PTC's potential tower locations revealed

Cell companies to sift through locations identified by city staff

Three cellphone companies wanting to erect new towers in seven different residential areas of Peachtree City don’t have many locations to choose from, thanks to the city’s existing regulations.

The companies want the new towers to improve existing cell service. Several city council members indicated Monday night that new towers would not be approved unless they could be, in the words of Mayor Don Haddix: “as hidden as possible and as far away from residential as possible.”

The potential locations for new towers were presented Monday during a joint workshop of the city council and planning commission.

Among the possible locations are:
• A tiny portion of the Braelinn recreation complex near Oak Grove Elementary where there is an existing baseball field
• The former WASA Flat Creek sewer treatment plant or nearby adjacent industrial-zoned property
• The Peachtree City Police Department
• The Peachtree City recreation and public works departments off McIntosh Trail
• Portions of the Flat Creek golf course: one adjacent to the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center and another
• Blue Smoke Park, though with little room the tower would be “squeezed” onto the site
• The Kedron Fieldhouse and Aquatic Center
• Several industrial parcels on the west side of Ga. Highway 74 north near Senoia Road; each must be accessed by a railroad crossing near Wilks Grove Baptist Church
• A portion of the St. Paul Lutheran Church property near the Ardenlee subdivision and Crabapple Lane Elementary School
• A large tract of land west of Crabapple Lane Elementary School. The owner, Bonnie Beerbower, has said she will not sell or lease the land for a cell tower
• The Peachtree City fire station off Crabapple Lane near Ga. Highway 74 north.

Staff has not recommended that any of the above locations be approved for a new cell tower.

An attorney representing Verizon said he thought five of the seven areas would have interest from two carriers, which means they could potentially share a tower location in each of those areas.

Each of these locations will have to meet 200 foot setbacks from adjacent residential property and from roads in addition to a 50-foot setback from all non-residential property.

One of the areas identified by one cell carrier for a potential new tower didn’t have any potential sites: an area south of the Glenloch recreation complex between Peachtree Parkway and Robinson Road.

Another potential area mentioned by city staff was quickly dismissed: on top of the new dam for Huddleston Pond.

“I don’t think that would be well-received,” said interim Community Development Director David Rast.

Residents pointed out Monday that Blue Smoke Park and the Braelinn recreation area are both used as landing zones for medical helicopters, so city staff will be looking into how the cellphone towers could affect those operations.

The companies that have been working with the city through this process are AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. They will now evaluate the sites to determine if they wish to proceed with any of them.

Rast said it’s likely that other carriers would be able to co-locate on any new cell towers if any new ones are built.

Some of the sites on the southside of town will have height restrictions because of their proximity to Falcon Field Airport.

The companies wish to build steel monopole towers to a maximum height of 200 feet. That will allow the towers to be erected without any additional lighting as required by the Federal Aviation Administration for larger towers.

There have been no cell tower applications filed with the city, according to city staff.

Resident Kevin Cheney, who lives next to Blue Smoke Park, said he understood the cell companies were in business to make money.

“But your buck is coming at the expense of our ballfields, our volleyball courts. ... My front yard is Blue Smoke Park,” he said

Cheney said he didn’t want to wake up every morning to see a 200 foot cell tower outside his bedroom window.

Planning Commissioner Larry Sussberg said some of the locations were seclusive and far enough away from residential property to address the public’s concern “and boost coverage in the community without being offensive to anybody.”

Currently cell towers may only be built on land zoned general industrial, light industrial, open space or agriculture reserve.

One resident suggested the city could allow cell towers to be built on commercially-zoned land so they could perhaps be built on top of buildings.

That, however, could possibly open the doors to numerous cell towers being allowed in the city, Rast said.

As Haddix put it: “Trying to picture Walmart or Westpark with a cell tower stuck on top of it, that’s not a very pretty thought.”

Councilwoman Kim Learnard added that allowing cell towers on commercially zoned land would make it “harder to control proliferation.”

Councilwoman Vanessa Fleisch credited city staff for having the existing cell tower regulations in place to severely restrict the impacts towers can have on residential areas.

City Manager Bernie McMullen told council it was safe to assume most of the audience at the meeting was opposed to putting cell towers near residential areas.

“And parks,” one resident chimed in.

The carriers have told the city the towers are needed to address signal coverage issues, but McMullen noted the city hasn’t gotten any such cell coverage complaints.

“This decision would be much easier if we had 300 people in here demanding additional service,” McMullen said. “... If the vast majority of citizens are happy with the service we are getting we probably shouldn’t change the ordinance. Just leave it the way it is.”

Learnard said the city should not offer any cell tower location that the citizens don’t want.

“I’d like us to consider places that won’t be obstructive to anybody and if they don’t like it, walk away,” Learnard said.

Councilman Doug Sturbaum noted that the Fayette County Board of Education owns land on several school campuses that could be used for new cell towers, but the school board would make that decision, not the city council. Those campuses identified by the city are Crabapple Lane Elementary and Oak Grove Elementary.

Haddix noted that if the city turns down cell towers on city-owned property, carriers will be able to negotiate with private property owners whose land meets the city’s cell tower regulations.

Several residents applauded the city for having a wealth of information on the topic available online. The information is located at www.peachtree-city.org/index.aspx?NID=803

inkslinger
inkslinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/20/2007
mhskid

I suggest you spend less time on here, less time on your cell phone, and less time on your golf cart (let's see, I think that covers your 3 whiny posts) and more time learning grammar and to spell. The fact that you made it to MHS this way tells me you don't need a cell phone, a cart or internet access.
Show your three posts to your parents, too. Wherever they may be.

MHSKID
MHSKID's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2010
I could careless about

I could careless about school. Just be glad im in it and not doing drugs or coming to your house and messing without. I'm sorry that I can't be as perect as you. And people like you from Peachtree City make me wish I lived in the north again...

NUK_1
NUK_1's picture
Online
Joined: 12/17/2007
Great job, MHSKID

Semi-illiterate is the goal in Georgia and you achieved it with flying colors! I guess you can't use the "I'm on drugs" excuse since you claim otherwise. I sort of wish you still lived in the north or anywhere else too.

MHSKID
MHSKID's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2010
Haha you know its not a good

Haha you know its not a good thing when you say that you can use the druge excuse. I wish I was in the north too, get away from dumba** people like you. Thank god, the north beat the south, otherwise the entire USA would be stupid just like the awful GA education they give here.

MHSKID
MHSKID's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2010
Half the reason kids hate

Half the reason kids hate peachtree city is they have to pay 400 dollars to put a box on the roof so they can have cell phone service. Its not 1900's people, its 2010. Cell phones are pretty much a need now of days, not a want. What if your out and your in an accident but you have no cell service so you cant call 911, looks like you might just lay there until you die unless your lucky and someone finds you.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
MHSKID - wait a minute

are you saying that people who want really good cell phone service can put a box on their house to get it?

Please give some detail on this.

MHSKID
MHSKID's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/12/2010
I dont know much, due to my

I dont know much, due to my parents installed it. Its just a box that is put on our roof and gives us about 3-4 bars of service in and right around our house. It runs off of internet though. I know verizon has it forsure but maybe others? Probably be best to contact your service provider, but I believe it costs a lot.

PTCBernie
PTCBernie's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2007
Cell Towers

The city should only approve the new cell site if ALL carriers have open access to them. That would be in the best interest of the citizens.

A 200 foot tower will stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of trees that are mostly 80 - 100 foot high. Cell towers the same height as the surrounding trees would have little visual impact and work as well. The only downside is that they won't cover as large an area and the cell companies would need more of them. But that's the price of admission if they want to play in our backyard.

Just my $0.02 worth.

YourGoodPalMike
YourGoodPalMike's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/08/2009
Disguise them

In California they make them look like palm trees. PTC could use a few palm trees.

Bonkers
Bonkers's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/01/2010
More bloviating

Now cell towers must be built as far as possible away from homes, and disguised as much as possible before they are going to get any approval from me!

Of course they are being put in so homes can use them-- so far away is impossible, and if you put a lot of trash around them, or aluminum foil for instance, they won't work so that is also impossible.

Let me see now, where can we put a bunch of them not near houses and disguised? I know, in the lakes. (dig a hole in the bottom)

If there is anyone out there or in the town hall who thinks we will shut down cell phones eventually due to not enough towers, please don't run them for President. Alaska tried that and it failed, and she could see Russia from her porch.

matt.barnes
matt.barnes's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/07/2009
Cell Towers

Stick one on the Police station. Its surrounded by woods. no one will see it. Stick another on the church, disguise it as a steeple and call it a day. Why is everything a battle?

normal
normal's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2009
Make sure they are all on city or county property

We could sure use the income from rent for years to come

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Normal - good

Let's put it right behind your house!

normal
normal's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/11/2009
Sounds good ptc observer

That would be on the golf course and they need the income also. Bring it on

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
Re the Cell Towers..

why no talk of disguising them? I realize we don't want them everywhere, but things can be done to make them less obvious in the landscape.

PTC Observer
PTC Observer's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/23/2007
Spyglass - Send

us a couple of pictures of those well disguised cell towers. I don't think they are disguised if they stick up above the tree line by about 100ft.

Spyglass
Spyglass's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2008
PTC Observer

there are pics all over the internet of them. Some are in Church Steeples...some are flagpoles....I've seen them as trees, tall as you say (which looks better than just a metal pole to me) and not so tall.

Contrary to popular belief, they don't have to be a hundred feet taller than everything around them to add service to the area.

I'm just disappointed in the City in this regard, they don't seem to be even thinking of entertaining the thought of making the Cell Companies do anything out of the box....

A quick search took me to this site..if you don't think that many of these look much better than a plain metal tower...we just don't see eye to eye on this subject.

Happy Hunting...

http://www.waymarking.com/cat/details.aspx?f=1&guid=5df351c0-98ea-4b8c-9...