City council makes changes to cell tower ordinanceThe Woodbury City Council voted 5-0 at its Nov. 12 meeting to revise a city ordinance that regulates cell phone towers.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
The Woodbury City Council voted 5-0 at its Nov. 12 meeting to revise a city ordinance that regulates cell phone towers.
The changes, which were recommended by city planning staff, will reduce the maximum allowed height of cell towers to 75 feet from 175 feet.
Associate planner Eric Searles told Woodbury City Council members that since cell phone tower ordinance was created in 1996, the mobile phone industry has changed, creating the need for more towers to expand coverage into residential areas.
“The number of people who no longer have land line has increase by 20 percent in the last five years,” Searles said. “Higher quality in-home coverage requires a stronger signal that can penetrate through walls, which means cell phone providers are looking for more towers, but shorter tower heights.”
Many cell phone companies contract with cities to attach cell phone network antennas to water towers, Searles said. But as the need for coverage in residential areas has expanded, the city has experience an increase applications for monopole towers that have ranged in height from 75 to 175 feet.
Last year some residents near Lake Junior High expressed concern over a proposed plan for a cell phone tower to be erected near the school. The proposed cell tower, which would have stood 160 feet in height, was ultimately scrapped by T-Mobile in favor of installation of an antenna on a nearby water tower. Searles said the new ordinance would reduce the maximum height of new cell towers to 75 feet.
On average, the city receives two applications for construction of new cell phone towers per year, Searles said.
The ordinance changes state the city would allow the cell tower structures via interim conditional permit in: residential areas above 20 acres, parks above 20 acres, churches, schools, and as part of a commercial planned unit developments.