit” or say you are permitting a small cell. Please use the Miscellaneous Simple Permit Application found on the Building Inspection’s webpage and let them know you need a permit to set an electrical meter using this small cell address.

Steps for Construction in the Field: Call Plano’s Utility Operations (972-769-4160) for:

  1. City locates and providing a start work notification at least 48 hours before beginning
  2. When an item arises during construction or a revision is requested
  3. Scheduling a final inspection once work is completed

Monthly & Annual Fees

The city collects all monthly and annual fees permitted by state and federal statues for small cell facilities on an annual basis. All fees will begin to accrue six months after approval of the right-of-way permit. The small cell agencies will receive separate requests for payment of these fees. Annual fees will not be pro-rated or delayed; for example, permit holders incurring fees for the first time in August of any particular year will be charged the same annual fee as those incurring fees for the first time in March. 

Reach out to Government Relations for any inquiries relating to the annual fees, billing and payments.