Communications services and energy production.

Authors: Representative Eric Allan Koch

Co-authors: Representative Randall Frye, Representative Christina Hale

Sponsors: Senator Brandt Hershman, Senator Greg Walker

Co-Sponsors: Senator John Broden, Senator Lonnie Randolph


Eliminates the state requirement that a communications service provider allow a physical connection by other providers to its system. Establishes a uniform statewide procedure for applications for and issuance of permits for the construction and modification of structures and facilities for the provision of wireless communications service. Specifies that local planning and zoning laws apply to the issuance of permits for communications structures and facilities under the new provisions. Requires applications for permits to show evidence of compliance with criteria set forth in applicable zoning ordinances with respect to special exceptions, special uses, contingent uses, conditional uses, and variances. Provides that a permit authority may not: (1) require an applicant to submit information about; or (2) evaluate; certain business decisions of the applicant. Specifies that the Indiana department of transportation, the Indiana finance authority, the state of Indiana (and its agencies, departments, boards, commissions, authorities, and instrumentalities), and the director of the department of natural resources (DNR) are not permit authorities for purposes of the provisions. Defines "utility" for purposes of the law concerning utility easements across land under the jurisdiction of the DNR to include a communications service provider. Provides that the director of the DNR may not impose a charge to issue a permit to erect or construct a utility line upon or across a public highway right-of-way that passes through state land. Urges the legislative council to assign to the interim study committee on energy, utilities, and telecommunications (committee) the topic of amending Indiana's statute concerning alternate energy production, cogeneration, and small hydro facilities to: (1) include as private generation projects under the statute certain cogeneration facilities; and (2) include as eligible facilities under the statute certain alternate energy production facilities, cogeneration facilities, and small hydro facilities. Provides that if the topic is assigned to the committee, the committee shall issue a final report, including any recommendations for legislation, to the legislative council not later than November 1, 2015.