COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
SP 04-003 Crown Orchard Corporation (Channel 19 Tower)
Addition of condition regarding radio frequency emissions.
Stephen B. Waller, AICP
Board of Supervisors: June 2, 2004
ITEM NUMBER: SP 04-003
REVIEWED BY: WDF
At its meeting on May 11, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a request to allow the installation of a new 149-foot tall guyed tower that would have a 40-1/2 foot tall antenna rod extending from its top as a replacement of an existing 175-foot tall guyed tower that has a 23-foot long antenna mounted at its top. In response to some concerns about the possible adverse health effects that concentrated radio frequency emissions may impose upon people visiting or working near the Carter’s Mountain tower farm, the Commission made this recommendation with an addition of the following condition of approval:
9. There shall be annual verification by a source acceptable to the County Department of Engineering on radio frequency emissions.
The Commission requested that staff work to devise some acceptable language to for this condition prior to the Board of Supervisors meeting at which this request will be considered.
The applicant has submitted additional information independent of this executive summary requesting that Board of Supervisors elect not to implement a condition regarding radio frequency emissions for this particular proposal, in part because such a condition has never been imposed upon any of the other facilities located on Carter’s Mountain.
It is staff’s opinion that the licensing guidelines and operating regulations set forth by the Federal Communications Commission should adequately address the concerns for these possible health issues. However, if it is desired that the County become involved in the process of ensuring that any site with several telecommunication facilities do not impose any potential for elevated health risks, staff feels that this might be better addressed in another way. It is staff’s opinion that this might be achieved more reasonably through the implementation of a Zoning Ordinance provision that would hold the owners of such property accountable for any cumulative environmental effects, as opposed to a single applicant that leases space in a particular tower farm. This would need to be accomplished through a separate zoning text amendment.
Should the Board want to apply a condition regarding radio frequency emissions to this particular request, staff provides the following recommended language:
9. The owner of the subject property containing the tower farm site, currently known as Crown Orchard, shall provide an annual report regarding the levels of radio frequency and radiation emissions to the Zoning Administrator by no later than June 1 of each year. This report shall be subject to analysis by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and shall demonstrate that the cumulative concentration of radio frequency radiation levels in areas that are open to access by the general public and employees of the orchards are in compliance with applicable FCC radio frequency radiation rules.
View PC actions letter
View staff report
View PC minutes
Return to regular agenda