- Published on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 22:34
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A new Verizon Wireless communications tower will be the subject of next month’s public hearings when the Westmoreland Planning Commission meets at 1:30 p.m. next Wednesday and the Supervisors conduct their land use business at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 10. Both sessions will be held in A.T. Johnson auditorium.
Verizon Wireless is still in the process of installing its infrastructure in the service challenged jurisdiction whose low lying waterfront areas are difficult to reach. Weak signals in areas where service has already been made commercially available results in operational limitations, despite the infrastructure that already is in place.
The special exception application scheduled for hearing on Sept. 5 and 10 was brought by Patricia C. Lee of Currioman Road. The tower and support infrastructure would be installed on a 9.93-acre property described in the application as 4208 Stratford Hall Road near Stratford Hall and the Stratford Harbour subdivision. The parcel carries the county’s A-1, Agricultural zoning designation.
Verizon Wireless has proposed to install a tower that is 300 feet in height. The structure would be located in the property’s southwestern corner in an area that currently is wooded.
“There are two dwellings located elsewhere on the property,” County Planner Beth McDowell advised. She described the surrounding area as carrying the A-1 zoning designation as woods or fields, with “low-density residential lots across the road from the property.”
In preparation for the Sept. 5 public hearing, McDowell told the Planning Commissioners the application has been evaluated and the county’s Land Use Office has concluded that the proposed tower “would improve cellular coverage in an area of the county that currently has marginal service.”
In addition to the tower, the development proposal would include an eight-foot lightening rod antenna and other essential equipment that would be installed on the communications tower. A twelve by twenty-foot equipment shelter and a six by twelve-foot generator pad were included in the applicant’s proposal. If approved, the local government would reserve the right to add its own communications devices to the tower if such a need emerged at some later date.
“We believe this project has merit,” McDowell said. The application packet that includes aerial photographs and site plan designed by Clark-Nexsen dated April 2, 2012 can be reviewed by the public in the English Building’s Land Use Office.