Commission to review new rules for PTC celltowers

New rules governing the location of new cellphone towers will be discussed Monday night by the Peachtree City Planning Commission at its regular meeting at City Hall at 7 p.m.

Among the proposed new requirements is for the wireless companies to conduct a visual impact assessment including a balloon test to demonstrate the height of the proposed tower and support facilities. The balloon must be flown for at least eight hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. with the date, time and location of the balloon test made public in a legal advertisement.

Also during the balloon test the wireless company will be required to take photos of the balloon from approximately 200 feet away, with at least four views from the north, south, east and west.

The balloon test is required to be scheduled at first on a weekend, but if it visibility interferes with the test it can be rescheduled to a weekday.

The city already has removed two zoning districts from being options for new celltowers. At its July 15 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to no longer allow new celltowers on property zoned agriculture residential or open space-conservation.

The city will allow new towers on land zoned open space-public, which includes city recreation areas and local schools and churches. Several residents have told council they strongly oppose celltowers being allowed in recreational areas.

The upside of new celltowers going on city property is the city would have leeway to negotiate additional concessions not enforceable by city ordinance, officials have said.

Other proposed restrictions are being tweaked or added to further protect adjoining property owners.

The new ordinance bumps up the distance a tower must be away from an adjacent property line from 200 to 250 feet.

The ordinance also lowers the maximum height of any tower from 199 to 180 feet, as measured from the ground level to the highest point on the proposed structure.