The Albemarle County Planning Commission held a meeting and a public hearing on Tuesday, January 15, 2008, at 6:00 p.m., at the County Office Building, Lane Auditorium, Second Floor, 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Members attending were Marcia Joseph; Thomas Loach, Jon Cannon; Bill Edgerton; Linda Porterfield; Eric Strucko and Calvin Morris. Julia Monteith, AICP, Senior Land Use Planner for the University of Virginia was absent.
Other officials present were Glenn Brooks, County Engineer; Bill Fritz, Chief of Current Development; Megan Yaniglos, Planner; Gerald Gatobu, Planner; Summer Frederick, Planner; Margaret Maliszewski, Design Planner; Joan McDowell, Principal Planner; Wayne Cilimberg, Director of Planning; John Shepherd, Manager of Zoning Administration, Lee Catlin, Community Relations Manager and Greg Kamptner, Deputy County Attorney.
Call to Order and Establish Quorum:
Mr. Cilimberg, serving as temporary chair, called the regular meeting to order at 6:02 p.m. and established a quorum.
SP-2007-00050 Carters Mountain (ATC)-Verizon Wireless PWSF (Sign # 75 & 80)
PROPOSED: Co-location of a personal wireless service facility on an existing tower
ZONING CATEGORY/GENERAL USAGE: RA, Rural Areas; Mountain Overlay District
SECTION: 10.2.2 (48) Special Use Permit, which allows for Tier III personal wireless service facilities in the RA Zoning District
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE: Rural Areas uses in Rural Area 4
LOCATION: Tax Map Parcel 91-28: on Carters Mountain Trail approximately 1 mile south of the intersection with Thomas Jefferson Parkway (State Route 53).
MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT: Scottsville
Mr. Gatobu presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report. (See Staff Report)
Proposal: co-location of one new array consisting of six (6) new antennas at approximately 220 feet on an existing 270-foot tall guyed tower with additional supporting ground equipment and two (2) amendments to the conditions of SP 00-072.
Staff has identified the following favorable factors:
1. The co-location of antennae and equipment subject to this special use permit would not restrict any of the uses that are permitted by right or impose any additional impacts on adjacent properties.
2. No clearing or other disturbance is necessary for the placement of the antennas and equipment.
3. This proposal represents a co-location opportunity for antennae that are anticipated to have minimal visual impact.
1. The existing tower is visible from various roads and properties located near this property. Visibility is greater when the antennae are not flush mounted.
The following factor is relevant to this consideration:
The existing tower was constructed for the purpose of allowing multiple carriers on one structure.
Staff recommends approval with the following modifications and conditions
Modification of sections:
Subsection 5.1.40(C)(3): Modification of the flush-mounting requirements in order to allow the installation of a full sectored antenna array.
Subsection 5.1.40(C)(3): Modification of the requirement to paint the antennas to match the existing structure. This is because the tower’s colors are not discernable from views that are off the property.
Subsection 5.1.40(c)(4)&(5)) Verizon is requesting that the Board of Supervisors allow a modification of the requirements for a tree conservation plan, as no additional land disturbance is being proposed
Conditions of approval
Mr. Morris asked if there were any questions for staff.
Ms. Joseph said that what he was saying was that condition 2 will read, “Additional antennae installation on this tower will require a special use permit.” Therefore, they would delete the first sentence.
Mr. Gatobu replied that was correct.
Ms. Porterfield asked if allowing the full sector array create any kind of a problem for future requests on antennae like this since they are not doing the flush mounted as far as setting a precedent.
Mr. Gatobu replied no. He noted that as capacity demands staff likes the flush mounted because if it was a Tier II one could not easily see it. But, this is on a tower farm where there are all kinds of towers everywhere. So the visual impact is not that much. If it was a Tier II array, then they would be able to see it and people would not like that. The flush mounting usually limits the visual impact of it so that it can blend into the existing trees.
Ms. Porterfield noted that this was a special circumstance because it is in a tower farm, and Mr. Gatobu replied yes.
Mr. Morris opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.
Steve Blaine, attorney representing the applicant Verizon Wireless, said that Mr. Gatobu’s staff report was quite thorough. They will save the work session to talk about policy. He felt that this request was very straight forward. They would ask for the Commission’s support. There is one clarification. The staff report references an elevation of 170’. If staff will go back to the previous drawing before the array, the drawings actually will show this array going at 220’ elevation. That was a carry forward in a narrative where it was referenced as 170’. The plans are part of the application and before the Commission as what the applicant is requesting. It would be the array that is between the two functionally equivalent service providers that are shown at 200’ and at 242’ elevation. The drawings are correct and the narrative is just in error. He apologized for that.
Ms. Porterfield asked if he was saying that this is going to be 220’ on the existing 270’ pole.
Mr. Blaine replied that was correct.
Mr. Morris invited public comment. There being none, he closed the public hearing to bring the matter before the Commission.
Motion for Special Use Permit:
Motion: Mr. Edgerton moved, Mr. Cannon seconded to approve SP-2007-00050 Carters Mountain (ATC) – Verizon Tier III PWSF with the conditions recommended in the staff report, as amended.
The motion passed by a vote of 7:0.
Motion for Modifications:
Motion: Ms. Joseph moved, Mr. Edgerton seconded to approve the modifications listed in the staff report for SP-2007-00050, Carters Mountain (ATC) – Verizon Wireless PWSF.
Modification of sections:
The motion passed by a vote of 7:0.
Mr. Morris noted that SP-2007-00050 Carters Mountain (ATC) – Verizon Wireless PWSF and modifications was approved and would be heard by the Board of Supervisors on February 13.
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