C Spire Wireless Media Relations Manager Dave Miller said the company will appeal a recommendation by the Starkville Board of Adjustments and Appeals for the city to deny the construction of a cell tower.
“We definitely plan to file an appeal,” Miller said. “We will file it next week, and then confirm when the aldermen will schedule our hearing.”
Appeals to the Board of Aldermen must be made within 10 days of a recommendation or ruling.
According to Miller, C Spire representatives for their appeal will present detailed information and an exhibit showing the search ring the company used to locate an appropriate site for the proposed 100-foot cell tower, which is selected based on coverage needs, super-imposed over a zoning map of Starkville.
The Board of Adjustments and Appeals recommended in a 3-1 vote on Wednesday that C Spire not be allowed to construct the tower, citing the city’s 2,640-foot setback ordinance, which requires cellular towers to be at least a half-mile from property that is zone residential.
When C Spire appeals the board’s decision to the aldermen, Miller said they will address the half-mile ordinance directly, and the exhibit will attempt to demonstrate the difficulty in adhering to this ordinance.
“It basically indicates that, if this is the requirement, we aren’t sure if we can ever locate a build site,” he said.
A member of Board of Adjustments and Appeals suggested C Spire attempt to amend the setback ordinance, but Miller said the company felt that it made little sense for C Spire to go in and change an entire ordinance for a single site.
“There is a broader issue here,” he said.
Miller also added that constructing and operating a cell tower is an expensive endeavor, and an activity C Spire does not take on lightly.
“We absolutely need a new cell site,” he said. “We continue to have increased traffic and we need to provide coverage and redundancy to our customers in the area. Cell service is becoming a basic service, and we want to be able to provide the best.”
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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