Cell companies want two stealth towers in east Coweta

The Coweta County Commission next month will hear two rezoning requests that would locate two stealthy cell towers in east Coweta. The two requests were made by T-Mobile South and Skyway Towers. The requests conform to the cell tower ordinance adopted two years ago and are being recommended for approval by the county’s planning department.

Both applicants are requesting a special use permit on the Rural Conversation-zoned properties to place a 150-foot multi-user monopine (simulated pine tree) telecommunications tower with supporting ground equipment for wireless communications on the respective sites.

While cell phones have become ubiquitous throughout the nation in the past decade, the placement of cell towers in local communities can nonetheless be controversial. Coweta County two years ago adopted a cell tower ordinance that included the provision that the county can require that towers use stealth or camouflage techniques to keep them from being visibly obtrusive. The monopine tower that simulates a pine tree is an example of that technology.

The site proposed by T-Mobile is situated on a portion of 47.3 acres off Parks Road just east of the Newnan city limits. The majority of the tract is heavily wooded and is bordered by RC-zoned property.

The conceptual site plan shows the tower and telecommunications equipment within an 80-foot by 80-foot lease area, or .1469 acres. Within that area would be located 6-foot by 14-foot pad that will serve as an equipment pad that will be surrounded by a six-foot fence with barbed wire totaling an area of 30 feet by 40 feet, county Planning Director Robert Tolleson said in a Sept. 27 to county commissioners.

The rezoning request by Skyway Towers would locate a 150-foot multi-user monopine tower on a portion of a 10.8-acre RC-zoned tract off Lora Smith Road near Lower Fayetteville Road.

Tolleson said the property is currently vacant and heavily wooded and is bordered on all sides by RC-zoned property. Skyway is proposing to lease a 100-foot by 100-foot area that will be fenced with barbed wire to contain the tower and a 12-foot by 20-foot equipment shelter.

The Coweta County Planning & Zoning Department is recommending that both requests be approved. The recommendation notes that the towers can be situated so that all existing residential units in the area be a safe distance from the tower. The distance to the nearest residences and the tower is greater than the height of the tower including the antennas, Tolleson said.

Other reasons cited for the recommendation added that the tower would be situated in a wooded area and will incorporate a stealthy, monopine technique.

The recommendations came with 18 conditions.

The rezoning requests will be heard at the commission’s Nov. 11 meeting.