Sunday, September 15, 2013

Cell Tower Proposal Near Eastville Community Before Oconee County Planning Commission

Verizon Will Operate Tower

A Parker Creek Road property owner is asking the Oconee County Planning Commission to grant him a special use permit so he can lease 14,400 square feet of his property to Verizon Wireless for construction of a telecommunications tower.

Verizon says the new 190-foot monopole will allow it to “greatly improve existing wireless service” in northwestern Oconee County, including the community of Eastville and along Malcom Bridge, Hodges Mill and Hog Mountain roads.

2012 Aerial Photo
(Click to Enlarge)

The request by Robert W. Strickland, 1571 Parker Creek Road, is one of three zoning issues on the agenda of the Planning Commission, which is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. tomorrow night in the courthouse.

The Commission also will review a request by RWJ Inc. to rezone just less than two acres of land now designated for Office Institutional Professional use so they can be incorporated into the existing Meridian subdivision off Mars Hill Road.

A third request before the Planning Commission is for special use approval for a sign manufacturing facility inside the Lampkin Branch Business Park off U.S. 441 just north of Watkinsville.

25-Acre Site For Tower

Athens Cellular Inc., doing business as Verizon Wireless, intends to obtain an access and utility easement running from Parker Creek Road to the proposed site of the tower, in the south of the 25-acre property.

Verizon, in its application materials, said “The site has been selected to ensure that increasingly relied upon wireless telecommunications service is provided in a safe and uniform manner throughout this portion of OconeeCounty and the surrounding area.”

That property, according to county tax records, contains a single-family home built in 1971.

The property at present is primarily wooded, according to Planning Department documents.

What is called the tower compound will be secured by a gated, 6-foot-tall security fence, according to planning documents. The tower will be able to handle four wireless carriers, according to those documents.

The tower itself will be located about 384 feet from the nearest property boundary and 393 feet from the right-of-way of Parker Creek Road.

Staff Recommended Approval

The land currently is zoned for agriculture, but free-standing towards are allowed in an agricultural zone with special use approval.

The planning staff has recommended approval of the request.

The Planning Commission will decide whether to recommend approval of the special use permit request to the Board of Commissioners.

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