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Wireless Leasing Opportunities

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Wireless Leasing Guidelines

The County of San Diego (County), Real Estate Services Division (RES) welcomes the opportunity to negotiate wireless agreements with both commercial providers and other public agencies. RES will negotiate and execute lease agreements for wireless facilities that are constructed on County owned property with the exceptions of County airports and public right of ways. County airport leasing agents can be contacted by calling (619) 956-4824. Services provided by RES include coordinating initial site walks, negotiating and drafting ten year lease agreements, issuing Right of Way permits, coordinating the assignment of existing lease agreements, negotiating lease amendments and providing consent for sub lease and collocation agreements. RES also provides landlord design approvals, issues land use permit application Letter of Authorization (LOA), renders County Tax IDs, administers construction management, and manages site modifications in support of LTE and 4G upgrades. RES has established requirements for the execution of wireless lease agreements. The term of each lease will be for a period not to exceed ten years with no renewal options. Each lease will have an annual fixed rent escalator adjustment and each commercial provider will be required to provide yearly funding to the County for the purpose of conducting emission safety testing and inspection of each leased site.

For approval to construct DAS or any wireless facility within the County public right of way, contact the Department of Public Works at (858) 874-4121.

An administrative deposit (deposit) will be submitted by all potential lessees interested in negotiating with the County. The deposit will fund: a fair market value analysis, the County staff time required to draft and execute a lease agreement, staff design review and will fund construction management. The amount of the deposit will be determined by the complexity and estimated number of staff hours required to complete each agreement. The initial deposit will fund a preliminary construction design review, three on-site construction management meetings, and eight hours of on-site code compliance inspections. The deposit is non-refundable, does not constitute approval and cannot be applied towards any future lease, permit or assignment payment. The deposit will be eight thousand five hundred dollars ($8,500) for a single site facility or fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for a multi-site project. If County Counsel review is required then the applicant will be responsible for funding all County Counsel staff time. The amount of the deposit will increase if the site is constructed on a historic County facility or located within a County park or a special use facility. Additional funding will be required if the scope of the project exceeds the deposit estimate. Each deposit will be made payable to the "County of San Diego" and will be delivered to the following address:

County Operations Center
Real Estate Services Division, Attn: Greg Locke
5560 Overland Avenue, 4th Floor, Suite 410
San Diego, CA 92123-1294

Here is a portfolio of wireless communication sites that are operating on County property.

Continuation of Leasing on County Sites

For those leases that are due to expire, RES welcomes the opportunity for each Lessee to remain on County property. Beginning in the ninth year of the existing lease agreement, RES will negotiate a separate lease agreement for a period not to exceed ten years. Due to the high volume of leases that the County manages, negotiations for a new lease will not begin until an existing lease is into its ninth year of the ten year term of the agreement. The County will post a public notice of its intent to allow the Lessee to Lease for a second ten year term. The approval process will require that each carrier provide a non-refundable deposit in the amount of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) and provide RES with a copy of the existing land use permit. The new lease payment will be based on an independent market appraisal that will be obtained by the County.

Right of Entry Permits, Lease Amendments, Sub lease agreements and Assignments

RES will coordinate the issuance of right of entry permits, lease amendments, sub lease agreements, and assignments. The non-refundable deposit required will vary from one thousand dollars ($1,000) to five thousand dollars ($5,000), depending on the complexity of the agreement or permit.

Site Modifications

The County of San Diego will support the complex site modifications associated with Long Term Evolution (LTE) network upgrades.  Due to the complexity of these modifications, all modifications will require that a detailed description of the scope of work and design concept be provided to and reviewed by the County.  A non-refundable deposit is required to fund the project review, construction management and the County staff time required to execute a lease amendment. Depending on the complexity and scope of the proposed modification(s), deposits can range from two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) to eight thousand five hundred dollars ($8,500). The carrier or its designated agent will be provided a construction start date after: a design review has been completed by the Department of General Services, the existing permit has been modified (when required), security access applications have been submitted and approved by the County Security Officer, a construction milestone schedule has been provided and approved by the County. The construction milestone schedule will clearly state all major milestones events associated with the site modification.  Each modification will require that the carrier general contractor demonstrates to the County Construction Manager that all OSHA requirements will be followed. Rooftop modifications will require a fall protection and injury and illness prevention plan that will be provided to the County construction manager.  If the site modification requires a crane, then the carriers is required to submit under cover letter the following information along with the construction milestone schedule which clearly describes:

  1.   The crane safety plan
  2.   The crane pick and placement plan
  3.   That all required permits required to move and transport a crane have been applied for and approved.
  4.   That all crane operations will be conducted  during weekends only

If the modification requires any core drilling then the carrier will conduct conduit search and x-rays that will be taken prior to making any penetrations into any walls or floors.  All conduit searches will be conducted during the day when all electrical systems are working.  Prior to conducting any coring or penetrations, all areas that maybe effected by the coring debris (water, dust, etc) will be covered by the General Contractor. Water and debris produced by any coring operations must have a means of being captured. 

After the design concept, milestone schedule, safety plan and crane operations have been provided to the County, a pre-construction meeting will be coordinated by the County. Once construction begins the major milestone schedule will be updated each week by the Carrier’s General Contractor to show all completed milestones and all pending construction milestones. At the completion of the modification the Lessee will provide an updated as built design that clearly shows all portions of the County facility that was affected by the modification.

Contractor Access to Commercial Wireless Facilities on County Property

The County of San Diego maintains Regional Center facilities which require a high degree of security. Access to each of these facilities requires that each carrier, their site acquisition agents, and all authorized subcontractors obtain, and fund all costs for, contractor security access. The security approvals must be received in advance of conducting any site modifications. The security sensitive facilities include but are not limited to the Housing and Community Development building located at 3989 Ruffin Road, County Regional Centers, Sheriff Detention Centers and the County Administrative Office located on Pacific Highway. Security access contractor badge applications can be obtained by contacting:

Department of General Services, Security Office
5560 Overland Avenue, 2nd Floor, Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92123-1294
(858) 694-2387

The lack of security access approval will result in denial of access to any of the County Regional Centers or any other designated security sensitive facilities.

Land Use Permit Approval

The non-refundable deposit made payable to the County for administrative processing, design, and construction management is separate from any land use permit application costs, other land use approval requirements, studies or inspections. RES will draft and issue a Land Use Permit Letter of Authorization (LOA) which provides approval for the carrier to submit a land use permit application. County Ordinance 9549 Section 6980 contains additional information regarding the County Wireless Land Use Permit approval process.

Cash Buy Out of County and Commercial Site Management of Existing County Lease Agreements

The County does not negotiate cash buy outs or capitalization purchase of County lease agreements.

Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Exposure Reporting

The County of San Diego conducts independent inspections of wireless facilities to ensure that the wireless facilities are in compliance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Radio Frequency (RF) safety guidelines. The inspections are conducted by a licensed engineer under the supervision of the County. The reports provide an actual on site measurement of the Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) that are emitted by the wireless communication facility. To view the EMF inspection reports click on the following links:


County Regional Wireless Network

Real Estate Services provides leasing service in support of the Sheriff Wireless Services Division (WSD). These services include negotiating leasing of radio equipment rack space and tower antenna spaces. Proponents desiring to obtain approval to operate radio equipment and mount antennas, emitters, or any other ancillary equipment on Sheriff radio sites must submit a proposal letter to Real Estate Services Division. The proposal letter initiates the first step in the review and approval process. The letter needs to provide at a minimum:

  • The location of the proposed site.
  • A detailed description of the equipment requested on the site. Radio equipment interior storage space is normally referred to as a full rack, half rack, floor, or wall mounted equipment lease space.
  • Identification of the radio frequency ranges, output power levels, commercial electrical power connections, commercial telephone line connections, and emergency power requirements. All radio equipment cannot interfere with the County's public safety Regional Communications System.
  • A description of the number, type and dimensions of all requested antennas.
  • A statement that the carrier agrees to fund a non-refundable administrative deposit that will finance the County’s cost of negotiating an agreement.

The lease value or public agency costs will vary depending on the location of the County facility, type of interior space required, and the size and number of antenna mounts.

For additional information contact:

County of San Diego
Real Estate Services Division
Attn: Greg Locke
5560 Overland Avenue, Suite 410
San Diego, CA 92123
Office (858) 694-8996