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Main Engineering Office
1437 4th Street, Ste. 300
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 458-8721
Fax: (310) 393-4425

Permit Center
1685 Main Street, Rm. 113
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Phone: (310) 458-8737

Mon – Thurs, 8 AM to 5 PM
Alternating Fridays, 8 AM to 5 PM
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Wireless Permit Application Process

The Santa Monica Public Works Department oversees the permitting of Wireless Communications Facilities (WCF) in the public right-of-way. Specifically, the City reviews all applications to ensure that they:

  1. Are compliant with FCC guidelines, including those related to radiofrequency emissions;
  2. Do not interfere with the public's use of the public right-of-way;
  3. Will be installed in a manner that minimizes the visual impact of the installation.
  4. Are compliant with all other provisions of the Santa Monica Municipal Code section 7.70 Public Right-of-Way Wireless Communication Facilities;
IMPORTANT NOTE: The Public Works Department only permits installations of Wireless Communications Facilities in the public right-of-way. Installation on private buildings and structures is overseen by the City's Planning and Community Development Department.

A Master License Agreement (MLA) is required between an Applicant and the City of Santa Monica prior to installing Wireless Communications Facilities on City-owned infrastructure. The MLA also prescribes an annual lease (currently $2,500) for each streetlight/traffic signal used by the Applicant for a Wireless Communications Facility. For more information on how to set up an MLA with the City, please contact the Civil Engineering Division at (310) 458-8737.

Important Considerations

Where do you want to install the Wireless Communications Facility?

Generally, carriers and/or their contractors (Applicants) are permitted to install Wireless Communications Facilities on two types of infrastructure in the public right-of-way:

  1. City-owned infrastructure, including streetlight poles and traffic signal poles; and
  2. Non City-owned infrastructure, such as wooden utility poles and a small number of streetlight poles operated in the City by Southern California Edison.

Non City-owned infrastructure is managed by the Southern California Joint Pole Committee (JPC). While the City reviews Wireless Communications Facility applications for compliance with FCC and local requirements, it does not have the authority to permit the use of any specific pole under the jurisdiction of the JPC.

Is this installation in the Coastal Zone?

Part of the City of Santa Monica is located within the Coastal Zone of the California Coastal Commission. Any development—as defined by section 30106 of the Coastal Act—within the Coastal Zone must be first be approved by the Coastal Commission before the City will authorize the installation. In order to obtain approval for a Wireless Communications Facility in the Coastal Zone, you must:

  1. Submit a Wireless Facility Application on our website. On the application, you will be asked if this installation is within the Coastal Zone. Select "yes".
  2. A City staff member will review your application. When it is ready to be approved, the City will notify you of the conditional approval (i.e., conditional upon Coastal Commission approval)
  3. Submit a Coastal Development Permit Application with the Coastal Commission. You will need to provide a copy of the City-approved construction documents of the installation.
    1. Note: You may also consider filing an Exemption Request with the Coastal Commission (available on the permit application website). Some carriers have stated success with the Exemption Request process.

How to Apply

Updated January 2018

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