County Commissioners To Consider Permit For 195' Cell Tower

County Commissioners To Consider Permit For 195' Cell Tower Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 25 November 2014 05:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

NEW HANOVER CTY - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will consider a request for a permit to build a 195' tall cellular communications tower in the 5500 block of Marvin K. Moss Lane off Masonboro Loop Road at their upcoming December 1st, meeting at 4PM.
Nexsen Pruet, PLLC, on behalf of the UNCW Endowment Fund Board of Trustees and the State of North Carolina - owners of the property - is requesting a special use permit to develop the telecommunications tower on a portion of a 52.83 acre track of land located in a residential zoning district. The land is currently home to the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Marine Science Center and CREST Research Park. Those were originally approved by a special use permit in 1991.
A 70' by 136' leased area will encompass the tower, equipment pads and a required 25' buffer and fence. The tower will be situated adjacent to a stormwater management pond and existing parking area in the central area of CREST Research Park.
The properties surrounding the site are largely undeveloped and development in the area is mostly single-family residences.
The County Planning Commission reviewed the request at their November 6th, 2014 meeting and voted unanimously to recommend the Board of Commissioners approve the special use permit.
The applicant provided evidence showing the at 195' in height the tower would be practically out of sight from surrounding properties within a half-mile or more.
Evidence was also submitted showing compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations for towers located a certain distance from airports. Two airports are located within New Hanover County. The Wilmington Airport and Pilots Ridge on Carolina Beach Road. The Tower is below the regulation heights that require additional lighting and other regulatory oversight.
According to the Planning Department, "No evidence has been submitted that this project will decrease the property values of adjacent or nearby properties."
According to the applicant's request for the permit, "The development of an unmanned radio telecommunications facility on the site will enhance wireless telecommunications service in this area of New Hanover County for the benefit of UNCW, local residents and businesses. UNCW is in great need of better wireless coverage at this location and American Towers, who will build this tower, already has interest from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile to locate on this site, which will greatly enhance mobile coverage in this area."
The applicant explained, "Numerous studies, including an impact study prepared specifically in connection with this application have demonstrated that similar towers do not substantially injure the value of neighboring or nearby land. For all these reasons, American Towers LLC submits that the proposed tower will maintain or enhance the value of adjoining property."
The Board of Commissioners will consider the request at their December 1st, meeting at 4PM in the Assembly Room, New Hanover County Historic Courthouse, 24 North Third Street, Room 301, Wilmington, NC.

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