Green River Star -

By DAVID MARTIN
Editor 

Cell ordinance moves ahead

 

November 22, 2017



An ordinance eight months in the making passed its first reading at the Green River City Council Tuesday night.

The ordinance addresses issues regarding cellular communication towers within city limits. According to Laura Leigh, director of community development, the city does not have rules in place dictating the placement of communication towers. While many people may think of the large structures generally used to transmit signals, Leigh said technology advancements have resulted in smaller and more discrete structures.

Some wireless facilities are now concealed within existing structures to hide their use. One example Leigh mentioned was the buffalo seen south of Cheyenne on I-25, which doubles as a concealed wireless facility. She said they can also be hidden as flag poles, on top of roofs. Leigh said Green River High School has a small tower on its roof.

Smaller devices, creating what are known as distributed antenna systems, can be placed on existing utility poles. She said the ordinance attempts to push companies seeking to install cellular systems toward smaller and more concealable devices.

“We’re trying to encourage less impactful (structures,)” Leigh said.

According to the proposed ordinance, traditional towers would only be allowed in industrial-zoned areas and cannot be higher than 75 feet, while monopoles, shorter versions of those towers, can only be placed in commercial and industrial zoned areas and be a maximum of 50 feet in height.

However, Leigh said industrial-zoned land isn’t common in Green River.

With set back distances around those larger towers requiring a fall zone equal to the height of the tower, placement of a tower would require a special use permit granted by city prior to construction.

The other types of cellular communication devices only require a review from the community development office prior to approval and construction.

Leigh said residents won’t likely see newer cellular antennas and equipment being placed immediately, but the ordinance does give the city the ability to adapt to improvements and changes in technology.

 

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