Mittrix, Inc. for T-Mobile South, LLC., 678-920-1262, represented by Lannie Greene, 678-920-1262, requests a Special Land Use Permit for a 135 foot tall Telecommunications Tower and associated equipment building.
Property is located on the north side of Jamerson Road, west of Jett Road (1673 Jamerson Road, Episcopal Church of the Annunciation); 16th District, Land Lots 55, Parcel 7.
Size of tract is 9.7621 acres
Current zoning is R-30
Contiguous zoning is: North: R-15 (Willow Creek subdivision); East: R-30 (unplatted developed subdivision); South: R-20 (unplatted land), CS (unnamed conservation subdivision); West: R-15 (unplatted land, Willow Creek subdivision).
Current land use is Public Institutional.
Case manager is Tanya Roberts
Planning Commissioner is Christi Trombetti
District Commissioner is Tim Lee
Proposed use: Telecommunications Tower.
Maximum of 3 antennas (two-colocators)
Will appear to be a bell tower
60 x 40 foot fenced compound with equipment building
Screened by undisturbed natural buffer using existing vegetation, with additional plantings as needed
Distance from north tract boundary: 680 feet
Distance from east tract boundary: 379 feet
Distance from south tract boundary: 139 feet to Jamerson Road
Distance from west tract boundary: 145 feet
Distance from cell tower to church: 415 feet
The applicant’s proposal is located in an area designated as a Public Institutional on the Future Land Use Map. For cell towers, non-residential sites are encouraged, and the use of platted lots in residential subdivisions are discouraged, which this proposal complies.
The tower is setback it’s full height from all offsite residential structures, and is designed for additional co-locations, as required by code. The tower is located in a stand of trees, and away from most of the single-family houses.
The proposed tower is disguised as a bell tower, which should compliment the church. Staff would suggest the applicant examine placing the tower closer to the church building, so the bell tower would look like its part of the church building.
Based on the above analysis, Staff recommends APPROVAL subject to the following conditions:
Site plan received by the Zoning Division on June 05, 2008, unless the tower can be relocated closer to the church building, with the District Commissioner approving the final plan;
Tower to be a stealth bell consistent with Exhibit “B”;
Maximum of three users or co-locators;
Fire Department comments;
Stormwater Management comments and recommendations; and
DOT comments and recommendations.
ECCA position: We support the position of the North East Cobb Coalition.
We met with the T-Mobile representatives and thank them for answering our questions. There was general discussion among the participants and many residents voiced their frustration and indicated they would prefer not seeing additional towers in the community.
The question of the tower location was raised:
Why does the church always try to locate the tower as far from the sanctuary as possible?
If it’s ugly, why place it as close to the residential neighbors as possible?
If you’re not proud of it don’t put it up !! (This is a fundamental question of equity, the neighbors gain nothing and yet bear the burden of the offensive tower)
Regarding the provider, T-Mobile, and all cellular companies needing the same close spacing of antenna towers (1 – 1.5 miles according to T-Mobile’s estimate):
We would like to see a master plan that addresses future expansion of coverage in the entire area. This would allow the community and the County to better assess overall impact, as opposed to looking at these requests piece-meal.
Additionally, such a master plan would illustrate the importance of, and need for, being creative in identifying alternate locations for cell towers. Other states (e.g., North Carolina and Virginia) allow cell towers to be located atop a power transmission tower. The cellular companies should press Georgia Power and Cobb EMC to allow transmission towers to be used to carry cellular service.
Cellular capacity will need to be increased for every provider, bringing new requests for more cell towers. The cellular companies must provide the information that allows planning for the future. New technology, decreased distance between existing towers, and decreased tower heights will govern the new cellular networks. We must plan for this future and not continue the practice of spot zoning when approving cell tower locations.
Our community should not suffer merely for the benefit of the cellular providers and a property owner’s opportunity to gain revenue. We should plan for the future and let everyone know what is coming.
Planning Commission Recommendation: Denial, affects the residential neighbors too severely. Commissioners Trombetti and Homan agree that a “master plan” is needed to identify future cell tower sites with much shorter distances between towers is needed and a meeting needs to be convened by the county. Since the future towers will be located in residential areas, the homeowners should be part of the meeting.
Board of Commissioners Action: Denied.
Some churches are closing at this time and a cell tower may prevent other land uses from being placed on the property.
Height and location is a detriment to the viewshed.
Impact of the cell tower will negatively impact the value of adjacent homes.
Not in our best interests to locate a cell tower in this area of the community.
No evidence the applicant has researched other sites.