The developers proposing a Concord cell tower opposed by hundreds of neighbors voluntarily withdrew their request, and the county Planning Commission unanimously rejected another tower proposed for Telegraph Road in Oakville last week.
Dozens of Concord residents living near Bauer Road came in force to a June 9 Planning Commission hearing to speak against a conditional-use permit, or CUP, for a cell tower proposed by AT&T for the Crestwood Elks Lodge 2503 at 10261 Bauer Road. The 65 residents submitted a petition with 200 signatures against the 100-foot tower and said it was unnecessary, ugly, would bring down their home prices and could cause health problems.
Developer Network Mobility LLC voluntarily withdrew the request for the Elks Lodge tower without prejudice, a plan approved by the planning panel 6-0 last week. Members Bill Sneed of Oakville and Rob Forney of Kirkwood were absent.
“As you drive into there, everybody’s got a sign in the yard about not wanting the tower,” said commission member Steve Lawler, of Oakville. “And I agree with that. I didn’t think that that should be there.”
In a separate matter, the panel also voted 6-0 to recommend denial of amendments that would allow a telecommunications tower to be built in existing C-8 zoning at 4460 Telegraph Road, by Burncoate Drive. Owner Daniel Ambrose operates a commercial business in the basement of a former single-family residence and wanted to install a telecommunications tower in the backyard, adjacent to other houses.
Insurance agent Tom Vogel, whose agency is located next to Ambrose’s business, opposed the tower, as did a nearby stereo shop owner, and Ambrose’s backyard borders the Southbridge Estates subdivision on Burncoate Drive, Commission Chairman Wayne Hilzinger of Oakville noted.
Since the county zoning code allows cell towers in areas already zoned C-8, no public hearing has to be held on tower projects like Ambrose’s proposal. Rather than rejecting the tower outright, the commission could have requested a hearing.
“I’m inclined just to deny the request,” Hilzinger said.
“If everything about this meets the requirements, how can we deny it?” asked Lawler.
“I think it’s an inappropriate location,” Hilzinger said. “It’s more sitting in the backyard of those homes.”
“I agree with you,” Lawler said. “I said in the very beginning that I don’t think it belongs there, just because of the people back there.”
A 95-foot tower further down Telegraph Road has been on hold at the County Council for weeks after it was unanimously recommended for approval in the same process as Ambrose’s request by the panel in June, without a public hearing.
Sixth District Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, is holding the zoning legislation for the tower while he decides whether to send it back to the Planning Commission for a public hearing, Stenger’s legislative assistant Linda Henry told the Call.