Newnan OKs larger cell tower on L. Fayette
by Celia Shortt
Verizon Wireless will be allowed to demolish its existing cell phone tower on Lower Fayetteville Road and build a larger one, after a vote by Newnan City Council.
The council approved Verizon’s application for the tower and the variance requests, allowing for the larger 131-foot tower to be built at 932 Lower Fayetteville Road, at its meeting on Thursday. The meeting was on Thursday rather than the usual Tuesday, just prior to a special afternoon council work session. Currently, Verizon has a 70-foot cell phone tower on Lower Fayetteville Road that was built in 2007. The city council also allowed that tower to be built as an exception to its regulations.
Verizon is requesting the larger tower be built due to increasing cell phone and data use.
The city Board of Zoning Appeals initially denied Verizon’s request because of a lack of sufficient information about the project and how it would affect the area. New information regarding the project was given to the city council by Verizon just prior to its Feb. 25 meeting.
The council accepted a motion to give Verizon’s request back to the Board of Zoning Appeals so it could take into account the new information.
On March 4, the board held a meeting to reconsider the application based upon the new information. After the meeting, the Board of Zoning Appeals voted to recommend denial of the variance request.
According to the board, their reason for denying the was they “did not agree that the financial information presented by the applicant met the test of reasonableness regarding the differential in cost to build a new tower versus the cost to co-locate on the existing AT&T tower.”
In a letter to Newnan Planning Director Tracy Dunnavant, Verizon’s Real Estate Manager Eddie Gray quoted the cost of replacing the tower to be $845,321 and relocating it to be slightly more than $1.6 million.
The council’s vote Thursday on the application was divided as Councilmembers Rhodes Shell, Cynthia Jenkins and Ray DuBose voted against it, and the others voted for it.
In other business, council:
• Received a request from Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern Regional Medical Center to rename Parkway North as Celebrate Life Parkway and to change the speed limit from 25 mph to 35 mph. The request was forwarded to city staff to research and bring for consideration at a later date.
• Approved a low bid of $41,964.77 to purchase a truck for the street department from Allan Vigil Ford of Fayetteville, Ga.
• Approved an alcohol beverage license for the Yesterday’s event center on Jackson Street.
• Approved the first amendment to the intergovernmental agreement for management services between the city and the Newnan Convention Center Authority for the Newnan Centre meeting facility on Lower Fayetteville Road and to advance proceeds to the authority.
• Approved a request from Newnan Utilities to harvest timber on property it owns on the north and south side of Hwy. 34 west.
• Scheduled public hearings regarding properties of 67 Fairmount St. and 79 W. Washington St. for April 22.
• Approved a 180-day extension for 7 Landers St. with monthly updates.
• Heard status reports on properties at 125 LaGrange St., 7 Upper Mann St., 20 Dixon St. and 48 Fair St.
• Heard a second and final reading for an ordinance to amend the zoning map for property located on Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard.
• Approved First Baptist Church of Newnan’s request to close Madison Street to through traffic from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. to distribute food in their mobile food pantry events on April 25, May 23, and June 13.
• Approved Prevent Child Abuse Coweta’s request to place pinwheels on the lawn of the Municipal Building on Jefferson Street and hold a program April 3 at the site as they have done in the past.
• Approved a request from the business development director to utilize First Avenue Park for the Main Street Newnan event, “Screen the Green,” on Friday, April 4, between 7 and 10 p.m.