Planning Commission : Minutes – 2.23.11


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Present: Ms. Philippa Proulx, Ms. Emily Hunt, Mr. Mike Harman, Ms.
Linda Russell,
Mr. Mike Tapager and Ms. Connie Brennan (Board Liaison)

BOARD LIAISON STATEMENT: Ms. Brennan stated that she is pleased to be
working with the Planning Commission and will participate in the
discussions, but she will not vote on any issues.

ELECTION OF 2011 OFFICERS: Commissioners voted unanimously to re-elect
Ms. Proulx, Chair; Ms. Hunt, Vice Chair; and Ms. Wanda Staton,

REZONING/MR. & MRS. TERRY LEE PARKINS: The applicants have applied to
rezone approximately 25.481 acres of land from Residential Planned
Community (RPC) to Agricultural District (A-1) in order to remove
their property from the Wintergreen Master Plan. The property is
located at the intersection of Stonegate Lane and Rt. 151 (Rockfish
Valley Highway).
The property had not been subjected to Wintergreen Covenants and
Restrictions and the owners had not been required to pay an annual
assessment to Wintergreen Property Owners Association, who has not
been required to provide services to the property or its owners.

Having previously held the Public Hearing, Commissioners voted
unanimously to recommend approval of the rezoning effective upon the
submission of a revised Master Plan for Wintergreen and signed by the
Chair of the Board of Supervisors.

COMMUNICATION TOWER ORDINANCE: Commissioners reviewed the February 18
draft ordinance. The proposed draft includes definitions and
regulations for broadband towers and installations. The question was
raised whether the smaller broadband towers should be listed as a
separate category of towers with lower application fees. The question
was also raised as to why existing broadband towers are not following
existing regulations, noting future issues with some being non-
compliant and others being required to follow the ordinance. Ms.
Brennan agreed to talk with the Broadband Authority members to
determine what they foresee for the relay towers off the main
broadband tower backbone.

Commissioners reviewed the Fall Area requirements, changing the draft
to state that a waiver or modification may be granted upon
certification by a licensed professional engineer that a tower is
designed to collapse within the property lines of the subject parcel
(rather than within the lease area).

Commissioners directed staff to rewrite the section reserving the
county’s right to refer an application to a telecommunication
consultant at the applicant’s expense for verification of site
selection to include language that the applicant will be notified of
the cost of that consultation and must confirm their agreement in

The draft includes requirements for metal, wood or concrete monopoles;
antennas; supporting brackets and all other equipment attached to the
tower to be painted a grayish-brown with the color approved by the
Planning & Zoning Director.

The draft includes requirements that all Classes of towers be set back
from the boundary line closest to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline
Drive or a Scenic Byway as follows:

– Class I (towers 85 feet or less) – 500 feet plus an additional 500
feet for each antenna over the two permitted.
– Class II (towers more than 85 feet but not exceeding 130 feet) –
1,000 feet plus an additional 500 feet for each antenna over the two
– Class III (towers exceeding 130 feet) – 2,000 feet plus an
additional 500 feet for each antenna over the two permitted.

The draft includes a collocation policy that requires that the tower
may be designed to allow for a height increase for future collocation,
but the tower must be constructed to a height for only those antennas
that will be placed into immediate operation once construction is

The draft states that a single broadband antenna serving only the
building to which it is attached and is not relaying to permit other
users to use the broadband network is exempt from regulation. The
maximum height of the antenna is 15 feet above the point of attachment
to the building or above the roof deck where the antenna is placed.

Commissioners also asked for Board of Supervisors’ clarification on
the county’s view on whether or not the county should encourage
collocation. Ms. Russell said that the ordinance was not written for
collocation but that it could be included in several ways, possibly
allowing collocation in all areas except Scenic Byways or residential
areas or allowing collocation only when the tower in question is for
the health, safety and welfare of Nelson citizens. Ms. Brennan agreed
to discuss the issue with the Supervisors.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE: Ms. Proulx reported that she and Ms.
Brennan met with several people with the Thomas Jefferson Planning
District Commission (TJPDC) to discuss the maps and data needed. She
noted that TJPDC is preparing a cost estimate for those items. In the
meantime, the Commissioners set Thursday, March 17th at 7:30pm for a
work session to review the Transportation, Historic Resources and
Recreation sections of the Comp Plan. Their plan is to review and do
public hearings on the Comp Plan revisions in sections.

Meeting continued until March 17th at 7:30pm.

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