Cell tower workshop preview

The future of cellphone towers in Peachtree City will be discussed at a workshop meeting of the City Council Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m.

Representatives from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile will be on hand to explain their future plans for expansion, as will American Tower, a company that constructs and leases space on cellular towers.

Council will be presented with an overview of the city’s telecommunications tower ordinance. Discussion is also expected about how the city’s zoning laws restrict towers currently.

Mayor Don Haddix previously has said that he wants to hear citizen’s opinions on cell towers at this workshop meeting.

City officials have said cellphone companies are pushing for more towers in residential areas. Currently the majority of towers are in non-residential areas along the highways, but the cell companies have told the city there is a need to build towers in residential areas to improve cell service.

T-Mobile approached the city in the fall about locating up to four towers on city-owned sites including parks and recreation areas. But the proposed sites met with resistance from city residents, many of whom said they would rather deal with dropped calls and the like instead of approving new cell towers.

By city ordinance, new cellphone towers are prohibited within 200 feet of a residential property line, 200 feet of a public street and 50 feet of a nonresidential property line.

Currently the city leases property at City Hall and at the recycling center for two separate towers, and the owner pays a ground lease to the city annually along with each carrier that is located on the tower.

Verizon also recently has requested city approval for a new tower to be built off Ardenlee Parkway and Ga. Highway 74 on property owned by St. Paul Lutheran Church. The planning commission tabled that decision so it could be considered after Tuesday’s workshop meeting, which will be held at City Hall.

Also on tap at the workshop are reviews of the city’s transition buffer yard ordinance, its buffer ordinance for new development and recent updates to the vegetation protection and landscape ordinance.

Council is also expected to discuss a new ordinance that would require owners of vacant land and buildings to register the property with the city.