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Verizon Withdraws Cell Tower Application
8CB4 Screen shot 2015 04 01 at 10.43.32 AM
Cell

An application from Verizon to place a cell tower near Blacks Mill Place subdivision in Dawson County has been withdrawn.

The cell phone tower applicant has withdrawn his application, Dawson County Clerk Danielle Yarbrough said Friday.

The applicants, on behalf of Verizon, were David Kirk and Jenna Lee, who had applied for a conditional use permit for the communications tower.

Residents of the Blacks Mill Place subdivision had banded together to oppose the 195-foot cell tower.

It goes without saying that we are pleased that the application has been withdrawn, resident Kevin Hallowell said. Going forward, I hope that as a community, we can make progress but continue to be a county where quality of life matters.

Ive lived in Dawson since 1993, and we came here to raise our children. Weve paid on our house for 20 years, and then boom! we could suddenly have a cell tower in our view.

Hallowell said residents were especially upset when Verizon flew a yellow balloon that demonstrated the exact height and location of the tower.

They did it during the daytime when everybody was at work, Hallowell said. A cell tower would be terrible.

Blacks Mill subdivision, located off Dawson Forest Road, has 40 homes.

Had it been approved, the tower would have have been located on property owned by Joan Caine, located at 1083 Blacks Mill Road.

On March 17, a five member Dawson County Planning Board denied the request from Verizon for a variance and conditional use permit.

We got very lucky, Hallowell said. Vernon Smith zeroed in on the fact that the tower was less than three miles from another tower. He had a big influence. He spoke up to the commission. He brought up the variance and asked, Could this set a precendent?

The variance request would have allowed a reduction in the required distance to the nearest tower, according to documents sent to the Dawson News & Advertiser.

Dawsons current telecommunication ordinance requires a distance of three miles, or 15,840 feet, between towers 75 feet or higher, according to Dawson County Municode, Article IV, Section 121, which can be found at www.municode.com.

Rachel Burton, director of planning and development, said in a March 27 email, that the county plans to update its ordinance in the near future.

Separately, according to an official with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), there is no rule on the FCCs book that requires, or prevents, the cellular provider from using a particular spacing.

We dont tell them what to do, an FCC Division Chief said after asking that his name not be used.

Had the Verizon application not been withdrawn, Hallowell and other Blacks Mill Place residents were planning to generate a petition and to pass out flyers educating the public.

The Dawson Board of Commissioners was scheduled to discuss the matter at its April 14 work session. Its agenda now has been amended.

Dawsons Planning Commission includes: Jason Hamby with Haynes Johnson serving as alternative, appointed by District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett; Jeff Looper with Peter Hill as alternate, appointed by James Swafford, District 2; Vernon Smith with Jim King as alternative, appointed by District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby; Norman Samples with Neil Hornsey as alternative, appointed by District 4 Commissioner Julie Nix, and Dick Bergen with Charlie Tarver as alternative, appointed by Commission Chair Mike Berg. Terms for all board members end December 31, 2016.

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