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Carolina Beach Council To Consider Request To Build 150' Cell Tower

Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture: An application has been submitted to the Town of Carolina Beach to locate a 150' cell tower at 202 South Dow Road.The Council will consider the request at their August 14, meeting.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Town Council will consider an application for a conditional use permit by Optima Towers to locate a 150' tall cell tower at 202 S. Dow Road during their upcoming August 14, 2012 meeting.
According to Town Senior Planner Jeremy Hardison, Optima Towers is seeking the permit for a 150' tower to be located in an existing mini-storage facility on Dow Road. The mini storage was built in 1985. The tower is proposed to be located at the northwest corner of the facility and will be renting five existing storage units for the equipment. 
The Tower  will  accommodate up to five cellular communications providers on a 1.3 acre area of land.
The land is located in the Industrial zoning district and cell towers are reviewed under the conditional use permit process.
The approximate setbacks for the tower are 230 feet from front, eight feet on the north side and 30 feet from the rear of the lot. Optima is proposing a six-foot chain link fence with one foot of barbwire within the interior of the mini storage facility. There is also an existing six-foot fence along the north side.
Hardison said last month the Council approved a new Wireless Telecommunications Facilities Ordinance. That ordinance will go into effect on August 15, 2012. The current application will be reviewed under the ordinance" existing ordinance language. However, if this conditional use permit is approved the tower still cannot be built until a provider such as Sprint, Verizon or AT&T meets the new ordinance.
Condition number 6 in the permit states, "No building permit shall be issued unless and until a carrier submits an application under the Town's regulations and has been granted a Conditional Use Permit to attach to the tower."
Hardison explained, "One of the most difficult criteria is the applicant must demonstrate to the reasonable satisfaction of the Town" that, "no existing antenna support structure can accommodate the applicant's proposal."
He explained Optima has submitted a map of the current coverage and antenna structures within that area. He explained, "This map indicates that there is a necessity for more coverage for customers in the area where the subject property is located" and indicates that there is inadequate coverage and provides a new map showing increased coverage area.
The Town currently has a number of cellular antennas that have been authorized on existing structures such as the Town's water tower behind Town Hall on Dow Road. There are no current freestanding towers within Town. If approved, this would be the first tower.
Hardison explained the area is zoned Industrial. The future land use plan does not specifically address communications towers, but the future classification of the Industrial zone includes environmentally low-impact and infrastructure low-impact industrial uses. It does address height and it shall be encouraged to be as minimal as possible.
The plan states that the building height will not exceed a maximum of 50' in the Industrial Area with an exception may be permitted up to sixty feet maximum with one additional foot on the front and both side setbacks for each additional foot in height."
The Council will consider the issue at their August 14, meeting at Town Hall starting at 6:30PM.