An antenna is a device used to transmit or receive communications signals. This term includes transmitting and receiving elements, and rotating or other directional mechanism.  An antenna tower is a lattice-type structure, guyed or self-supporting, used to support antennas.  Antennas can be ground-mounted, roof-mounted, or building-mounted.  You will frequently hear or see the term “monopole” along with antenna.  A monopole is a single, self-supporting pole-type structure, that supports a fixture designed to hold one or more antennas.

The purposes of the regulations of antennas, antenna towers, and monopoles as a particular type of structure shall be as follows:

  • The Zoning Commission has determined that certain antennas, antenna towers, and monopoles, because of their size, shape, design, construction, or location, may affect the welfare or safety of the population and may detract from the streetscape, landscape, skyline, scenic beauty, or aesthetic interests of the District of Columbia, and its role as the Nation's Capital;
  • The Zoning Regulations therefore regulate the size, height, construction, design, and location of antennas, antenna towers, and monopoles which have the greatest potential for adverse impact on the health, safety, and welfare of the population, and on neighborhood quality, and those which have the greatest potential for adverse impact on the scenic beauty of the Nation's Capital and the national monuments; and
  • The principal types of antennas, antenna towers, and monopoles regulated are those that, because of their shape, size, or quantity, potentially have the greatest visual impact, and include, by example, large satellite earth station antennas, and certain microwave terrestrial antennas, monopoles, and antenna towers.

No application for a building permit for a transmitting antenna may be considered completed unless it is accompanied by a certification evidencing that the proposed transmitting antenna will comply with the radio frequency radiation guidelines adopted by the Federal Communications Commission and the health and safety regulations adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

For more information on the following topics, please see the corresponding referenced sections:

  • Antenna Towers and Monopole in the PDR-4 and PDR-7 Zones (By-right) – Subtitle C § 1309
  • Removal of Antennas, Antenna Towers, Monopoles, and Related Equipment – Subtitle C § 1316