PTC takes another crack at final celltower rules

The latest changes to Peachtree City’s next celltower ordinance are expected to be approved Thursday night by the City Council.

At the request of council, the ordinance requires that all new antennas, even if they are going on an existing building, be reviewed by the planning commission and City Council before they are approved. A prior version of the ordinance allowed antennas on buildings without towers to be approved by city staff alone.

Another tweak to the ordinance will require a filing fee of $500 for a new celltower or antenna on a building and $250 for antennas that will be added to existing celltowers, according to a memo from city staff.

The ordinance also contains language that would require each celltower company to provide up to $15,000 to fund “independent engineering and/or consulting fees incurred by the city in the review of each application.”

The recommended ordinance still contains language that would allow new celltowers to be constructed in city parks and recreation facilities and on other property zoned open space-public. That has sparked an outcry from several citizens who worry that future councils would allow such to occur.

Several council members also have pointed out that if a future council wants to allow celltowers in city parks, it could do so by changing any ordinance that would ban it from occurring.

The ordinance expands the zoning categories which allow new celltowers to include property zoned both general commercial and also office-institutional. Previously, celltowers had only been allowed on land zoned general industrial, light industrial, open space and agriculture-residential.

The new ordinance would not allow celltowers on land zoned open space-conservation nor on land zoned agriculture-residential. There are only a small handful of AR zoned tracts left in the city anyway, officials have said.

The new ordinance also expands the setback from which a celltower parcel must be from the property line of any adjacent property being used for a residence, school or church to 250 feet.

The ordinance also caps the size of all new towers at a maximum of 180 feet.