BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Present: Mr. Joe Dan Johnson, Mr. Tommy Bruguiere, Mr. Allen Hale, Mr. Tommy Harvey and Ms. Connie Brennan
RURAL HEALTH INITIATIVE PROGRAM – Mr. Gary R. Pond presented information on the program to provide health care to rural veterans. Information on the program is available at http://www.vba.va.gov/VBA/ or http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/
CLASS III COMMUNICATION TOWER, WITH EXCEPTIONS APPLICATION – Central States Tower has submitted an application to construct and maintain a 125-foot communication tower to provide cellular, data and emergency services. In addition, the application includes a request for an exception to Section 20-7-2a, Distance to property line, to reduce the required 156.25 foot fall area to the nearest property line to 63.5 feet to the nearest property line. The property is the former Gladstone Rescue Squad property at 8786 Richmond Highway in Gladstone and is zoned Agricultural, A-1. (Note: Public Hearing held at the August 5th meeting.)
Mr. Johnson said that he had talked to many seniors in support. Ms. Brennan asked how many seniors and Mr. Johnson said 10. Ms. Brennan said that she thought there might be a better site for the tower. Mr. Boger reported that there is a ½-acre site behind the fire station which is higher than the proposed site. He said that the tower could be set back into the woods or there is a property to the north that is higher and could work.
Mr. Hale moved (Ms. Brennan seconding) to follow the recommendation of the Planning Commission to ask the applicant to look for another, better suited, site. He said that the Commission’s reasons for the recommended denial are spelled out and clear and the applicant has not looked at other sites. Ms. Brennan agreed, saying that the Commission was very clear and offered the applicant several opportunities to get their application in order and they did not. She said that the applicant did not look at other sites.
Mr. Harvey said that there are towers everywhere and they do not bother him. He said that this is a golden opportunity for emergency services there. Ms. Brennan asked what is happening with that property and Mr. Payne said that it is the county’s land. Ms. Brennan asked whether it will revert to the fire department. Mr. Payne said that that is up to the county.
Mr. Hale said that there are no towers in his neighborhood and if someone proposed putting up a tower with a fall zone on his property, he would object. He said the he believes another site would provide the needed service. Mr. Johnson said that his Broadband member says that the tower would allow him to reach everyone there with service. Ms. Brennan said that everyone on the board wants to provide service the people of the county and emergency services but that the question is whether the site is the best place for the tower. She noted that the application was one of the worst applications received by the Commission. Ms. Brennan said that either the county is going to follow its own process or not and the applicant should have looked at other sites.
Supervisors voted 2-3 on the motion – Mr. Hale and Ms. Brennan voting yes – Mr. Harvey,
Mr. Bruguiere and Mr. Johnson voting no.
Mr. Bruguiere moved (Mr. Harvey seconding) to approve the application with exceptions. Supervisors voted 3-2 – Mr. Harvey, Mr. Bruguiere and Mr. Johnson voting yes – Ms. Brennan and Mr. Hale voting no.
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I am disappointed that the Board of Supervisors approved the cell tower in Gladstone, ignoring the very valid points that Supervisor Brennan and Hale presented. The tower will be an eyesore to the landscape being in direct view in the middle of an open field. It also will end any use of that land by the Fire Department for fundraising activities such as their annual Bluegrass Festival. I realize that health issues are not a concern as far as approval criteria, however there are a multitude of studies that prove that the radiation from these towers is harmful. The tower will be extremely close to many residential homes, mine included. Disregarding the regulations that the Nelson County Planning Commission has in place for fall lines is in my mind incomprehensible. Not reviewing ANY other site makes me wonder why there was such a rush to approve this site. Unfortunately, it is now too late since the Board chose to ignore their own Planning Commission’s recommendations to not approve this site. Exactly what are these regulations put in place for if the Board can arbitrarily ignore them when it suits their purposes? Thank you Supervisors Hale and Brennan for voting against this, I appreciate your integrity, common sense and actual concern for the residents of Gladstone who will be affected by this tower. I am ashamed that our own Supervisor, Joe Dan Johnson believes that this is a “good” thing. I’m sorry that I voted for him, but be sure it won’t happen again!