County tower rules take two steps ahead

archive_import /

By ABBY SOUZA

After going through every area planning commission and several public hearings, rules for wireless towers in Tuolumne County are closer to being final.

When they met Tuesday, Tuolumne County supervisors solved two of the four main problems with the proposed ordinance that arose during previous sessions.

The ordinance will regulate the placement, construction, upkeep and removal of towers used to connect wireless devices like cellular telephones to other forms of wired and wireless communication. The county has been working on the ordinance for nearly two years.

In less than an hour supervisors eliminated proposed height limits on "minor communication towers" and set a security fee of at least $5,000 for large communications towers.

In past discussions, there was much dispute about how tall a minor communication tower could be. A minor communication tower is an antenna used to get wireless connections from someone's home. Community Development Director Bev Shane said some of these towers are the size of a pencil.

In previous drafts, the ordinance said these towers could not extend 30 feet beyond the building they stood on.

However, Shane made the point that the county doesn't limit how big people's television antennas are. She suggested the board not set a height restriction.

"I don't see a need for us to get involved in regulating these," Shane said.

District 3 Supervisor Jim Peterson made a motion to not restrict the height of these towers. The motion carried 3-0 with District 2 Supervisor Paolo Maffei abstaining.

"I just wasn't sure how obtrusive they might be," Maffei said of his reasons for abstaining. "I was unsure."

Citing a conflict of interest, board Chairman Mark Thornton was not present for the vote. Thornton has said he was once approached by a company wanting to construct a wireless tower on his Groveland-area property.

11704321
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday April 30, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
New $65M courthouse to open by end of 2019

04/26/2016

State officials are working with architectural consultants on final designs for a ... more

Lake is full, marina is open

04/26/2016

The temperature was in the high 20s Tuesday morning when Jacob Hartley, ... more

Increased pulse flows for fish begin on Stanislaus River

04/26/2016

Agencies that control flows on the Stanislaus River below Tulloch and New ... more

Director resigns as infighting continues

04/27/2016

Bryan Adcox has resigned from the Mother Lode Fair Board of Directors ... more

Rim Fire recovery plan released

04/28/2016

Federal custodians of the Stanislaus National Forest are publishing a plan today ... more