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Board considers special-use permit for cell phone tower

During its meeting Thursday night, the Washington Board of Adjustment will consider issuing a special-use permit and a variance to allow construction and operation of a cellular tower.

The tower would be a 174-foot monopole. It would be located on the northwest side of Windley Road.

The property is in the B-2 zoning district (business). The tower requires a special-use permit in order to build it. It also requires a variance because its height is over 25 feet.

The special-use permit and variance are being requested by James LaPann, an agent for Verizon Wireless.

The city’s zoning code for telecommunications towers and antennas covers the requests. The code prohibits any telecommunications tower or antenna from being over 250 feet. In all residential zones, height is limited to 20 feet. In the office and institutional and business zone, height is limited to 25 feet. Height is limited to 250 feet in the industrial zones.

If a tower is over 100 feet in height, it shall not be located any closer than 2,500 feet from a tower that is 100 feet in height. No tower shall be located on property that contains a hospital, nursing home or day care center.

Except for concealed or camouflaged towers, the base of the tower and each guy anchor must be enclosed by a fence or wall at least eight feet unless the tower and all guy anchors are mounted on top of a building or other structure over eight feet. Barbed wire, razor ribbon, concertina wire and other similar security measures are prohibited adjacent to residentially zone property.

Landscaping rules apply, including preserving existing tree as much as possible.

A one-foot square sign identifying the owner and operator and an emergency telephone number shall be placed in a clearly visible location on the tower. Warning signs may be placed on the tower premises.

The Board of Adjustment meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 102 E. Main St.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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