Planning Commissioners OK cell tower plans

Published: Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM.

CHIPLEY — The Washington County Planning Commissioners on Tuesday approved a request for a special exception to allow a cell tower to be built along Clayton Road.

Gary Pfeiffer, project manager for AW Solutions, the firm building the tower, was on hand to answer questions and explain the plans for the tower.

“This project will enhance telecommunications process in the county,” Pfeiffer said, and the project has gone through the design and permitting phase and now needs final approval by the Board of County Commissioners so work can begin on the 334-foot cell tower.

The tower will supply service to AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, as well as the county, Pfeiffer said, and nationally the trend has been to put different carriers on a common tower to avoid an overpopulation of cell towers.

The 6,400 square foot lot will be fenced and will have a gravel access road, and drainage studies have been done as well, Pfeiffer said. The tower will sit 300-feet from the property line.

Vice Chairman Jim Ackerman asked if the gravel road would be only for the use of the cell tower’s owners. “Yes, it is strictly for maintenance of the tower and property, there are no easements implied,” Pfeiffer said.

Senior Planner Mike DeRuntz said that the cell tower is an acceptable usage for the property, and a resident in the audience asked if her pine trees would interfere with the cell tower’s operation.

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