Some Kedron residents say keep that cell tower out of our area
A new cell tower is on its way to the south Tyrone area, which has nearby residents in Peachtree City’s Kedron Hills subdivision concerned.
The tower site is some 303 feet from the nearest adjacent property line, claims cell tower developer Site Concepts Inc, Georgia.
Although the 35-acre site at 126 Crabapple Lane is wooded on all its borders, the 180-foot monopole tower proposed by SCI will extend well above the top of those trees, some residents have argued.
In the meantime, a battle is being waged between tower developer SCI and rival company Highwood Towers, which filed its own application for a tower on nearby property at 123 Farr Road.
Highwood’s application, however, came 14 days after the application submitted by SCI.
In May, county zoning staff denied Highwood’s tower application, since it would be too close to the “proposed tower” that had just been approved for SCI. Highwood also is proposing to build a 180-foot monopole tower.
Monopole towers are different than traditional “lattice” type towers, as they consist of a single pole extending upward from the ground.
Highwood is appealing the matter to the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals, and a decision is expected at the board’s Sept. 19 meeting. Even if Highwood loses the appeal, it still can petition the board of commissioners for a variance to allow its tower to be built.
The catch is that going that route will require a public hearing because Highwood’s proposed tower is less than 1.5 miles away from SCI’s proposed tower.
Highwood’s argument is that SCI’s application was incomplete because at first it lacked several key documents including an approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
However, county officials have noted that the ordinance does not have language that allows it to nullify or void a telecommunications tower “due to its incomplete status.
Highwood also has contended that SCI can hang onto the site for two years, potentially preventing Highwood’s tower from being built.
Although the zoning board appeals hearing is set for Sept. 19, the board previously denied Highwood’s appeal with a unanimous 5-0 vote at a July 25 meeting.
However, it was later determined that county staff failed to have the appeal meeting advertised in advance, so the matter has been re-set for the Sept. 19 meeting.
Kedron Hills residents are taking sides with Highwood, in large part on the hope they can avoid having SCI’s nearby tower located, to a large degree, in their virtual backyards.
Because the cell tower meets all county regulations and is more than 1.5 miles from other cell towers, it was approved by county officials before residents in the area even found out about the application. That’s because the county ordinance doesn’t require adjacent property owners to be notified of the application.
Nor does the ordinance require a public hearing if the tower site meets all of the county’s ordinances including the distance requirement.
County Manager Jack Krakeel has recommended the county add notification requirements for adjacent property owners to the cell tower ordinance to make sure neighbors are made aware of future cell tower applications.