Cell tower back on coun­cil agenda

The Covington News - - LOCAL - ROB DEWIG rdewig@cov­news.com

A re­jected cell phone tower on Mon­ti­cello Street is on the Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil’s agenda again Mon­day, but Mayor Ron­nie John­ston says it’s es­sen­tially to com­plete pa­per­work. He doesn’t ex­pect any­thing to change.

“My un­der­stand­ing is they’ve not reap­plied for a spe­cial use per­mit,” he said Thurs­day. “This is just kind of wrap­ping it up, I guess you could say. The an­swer is, ‘No, they’re not reap­ply­ing.’ But we’re fin­ish­ing, we have to do this ‘ad­di­tional writ­ten de­ci­sion sup­ported by sub­stan­tial ev- idence in the writ­ten record for cell phone de­nial.’”

John­ston said the fed­eral govern­ment re­quires a de­tailed re­jec­tion no­tice – in this case, nine pages. The no­tice lists the de­ci­sion, find­ings of fact and the ra­tio­nale for de­nial.

Tow­erCom V LLC’s ap­pli­ca­tion to build a 199-foot tower at 6163 Mon­ti­cello Street was re­jected 4-3 at the coun­cil’s July 21 meet­ing. Five res­i­dents spoke in op­po­si­tion to the tower.

The writ­ten de­nial, as sub­mit­ted by City Clerk Au­dra Gu­tier­rez, reads in part: “It is the de­ci­sion of this Coun­cil that the detri­men­tal ef­fect on sur­round­ing res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties out­weighs the needs of the Ap­pli­cant and that the pro­posed tower will have a sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive im­pact on ad­ja­cent and nearby res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties.”

Fed­eral law does not al­low lo­cal gov­ern­ments to con­sider “any con­cerns re­lated to health haz­ards from ra­dio waves of elec­tro­mag­netic fields,” ac­cord­ing to the writ­ten de­nial.

Tow­erCom of­fered at the July 21 meet­ing to lower the tower’s height to 169 feet. Tow­erCom at­tor­ney Ellen Smith re­fused to com­ment on the city’s de­ci­sion.

The City Coun­cil meet­ing be­gins at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

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