Satellite Dish regulations pending, pending, pending

A zoning bill regulating the placement of satellite dishes on buildings, on the list for final passage since June, was again held from a City Council vote on Thursday. Councilmen Clarke, DiCicco and Kenney first introduced this bill in March, and the bill was amended in Council in June. According to past City Council agendas, the bill had been up for final passage numerous times between its last amendment and last week’s hold.

Bill no. 100200-A
creates new zoning regulations that restrict the placement and installation of satellite dishes and antennas on Philadelphia buildings. Dishes for satellite television are frequently left behind on buildings, even after service is cancelled, which can result in single buildings—even single-family rowhomes—having multiple satellite dishes sprout from their facades.

In essence, the bill prohibits these dishes and antennas from being placed and maintained on the facades of buildings, unless on-site testing demonstrates that no other placement will be sufficient to receive service. Further, internet and television providers would be required to remove these devices when it’s no longer in service. Cancel your DirecTV? DirecTV will have to come and take your dish away.

According to the office of the City Clerk, one of the bill’s sponsors—Councilmen Darrell Clarke, Frank DiCicco, or James Kenney—withheld the bill from a vote. William Carter, legislative aide to Councilman Clarke, emailed PlanPhilly today, explaining that they have been holding the bill pending “probable amendments, but intend to move forward at some point soon.”

The content of 100200-A has been integrated into the draft zoning code revision, as section 14-504(7) in the “Use Regulations” section.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.