The City Council has approved an emergency ordinance requiring site development permits for telecommunication towers.
“We’ve created an umbrella so we can have some control,” associate city planner Jean De Barbieris said Wednesday.
Before the ordinance was enacted, seven telecommunication towers were erected in the city limits and companies could put them up anywhere in the city’s commercial areas.
“If you look all over the country, they are popping up at an alarming rate,” Mayor Al Hassell said. “We wanted to slow it down until we got a handle on what is going on.”
Even though only a handful of towers exist in the city, complaints from residents about the towers have increased dramatically in recent months, Hassell said.
In addition to requiring a site development permit, the city will limit towers to 150 feet tall. They also must be painted a color that blends into the surroundings. And to ensure that the towers will not be there forever, they must be removed within six months of becoming obsolete.
The emergency ordinance will be in place until Aug. 30. By then city officials hope to draft a permanent ordinance regulating telecommunication towers.