Council to review cell tower restrictions

August 17, 2003 11:00 pm

By MIKE MORRIS

The appearance of a 65-foot-tall cell phone tower proposed near Angel's Camp's historic district will be the focus of a city council meeting tomorrow.

Cingular Wireless has proposed building a tower near Kragen Auto Parts on Highway 49 in Angels Camp. The national cellular phone company has applied for permits to build an additional 10 towers in Calaveras County to bridge a gap in its service area.

Planning commissioners and council members have remained adamant that the new Angels Camp tower should blend with its surrounding area. Towers can be made to look like anything from a cactus to a church.

A disguised tower, however, would cost thousands of dollars more than a typical metal tower.

But Angels Camp Planner Amy Augustine said Cingular officials have been open to the idea of building a discreet tower in order to preserve the city's Western flavor.

After tomorrow's hearing, the council will be set to vote on an ordinance establishing cell tower standards at its next meeting, on Sept. 2. After that, it will take 60 days for the new regulations to go into effect.

The council will make two minor changes to the ordinance tomorrow, Augustine said. The first is the renaming of a fund in which a $5,000 deposit is made by any company wishing to build a cell tower.

The second change involves the process by which residents could file complaints if towers cause disturbances.

"These towers are unlikely to interfere with TVs and other stuff that drive people nuts," Augustine said.

Also on tomorrow's agenda, the Council plans to adopt a resolution allowing Bret Harte High School to hold a 10-minute parade down Highway 49 during the school's homecoming, on Friday, Oct. 3.

In addition, the council will appoint a new planning commissioner. Before tomorrow's meeting, council members will interview Mike Ziehlke and Roger Neuman, candidates for a single vacancy on the commission.