First cell tower request clears hurdles

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By Thomas Barr

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - The first test of the county’s new cellular tower regulations was conducted before the planning and zoning commission.

While meeting all the standards, attorney David Pike said that the process wasn’t a good one - although he understood local planners were following state directives.

Pike, representing Cellco Partnership/Verizon Wireless, received approval for towers in three locations.

For the site off Mount Elmira Road, Pike said that the Nichols Volunteer Fire Department would have free access to mount its signal on the tower structure. This allowed for any duplication of towers in the area.

The planning commission recently sent a text amendment on the regulation of cellular towers to the eight legislative bodies. 

Instead of going through a lengthy presentation, Pike said that the three towers would improve the communications infrastructure in the county. All would be under the maximum height allowed.

He added that all the guidelines of the county’s regulations, which follow state specifications, are followed.

The only waiver needed was for a property line setback but the same family owned the adjoining property.

After approving the three permits, Pike was asked his opinion of the requirements, especially since he represents Verizon in many states.

The local attorney said the only problem is having to have a lot of information ready that might not be needed in advance of the hearing. But he said the applicant must be ready to answer any questions from the audience or the commission.

In other business:

*A favorable recommendation was given to a rezoning request for the Clarence J. Wiedemar Estate on Pumpkin Road and Beech Grove Road.

The request was tabled in July due to a needed signature not being on the application.

The request would rezone 32 acres from Agricultural to Conservation.

One resident was concerned with flooding on the property and the plan for six lots.

He feared that lagoons would be allowed as septic systems for the lots.

Attorney John Kelly said he didn’t know what would be required or approved in terms of septic systems.

The commission gave a favorable recommendation since it followed the comprehensive plan.

In a more unusual request, the applicant then inquired whether the commission would consider the plat approval.

Auctioneer Billy Frank Harned said the family wants to settle the estate and it had already been delayed one month.

He felt there would be six tracts sold but he didn’t know if people would purchase multiple lots or not.

Shelly Strong said she was concerned with the flood waters.

The commission approved the plat contingent upon the rezoning being OK’d by fiscal court.

*Commissioner John Miller requested a procedure where the board would be advised if notice letters were returned undeliverable to the planning office.

The issue came to light recently when officials of Bardstown Junction Baptist Church said they were not notified of a rezoning request. The notice was returned to the planning office.

Although planning attorney Tammy Baker advised members to not discuss details due to possible litigation, Miller said that if a letter is returned in the future, the commissioners should be told.

“We don’t want this to happen again,” said Miller.

The next meeting of the Bullitt County Planning Commission will be on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m. in the courthouse annex. The public is invited to attend.