08/08/12 — Council says no to cell tower

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Council says no to cell tower

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on August 8, 2012 1:46 PM

The outgoing Goldsboro City Council on Monday night denied a conditional use permit for U.S. Cellular to erect a tower at the intersection of New Hope and Central Heights roads, but left an option for the company to quickly propose a new site for its tower by waiving the usual six-month waiting period for follow-up requests.

U.S. Cellular's original request was to erect a communications tower on the site of Jennings Transmission on the northwest corner of the intersection. The 120-foot tall monopole would be built on a 1,600-square-foot parcel of land, leased from the property owner.

The city Planning Commission took issue with the location of the parcel, however, as the tower plan as presented did not meet the city's setback requirements. The required setback distance is 150 percent of the tower height, in this case 180 feet. The proposed tower would have been 15 feet from the property line.

The commission also was concerned with a residential structure nearby, although the applicant said that if the tower were to fall, it would not topple over, but collapse onto itself.

The council sided with the Planning Commission, but a U.S. Cellular representative emailed the city, asking that the request be denied without prejudice to allow the company to select a second site on the property which would meet the city's requirements without having to wait six months. The council granted that request.

The council also denied a Planning Commission's recommendation concerning a site plan modification for the Wayne County Services on Aging facility on East Ash Street.

The county's proposed site and landscape plan was approved along with the rezoning of the property on April 2. At that time, however, one of the buildings (formerly Nash Printing) was to be used for storage and the plans called for the dismantling of the sign near the road, to be replaced by trees and other landscaping.

The county later decided to house Veterans Services and Literacy Connections in that building and requested a change in the site plan to allow for the sign, now refurbished, to remain and for the trees and other landscaping aspects to be placed elsewhere on the property.

Members of the Planning Commission expressed their concern at how ugly the sign was and recommended the council deny the revision until the county could find a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.

The members of the council did not see it that way, however, especially since the city had already required so much be done to the property.

Mayor Pro Tem Chuck Allen said that since the sign was already there it would seem like a waste of money to ask the county to modify or replace it.

The rest of the council seemed to agree.

"If it meets the code, I don't see a problem with it," District 1 Councilman Michael Headen said.

District 6 Councilman Jackie Warrick asked that the measure be pulled from the consent agenda and also made the motion during the regular session that the modification request be granted. Allen seconded the motion and it was approved by a 7-0 vote.