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September 19, 2018

Planners reject proposed 140-foot telecom tower

The tower would stand just 72 feet from the Warrenton Branch Greenway on property that Carter Machinery owns along the Eastern Bypass.
I think they keep glossing over the fact that it would be ((ultimately with approval) 160 feet tall, with a 5-foot lighting rod on the top, and only 72 feet from the greenway.
— Planning Commissioner Anna Maas
Public Hearing
• Topic: 140-foot monopole cell tower with 60-by-60-foot equipment compound on 6.2 acres at 721 Industrial Road, Warrenton.

• Agency: Warrenton Planning Commission

• When: Tuesday, Sept. 18.

• Speakers: Two, both opposed to tower application.

• Vote: 6-0 to deny the commission permit; 6-0 to recommend denial of the special use permit to the town council.

• Property owner: Carter Machinery Co. Inc.

• Applicant: Capital Telecommunication Holdings LLC. 

• Carrier: Verizon Wireless.

• Tower: Would provide 4G LTE coverage and capacity relief; space for three additional carriers.

• Zoning: Industrial.

• Needs: Special use permit, commission permit and approval from town board of zoning appeals.

• Next: Town council will hold a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 9.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Warrenton’s planning commission Tuesday night voted, 6-0, to recommended denial of a special use permit for a proposed 140-foot cell tower near the Eastern Bypass.

The commission also voted unanimously to deny a permit certifying the tower’s compliance with Warrenton’s Comprehensive Plan. The structure would stand too close to the Warrenton Branch Greenway and would harm the area’s historical character and views, according to the commissioners.

“I think they (the applicant) keep glossing over the fact that it would be (ultimately with approval) 160 feet tall, with a 5-foot lighting rod on the top, and only 72 feet from the greenway,” commissioner Anna Maas said.

The town’s planning staff and commissioners expressed concerns about the proposed tower’s height, location, design, color and lack of screening.

“Certainly these towers are designed to collapse into themselves, but as we all know, they don’t always work as designed,” commissioner Ryan Stewart said. “If there is an opportunity to still be able to protect public safety and allow for a tower in this area and allow for these setback requirements, I don’t think that has been adequately explored.”

Two citizens — Warrenton Architectural Review Board Chairman Steve Wojcik and Culpeper Street resident Walt Hitchcock — spoke against the tower proposal during Tuesday’s public hearing.

Capital Telecommunication Holdings LLC seeks approval to build the monopole tower on 6.2 acres off Industrial Road. Carter Equipment owns the property.

Under Warrenton’s zoning ordinance, towers taller than 125 feet must have special use permits, which require town council approval.

To build the tower, the applicant would also need a variance from the Warrenton Board of Zoning Appeals because of its close proximity to the greenway trail.

The tower would have 12 Verizon Wireless antennae for phone and data service, with the space to accommodate up to three more carriers. 

The new structure would provide “reliable 4G LTE coverage and capacity relief to the Town of Warrenton, including heavily traveled portion of the Eastern Bypass, James Madison Highway and Falmouth Street, Shirley Avenue, Meetze Road, Lees Ridge Road, Alwington Road and the adjoining areas extending approximately 0.5 to 1 miles in all directions,” Capital Telecommunication Holdings says in its application. 

It would provide “in-building coverage to residential, educational, commercial and industrial uses in the area . . . and provide wireless traffic offloading from the exiting adjacent Verizon Wireless base stations.”

Existing Verizon antennas in and near Warrenton include:

• The town water tower on North Fourth Street.

• The radio station tower off Lover’s Lane, south of town. 

• A monopole off Route 211, just west of Warrenton.

The town council, which has final authority, will hold a public hearing on the special use permit for the tower on Oct. 9.

The applicant also has 10 days to appeal denial of the commission permit to town council, according to town Senior Planner Denise Harris.

Planning commission member James Lawrence missed Tuesday’s meeting.

Planning Commision Agenda_91818 by Fauquier Now on Scribd

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