BOONE COUNTY PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION
BOONE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
801 E. WALNUT ST., COLUMBIA, MO.
Thursday, September 20, 2001
Chairperson Smith called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., with a quorum present. Roll Call was taken by Commissioner Sloan.
Present: Pat Smith, Chairperson Perche Township
Michael Caruthers, Vice-Chairman Centralia Township
Mary Sloan, Secretary Rocky Fork Township
Mike Morgan Bourbon Township
Carl Freiling Cedar Township
Keith Neese Columbia Township
Kristen Heitkamp Missouri Township
David Mink, Director Public Works
Also present: Stan Shawver, Director Bill Florea, Staff
Thad Yonke, Staff Paula Evans, Staff
Commissioner Caruthers made and Commissioner Neese seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the August 16, 2001 meeting with no corrections.
Motion passed by acclimation.
Chairman Smith read the procedural statement. And stated all applicable items will go before the County Commission on October 2, 2001.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS
Planner, Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this property is located about 2-miles east of Columbia on Rangeline Road. The site is zoned A-2 (Agriculture). Property to the north and west is zoned M-L. Land to the east is zoned A-2. To the south the land is zoned A-1. There is a single-family house and a barn on this property. This property is served by Public Water District Number 9 and Boone Electric Cooperative. It is located in the Columbia Public School District. The applicant is seeking a permit for a horse boarding facility. Incidental to this, the applicant hopes to establish a training facility for young people that would be contracted through the State. The nature of the training offered would be the upkeep and care of horses and the related facilities. The original zoning for this tract is A-2. There have been no previous requests submitted on behalf of this property. Staff notified 22 property owners about this request. The master plan designates this area as being suitable for industrial land uses, and it should be noted that this site is directly adjacent to industrially zoned land. However, the staff feels like the proposed use will fit into the surrounding area and is compatible with the surrounding uses. Staff recommends approval with the recognition that the facility will have to have adequate fire protection and approval from the Fire District before operating and that all drive and parking areas must be dust free with a minimum of a chip seal surface.
Commissioner Sloan stated that due to her long time friendship with the applicant, Commissioner Sloan would refrain from commenting or voting on this issue.
Present: Sandra Stowers, 24 S. Rangeline Road, Columbia.
Ms. Stowers presented handouts to the Commissioners detailing the background information about the business. Ms. Stowers read part of this handout.
In 1993, I set out to find a home for myself and a barn and property for my house. In September of 1995, I found an old farm house on 8 acres with an old barn perfect for my horse, and a location that was closest to anything else I could find after my three year search for the perfect home. The property was extremely unkept, and my dad declared that I had lost my mind for even considering buying it, but I contracted to buy the property and set out to establish my homestead.
Ms. Stowers added that the reason she wants the Commissioners to have this information is because, she has already used this property for the last couple of years, but did not realize that this was a conditional use permit. Ms. Stowers states her original plan when she bought the property was to buy the property and clean it up.
Ms. Stowers also submitted photographs of the property before and after the clean up. As well as photos of the house before and after cleaning it up. Ms. Stowers submitted photographs of inside the facility, the west alleyway going by the arena, the indoor riding arena, outside paddocks and the retired movie star horse.
Ms. Stowers stated she loves the business and is committed to it and has been around horses all her life.
Ms. Stowers stated she also serves to overnight travelers. People who are traveling across the country that need a place to stop for the evening and let their horses off the trailers to rest overnight.
Ms. Stowers stated her long-range plan is to offer a program through the barn for at risk teens. A place in Columbus, Ohio has a program like this. Troubled teens come out to the barn and help with the day to day operations, help with chores, they get involved with horse care and horsemanship. It is a great program and really helps the kids with behavioral modification.
Commissioner Smith asked Ms. Stowers if this was a 25-stall barn and asked how many horses is applicant boarding now.
Ms. Stowers stated she currently has 15 horses.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked staff what constitutes as adequate fire protection.
Planner, Thad Yonke stated that adequate fire protection for any commercial type operation means there must be a fire hydrant within 300 feet of any structure on the property. That can be either off of a water line or potentially off a dry hydrant. The Fire Marshall has to approve, before occupancy, any type of fire system that is proposed.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked applicant if she was aware of that.
Ms. Stowers stated there is a hydrant.
Mr. Yonke stated it is something the Fire District can work out with the individual owner.
Open to public hearing.
No one spoke in favor of the request.
No one spoke in opposition of the request.
Closed to public hearing.
Commissioner Neese asked when the mobile home would be moved in, or would that be covered later when applicant has the teens at risk program.
Ms. Stowers stated that is more of a long-term plan.
Commissioner Neese asked if it would be located behind the barn or to the side.
Ms. Stowers stated the proposed spot would be on the west side of the barn. How all of this came about, is applicants did have the Fire Chief come out and look at where they were thinking of placing it. That is when applicants found out that what they were doing required a conditional use permit. The mobile home will sit at least 10 feet away from the side of the barn because of fire hazards and it shouldnít be a problem.
Commissioner Smith asked if they did that, would it not impact the number of boarders applicant could have, or would it just be increased activity on the farm.
Ms. Stowers stated that the type of service she has already and she runs a nice, clean facility. A lot of barns are not safe or clean. It would just consist of taking something she already has and putting it to better use. Ms. Stowers stated she would still offer the boarding, it would obviously be a number one boarding facility. She would be teaching the teens sales, customer service, and presentation. It would enhance the boarding part in that way.
Commissioner Caruthers asked what type of road surface is currently at the property.
Ms. Stowers stated it is currently gravel. There is a circle drive for the horse trailers to come in and out. Right now the front roadway is blacktop. And if she understood, in the staff recommends to chip and seal.
Mr. Yonke stated staff mainly pointed out a condition that is actually part of the zoning regulations. It is not a particular condition. It is required of all commercial type operations that they have a minimum of a chip and seal dust free surface. You can work out with Public Works either using that oil and chip gravel seal or asphalt or whatever better surface for all the required drive and parking area. Any additional ones that are further back that are not required for the park and the drive can still be gravel. Staff can work with applicants on that as well.
Commissioner Neese made and Commissioner Caruthers seconded a motion to approve, with staff recommendations, a request by Sandra Stowers for a permit to operate an animal training and boarding facility on 7.49 acres located at 24 S Rangeline Rd., Columbia.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Abstain
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to approve request with staff recommendations carries. 7 Yes 0 No 1 Abstain
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Planner, Bill Florea gave staff report stating that the applicant requests Conditional Use Approval for a wireless telecommunications transmission facility and 150-foot tall monopole tower. The application includes a statement that if this application is approved, a revision will be submitted to allow the height of the tower to be increased to 180 feet. The 10,000 square foot lease parcel is a portion of Lots 2 and 3 of Fisher Subdivision, which if combined, total 9.37 acres. The property address is 7240 South Highway 163. Boone Electric provides power. The proposed use does not require either sewer or water service. The property is in the Columbia School District.
The tract and all surrounding property is zoned A-2. The A-2 zoning has been in effect since 1973. Land uses in the area are residential and recreational. The subject tract borders Rock Bridge State Park.
A Conditional Use Permit for a transmission facility must be assessed against two sets of criteria. The first set is the technical standards for transmission facilities. The second set is the subjective criteria used for all conditional use permits.
Staff has reviewed the application for compliance with the technical standards and has found that most of the standards have been met. However, two issues are outstanding. A transmission tower is required to be set back from a property line a distance equal to the height of the tower. In this case the required setback is 150 feet. The lease site, with dimensions of 100í x 100í, straddles the property line between Lot 1 and Lot 2 of Fisher Subdivision. Therefore, a 150í tall tower cannot be built in compliance with the setback requirement. The applicant owns Lots 1 and 2. Therefore, it is possible to adjust the boundary line in order to allow construction of the tower.
Landscaped screening is required around the compound that contains the ground equipment. Telecorp proposes to use existing vegetative cover to provide screening. The Telecorp application does not propose any additional landscaping, but does state they intent to limit clearing of the lease area to only that which is required for installation of their ground equipment.
The lease site is sized so as to allow three additional carriers to install their ground equipment. This will require additional clearing of vegetation at such time as the equipment is installed. The additional clearing may eliminate the buffering effect of the existing vegetation. Therefore, a condition will be recommended that any new carrier must provide a landscaped screening plan prior to being issued a building permit.
It should be noted that the proposed transmission facility is immediately adjacent to Rock Bridge State Park. The tower itself is proposed to be built a distance of 185.9 feet from the park boundary. Rock Bridge State Park is a natural area of statewide significance. Many of the homeowners who live near Rock Bridge Park purchased homes in the area because of the natural beauty of the area. Particular consideration should be given to whether the application meets conditional use criteria (b), which states, The conditional use permit will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted by these regulations.
Staff notified 24 property owners of this request. 5 letters of opposition have been received and are on file. The Department has also received numerous phone calls in opposition.
If the Commission finds the application to be in compliance with the Conditional Use Criteria and approves the request, then staff recommends the following conditions be attached to the approval:
1. The applicant shall take the necessary steps to provide the required 150í setback.
2. Future building permit applications for additional carriers wishing to co-locate on the tower must include a landscaping plan for buffering the ground equipment. No such building permit shall be issued until the landscaping plan is approved by Planning Department Staff. All landscaping shown on the plan shall be installed prior to final approval of the building permit. All landscaping must be continuously maintained. Diseased, dying or dead plants must be replaced within one growing season.
Commissioner Sloan stated that because of her longtime friendship with the Johnís, Commissioner Sloan will refrain from commenting on this issue.
Present: Stacey Mathis, 4401 Westown Parkway # 321 W. Des Moines, IA.
Jon Palmersheim, 4401 Westown Parkway, # 321, W. Des Moines, IA
Mr. Mathis stated he is employed with Whalen & Company as a zoning manager for this project. Whalen is a construction management company working with Telecorp, PCS on the construction of several antennas in the Columbia area.
Mr. Mathis stated he is here tonight to present a request for a conditional use permit to allow the construction of a communications tower to be located at 7240 S. Highway 163. The proposed tower will be located on property owned by Ed and Renee John, whose house is also located adjacent to this site. The site proposed is heavily wooded and because of this, is unlikely to be noticed from any near vantage point along Highway 163. In search of this suitable location, Applicants first began looking for existing structures to locate on. With none being available, applicants began looking for property that is considered zonable, by the local governing body. Prior to applying for this permit, applicants contacted nine other carriers and power companies, explaining their radio frequency needs, where applicants plan to locate the tower and whether other companies have alternatives that would keep them from building the tower. There were no positive responses to this request.
Mr. Mathis stated the proposed tower would be a 150-foot monopole structure. This design is outlined in the drawings and pictures presented in the application. Mr. Mathis stated that he believed everyone does have the application, but as part of the proceedings, Mr. Mathis requests to submit a copy of the application package as part of the record.
Mr. Mathis stated that being the tower is only 150-feet tall, applicant would not be required, nor choose to put lighting on the tower. Applicants are leasing a 100-foot by 100-foot parcel from the Johnís for the tower and equipment site. However, applicants are only proposing to develop a 40-foot square site for the tower and equipment. This tower is designed for three additional carriers with a total of four carriers. As other companies choose to place antennas then the developed compound could be expanded to accommodate this equipment. Mr. Florea alluded to that earlier. Because it is in such a wooded area, applicants felt by asking for a waiver from requiring landscaping, applicants would actually preserve more of the natural vegetation that is already there, than going out and tearing down an extra 10-feet of woods in order to put in red cedars or some other type of screening around the fence.
Mr. Mathis stated that Telecorpís equipment will be located within the 160 square foot chain link fence compound and will be placed on a concrete pad. The cabinets Telecorp uses are 2 and a half-foot wide, 18 feet long, and 5 and a half feet tall. As mentioned, all of this would be placed within a secure chain-link fence. The tower meets or exceeds all local, State and Federal codes. The tower itself will be placed at least 182 feet from the nearest property line, so in an extremely slim chance of total collapse, the tower will fall entirely on the parent parcel. The site is fenced with chain-link with three strands of barbed wire. The pole is designed so it can not be climbed. Applicants have FAA determination of no hazard on this site and are licensed with the FCC to broadcast at frequencies and wattages that applicants propose. As a utility structure, applicants believe this tower is the most esthetically pleasing standard design of towers. It takes up a minimal amount of ground space and consequently has very little impact on the horizon. Because the tower is not lighted, it can not be considered as intrusive as any other utility structure such as power lines or utility poles. Studies have been conducted and written in Boone County and numerous other studies throughout the United States by licensed property appraisers that show time and time again these structures have a negligible impact on property values. As noted, once it is up, it becomes part of the landscape and is not like any other utility structure. The structure by nature and function have no impact on the future development of the area. Once up, the site will be visited once or twice a month by a technician with a laptop and a screwdriver. As for public necessity, in many ways, this becomes more and more obvious everyday. Personal cell phones have become less of a luxury and more of a staple of everyday life for many people. The are used in business and in many cases people keep the phones with them as a lifeline to the outside world in the event of car trouble or accident. Just for these very reasons, it is incumbent upon the service providers to provide their customers with service in places that they desire and need.
Mr. Mathis stated Mr. Jon Palmersheim is present also, he is a radio frequency engineer with Telecorp. Mr. Palmersheim will explain applicantís reasons for this location, and radio frequency needs. Mr. Mathis stated he wished to note that in the event this tower is abandoned by Telecorp or its subsequent owners, the tower would be removed and all evidence would be removed or covered up.
Mr. Palmersheim stated that in the Commissionerís packets, are copies of the coverage plats (one being current coverage, the other being coverage with new proposed tower). The main reason for this is that applicantís customers that travel Highway 163 over Highway 63, consistently drop calls going through this area. That is the number one reason for this structure. The problem with being closer to the City is due to zoning and being zoned residential, the Johnís property is the closet property applicants could find that is zonable to put a tower on. Telecorpís transmitters 1930 to 1945 megahertz. It is licensed by the FCC. It will be built for co-locations for additional carriers. On the plot (coverage plat), green means excellent service, urban, in-building coverage; yellow means suburban; red is marginal coverage; the gray areas, have very weak coverage. Between the two plots what is labeled Columbia 48, first is a plot without it, indicating there is very weak coverage going in here. The second plot is with the tower.
Mr. Palmersheim stated the main reason for this being the site, when you look at the plot, it will tie the coverage together. FCC requires companies to link their sites together as part of a seamless coverage. Basically the system laid out x amount of grid. You design a network based on that in reference to zoning and terrain issues. As you can see, depending on the terrain and the height of the tower, it is not very consistent due to the rough terrain to the south.
Mr. Palmersheim stated on July 7, 2001, as part of applicants filing with the FCC, applicants had to do environmental impact studies. Mr. Palmersheim has a report from Seneca Environmental Services. SES went through the environmental issues such as wildlife, floodplains, and endangered species. The report states from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, that there would be no effect on the tower being built at this location. Some other issues about market conditions, everyone has their own problems with that. There is also guidelines set forth in here about the FCC again. Mr. Palmersheim read a section out of this in reference to towers. Mr. Palmersheim stated they talk about rooftops. There are multiple sections, but on page 14 of this document, it states that antennas mounted above 10 meters above ground typically will be hundreds of times below the limits of the FCC. Therefore, Mr. Palmersheim states they are trying to say is that antennas mounted high in the air will have no impact at ground level.
Mr. Palmersheim stated the reason for a lot of this happening, is that in 1996 Federal Communications Trade Act was brought forth for a lot of reasons, to give the wireless companies the ability to build a network. The FCC wanted wireless to be built out; there are sections in the document that refers to the environmental issues as well as our Commission canít be part of a reason to deny the whole. Mr. Palmersheim submitted The Telecommunications Act of 1996. In section 332 subpart C. The reason everyone stated for the necessity of this, again, Telecorp customers are dropping calls in this area. Just an advent of the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, the usage in Columbia went up thirty-eight percent. Everyone was concerned trying to find where everyone was at. Let alone communicate out there. As you know from all the video that came from out there, there is a necessity for wireless, everyone was using it. In the Park, there is no coverage if there is ever an emergency there and someone had a cell phone they can not make communications from there. Telecorpís phones are allowed to roam in other networks, it goes no service, which means it does not roam in that area which means no other company has service area. That alone is a reason for providing service here.
Mr. Palmersheim stated he wanted to point out some other issues. The spectrum allocated by the FCC. There are broadcast stations, AM, FM. There is a sliver that is a 1930 to 1945 megahertz, that is all Telecorp is working with. Telecorpís transmissions are going across the countryside. Basically, it starts at 3 kilohertz and goes up to 300. Wireless communication is here to stay, the same wireless communications that we talk on. They can use it for many items, depending on how they use it and focus it. It can make you cook food, like your microwave oven, it is run by frequency. The economics to this is that as a competitor in the wireless network, you have to have a network to compete with. Telecorp does not have the same footprint as all other carriers here due to licensing. One way to compete with them is to have better quality. That is what Telecorp is trying to provide; a link between to tie between two sites that already exist and tie in between Highway 63 and Highway 163.
Mr. Palmersheim stated he had one closing note about being close to parks, Mr. Palmersheim stated he has been in the wireless industry for over 15 years and has built sites in State and National Parks. Most of these systems are being told to go there to provide a source of revenue. Telecorp did approach Rock Bridge State Park and they were not interested.
Commissioner Smith asked applicant when he was speaking about clients dropping calls, how big an area is that in which they generally drop calls.
Mr. Palmersheim stated that in the park itself, there is very little coverage. The travel area is approximately 6 miles.
Commissioner Smith stated applicants have contacted nine other carriers and applicants didnít get any positive responses. Did applicants receive negative responses.
Mr. Palmersheim stated they received negative responses.
Commissioner Smith asked if they received nine negative responses.
Mr. Mathis stated they didnít get nine negative responses. Some of the carriers they contacted did not send a response. Telecorp sent notices stating they needed coverage in this area and asked the other carriers what they had, the other carriers said they had nothing.
Commissioner Smith stated applicants did try.
Mr. Mathis stated that was correct. Earlier this week, Telecorp was contacted by another carrier who stated if Telecorp applied for something in this area; their company would be interested in this tower.
Commissioner Morgan asked applicant how far apart do the towers have to be.
Mr. Palmersheim stated it depended on the capacity and height and many criteria. Typically at this frequency they are looking at 4 mile spacing for building penetration coverage or less.
Commissioner Morgan stated he was looking at the coverage plots, when Telecorp places the tower in the proposed spot, there will still be a big hole on the west side of the tower. Does this mean the applicants are going to come back in a couple of months and try to put another tower in that section.
Mr. Palmersheim stated not at this time. The search grid was closer to that area, but due to zoning as stated earlier, applicants were forced to move further from that area.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated the engineering statement indicates the tower will be 180 feet tall, FAA has approved for 150 feet tall. What are applicants asking of the Commission tonight.
Mr. Palmersheim stated that according to the zoning ordinance, the tower can be built up to 500 feet tall, without FAA problems, applicants have letters from consultants. One of the staff requirements states that you have to have an FAA certificate. That is part of the package. What happened is this tower was above the wrong height. Applicants re-filed at 150 feet and currently are trying to gain FAA approval for a 180-foot tower and will resubmit when they get FAA approval. That is part of the Countyís standard.
Mr. Mathis stated the application tonight is for 150 feet.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated applicants donít have 150-foot setback from the lot line.
Mr. Mathis stated Mr. Florea alluded to that earlier. Mr. and Mrs. John own both properties in which this line, just a line on paper, appears. It is not under separate ownership, there is a contract with Brush and Associates to correct this so it will meet setback requirements. Mr. Brush should already have submitted to staff, but it may have been delayed. The setback requirement will be corrected prior to doing any construction. This is similar to the one Telecorp did at Regan Nursery which was similar to these circumstances. Upon pulling the building permit they had to show a valid plat showing all the lot lines were 150 foot away.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated the tower would be 189 feet from the State Park.
Mr. Mathis stated if you look from all separate parcel ownerships, tower is at least 182 feet from all property owners. The house closest to the front on Highway 163, the State Park is between those two parcels.
Commissioner Freiling asked applicant if theyíve done any test drilling.
Mr. Mathis stated yes. It was Telecorpís concern from the very beginning in terms of the terrain in the area. Telecorp got Terracon to test drill at the location to find out if there were going to be any foundation problems. Terracon drilled 40-feet and it was solid the whole way.
Open to public hearing.
In favor of the request:
John Burris, 1000 Bluebird Lane, Columbia.
Mr. Burris stated he knew exactly what Telecorp was talking about with the cell phone situation. Mr. Burris lives past Pierpont by two miles. As he comes to town, he drops calls. When he gets to Pierpont and turns the corner to go to Rock Bridge Elementary School, he drops calls. The coverage in that area is bad. It is true that there is a tower in the area already, it sits on a water tank on the corner of Bluebird Lane and Route N. It is going to be taken down. There is a piece of property out there being developed now, Brookfield Estates, and they are going to take the tower down. This would be a situation where they would lose one tower and gain another in the same community. Mr. Burris stated he is retired, and was in the telecommunications industry for 25 years and built some cell sites. If you donít have a cell phone, it doesnít matter to you, if you do have a cell phone, it does matter. Mr. Burris stated he lives on cell phones half the time.
Joy Harmon, 7601 S. Highway 163, Columbia
Ms. Harmon stated she is the sister of Ed John, but she also lives in the area. In light of the worlds events recently, it seems superficial in a way to be worrying about a cell tower. If youíve read the newspaper or watch the news, you know that there is some neighborhood controversy. Ms. Harmon stated she wanted to go on record as saying that Mr. John is incredibly smart and he is incredibly compassionate and he is the father of three boys that he loves dearly. His wife is one of these that does all the research on everything. Mr. John didnít ask for this tower, he was approached to do this. Ms. Harmon stated that she was sure at that time he never once thought it would be an issue of controversy what so ever. Unfortunately, it has turned out that way. Ms. Harmon states her opinion is that a lot of the controversy is due to people not doing their homework and donít know all the facts, they are flying off the handle before they get the facts. Because once you get them, it is like no big deal. Ms. Harmon stated she goes by there everyday and we are talking about a little pole in the woods, in which from most areas it wonít be noticed. Ms. Harmon stated there is a new storm-warning signal which was built right across the street from her property. If she was asked whether or not she wanted it, Ms. Harmon states she would have absolutely said no, because it is just an ugly pole out there. But some day if it saves her life, she will be thankful that it is there. It is the same way with the cell phone. There have been comments made that it will kill birds and things like that, the evidence shows that it doesnít. If you are reasonable and youíve done your homework and you can see it is not going to be a detriment to the area at all, but it is going to be something that is probably going to help. Ms. Harmon stated that her, for one, in that low spot they are talking about with no cell phone coverage, Ms. Harmon stated she hit a deer there one time, but you canít call for help. Anyone who travels through that park knows that people hit deer and they canít call for help.
Ms. Harmon states she hikes and bikes a lot there and would feel better knowing that if something happened that she could call for help. Ms. Harmon feels confident that Mr. John is not going to ask or sign any contract or do anything that is going to harm the community what so ever because the tower is closest to his property. Ms. Harmon doesnít think heíd want to jeopardize his own family for any reason what so ever. Ms. Harmon states she is definitely in favor of the tower.
Ed John, property owner, 7240 S. Highway 163, Columbia
Mr. John stated the tower is to be constructed on his property. First of all, a couple of people who did speak in favor had said if you have a cell phone it is important to you. If you donít have a cell phone, it isnít important to you. Mr. John stated he would like to add that you donít have to have a cell phone to possibly be in a situation sometime where, if you were in an accident and someone could come that did have a cell phone. It wouldnít only benefit people who did have cell phones there could be benefits for people who didnít.
Mr. John stated he thought about saying a lot tonight, and he also thought about saying nothing. Mr. John stated he did not go out looking for this. The company approached him. For anyone to way that Mr. John is here tonight out of greed or selfishness or without considering what is going on, Mr. John stated this is not true. These other people here tonight, given the situation that Mr. John is in, if they wouldnít at least consider the benefits to themselves and the community, Mr. John doesnít think that is right. A lot of people who are going to come up and oppose this request, probably have cell phones and they use them. This is an age-old problem, people want their cell phones, but donít want the tower. They want the benefits, but want someone else to have the problems. Some of these same people that may get up and speak of safety concerns. Most of the people that are in an area that will possibly suffer any sort of effect from the cell tower, which Mr. John doesnít think they will. If they want to get up and tell the Commission that they are. There is a huge power line that runs closer to their houses than the cell tower would be. If you look at any information from anyone who knows what they are talking about, it poses more risk than the cell tower ever will. It was there when they moved there, it is still there, and if people are honestly concerned about safety, the safety of the power line runs closer. Did they all of a sudden decide that safety was a concern? The Commissioners will have to decide that.
Mr. John stated he would like to apologize to anyone in the community that thinks heís done something wrong for strictly personal gain. But it is just not true. Mr. John stated he assumed that most of the Commissionerís had cell phones and doesnít think anyone can deny the convenience. If you look back to September 11, 2001 and see some of the uses, people were able to say their last good-byes and get people information that could have saved someone elseís life. One man in particular was buried under rubble; he had a cell phone that could have possibly saved his life. For anyone to get up here, it is really simple and easy to criticize someone else in the decision that they make. Mr. John stated he would challenge anyone to be in his situation and not at least consider this as an alternative.
Thomas Moran, 413 W. Walnut, Columbia.
Mr. Moran stated he is the Chair of the Osage Group Sierra Club. Mr. Moran stated he promised not to be as long-winded as his predecessor and promises not to wave the flag. There are considerations that have not been considered. One is the aspect of visual pollution, some people may have never heard of that, but when you are in a place like Gans Wild Area, this structure that is supposedly designed to be as beautiful as possible, will be visible from there. People donít go there to see utility poles, or cell phone towers or anything like that. Most people donít go there to use their cell phone either. There is evidence that towers interfere with migratory birds. They can dispute that all they want, the studies are out there, they obviously havenít done their homework very well.
Mr. Moran stated he represents approximately 500 members in Boone County, weíd like to see this turned down and have it sighted somewhere else they can get adequate coverage.
Scott Schulte, 5901 S. Highway 163, Columbia.
Mr. Schulte submitted a letter he had prepared, as well as a map to the Commissioners.
Mr. Schulte stated he is the Superintendent of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Mr. Schulte stated he represented the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and they oppose the tower and are very concerned. Sighting paragraph (b) The conditional use permit will not be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted by these regulations. Rock Bridge Memorial State park is immediately adjacent to the proposed tower, within 186 feet, and the proposed tower is virtually surrounded by park property.
Referring to the maps handed to the Commissioners, Mr. Schulte stated the tower location is indicated by a red dot. Mr. Schulte feels there is park in virtually every direction. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources owns park to the south of the proposed tower, to the north and etcetera. The tower will be visible from many locations in the park, given the different elevations we have, some of the high areas and so on, they feel the tower will be visible. Applicants flew some balloons the other day when it was raining and windy, the wind blew the balloons substantially from there. At 150-feet, they were quite visible from many areas of the park.
Mr. Schulte stated the value of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park to the State and to the citizens of Boone County is to provide recreational experiences in a natural landscape. The park is being managed to provide a variety of natural landscapes including forests, grasslands and the Gans Creek Wild Area. The Gans Creek Wild Area on the map is the area to the right, a lot of areas are of special designations in State Parks. They are managed to provide the most natural settings for our visitors. Wild Areas are special places in the Missouri State Park system where there are few or no signs of civilization and nature is allowed to prevail. Our own management practices forbid us from doing things in heavily wooded areas. Our management is pretty much hands off with only trails provided and occasional vegetative restoration processes. It is all aimed at preserving the natural integrity of the designated area while allowing non-destructive visitation and use of the area. It should be noted that there are only eight other areas in the State Park system that have this special designation, it is a very special area. Throughout the park we have striven to provide as much as possible unfettered horizons. We have been very successful in achieving this goal. One of the major attractions of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is the ability for a person to visit the park and experience nature without seeing or hearing signs of civilization. This is very special. The presence of a tower imposing on their view will deprive our visitors of the special experience they seek when they visit the park. The proposed tower will be very injurious to all citizens of Boone County who look to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park as a place where they can experience natural landscapes. For these reasons, we see the tower as injurious to the use and enjoyment of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and as provided in the Countyís regulations, we request that the conditional use permit be denied.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked Mr. Schulte if he has been approached to build a look-out tower or fire tower and place the antennas on there.
Mr. Schulte stated no.
Commissioner Neese stated to Mr. Schulte, on the map, near the red dot, which represents the proposed tower, asked if the hash lined areas around the red dot were sinkholes.
Mr. Schulte stated yes. There are virtually all sinkholes out there. The proposed tower location is in a sinkhole.
Commissioner Neese asked what the blue shapes represented.
Mr. Schulte stated they represented water.
Dennis OíBrien, 8810 Tomlin Hill Road, Columbia.
Mr. OíBrien stated he would not see the tower from his house because he is at the end of Tomlin Hill Road back in the woods, so it is not like he would be looking at it out of his back window. But is opposed to this.
Mr. OíBrien asked the Commissionerís if it was correct that the tower is not allowed under current zoning.
Commissioner Smith stated that was correct.
Mr. OíBrien asked if the tower would require a change in zoning.
Commissioner Smith stated it was not a change in zoning, it is a conditional use permit. With the current zoning, there are conditions that you can use the land for. A tower is one of them. In order to meet that criteria, there are seven elements of criteria that must be considered to say whether it can be used for this condition.
Mr. OíBrien stated it would represent a change over what is allowed.
Commissioner Smith stated it would require a special permit based on these conditions.
Mr. OíBrien stated that it was no question that it would be a change in the neighborhood, there is nothing wrong with change, but change should be for the betterment of the whole community, not for the benefit of one persons situation.
Mr. OíBrien stated that if he has learned anything in the discussions of Planning and Zoning that he has been a part of in the past, it is that you have to assume the worst case scenario. If the Zoning is changed so that a 150-foot tower can go in, but they really want to have a 190-foot tower, that is going to be feasible. If that is going to require strobe lights on top, then you have to assume that is what is going to end up there because that would be what is allowed. There is some wisdom to the situation that doesnít allow that sort of thing there right now. Mr. OíBrien stated he is amazed that this request is even under consideration. This area is zoned agricultural, but it is hardly and agribusiness area kind of an area, it is a community. It may not be an incorporated type of city or anything, but it is a neighborhood. Mr. OíBrien stated his kids ride down to the pierpont store to get a soda, and his wife has always bought her gas at the pierpont store even thought it is more expensive than town, because she believes in supporting the neighborhood and supporting neighborhood businesses. Mr. OíBrien stated he couldnít understand why anyone couldnít think more of their neighbors than to propose putting this monstrosity in our neighborhood. You can put a few bushes around a 180-foot tower and not see it is kind of funny. Pierpont isnít a beautiful place because he lives there; he lives there because it is a beautiful place. The reason is it sits right near Rock Bridge Park north of three creeks. This tower is going to dominate the view of Rock Bridge, itís going to dominate the view from Rock Bridge. Rock Bridge, Mr. OíBrien states, in his opinion, one of the jewels of the community and why anyone would want to put this wart on that jewel is beyond him. This isnít just going to effect those who live in Pierpont; it is going to effect everybody in Boone County and Columbia that value this park. Mr. OíBrien stated he does not own a cell phone and never has, but it wouldnít matter if he did. We all own cars too, it doesnít mean we allow cars to pollute the environment, we have regulations that prevent that sort of thing. Just because we use cell phones doesnít mean the cell phone companies can do whatever they want to do.
Mr. OíBrien stated he didnít think the idea here is just to move this thing in to someone elseís back yard, but the County needs to look perceptively at this whole issue, because it seems it comes up every time there is a tower that wants to be built in someoneís backyard. We all know why AT & T wants to have these towers planted on every street corner. It is not because they think there is going to be a terrorist attack on Rock Bridge Park; it is because they make gobs of money off of them. The more towers they have, the more hits they have on them, the more money they make.
Mr. OíBrien states he would question the need to be able to talk to everyone on our cell phone from every square inch of the planet. Mr. OíBrien would contend that people would be less likely to hit deer in Rock Bridge if they werenít talking on their cell phone and paying attention to the deer. The bottom line is that this about the cell phone companies making money. There is nothing wrong with making money, but if AT & T wants to make money off our community, they need to respect the boundaries of the community. There are ways of making these things less obtrusive. Other communities require that these towers blend in with the landscape rather than degrade them. If these folks want to make a buck off of it, thatís fine, but lets see how we can do this in a way that is compatible with the neighborhood, rather than against it.
Commissioner Smith asked Staff for clarification, if the Commission approves this, it is only for the conditions, they canít come in and change it, make it taller, correct.
Mr. Florea stated they could re apply and ask to build it taller, but it would have to come back to the Commission again.
Mr. OíBrien stated that is what applicants said they were going to do.
Mr. Florea stated the application does contain a letter that applicants do intend to reapply in order to make the tower taller.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked staff at what height does a tower require a strobe light.
Mr. Florea stated he believed 200 feet.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked what lighting a tower less than 200 feet required.
Mr. Florea stated none.
Amelia Cottle, 921 E. Highpoint Lane, Columbia.
Ms. Cottle stated she was a neighbor and a member of the Sierra Club, a member of Friends of Rock Bridge State Park, but states her primary role here this evening is as a spokesperson for the Scenic Missouri Group. Ms. Cottle stated that Scenic Missouri assists communities across the State in protecting their scenic heritage and thinks this is an issue that needs to be addressed and one of the things the group works with is wireless communication towers.
Ms. Cottle stated that her background also includes broadcast engineering and satellite technology. This wireless communications is something she has worked with for the past 20 years. Ms. Cottle stated she had some handouts with information on locating wireless communication towers sensitively. Ms. Cottle stated this happens every day across the United States in every community, every county and every township. You are facing the same citizens who say "not in my backyard, not intruding on my park". This is a nationwide problem and Scenic Missouri works with a national group to find out and get information about it. They have done their homework on cell towers and communication across the United States.
Ms. Cottle stated that one of the things that Scenic Missouri wanted to officially put their position forward that they would like to protest this tower, as the conditional use permit stands, this is not acceptable, it is neither acceptable environmentally, because of the park. It is not acceptable of the land use for the neighbors around it, quite frankly, including herself. Ms. Cottle stated she does look out her window and see another tower off in the distance with a light and is not looking forward to looking out another window and seeing another tower, lit or not. One of the things that Scenic Missouri talks to people about on a statewide basis, is the compromise co-location of these. Ms. Cottle states she is not disputing that there is no one in the County that would not want this tower or this antenna co-located, but obviously have not used up every area available for a tower to be placed or for an antenna to be placed. Antennas are non-obtrusive, the are a whip, you can barely see them and can be located four or more on facilities. One of the things that Scenic Missouri advocates across the United States is stealth technology, in terms of disguising a tower. It can be disguised in many ways. A fire tower was brought up, there is a location towards St. Louis where a fire tower was erected, which was, in truth, an antenna for a cellular company, it had four whips on it. That was a compromise that was reached for people in that rural area that was not intruding on the view shed. You must take notice of the view shed not just for us in Boone County, for the neighbors, for the Friends at Rock Bridge State Park, but everywhere you go, what little is left of scenic America and scenic Missouri, is being intruded upon by towers, water towers and all these things that have options, there are options to make this not polluting of what we see everyday.
Ms. Cottle stated the stealth technology that is available also includes disguising those towers as a fire tower or one of the acceptable things to consider, although Ms. Cottle states she doesnít know the legalities of this, is to lower the height of the tower. One of the compromises that is reached is to have a tower at the tree line, 20-feet above and the whips above that. Of course in the sensitive park area, that is not acceptable, but perhaps in another location, the company could consider that.
Ms. Cottle states she is a cell phone user and doesnít use it while she drives and it works in the park. She doesnít have AT & T service, but notices that many people she visited with tonight, also have cell phone service in the park. That is something Ms. Cottle wanted to make note of. Another thing brought up by companies across the United States is a public safety issue. Scenic Missouri roundly protest people using the obtrusiveness of the tower the construction of towers near parks as a public safety issue. This is not a public safety issue, but a profit issue. We all make money, there is nothing wrong with it, otherwise, we would not be here. However, this is not a public safety issue, do not bring the American Flag and last weekís terror in to this. That has nothing to do with it. It is a money issue, period. One of the other things Scenic Missouri likes to talk to people about, is that many times a tower will go in and then an application will go in to raise that tower. Do we need to be back here, if indeed this gets approved, and have to go through this again, why is the application not for the tower at height in the first place, which will bring even more protest, by the way.
Ms. Cottle stated that the Scenic Missouri Group would like to have some time to work with the parks, and to work with the companies. This is something they are proposing for the future; to work with the County Planning and Zoning Commission and possibly work with the City on ways to make sure that the Commission is not having their time wasted with this. And the citizens are not having to protest the park issue and sensitively environmental areas. The Group could work with the phone companies to make sure that these proposals donít even come to the Commission in the first place if they could work with them. This has happened along the Appellation Trail, in Colorado, and Jefferson County. There are options here. It is not her job here to give the Commission everything there is to know about cell phone technology, but does want to make her point. They are a statewide organization, with membership across the State and adamantly oppose this tower, and think it is in a sensitive environmental area. It does not meet the conditional use (b) and hopes the Commission will vote no.
Susan Flader, 917 Edgewood Ave, Columbia.
Ms. Flader stated she was the President of the Missouri Parks Association, a statewide citizen organization dedicated to the protection, enhancement, and interpretation of Missouri State Parks and historic sites. The Association consists of about 1800 individuals across the State who is the citizen watchdog for the state parks and historic sites. They have one of the finest systems of state parks in the Nation. Virtually every property in this system and certainly Rock Bridge State Park is a resource of statewide significance. It is not just nice woods or picnic area for people from Columbia. It is a resource that is worth driving across the State to see and it is worth protecting. When we list our functions as an organization, dedicated to the protection, enhancement, and interpretation of State parks, protection is number one. The most difficult problem in parks come from threats to the parks that originate outside of park boundaries. The worst threats of all come from threats on inholdings that are outside of park boundaries, but within the park. That is the case with this proposal. As Mr. Schulteís map demonstrates, there is park in all directions from this spot. This is property that the park would love to own. They are still buying land for Rock Bridge State Park especially to the south, but potentially in other directions. They are trying to create a resource that will have some measure of buffering for itself. But putting a cell tower in the middle of all this is the worst possible idea. The Association is strongly opposed to it. The Gans Creek Wild Area, which is an area that should have the highest designation, is the area that is the closest to this cell tower. The Missouri Parks Association urges the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny this request.
Deanna Pickering, 1800 Whisenhunt Rd., Columbia.
Ms. Pickering stated she lives just north of Pierpont, immediately south of the Rock Bridge State Park. Her yard is bordered by the park on two sides. In front of the house is a wooded area that belongs to someone else. Ms. Pickering stated she bought this house because of its setting. To her it is a little piece of heaven on Earth and would like to protect that part of nature that she can see.
Ms. Pickering stated she is retired now and does operate a small business out of her home and canít use her cell phone, but thatís okay, as she is willing not to have one there. She put up a satellite because they couldnít get television when she moved there. There are things that you are willing to do. Ms. Pickering stated she didnít know if this tower would interfere with the satellite reception in any way. It is a satellite that sits on her roof that she doesnít have to look at and neither does her neighbors.
Ms. Pickering states she has no objection to people using their land as they see fit, as long as it doesnít effect her life. But feels this tower would interfere. Her house faces south and would be looking directly in to the wooded area where this tower would sit. Ms. Pickering states right now, she doesnít know if they would be able to see it or not, but this winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, itís going to be prominent part of the landscape. Ms. Pickering stated she is strictly being selfish and is not saying this is going to effect the world in general, but it will certainly effect Ms. Pickering adversely.
Ms. Pickering stated she has no objection to her neighbors trying to make a profit. But doesnít think they realize how it would effect the rest of the neighborhood when they first accepted this proposal. Ms. Pickering states she is in opposition to the request.
David Bedar, 2001 Chapel Woods, Columbia.
Mr. Bedar stated he is a member of the Columbia Audubon Society. The Society is worried about the protection of the Gans Creek Wild Area. They consider Rock Bridge State Park as a refuge for migratory birds. Many of the Audubon members organize trust to Rock Bridge State Park, it is one of the most frequented area for birding trips, so they know it is a very important area for migratory birds. Each year, tens of millions of birds are killed by collisions with tall buildings and towers. Mr. Bedar stated he didnít know in this particular instance, with the height and design of this tower, what the impact on migratory birds are. But would suggest to the Commission that they ask this question of the applicant and require them to do a study to see if this would be a problem. There are many studies being done around the country on these bird kills. There have been some towers in Oklahoma where in one night; there would be tens of thousands of birds found at the bottom of the tower. Granted those are taller towers so he can not prove that it would be the same result here. Mr. Bedar stated he didnít know what this particular tower at this height and what itís design is, what impact it would have on migratory birds, but the question should be asked and there should be a competent Ornithologist hired to study the question. Mr. Bedar urges the Commission to do that.
Lyle & Deb Clark, 7300 S. Highway 163, Columbia.
Mr. Clark stated they lived immediately adjacent to the proposed cell tower site. It will be just beyond their backyard. Mr. Clark stated he has questions of the application. It is his understanding for consideration for this meeting; this application had to be complete by August 27, 2001. Is this correct?
Mr. Florea stated yes.
Mr. Clark stated there are papers filed as recently as September 19, 2001 in that application, so does not understand why it is being considered tonight, when the application wasnít complete by that date (August 27, 2001).
Mr. Florea stated it was complete, there is a qualitative review that goes on after the application is submitted, it is routine practice to accept information later than the application date. Staff just verifies that the required information is submitted.
Mr. Clark stated that it also requires that there be statements that the other towers are full in the surrounding area. In an oral conversation with Mr. Stacey Mathis on September 18, 2001, Mr. Mathis stated that not all other towers and companies had responded to their requests. Tonight, Mr. Mathis seemed somewhat vague when he addressed that. Also, if you look at the affidavits from the other companies, there are eleven affidavits, seven of the eleven are unsigned. Mr. Clark states he doesnít know how unsigned documents can be used in a proceeding like this. Unsigned documents are virtually worthless. That is what applicants are basing that they have talked to these other towers about, the ones that are unsigned are from American Tower, Cingular, Spectrasite, United States Cellular, Verizon, Voice Stream, and Richland Tower. Mr. Clark stated he doesnít understand how those documents can be filed when there are no signature or no verification that they are in fact from those people.
Mr. Clark states there is another statement in the file, a letter from July 24, 2001 from Jon Palmersheim, RF Manager. That makes the statement that approximately three thousand vehicles drive down Highway 163 everyday. Anyone who lives there would find that rather amazing. That would require that 124 per hour passed 24 hours a day. But this is applicantís statement. Mr. Clark states he has counted in peak hours between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., 94 cars passed. Between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00a.m., only 30 cars passed. Once again, there is some information in this application that is just inaccurate.
Mr. Clark stated the landscaping that at no point, can the compound be easily seen from the adjoining properties. (Mr. Clark showed a picture that was taken from his backyard). Mr. Clark pointed out his backyard and the hill upon which the tower will sit. Mr. Clark stated that you could see well beyond the tower site, considerably further. Mr. Clark stated he finds it amazing to say that they wonít be able to see a tower that is sitting right on this piece of land, that it wonít be obviously very visible from his house.
Mr. Clark, referring to the picture, pointed out where his property was, and where the tower sits. Mr. Clark stated there is an open field, looking at the picture, you can see the trees stop and there is an open field on behind. That is what you are seeing in the picture. You can see clear across that hilltop to the next hilltop. Mr. Clark stated that again, he believes that is a grossly inaccurate statement.
Mr. Clark states he has another concern that applicants have said they have a 180-foot tower and applicants are saying they have a 360-feet diameter. In papers that applicants submitted earlier, they had only approximately 5-feet on either side of extra space. Since that was submitted, applicants told Mr. Clark that they moved the tower 20-feet further from his property, because in fact, it wasnít far enough from his property. If you look at this, it is virtually a mathematical impossibility, that they could move it 20-feet and still have adequate room on either side. Mr. Clark stated he, himself, has measured this and does not believe that there is in fact a 360-feet that applicants are saying is there. Mr. Clark stated that this very much needs to be checked.
Mr. Clark stated the map he was referring to states there was 182.6-feet between the tower and his property, and 185.9 feet between the tower and the park property. Since this was drawn, applicants told Mr. Clark they have moved the tower site 20-feet back toward the park, a mathematical impossibility. Mr. Clark states he fells this needs to be looked in to.
Mr. Clark stated another concern was the very short notice that he was given. Mr. Clark stated he was only given 10 days notice and had no idea of this. The applicants have been working on it for six months and have defended many of these. Mr. Clark states he has had 10 days in order to find out about this and mark all the evidence and try to bring it here and present it. That was an extremely difficult task. Many people have been out of town and unable to attend. Mr. Clark has collected 61 signatures of people who would like to be here, but for various reasons couldnít because of the short notice. Mr. Clark stated that 10 days included one weekend and that was the weekend after the World Trade Center was bombed. This is a very little amount of time for Mr. Clark to prepare adequately to make a presentation here tonight.
Mr. Clark stated he is concerned that there has been difficulty with cooperation in finding out information. The attempt to discover some things about this tower, they have been put off, stalled, and had various problems. Mr. Mathis promised to meet with Mr. Clark on September 17, 2001, to answer all Mr. Clarks questions regarding the tower. The reason Mr. Clark chose to meet with him was because of Mr. John was out of town for seven of the ten days from the time he received the notice. Mr. John has only returned for the last three days. Mr. Clark stated that Mr. Mathis agreed that he would show up at the exact location of the tower and float a large silver helium balloon to show where the tower would be and from where it would be visible. Mr. Mathis did not appear on the day he said he would. Nor did he float the balloon, Mr. Clark stated he has never been given a reason why he did not appear or do that. Mr. Clark stated he wasted an entire day, when they had very few, waiting for Mr. Mathis.
Mr. Clark stated after he contacted Mr. Mathis and demanded that he appear, he did not appear, but someone did eventually float three party balloons in to the air. On this day, it was raining and windy, but the day before, it had been almost perfect weather. The balloons were blown sideways further, the tether was caught in the trees and wrapped in branches so it couldnít possibly achieve the height that it should have achieved, it was a demonstration that was virtually worthless. Mr. Clark stated that they were told the tether was not attached to the exact tower location. Everything is gray here, when he tries to find out any answers and it is difficult to do that.
Mr. Clark stated applicants have made many oral representations regarding how they will handle certain aspects of this that they have not included in their application. Mr. Clark stated he heard the applicants making them again tonight. The applicant needs to be held to these types of things. Mr. Clark stated he has been told applicants would put up a wood fence instead of a chain link fence to improve the appearance, but tonight, Mr. Clark stated he heard that a chain link fence would be used. This was stated in a conversation with Mr. Mathis on September 13, 2001. Mr. Mathis also stated in the conversation that no ground equipment would be over 4 feet tall and maintenance would occur no more frequently than once every two weeks for recalibration. Tonight, Mr. Mathis stated that the equipment would be five and a half feet tall but Mr. Clark states he questions how infrequently these people will show up. That they will only show up once every two weeks. Again, this is oral representation.
Mr. Clark stated that Mr. John, in a private conversation, said that he would do whatever is required to make the facility invisible from Mr. Clarks house. But again, this is just an oral statement. Mr. John also promised in that very same conversation that he would not allow the tower to go over 150 feet.
Mr. Clark stated he has concerns about the agreement between Mr. John and Telecorp, they refer to what will happen when hazardous materials are spilled on this site. That is in paragraph 21C of the agreement. Mr. Clark is concerned as to what it is they are referring to when they speak of hazardous material. There is quite a few paragraphs about who is going to clean them up and who is going to be responsible for these. Mr. Clark stated that applicant tore down a cell tower that was located at Pierpont store and this was after negotiations have started. Applicants tore the tower down, and that allowed applicants to apply for this new tower. Mr. Clark stated that he feels that has been done in effort to evade these regulations. Looking at alternative locations that are available, Mr. Clark has talked to the owners of Angeloís where an existing 100 foot tower, located in a commercially zoned area, the owner has said that there is room for numerous other people on that tower and this is very close to Highway 163. The owner stated that he is willing to extend that tower if that is needed. A man who lives out in the area, further out away from Rock Bridge State Park in open acreage, Mr. Winfrey has also stated that he would be interested in talking about having a cell tower on his site, where it would be a great distance from any home, and a great distance from the park.
Mr. Clark stated there is an inactive water tower off of Blue Bird Lane, antennas can be located on top of water towers, it wouldnít change the surroundings at all, and it would be almost invisible.
Mr. Clark stated he would like to talk about the use and enjoyment of his property. Mr. Clark stated he moved to the Rock Bridge State Park area because it is a beautiful area, it is scenic. He wanted a place where he could have some privacy, and where his dogs could have a fenced in area to run and wouldnít bother the neighbors, and the neighbors wouldnít bother them. Mr. Clark stated his house is designed in a way that it is focused on the woods in the back yard where the proposed cell tower would be located. (Mr. Clark showed the Commissioners photos of his home, including pictures showing the scenery out of the windows in his home). Mr. Clark stated the windows that look at the back of his house look directly out in to the area where the cell tower will be placed. Mr. Clark stated his living room is made almost entirely of glass, so they could have a view of that area. Mr. Clark stated he is very proud of this, people almost gasp when they walk down there because of the beauty, and it is very important to him. Another part of the house, which faces the same way, there are three double glass doors and two double glass doors in another area, all of which face toward where the cell tower will be and will be quite visible in the winter, Mr. Clark believes it will be visible all year round.
Mr. Clark showed another photo which shows the huge glass windows where the living room is, and dining room and kitchen, which also have large areas of glass that look out on to the proposed tower site. The entire focus of the house is out towards the proposed site area. Mr. Clark stated they have a large 30 x 40 deck that is directly in the backyard and looks out to the tower site. Almost all the windows in the house and two decks are out there and will be changed dramatically by the cell tower going in.
Mr. Clark showed a photo of the inside of the house showing the windows that look out to where the cell tower will be. The photo also showed mirrors in which Mr. Clark states he had put in at the cost of $3000.00, to reflect the beautiful woods, so the scenery would be available on two walls in the living room. It is part of the reason that people gasp at times when they walk in his home, because it is truly a beautiful site. Now they will have a reflection of a cell tower.
Mr. Clark showed a photo of the front of his home, Mr. Clark believes the cell tower will virtually come right up over the top of it and will very much be in view from the front of his home.
Mr. Clark stated he has two dogs, and grew up with boxers and loves them dearly. Mr. Clark stated there is a pin back there and when the men are up working on the tower, the dogs will bark and carry on, because they are just 150-feet away. The dogs can hear the men working there and it is a great problem.
There is no cable television available in his area and Mr. Clark is concerned about how this tower will interfere with the satellite dish signals. Mr. Clark stated he has bought six different antennas and the entire time he has lived there, he has never been able to get all three Columbia stations and is very concerned that this tower will reduce his ability to receive these channels even further. There is an electrical problem in the neighborhood. There are brown outs frequently. Mr. Clark stated he has talked to the electric company on several occasions and they have told him that there is no quick remedy for that. Mr. Clark is concerned that the tower will put a further draw on the electrical system and cause further brown outs in his house and damage to electrical equipment that he owns.
Mr. Clark stated that on a phone conversation on September 17, 2001, Mr. John admitted that the base of the facility would be and eyesore to Mr. Clarks property. That was Mr. Johnís own words, his statement. Mr. Clark stated that Mr. John also knew that his house would be effected and that Mr. Clark would be upset.
Mr. Clark stated that he had noted that the people, in working on this, have trespassed twice on to Mr. Clarkís property in the midst of working on this, they have trespassed to drill a core, today, someone trespassed in Mr. Clarkís front yard, drove a pickup in to the front yard, got out and started taking pictures. The truck had a cell tower emblem on the side of it, and Mr. Clark thinks it is reflective of the way these people deal with property rights and it effects the use and enjoyment of Mr. Clarkís home when people are trespassing on his land.
Mr. Clark stated that beyond this, he thinks that this will cause a tremendous loss of value to his property. Mr. Clark stated he has spoke with two local realtors, Don Neal and John Piccala, both have said that approximately fifty-percent of customers will not even stop to look at a house if a cell tower is nearby.
Mr. Clark presented an article from The Austin Times, where they describe a cell tower going in, in a wooded area, quite like Mr. Clarkís, where the value of the house dropped from $180,000 to $120,000. Further, Mr. Clark stated that because of the loss of value is so considerable, that this really amount to a taking, and it does give Mr. Clark the right to go to Federal Court and to bring a suit against the County for his loss. Mr. Clark states he would dread doing that, but on the other hand, if he is going to take a loss in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $50,000, Mr. Clark stated that he wouldnít have a lot of choice, because this ordinance is allowed to happen, Mr. Clark stated he can not see how it can be said that it does not effect the use and enjoyment of his property.
Mr. Clark stated in response to something said earlier that there is high tension lines going by the non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation from high tension lines and cell towers is additive and cumulative, meaning that we will now be bombarded with both sources. That means Mr. Clark could be above the recommended allowance by the federal government. Mr. Clark stated that he doesnít believe that anyone has looked to what those additive effects are from those different sources.
Robin Jones, 7235 S. Highway 163, Columbia.
Ms. Jones stated she is a landowner directly across the street from the Johnís. Ms. Jones stated she is also a Physician and has lived out in that neighborhood now almost nine years. Ms. Jones works in anesthesiology and emergency services and carries a cell phone almost all the time because of her work. Ms. Jones stated she has had some problems, but very rare. It is usually down in Devilís Ice Box as she passes through. Upon no situation has he never been in contact or lost cell phone usage. Ms. Jones said she is definitely opposed to this cell tower going up. She also has three children and is concerned about their health risk. There has been much published, some of the data is still not totally conclusive, but there has been increased incidence of brain cell tumors as well as leukemiaís and memory loss. Ms. Jones stated she is very concerned about that since she does have young children.
Amahia Mallea, 211 Alexander, Columbia.
Ms. Mallea stated that she came in to get out of the rain and thought she would hang out to listen to the Planning and Zoning Commission discussion on a couple of new subdivisions that are going in. Ms. Mallea stated it struck her that we just arenít making any more Rock Bridgeís. Ms. Mallea stated she is a student at the University and she uses Rock Bridge for recreation and to find solace out there. Ms. Mallea thinks that this is an issue of the public interest. There has been a lot of investment in Rock Bridge State Park as a public resource. It takes a lot to maintain a resource like that. Ms. Mallea thinks we should all be concerned with the maintenance of Rock Bridge State Park as a public resource and developments like towers on the edges of the park, put a blemish on the park as a whole and threaten the sanctity of a public resource like Rock Bridge State Park.
Jan Weaver, 412 Ĺ W. Walnut, Columbia.
Ms. Weaver states she lives in the City and likes living there but needs a place like Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in order to go get recharged. One of the things she likes about the park is that she can go to places in the park and look out and not see any signs of the City. Ms. Weaver stated this has been so important to her that she has gotten in to the habit of taking her students out there. Ms. Weaver stated she teaches at the University and is currently incorporating a field trip in her classes to take students there. It is really important to students because they are in the middle of the campus and are surrounded by people, to know that there are places near Columbia where they can go to be out in nature. Ms. Weaver stated she is committed to the park and is a member of the Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and this year is the President of the organization. Ms. Weaver stated they donít typically take positions on issues like this but she is sure there are many members who feel as she does that putting up a cell tower that could effect the horizon would significantly injure their use and enjoyment of the park.
Charles Timberlake, 9221 S. Route N, Columbia.
Mr. Timberlake stated he would like to oppose this particular tower but doesnít think we need to oppose all towers because it seems that towers are an intermediate necessity. Technology with satellite phones is more and more, creating greater possibilities for the cell phone. When you can bounce waves off a satellite and receive them elsewhere, we wonít need towers. Mr. Timberlake stated we need to look at towers as a temporary problem that we can deal with as well as we can and need to be as creative as possible in getting through this temporary situation.
Mr. Timberlake stated he was sure there were several people in this room who realize that Boone County Commission has made a lot of progress in the last 10 years in dealing with towers. 1990, 1991, we have a large number of proposals for towers to be built; we ended up getting a tower farm down near Ashland. One proposal to build a tower that was approximately 660-feet tall was submitted to go in to the area that is very close, within a mile and a half of where this present tower is being proposed. If itís a radio tower, transmission tower, itís 600-feet tall, so it is 3 times as tall as this one. Still it is in a category of a tower. Because of so many problems that are coming before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Commission, they realize they have a major problem and they really should address that problem systematically. Thanks to the leadership of Director, Stan Shawver, the County Commission set up a special committee to study towers. They worked on that in the winter of 1990 and 1991. In 1991, the County Commission then adopted the ordinance it now has on communication towers. Up to that point, the only possible way that anyone could either apply for a tower or object to a tower was under the conditional use provisions, of which there were five. It was only there that the word tower was mentioned for the only time in the City Ordinances. That was an example of one of the possible acceptable uses of agricultural land under a conditional use permit. We do have now, this ordinance that guides us all to some degree. But that was 1991, it is now 2001, that is ten years, thatís a generation in technology of telephones. Mr. Timberlake thinks the time is here now for us to revisit the tower ordinance and see if we can take it one step further. While we all strain at the problems we have, those of us who see our neighborhood being converted to a forest of towers and those who are charged with the responsibility to try and make some since out of that and say yes here and no there. This a problem from both sides of the table.
Mr. Timberlake stated it seems that we should try to learn as we did ten years ago from the experience of other people. We discovered an ordinance from another County. Mr. Timberlake thinks we need to look at other places that have dealt extremely well with the question of towers.
Mr. Timberlake stated he doesnít like cell phones, but did buy one for his wife because she has to do a lot of driving at night, she is alone on roads and it is a security problem and it has been extremely useful on occasion. If you like phones, youíve got to like towers right now. Not forever because the satellite phone is not too far in the future to solve the problem. Where can we look for other examples.
Mr. Timberlake stated he teaches at the University and every second year, he teaches in Finland. Mr. Timberlake stated he has been there for two and three weeks at a time and teaches in a town of about 100,000 people. Finland has more cell phones per capita than any nation in the world. Grade school kids are riding on their bicycles and every one of them has a cell phone to their ear. They are all talking on them. Yet, Mr. Timberlake states he has driven the countryside and never saw one cellular phone tower anywhere in Finland. Mr. Timberlake stated he was impressed and asked how they did this. As it turns out, in Finland, every one of the cell towers is required by law to go in to a forest. They are not allowed to be taller than the forest. Mr. Timberlake stated he is not saying to put the towers in Rock Bridge State Park, but why not look at the possibility, because they are disguised as trees, they are so close to other trees that we donít have the problem of bird kill flying in to man made objects. KOMU tower was one of the places where bird kills have been done. 660 birds on one morning, 23 species and two very high reported bird kills here. If we donít have these towers sticking up so high and if they are near trees where you donít have to have all the guyed lines, then we also can look at the problem of a better friend in the environment. There is nobody that loves the forest more than the families do. They call it their green gold. By law, even though a tree is growing on your property, in Finland, you are not allowed to cut it down without permission by the local government. It is an eighty percent forested country. If they can solve this problem, then why canít we? But instead, we plop them down wherever they are.
Mr. Timberlake stated there are good people and there are evil people here. If not everyone had cell phones, then there would be no towers. It is the market, it is there. The people are making money. If we didnít buy cell phones they wouldnít make money.
Mr. Timberlake stated he thinks we have done well by adopting the 1991 ordinance and it is time to take one step further and have a special committee revisit the ordinance to see if we canít amend it. The Scenic Missouri have good ideas to at least try and disguise these towers if they have to be there and make them more compatible with the environment in which we live.
Mr. Timberlake stated this area, south Boone County, is constantly under attack. In the last ten years, we have had this proposal, all the proposals for all the towers at Ashland, a proposal for Highway 750 which is dividing a four lane highway to go through Rock Bridge State park and three creeks area, kill all the wildlife that tries to get across the road there. There are very few areas that are beautiful in Boone County, and Mr. Timberlake stated it amazes him every time there is a proposed development. How many people come in and they all say the same thing. I live there because this area, itís beautiful. Someone should be learning something from this. There are so many people who think it is so beautiful, that people have bought a farm, theyíve bought land and donated to the park. What theyíre trying to do is to connect three creeks and Rock Bridge, it is not possible to walk. As a result of this gift, people spent their own money. Someday, Mr. Timberlake hopes it will be possible to do more than walk there, but that those whole areas will be joined by State owned land, so that southern Boone County, which is one of the most beautiful places Mr. Timberlake states he has ever seen, can be preserved for recreational areas.
Mr. Timberlake stated the greater the development everywhere else in Columbia; the greater will be the pressure for recreational facilities. Where will they be? Is the County going to buy land and make County parks? Mr. Timberlake states he doesnít think so. That is what we have. The State has already given us a tremendous amount of land, tremendous investment for free. Letís help them. Lets not obstruct the area, which they have already given us for free, lets try to have some vision for the future to see how County Planning can mesh with State Planning so that we can continue to have a beautiful area. We can do that in two ways. One, is we have to build towers, we can try to conceal them by learning the way other people have done that. Two, the County Commission, the tower ordinance gives the County Commission that kind of leverage, to impose conditions, and lets say no to some things that should be said no to. Lets say we would like to help you but lets see if we can do it, to other kinds of proposals that are less damaging to the environment. And this seems to be a proposal where we should say, lets think about this. Isnít there a better way than popping one more naked tower out there for everybody to see?
Susan Haines, 7800 S. Rock Bridge Lane, Columbia.
Ms. Haines asked for the people at the meeting who are opposed to this request to stand up.
(21 people stood up.)
Commissioner Smith asked the applicants to come forward to answer some of these concerns.
Ken Jacob, Attorney representing Telecorp, 1001 W. Walnut, Suite 201A, Columbia.
Mr. Jacob thanked everyone for coming out and expressing their feelings. A lot of things said were very emotional. A lot of things that were said were opinion but werenít actually accurate. The applicants have the expertise here to respond to any questions. You would think that this 150-foot, blue-silver pole was some monstrosity that would change the whole beauty of Rock Bridge State Park. All that it is, is a 150-foot pole. In fact, it is the kind of pole that the County has required telephone companies to put up. It is their first choice of the type of poles. It is not the applicantís choice; it is the Countyís choice.
Mr. Jacob stated that as the Commission knows, this monopole is not in Rock Bridge State Park. It is close by Rock Bridge State Park. Mr. Jacob stated he didnít know how far, we should require private landowners to do things by our parks. We have parks in Columbia, should we pass local ordinances saying if you are within 1 mile of a local park, or State park, donít put up any buildings, donít put up any telephone poles, donít put up anything because itís our view.
The State or the County or the City doesnít have any laws that say that you canít build something close to parks. The FTC Federal Government, has decided that it is Americaís best interest to have wireless telephones. Mr. Jacob stated that in all his capacity, he can not live without his cell phone anymore, his children call him on it, and he can beep them with their beepers. Things are changing.
Back when Rock Bridge State Park was built, Mr. Jacob stated he was opposed to putting telephone poles on the park. Should we allow telephone poles to be built on Rock Bridge State Park, or should we allow telephone poles to be close by Rock Bridge State Park? Mr. Jacob stated he doesnít know the answer to that, but can say when the ordinance for wireless telephone towers was passed, Mr. Jacob was the first attorney to come before the Commission to get a conditional use permit to build a tower. That was ten years ago.
Mr. Jacob stated he has been here, he doesnít know how many times, almost every time someone had a complaint about the pole. Every time he has been here he has raised this issue. When he drives in to some of the nicest neighborhoods in town, there are all kinds of telephone poles and telephone wires that we just take for granted, they are just a part of life. Those times are changing; in the future we may not need all these wires. The wireless field is actually beautifying our communications systems, not detracting from them.
Mr. Jacob stated the ordinance that we have to live by says the pole has to be high enough for a co-locate that is something that the County requires the applicants to do. Applicants came in with the shortest pole possible, where their antennas would allow them to have reception, it has to be 150 feet, it canít be any lower. If other companies want to come in, they have to come here and get a permit to increase the height of the pole by another 10 feet. The Countyís law requires that, it is not applicantís choice. In fact, in representing companies, they would much prefer that they didnít have to allow other people to be on their towers so they would have a competitive advantage. It is the Countyís law that applicants are trying to comply with.
Mr. Jacob stated when the report from Staff was read, they pointed out that one of the criteria that the Commission must consider is will this effect the use and enjoyment of people in the area. When you look at the case that talk about bodies like the Planning and Zoning Commission that have made the decision, those are not subjunctive generalizations that people feel. In order for the Planning and Zoning Commission to deny this request meets the requirements of the County ordinance, there has to be substantial evidence, there has to be proof that people can no longer enjoy this park.
Mr. Jacob suggests to the Commission that this one little pole 150 foot high, 200 foot approximately, from the big park is not going to interfere with our use and enjoyment of the park
Mr. Jacob stated he owns three and a half acres in town. When he bought it there were three other houses there. There is a little pond in the backyard; it is beautiful, and very pristine. Then someone came in and built a subdivision close by. Mr. Jacob stated he preferred that subdivision wasnít put in, but that is not the way property laws and use laws work in the country. This tower is not on that park, it is just close by. If this is too close then tell the applicants how far away to go. These towers, in order for us to have wireless communication, there has to be a line of sight in order for the phones to work well. There are more and more people who want to use these phones, if we want it to be cheap like it is, you have to have a lot of companies competing in the market place and that is what the Federal Government requires.
Mr. Jacob stated he wrote down all the questions that were raised and it will probably take two hours to respond to them. Mr. Jacob stated he has probably done thirty towers in the last ten years, so knows a little about it. However, it may be better to respond to the Commissions questions.
Closed to Public Hearing.
Commissioner Freiling asked applicants the estimated construction cost of this single tower.
Mr. Palmershine stated approximately $350,000 to $400,000.
Commissioner Freiling asked what the annual operational cost.
Mr. Palmershine stated he didnít know the answer to that right now.
Commissioner Freiling asked how many coop users would a tower of this nature accept.
Mr. Palmershine stated this tower is going to be built for three additional users.
Commissioner Freiling stated it would be a total of four users.
Mr. Palmershine states yes.
Mr. Jacob stated yes, if height was added.
Commissioner Freiling asked how much revenue is generated from each coop user on an average.
Mr. Mathis stated $1200 to $1300 potentially per month.
Commissioner Freiling asked if a competitor contacts AT & T as a coop user, with a casual letter, do you have space for their company to locate on applicants tower so the other company can compete better with the applicant, does AT & T respond to that letter.
Mr. Palmershine stated yes.
Commissioner Freiling questioned whether they do respond.
Mr. Jacob stated they have to, applicants donít have a choice. Mr. Jacob stated he has represented at least six companies and usually what will happen, is when someone contacts Mr. Jacob and says there is an area where there are no towers and canít get reception, Mr. Jacob gets on the phone and says "Hey US Cellular, Iíve got Telecorp and they want to put a tower in this area, I know you have a gap there too, would you like to get in on it?"
Mr. Jacob stated he would give an example. The tower that was put up over by the Columbia water tower on Highway 63, Mr. Jacob stated he was originally involved in looking for a location for that tower, eventually the City decided why let some private citizen make the profit, lets just put it on City property. These guys have been the predecessors that built that tower; there were three other companies that went in on the deal, and they all pay rent to the City. The ordinance that the County has says, in order for applicants to get a conditional use permit, you have to prove that there is a need for this tower there, and there is no other tower that you can get on. Or there is some other darn good reason for you not to be there.
Commissioner Freiling asked applicants if they were satisfied in this instance that there is no other available space that will satisfy the applicants needs.
Mr. Jacob stated there is no other tower there.
Commissioner Freiling stated he understood that there was no other tower there, but obviously from the conversations, other cellular services are providing better service in that area, so there is obviously towers better situated that where you presently have service. So what Mr. Jacob is saying is that applicants are satisfied that there is no tower space. Commissioner Freiling stated it seems to him, that the nature of the responses that applicants received were, number one, not complete, there were a number of companies that did not respond. If they are required to respond, they didnít and it wasnít pursued.
Mr. Jacob stated the applicants wouldnít spend $400,000 to build a tower they didnít need.
Commissioner Freiling stated that is what he is getting at, because obviously the creation of tower sites is a creation of revenue, that has to be the case, it has to be an advantage to create tower site that you can coop space on, otherwise, the applicants would not be so keen to do this.
Mr. Jacob stated it is cheaper for the applicants to pay rent and put their antennas on someone elseís towers than to build one.
Commissioner Freiling asked Mr. Jacob if he was saying that these towers are a net loss.
Mr. Jacob stated that the value of your phone service is as good as the quality. This tower will improve the quality. Because their quality is better, that will improve their product and more people will be interested in it. Mr. Jacob stated he could promise that applicants competitors will come here and only add 10 feet, the tower will only go to 200 feet, because after that it requires a light.
Commissioner Freiling stated he does not understand this issue. As a private investor Commissioner Freiling couldnít go out and build a tower and pay the lease costs and operational costs that applicants are proposing to pay and co-op all sites and couldnít make a profit?
Mr. Jacob stated he didnít understand the question.
Commissioner Freiling stated that what he heard applicants say is the only way to make a profit at this is if you are selling phone service off that tower. Commissioner Freiling wants to understand if there is a motivation to build towers, because the towers themselves are profitable by co-oping or is it only profitable if you are a user.
Mr. Jacob stated that these companies donít want to mess with the towers because they are in communications building business. If Sprint came in here and built a network and then they sold it to Roberts Wireless and Roberts Wireless just maintained the towers for them because that is not what they do. That is really not their thing, maintaining towers, although they require very little maintenance. Then after that, Alamosa came in and bought Roberts Wireless out. What you are seeing is the bigger companies, they go out and establish the network, but they donít want to mess with it.
Commissioner Freiling asked if Sprint made a profit when they sold it.
Mr. Jacob stated the guy who made the profit was Roberts Wireless according to what Mr. Jacob read in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Commissioner Freiling stated he would like to know the answer to that sometime, because this is a key issue, one of the causes of proliferation of any product in the market is that it makes money. If we are in a situation where the creation of new towers is an economic motivation in itself, then he wants to understand this. But this is an answer Commissioner Freiling would like to know, he doesnít know how to find this answer, but if anyone here has an answer or a source, Commissioner Freiling would like to know.
Mr. Jacob stated he moved here from St. Louis in 1968 and couldnít get a private phone line, on GTE, you had to share one with someone. Mr. Jacob stated he didnít care for the quality of that product. If someone opened up another company and you had competition, instead of a monopoly back then, Mr. Jacob stated he would go with the company where he didnít have to share a line. In the years that Mr. Jacob has had a cell phone, if they donít like their service, they call another company. Customers look at price and quality. If you walk in to a store, they will have a map to show you their coverage area. If you live out by Rock Bridge State Park and you see that Sun Com has a tower there and there is coverage there, which product are you going to buy? The one that works well, or the one that doesnít? The more towers, the better the quality.
Mr. Jacob stated he guaranteed what US Cellular and Sprint would like to do, they would like to put up another tower about 100 yards away. The want to make their product better than anyone elseís. But this County and the City and Jefferson City and most areas around here have said they would like to keep these towers to a minimum, so they make the companies share the tower, it is required. Because of this, you will have fewer towers, but they will be a little taller.
Commissioner Freiling asked Mr. Jacob if he was convinced that there is no available tower spot that will serve applicants needs.
Mr. Jacob stated he is convinced. If staff thought there was an alternative, Mr. Jacob stated his experience with staff is that they will tell you. Mr. Jacob stated he was here one time where his client wished to put up two towers. Staff took the grid, put them on top of each other and pointed out a spot for one tower and in that particular spot, the second tower wouldnít be needed. Once the staff told Mr. Jacob and his clients that, they knew that they would come to the Planning and Zoning Commission and get denied. Mr. Jacob stated his clients found another location. That is the way staff works. If there is an alternative, they make you do it.
Mr. Palmershine stated that Telecorp is the tower to the east and west that is closest to this area. There is no existing structure that will hold their window. There is a gap between the two towers, as do other companies who want to co-locate on the proposed tower. Telecorp does allow co-location. US Cellular allows co-location. It is not Telecorpís business to build towers just to rent out the space. That is not Telecorpís focus. Yes, you can make money off of the tower if you get enough co-locators on it. Mr. Palmershine stated he is not denying that. But that is not the main focus of the companyís plan. Their plan is to provide quality service in linking two towers together.
Mr. Palmershine stated they have tried other co-locations in the area. People mentioned different locations here tonight, but you have to have willing landlords and zoning that allows it. Of all these locations, Mr. Palmershine stated he is not familiar with the properties that were mentioned. But Mr. Palmershine bets some of them are residential areas and those prohibit towers. There is a Catch 22 to try and match the tower layout to the zoning laws and try to solve Telecorpís coverage needs as well as make a profit. That is what applicants are trying to do here.
Mr. Jacob showed a map to the Commissioners, and pointed out an existing tower; the green area on the map is the coverage area for that tower. Mr. Jacob pointed out another existing tower and showed the coverage area for that tower as well. Mr. Jacob stated you donít get a lot of coverage with one tower. By putting the tower at the proposed site, they will be able to fill in an area in the middle of the two existing towers.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked what the difference between suburban in building coverage and urban in building coverage.
Mr. Palmershine stated there was free airspace loss, a difference for every frequency. The lower the frequency the propagation regulates is easier. The higher the frequency is more line of sight. You must have line of sight. Therefore, to penetrate buildings, applicants chose the model by how well you can penetrate buildings. Thatís what it is referring to, depending on if itís in building coverage. Typically the building may have twelve to fifteen dB loss, even though the green area on the map indicates seventy five dB, your actual phone will be receiving eighty five to eighty seven dB.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated once again the difference between urban in building coverage and suburban in building coverage.
Mr. Palmershine stated it means that concrete buildings are harder to penetrate than homes.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked if the cell phone tower coverage is approximately three miles radius, or does it depend on the usage or how many cells you have on the tower.
Mr. Palmershine stated that there are two different competitors, they are at 800 mg. Telecorp has 1900, which does not travel as far as 800. But these are licenses given to applicants by the FCC. Cell spacing applicants laid out in grid, as more capacity is needed, which is called cell splitting. You put one in between. With digital technology, they are allowed to do at more capacity without adding more towers. That is why you donít see a lot more towers. If we had stayed with the same technology ten years ago and added seven additional providers, you would have a lot more towers than we have today. Since they introduced digital, it allows more capacity in the same spectrum. Therefore you donít need as many towers.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked when applicants would fill up the tower and need to build another one. How many users can you put on a tower?
Mr. Palmershine stated that varies per technology.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated digital.
Mr. Palmershine stated there are several different technologies. With the technology applicants are using you could probably get, simultaneously, approximately seventy-two providersí simultaneous calls at once. What the caller doesnít realize heís handing off from tower to tower. So he is not on that same tower. There is also limitation for frequency plan that you have to plan, it will only allow so much spectrum for frequency channels at each site, otherwise you have cross docking interference, where a digital just drops.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated that when applicants improve their service, they will up their customer base.
Mr. Palmershine stated that is typically what wireless has been doing. You build a network as it builds; you have to continue building infrastructure to support it. It adds capacity for new customers. It is a very intertwined network; it is not like the old copper wire that runs through your house, it rings, thatís it. One wire, one customer.
Mr. Jacob stated the calls run from tower to tower, they canít be that far apart.
Commissioner Freiling stated modern day smoke signals. Ridge to ridge.
Mr. Jacob stated that when they send the waves through the wire they can control them, but when they go wireless, you need to have a tower to catch it. Right now applicants are doing some work for Cingular who is trying to put more antennas on the Hearnes Center. They are looking for some space on tall buildings; this is where they go first to increase capacity.
Mr. Jacob stated another issue he wanted to mention is the stealth tower. One gentleman tonight talked about Angeloís pizza. That is not really a tower, it is a 100-footflag pole. In that cylinder there are three antennas. Can you build a 150-foot? There are no trees over there, so you donít need height, but can you build a 150-foot flagpole, or a 200-foot flagpole. Someone said you can put up a look out tower, someone said they didnít like that. That look out tower is going to be more obtrusive, its much bigger that just a cylinder. Then you could put that on the park, because it is going to look kind of weird with a look out tower in someoneís back yard.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated she understands the Federal Government has been enabling those kinds of stealth towers to go up.
Mr. Jacob stated you canít make them invisible, you can make them look like a tree, but if it is taller than the other trees, it is not stealth, because it looks weird.
Mr. Palmershine stated in Atlanta, Georgia, they have stealth trees, spruce trees, and all of a sudden you see one tree that sticks out 150-feet. Mr. Palmershine stated to him, he didnít know if that was more obtrusive than just having a tower. You can still see the antennas in the tree.
Commissioner Neese asked if there were any A-2 land along Route N to the southwest. Even with the proposed tower, there will still be a gap in service.
Mr. Palmershine stated it is all zoned residential, towers are not allowed.
Mr. Mathis stated applicants original search was on the north side of the park. Mr. Mathis stated that along Route N, it is residential zoning along the streets. If you go a little east toward the park itself, it does become A-2 or A-1 along there. But it drops off 80-feet from the houses there.
Commissioner Neese stated that to him it was an environmental issue, applicants stated they did a core sample and went down 40-feet. What part of the property was that core sample done on? When you look at the sink holes, that is a designation of probably the cave itself, is underneath that area. That is very much of a concern, because of that. There are a lot of people who come in to this State Park from all over the State, so it is not just us here, in this area that have to look at this. Commissioner Neese stated he didnít want to see something happen to that cave or the park.
Mr. Palmershine stated that the Terracon group did do a soil sample, it went down to 19.5 feet and hit limestone. Mr. Palmershine stated boring went to 12-feet and hit limestone, the first boring went down 38-feet. Mr. Palmershine submitted a copy of the report of the core samples, and stated in that report it tells the soil type, the strength of the soil for uplift of the tower. This is all based on engineering. It will comply to the IA standards that exist for towers. There are safety factors in their calculations. This soil report will be taken to a stamped engineer who will actually design a foundation based on the withholding of the tower.
Commissioner Neese stated there was more than one core sample.
Mr. Palmershine stated that was typical.
Commissioner Neese stated he heard someone state tonight in the discussion earlier that there was only one core sample taken.
Mr. Palmershine stated it was only one foundation. Technically, you only need one.
Commissioner Neese stated that it was stated the tower would be moved 25-feet. That is why he is talking about the whole site.
Mr. Mathis stated the tower was moved 20-feet, however, the survey that the Commissioners have now is where the tower was moved to. Mr. Mathis stated they moved it to try and get the tower as close to the center of the property as possible because of the possibility of additional height.
Commissioner Neese asked what the elevation at the base of the tower before 150-feet?
Mr. Mathis stated the elevation was 772-feet.
Commissioner Neese stated that is probably the tallest part in the area, besides right by the store. Commissioner Neese stated he wasnít going to say that birds are going to be killed on it, but it is going to have an effect.
Mr. Palmershine stated the towers everyone is referring to regarding killing birds; those towers are 600 to 2000-feet towers with guyed wires. Birds can not see a guyed wire flying at night. There is not enough vision for most animals to see that. Some of the guyed wires are only 2 inches thick, which is huge on 200-foot towers. The shorter towers, such as 300-feet towers, you go down to 3/8 to 1/2-inch wire. How could you see something that small, there is not enough structure there. Those are the ones being referred to.
Mr. Palmershine stated he has been in the business for 15 years and has never found birds at the base of a monopole, or at the base of a lattice tower. But he has never built anything over 300-feet tall either. Mr. Palmershine stated they have built next to wetlands, lakes, etcetera. There are certain limitations, birds do not fly right at treetop either.
Mr. Jacob stated if you donít put the towers on high ground you will get more requests for towers.
Commissioner Neese stated that was correct, but also, there is just not this particular park in this part of the State either.
Mr. Jacob stated that again, the tower will not be in the park.
Commissioner Neese stated that it is not far away.
Mr. Palmershine asked how far away is okay?
Commissioner Neese stated it would have visual impact.
Mr. Jacob stated it is going to be a thin, straight cylinder pole that will blend in with the sky. Mr. Jacob stated that he could argue that the State Capital interferes with the beauty of the Missouri River. But somehow every body just learns to accept that we need that building. We will also have to communicate with each other. The towers have to be where people go. The companies are trying to make them as less obtrusive as they possibly can. This is the pole the County wants to put up. It says so in the ordinance. The County prefers monopoles.
Mr. Jacob stated a tower is one you put out on Mt. Pleasant, that is ugly. But a little monopole doesnít look as bad.
Mr. Florea stated that earlier Commissioner Neese was asking about Route N and the question was answered with regard to Route K. Mr. Florea asked if Commissioner Neese was asking about land on Route N.
Commissioner Neese stated yes.
Mr. Florea stated that which runs southwest from the Pierpont store, is all zoned agricultural, Mr. Mathis was speaking of Route K which is zoned residential.
Commissioner Neese stated he thought there was a lot of other land out there that has this same zoning classification, surely it can be further from the park.
Mr. Mathis stated he was thinking of Route K, because that is where they were originally looking. Looking at the map, the gap that is there, if the tower was moved southeast, the gap would get bigger.
Mr. Palmershine stated they need to put the tower where people are. The road traffic that was provided came from the Department of Transportation of Missouri. That is where the 3000 vehicles came from. Mr. Palmershine stated he could submit a DOT map with this information. The traffic there is where applicants prefer to link the two towers together from the east and west. Moving the tower to the south pulls away from that. What is southwest of there? There are no major roads, no connecting roads from Highway 63 to Highway 163 to Columbia. That is the purpose of what applicants are trying to do. These are the people having problems. They did drive test data showing that when you get in this area, your call is lost. The people testified to both. It depends on whose service you have too. Mr. Palmershine stated he is worried about Telecorpís service.
Commissioner Mink asked applicants how the competitors achieve better service.
Mr. Palmershine stated that for one, it is frequency 800 mg rather than 1900. Other people have different business plans. Certain markets tend to be more capital versus other markets in that State. It depends. If there is not a challenge to make this network better, people who drive test, applicants monitor each otherís network. If there is no competitive advantage then a lot of people may not even go there. Applicants get complaints from customers that have left applicants and went to other carriers. Therefore, applicants are trying to prevent that as a business plan.
Mr. Jacob stated it was fair to say that applicants competitors will want to be on this tower as well as County requires. Because they will have a better product.
Mr. Palmershine stated that Telecorp would not build a site if it were not necessary, it does not make good business sense. Applicants have looked and approached multi landlords along this road, applicants were trying to build closer to Route K, due to zoning, and it was not feasible. Then you also have to have feasible landlords, then you have to make it fit with the network. This in not something applicants came about simply. They have been working on this six months. It takes time to meet all requirements to come before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Mr. Jacob stated that the people that applicants work for will send them out on a search and tell them to improve their product, they need a tower in this area. Applicants will go out and start knocking on doors.
Commissioner Freiling stated that there are too many personal property and public interest issues that would be damaged by this site to have it fit within the conditional use permit guidelines. Commissioner Freiling stated he didnít believe they were obligated to make approval simply because applicants have need. Commissioner Freiling stated that he would hate to see a precedence set in which the Planning and Zoning Commission ignore both a densely settled area and a public resource area and to set a precedence that it is okay to seek those sites. Because Commissioner Freiling stated he didnít think it is going to be okay. Anytime an applicant comes before the Commission in any sort of similar circumstance where you have as many homes in a pristine area that has a public interest space; you are going to find the same reception from the public. Commissioner Freiling stated that would be with justification. If cell service suffers, that is not the same order of public interest as protecting those property rights in public interest areas.
Commissioner Freiling made and Commissioner Morgan seconded a motion to deny a request by Edward and Renee John on behalf of Telecorp Realty LLC for a transmission facility including a 159í tower located at 7240 S Highway 163, Columbia.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Abstain
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to deny request carries. 7 Yes 0 No 1 Abstain
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Director, Stan Shawver gave staff report stating that this site is located ĺ of a mile west of Centralia on March Road. The property is zoned M-G (General Industrial). Property to the east is zoned A-2. Land to the north and west is zoned A-1. Land to the south is zoned A-1 and M0G. This request is to build a 130í water storage tank. Zoning regulations require a conditional use permit for any structure taller than 100í. The original zoning for this tract was A-1, but it was rezoned in June 2001 to allow a bulk propane facility. The property is not being used for that purpose, Staff notified 12 property owners about this request. The master plan designates this area as being suitable for agriculture and rural residential land uses. If approved, the proposed water storage facility will provide improved water service for the surrounding area. Staff recommends approval of this request.
Present: Mark T. McGuire, 15 Mayes Meadows, Centralia.
Mr. McGuire stated he is the manager of the Public Water District number 10 for Boone County. Applicants are looking to enhance water storage capabilities; this tank site is where it needs to be. With the 100-foot minimum, a conditional use permit is needed, because they are going with 130-foot. Neighboring the applicants is the Land of Lakes and Farmland feed mill. It is a tall concrete grain elevator storage. It is approximately 136-foot tall. There is already a structure that is taller than what applicants propose.
Mr. McGuire stated he hasnít received any negative comments from any of the people who were contacted. Mr. McGuire stated he spoke with some of the neighbors himself and they are all in favor of it, there is no opposition.
Open to public hearing.
No one spoke in favor of the request.
No one spoke in opposition of the request.
Closed to public hearing.
Commissioner Freiling made and Commissioner Caruthers seconded a motion to approve request by Public Water District 10 for a 130í water tower on 4.89 acres located at 22601 March Rd., Centralia.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Y
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to approve request carries
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Planner, Bill Florea gave staff report stating that these sites are located 2 miles west of Sturgeon at the intersection of Highway 63, Benson Road and State Highway F. Both properties are zoned A-2 (Agriculture), which is the original zoning. All of the surrounding areas are zoned for agricultural use, except for an area on the north side of the 115-acre tract, which is zoned C-G. The applicant has submitted two rezoning applications. One request is to rezone 115 acres to M-LP (Planned Industrial). The other request would rezone 29 acres to M-LP.
This area is located within the Sturgeon R-V school district. Public Water Supply District 10 provides water service. Boone Electric provides electric service. There is no sewer service to the property. There have been no previous requests submitted for this property. Staff notified 11 property owners about this request.
The master plan designates this area as being suitable for agriculture and rural residential land uses. The proposed use is not consistent with the master plan; however, the plan does state that, when appropriate, planned commercial or planned industrial zoning can be considered along the major highways of Boone County.
The applicant has not presented a review plan for consideration. The lack of a review plan makes analysis of the impact and infrastructure needs created by the rezoning particularly difficult. Therefore, a worst case or most intensive use analysis must be applied when evaluating whether there are sufficient resources to support the proposed rezoning.
The range of uses that would be permitted in an M-LP district include all of the uses in the Office Commercial, Neighborhood Commercial, General Commercial, and Light Industrial Districts.
In general it is possible to break down infrastructure requirements into three categories, sewer, water and transportation. Following are examples of the uses that would be allowed by the rezoning organized by infrastructure demand. Some uses appear in more than one category:
The rezoning will also significantly increase the demand for fire, police and ambulance services.
The application lacks specificity with regard to the utilities available to the property. There is no sewer service available to the property. If public water service is available it is unlikely to be able to meet the fire flow requirements. When combined with the potential for large numbers of uses that require heavy daily water flows it can be concluded that there is an inadequate water supply for the proposed rezoning. The existing traffic system, consisting mostly of local streets is incapable of handling the potential traffic without mitigation. It is not possible to quantify mitigating measures without a proposed circulation system and engineered traffic analysis.
After applying the sufficiency of resources test described in the Master Plan staff has formed a recommendation that this request not be approved without appropriate plans and demonstrating that adequate water, sewer and other infrastructure can be provided before the site is developed.
Commissioner Sloan stated that due to her longtime friendship with the applicant, Commissioner Sloan would not comment or vote on this request.
Commissioner Morgan stated that he would not comment or vote on this request.
Tom Schneider, Attorney representing Mr. Tincher, 11 N. 7th, Columbia.
Mr. Schneider stated that a statement was made earlier that the southern part of the County has been under attack for years. This area is the northern part of the County.
Mr. Schneider presented a diagram prepared by the Randy Adams Construction Company showing an outline of the two tracts of land in question in relation to the infrastructure that is in that area. It also shows the accesses which would be utilized by both tracts as being constructed by the Highway Department at this time. It shows the location of the panhandle eastern pump station on tract 1 of the Tincher property as well as the location of the pipeline itself. It also shows a proposed Boone County road alignment, which would straighten out the dogleg on tract 1. Mr. Tincher would be happy to donate that right of way in the event that this application is approved, although it would sever two and a half acres from the farm.
Mr. Schneider stated that as the staff report highlighted, the issue here is not land use, it is infrastructure. These are two totally different issues. Applicants would submit that the land use is highly appropriate at this location. There are infrastructure questions which have not been answered at this time. The engineering that probably would be necessary in order to answer the various staff questions and Public Water Supply number 10ís questions would be in the neighborhood of at least $25,000. Mr. Tincher is hesitant to spend that kind of money before he knows if the land use concept at this location is acceptable to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Commission. This is an age-old problem in zoning proceedings. In the old days, you really had two choices. One choice was to trust the developer to develop it right later on. Sometimes it worked well, the market place would tend to enforce that, because if you donít bring in adequate infrastructure, who is going to buy or rent your lots. Sometimes it didnít work out that was a substandard development. The other alternative is to say no until you had all of this engineering, which may be money needlessly spent. The land use issue would never be addressed at all.
Mr. Schneider stated that in the recent past a resolution of that tension was addressed in the ordinance by adopting planned districts with a bifurcated process. The planned district in the Boone County ordinance is for either commercial or light industrial, such as this application; allow the rezoning application to precede the review plan so that the basic conceptual issue could first be addressed and answered before all the money is spent on the engineering. Later on the infrastructure issues are addressed. That way, both concerns are addressed and both concerns are fully protected. In the event that the Commission gives Mr. Tincher the green light on the land use issue, by approving his rezoning applications, then he is going to do the engineering then come back with engineering related to traffic, water, sewer, and perhaps some other issues such as fire suppression. At that time the Commission will either approve or not approve a review plan, by action on the review plan, the Commission can determine if the infrastructure needs are being met. For example, if the Commission thought there was a big traffic problem, you could tell Mr. Tincher that on his 115-acre light industrial complex, you can approve a plat and one lot with one building, because it can address 200 cars. Or, the traffic report likely would address various ways that you might be able to mitigate the problem for a greater density of development. For example, traffic going right in and right out, as opposed to having going out in both directions. They have various techniques and devices and mechanisms to address things like traffic.
Mr. Schneider stated another methodology the Commission would have when the review plan is presented, if the Commission felt there was a traffic problem, you could tell Mr. Tincher that this particular development with all of these uses is not going to adequately be trafficked. The traffic problem would be such that you canít have all these uses; at which time he would a choice of limiting his uses; some are traffic sensitive, some are not. Or not having the review plan approved. It is very simple. There are other mechanisms within the concept of the review plan, which would also be a protection for the County as well as the review plan is brought back. Commission could require on-sight improvements if the density of the traffic was such that it was necessary to look at something of that nature. Light Industrial is essentially going to generate employee traffic as opposed to commercial. It is not a location for the consumer by and large. It is going to be an issue of employees at 8:00 and 5:00.
Mr. Schneider stated the 115-acre tract is as compared to the Lemone Industrial Park. Mr. Schneider stated he called Bob Lemone late this afternoon anticipating that someone might want to know what this scale was in relation to something that is known. Mr. Schneider stated that Mr. Lemone told him that originally, Lemone Industrial Park was 149-acres, now, due to additions, it is between 250 and 300-acres. 250-acres would certainly be a safe figure. We are talking about something less than half the size of Lemone Industrial Park. The Lemone Industrial Park traffic, as far as Mr. Schneider knows, is not an issue and is not a problem. Mr. Schneider stated he doesnít know of any thing in particular out there that has been specially done to address it.
Mr. Schneider stated that could give the Commissionerís some idea of the magnitude of the traffic issue. Mr. Schneider stated he does not say traffic problem, but traffic issue. Just as he can not tell the Commissionerís without a traffic study that it is not going to be a problem, the Commissionerís cant tell Mr. Schneider that it is going to be a problem. Mr. Schneider stated he would again point to Lemone Industrial Park as a much larger facility, which does not create a traffic problem.
Mr. Schneider stated that as far as lagoon and sewer concerns. Mr. Schneider stated he assumed it will be addressed by a lagoon on site. Certainly there is going to have to be something in the review plan that is adequate.
Mr. Schneider stated applicants have had encouraging discussions with Water District 10. Historically, they donít allow hydrants, but the water district indicated that they have larger lines in this area and also have elevated storage in this area. Without any commitments or specific engineering plan being submitted to them, Mr. Schneider stated he clearly felt that the water district would look at this as being a favorable set of conditions for them to seriously consider allowing hydrants. Again, that is not a commitment, but their limiting factors donít exist in this specific area.
Mr. Schneider stated it is really a chicken or the egg problem. But with the bifurcated process that we now have on planned industrial and planned commercial. Really, you can have your cake and eat it too. On the one hand, you can give a green light to the land use being appropriate at this location; Mr. Schneider feels that it is. This is a major highway intersection now and with the expansion of Highway 63, Mr. Schneider feels that it is a logical location. It is not the amenity of "not in my backyard" type of problem where there is sensitivity because of nearby residential uses nearby, environmental issues. We donít have that here. It is an infrastructure issue and infrastructure issue only. It can all be addressed later on. Commission would not have committed to approving any type of review plan if you approve the land use concept, which is all applicants are asking for at this point.
Mr. Schneider stated that applicants fully understand that they would have the burden of satisfying the Planning and Zoning Commission and the County Commission on all the infrastructure issues later. If applicants canít do it, it will remain as farm ground as has for many years. Which is one of the permitted uses in light industrial.
Mr. Schneider stated applicants donít know what the various engineering studies will establish, obviously applicants are confident that we can deal with those issues, but again, Mr. Tincher simply and understandably does not want to spend a large amount of money on a bunch of engineering plans which may never see the light of day.
Commissioner Neese asked if Randy Adams was a possible buyer of this land.
Mr. Schneider stated he believed theyíre involvement is more with the development. If Hugh is the developer of the property, which he might not be the end developer, he would most likely have Randy Adams Construction do the plat, the layout and essentially be in charge of what is going to be developed. This obviously is not a preliminary plat, although that is what is indicated in the upper right hand corner. This is just a very basic, conceptual sketch and the idea being to show general location, general boundaries, and general proximity to existing roadways, natural gas and the County road extension.
Commissioner Neese stated that tract 1 would have to be serviced by a service road over to Route 22. Commissioner Neese asked Mr. Schneider that this is proposed right now.
Mr. Schneider stated that tract 1, one of two things would happen. First of all, the direct access on to Highway 63 is gone on both sides. Therefore, both tracts would necessarily have to access on to Highway 22. Tract 1, the 115-acre tract might use the existing outer roadway, which is very close to and parallel to Highway 63, which the State is putting in. Or, it might be a perpendicular from some point straight up to Highway 22, to get away from that intersection. That would require the obtaining of an easement by someone. Whether it be obtained privately by Mr. Tincher or whether the County would contend that at Mr. Tincherís expense to get it. At least there would be flexibility as to where that perpendicular in to Highway 22 would go.
Mr. Schneider stated that on tract 2, there is an overpass there. The access on to East Highway 22 would be across Highway 63 using that overpass. As far as where the access would be on the west side of Highway 22, there are more options. The access is limited going back approximately 800-feet west of Highway 63 on tract 2. In other words, the access on tract 2 is going to be fairly close to its west boundary.
Commissioner Freiling asked the staff, as he understands, Mr. Schneider in that infrastructure issues will have to be dealt with regardless. The issue then becomes if you grant the rezoning in advance, what you lose control over is use, you still have control over the infrastructure issues but you have granted blanket zoning so that you have no more control over use as long as it falls within that zoning request.
Mr. Florea stated that the master plan outlines the sufficiency of resources test that is supposed to be applied to any rezoning request. That links utilities, infrastructure, and use together. So they do need to be considered together. What it is saying, is that if there are not sufficient resources in the area to support the proposed use, then the proposed use is inappropriate for that land and the zoning should not be granted.
Mr. Schneider stated he would like to follow up with two points in that regard. One is the bifurcation of the process, separating land use issues from the infrastructure issue militates directly against that. Itís the opposite side of that coin. It is saying that you can consider them separate and apart and the procedure explicitly allows that. It addresses the old dilemma that both parties always had. It allows both parties to have the best of both worlds. Secondly, in theory, all of those uses would be granted. That doesnít mean that any development is ever going to come in to existence with all those uses if the infrastructure is not there to service those uses, because youíre not going to approve the review plan. For example, you can tell Mr. Tincher, that because of traffic you will have one 115-acre lot with one building on it, instead of dividing that up in to twelve buildings. That is because the infrastructure is not there. The granting of the uses without the ability to implement the uses is very theoretical. What Mr. Schneider sees happening, is if there is an issue as to water pressure adequacy for fire suppression, the Commission can say that you canít have this much density or certain proposed uses. Or that your fire suppression infrastructure will not handle it and therefore the Commission can choose not to approve the review plan. At that point, Mr. Tincher can go back to the drawing board and decide what uses are uses that he can live with in order to have the review plan approved. In that mechanism, there would be a lot of give and take.
Mr. Schneider stated the grant of blanket uses in any way implies that applicant will in fact at any time be implemented or be developed. The Commission will have a great deal of say in terms of what is going to be developed and what uses are going to occur.
Commissioner Caruthers asked Mr. Schneider that at this time, there is no specific purpose intention for this tract.
Mr. Schneider stated to think of Lemone Industrial Park. That is probably the best example of what applicant wants to do. That incidentally, over time has apparently changed a lot in nature. Mr. Schneider stated he was out there recently to get some records for the University Hospital. The University has almost taken over that complex it seems. It is unbelievable how many of those buildings are occupied by the University of Missouri. The Lemone Industrial Park at this point is almost an office park more than an industrial park. On the small tract, Mr. Tincher was thinking about perhaps a convenience, and may have mentioned at truck terminal or light industrial, which Mr. Schneider would translate as storage or warehousing. Those uses are up in the air, they are not known at this time.
Commissioner Caruthers asked if Mr. Tincher is currently farming this land.
Mr. Schneider stated he believed so.
Commissioner Mink stated that the Public Works Department is planning an improvement on Benson Road for next year. The design is not complete, so this alignment may not be exact as what is shown here. There are hopes that Public Works can straighten out that sharp bend in the road, Commissioner Mink is not sure whether it goes that far to the west. The improvements that are proposed is the drainage on the road is not very good, Public Works is trying to address those issues. The pavement issues that are being proposed is just a chip seal surface. Benson Road from about C-G to the north is about where the end of the asphalt would be. The County has no plans at this time to extend the asphalt further to the east.
Commissioner Freiling asked staff what the options available for landowners, in addition to applying for blanket rezoning was to apply for a planned commercial or planned industrial use. Is that an option that was available. Could the applicant have applied without submitting advance plans without knowing if his engineering cost would be wasted. Did applicant have the option of applying for a less permissive process to get to this same place. Commissioner Freiling stated he saw the danger of blanket rezoning. There are too many unknowns. Once you get the zoning, there is going to be a use, whether you really like it or not. Commissioner Freiling stated he understood that the applicant didnít want to spend a bunch of money and just find yourself turned down. Is there an in between is what Commissioner Freiling stated he is asking. Could this landowner have come and applied for a planned industrial or planned commercial district that would have granted more future control over use and not just infrastructure.
Commissioner Smith stated this is planned. There is a clause that allows him to do it without giving a review plan.
Mr. Schneider stated that one thing that could be done is get conditional use permits from the uses, which are otherwise available here. If conditional use permits were included in the application, which they do at this time, it would still be necessary to go through the conditional use process. Those more smoke stack type uses could be deleted from this application.
Open to public hearing.
No one spoke in favor of the request.
No one spoke in opposition of the request.
Closed to public hearing.
Commissioner Neese asked if the City of Sturgeon had any kind of public sewer system. Commissioner Neese stated he wanted to know what was going to happen to this tract of land and asked Mr. Schneider if there were any public sewer system they could hook in to and whether Mr. Schneider saw that coming any time down the road.
Mr. Schneider stated no, although Mr. Schneider stated he has no foundation for that, but has no expectations for that otherwise it would have been picked up in the staff report and in discussions with staff. Applicants had a concept review with staff some months ago and staff made it clear that they had concerns about infrastructure and expected that to be addressed. Applicants were not surprised to see that in the staff report. If there were any possibility for public sewer being extended, either staff or applicants would have heard of it by now.
Commissioner Mink asked if where the pipeline was shown, if it was actually located there now.
Mr. Schneider stated that is Randy Adams Constructionís location of it. It could be a little off as depicted. That is their belief of the location. It is on the property somewhere.
Commissioner Smith asked what located at the C-G area shown on the diagram.
Mr. Florea stated it was general commercial.
Commissioner Smith asked what was existing there.
Director, Stan Shawver stated there was a truck terminal there with a conditional use permit. Mr. Shawver stated it was zoned C-G in 1978 and a conditional use permit was added in 1994.
Commissioner Mink asked where the truck terminal got their water and sewer.
Mr. Shawver stated they have an on site wastewater system, Mr. Shawver believed it was a septic to lagoon type. It is a transfer point for Consolidated Freightways. The Fire District allowed a dry hydrant. There are few employees.
Commissioner Neese stated that Mr. Schneider made a very good presentation, that part of the County really needs a shot in the arm. But there are so many questions, Commissioner Neese stated he would like for applicants to get with staff and come up with more cohesive plan. Commissioner Neese stated he believed this had a lot of merit, but is having a hard time overcoming all the doubt.
Mr. Schneider stated he could have Mr. Tincher to have a traffic study done if that is an issue of primary concern. There are other issues of course, but believes the other issues can be solved.
Commissioner Freiling stated that his instincts say this is irrational use. This kind of interchange at some point and time is going to have some commercial or light industrial use. On the other hand as precedent you hate to grant rezoning in the absence of all information. Because this will come before us again. It is interesting that for whatever reason, in the ordinances, it was specifically stated that these particular requests could be considered. From a marketing standpoint Commissioner Freiling stated he understands that too.
Mr. Shawver stated that it is not in the regulations, what Mr. Schneider stated is that the property owner shouldnít have to put out a lot of money. The Planning and Zoning Commission put that provision in the ordinances in 1985 so the developer would not have to put in a lot of money. The intent was to be used on smaller pieces of ground; it has been used before on a 5-acre piece of property located on the corner of State Route UU and Sugar Creek Road. The property was rezoned to planned commercial, yet to this day is not developed.
Commissioner Freiling stated if adequate infrastructure was available, this strikes Commissioner Freiling as something that would be acceptable.
Commissioner Caruthers made and Commissioner Heitkamp seconded a motion to deny request by William Tincher to rezone from Tract 1 from A-2 (Agriculture) to M-LP (Planned Industrial) of 115 acres, more or less, located at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 63 and Benson Road, Sturgeon.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Abstain
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Abstain Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to deny request carries
Commissioner Caruthers made and Commissioner Heitkamp seconded a motion to deny request by William Tincher to rezone Tract 2 from A-2 (Agriculture) to M-LP (Planned Industrial) 29 acres, more or less, located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Highway 63 and Highway F, Sturgeon.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Abstain
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Abstain Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to deny request carries
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Planner, Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this property is located one mile due south of the Columbia municipal limits, but travel distance to the city limits is three miles. The site is situated on State Highway K. A review plan for the total 22.76-acre tract was approved by the County Commission on March 31st, 1998. A final plan for a 16.83-acre portion of the property was approved in July of 1998. A final development plan for the 5.93-acre commercial component was approved in December of 1999. Upon approval of a the final plans the rezoning of these portions of the property from A-2 (agriculture) to R-S/PRD (Residential Single Family/Planned Residential Development) & C-GP (planned commercial) with a condition limiting uses of the commercial areas to the C-N (neighborhood commercial) uses with C-N conditional uses being required to obtain CUPís occurred. Property to the north, across Rte K is zoned R-S. Property to the east is zoned R-M and A-2. Property to the south and west is zoned A-2. These revised review plans have been submitted to modify the types of structures allowed within the development. Additional sewer capacity beyond that already secured by the developer will need to be secured for the apartment component above the commercial structures shown on the plan. This will need to be worked out with the BCRSD. This area is served by Consolidated Public Water District No. 1. There is an upgraded waterline along Rte K at a minimum of 8". Final fire flows after waterline upgrades are installed may further limit the sizes and uses of the development. MoDot, BCPW & BC Planning have concerns on the safety of the constructed road entrances onto Route K due to the limited visibility due to the earthen berm between Coneflower Avenue and New Town Avenue, as well as, between New Town Avenue and Center. These issues will need to be resolved to the satisfaction of the departments and agencies involved. The number of parking spaces shown on the plan indicates that less parking is being proposed than may be required. Parking is not a standard that can be modified by a planned development. Therefore, the parking shown is for diagrammatic purposes only. Actual required parking will be determined based upon specific building plans and proposed uses as required in the zoning ordinance as specific building permits are applied for. The development will be within the Columbia Public School District service area. The master plan designates this area as being suitable for residential land uses. The proposed development is consistent with the master plan. This site has 76 points on the point rating system.
Staff recommends approval of both Revised Review Plans subject to the following conditions 5;
Present: Tom Schneider, 11 N. 7th Street, Columbia
Tom Trabue, 1901 Pennsylvania Ave., Columbia
Mr. Schneider stated he would like to make a couple of points. As the Commission knows, before the Commission recently the issue being one of the interpretation as to whether heights of residential and commercial buildings was a set height as opposed to a maximum. At that proceeding, the issue was different. That issue was an appeal, this is not. This is a revised plan; starting over at ground zero on this issue. It has nothing to do with what that interpretation was back then. In the context of the revised plan submittal, a few staff comments were generated; about sixteen or seventeen on each plan. Mr. Trabue has addressed all of those things they largely had to do for various things being depicted on the plan. Resulting in one subsequent issue that being the site distance issue, which is condition number 4 on the five proposed conditions in the staff report.
Mr. Schneider stated the five conditions are acceptable to NewTown, with one exception, that being the site distance issue on number four of the conditions. Applicants believe this is redundant and somewhat anomalous for three different entities to be all monitoring that. MoDot is the expert in connection with site distances. Applicants request that condition number 4 be limited to following the requirements of MoDot as opposed to numerous other layers of review. With that exception, the five conditions are acceptable to NewTown. The covenants were recorded either yesterday (September 17) or today. Mr. Schneider stated he does have signed recorded covenants and number five has already been taken care of.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated she would like to hear staffís response to the issue on number four.
Mr. Yonke stated the reason it was phrased that way is that first of all, some of the right of way that was dedicated on the plat was dedicated to the County, even though it is along the State roadway. MoDot has their right of way then there is the additional right of way that was done for that road. Currently, that right of way is dedicated and is under County jurisdiction until it is given over for any specific road project. Staff is the one that MoDot is going to be looking at to actually see about enforcement of the plans. If MoDot says that theyíve worked something out on it, that will work. But basically, it does have to filter through the other agencies. If MoDot says, yes we are fine with whatever they work out, Mr. Yonke stated County Public Works and the Planning office arenít looking at opposing any conditions that would be in opposition to MoDot. The other clarification is that it is not a site distance issue necessarily, it is a visibility issue for those roads connecting out on to it. Not a site distance for the traffic moving down Route K, seeing vehicles on the other side of the road.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked Mr. Schneider if that was a problem.
Mr. Schneider stated he thought it would be anomalous if three different agencies were reviewing the same issue and there was disagreement where that would leave applicants. Mr. Schneider stated he didnít know if it was a terribly large issue as Mr. Yonke indicated. The County departments would follow MoDots lead on that.
Mr. Yonke stated that was correct.
Mr. Schneider stated that in the event that there were inconsistent requirements with not knowing what applicants were supposed to do in that situation. It doesnít appear to be a major problem.
Commissioner Caruthers stated that more specifically, the new plan provides for greater visibility to the southwest when you exited NewTown Development.
Mr. Schneider stated that Mr. Trabue has had fairly extensive contact with MoDot over the last ten days and as we sit here tonight, Mr. Schneider stated he didnít believe there was a definitive answer back from MoDot as to what, if anything, they were going to require. The Staff approach, which applicants appreciate, is that rather than holding things up and find out what MoDot was going to determine, when they determine it, since this project is somewhat time sensitive, that applicants simply proceed now with that being a condition. If MoDot says next week they require things, then under that condition, applicants have to comply. Applicants understand that it is going to involve potential relocation of the utilities and potential expense.
Commissioner Caruthers asked Commissioner Mink how the Public Works Department felt about this.
Commissioner Mink stated that Public Works would follow MoDotís lead.
Mr. Yonke stated that Public Works department representatives and MoDot representatives met with Staff on site as well as talked with the engineers. Mr. Yonke thinks it is understood that everyone will try to work it all out. Staff wanted to make sure it was clear that if utilities get relocated, that is a cost the developer will have to bear. They may not have to be relocated if there is some other option that surfaces.
Mr. Schneider stated the NewTown understands it would be at their expense if that is what MoDot requires.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated condition number one stated a Board of Adjustment variance requirement prior to issuance of building permit for any specific lot.
Mr. Yonke stated it only comes in to play if that lot and the proposed structure for that lot does not meet the absolute requirements of the regulations. The planned development can not waive that parking requirement. This was a condition on the original plan as well. Since the uses are not specified down to what types of use would be in there. They may meet the parking requirements, so they may not need the variance. If applicants propose a use that would require a greater amount of parking, it was felt if they went to the Board of Adjustment, they could make a case for trying to count the on street parking, which normally would not be allowed. Because of the nature of the development, they could make that argument to the Board of Adjustment, that is the only relief mechanism applicants could have.
Commissioner Heitkamp stated the on street parking alleviate the proliferation of impervious surface area.
Mr. Yonke stated it was designed so that it could incorporate some of that, if they can convince the Board of Adjustment that this is appropriate.
Commissioner Heitkamp asked Mr. Schneider was amenable to that.
Mr. Trabue stated it has already been identified on the written portion of the plan as the staff requested, it has been addressed.
Commissioner Mink stated there was a letter sent to the Commissionerís regarding stormwater issues, and asked the applicants if those have been addressed.
Mr. Trabue stated applicants have been unable to identify those. Applicants have gone down the road looked at the entire site and looked at all the storm drainage. Mr. Trabue stated applicants have looked at adjoining properties of where they thought the drainage may be coming from and havenít been able to identify those.
Mr. Yonke stated that Staff has received some calls on that and a letter that was submitted to the Commissionerís at the work session from a neighbor. The neighbors provided one picture to be entered in to the record.
Mr. Schneider stated that Mr. Trabueís firm in 1998, submitted a pretty extensive stormwater runoff study in connection with the original approval.
Open to public hearing.
In favor of the request.
Present: Andrew Walker, 12151 Andrew Sapp Road.
Mr. Walker stated he was in support of the application. Mr. Walker stated he has had the joy of waking up in a home that Mr. Peckham had designed, it has been a pleasure and believes that Mr. Peckham is a good architect. Mr. Walker stated that he believes Mr. Peckham builds buildings to enhance the environment and believes that Mr. Peckham is trying to build a good neighborhood.
In opposition of the request.
Mr. Yonke submitted a photo and letter from a neighbor.
Closed to public hearing.
Commissioner Caruthers made a motion to approve with staff conditions, Commissioner Morgan seconded.
Discussion on the motion.
Regarding the photo submitted in opposition Commissioner Freiling asked Mr. Shawver under todayís realities, would building permits would have been issued to build on these sites.
Mr. Shawver stated no, those lots in Cedar Brook are in the flood plain; they would have to have been elevated. The floodplain issues weren't in existence when Cedar Brook was developed. The runoff occurs much further north as a source of that. Mr. Peckham has followed his preliminary plan very carefully; the Public Works Department approved the plan. The neighbor who sent the letter in opposition, has always sited the flood of 1993 as the hallmark flood. Unless you were along the Missouri River, you did not experience flooding in Boone County; the same is true with the flood of 1995. When you have very unusual rain occurrences, properties that had not flooded before have flooded.
Commissioner Caruthers made and Commissioner Morgan seconded a motion to approve with staff conditions a request by Nicholas Peckham to approve a revised Review Plan for NewTown Planned Development. James V. Patchett, surveyor.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Y
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to approve request with conditions carries
Planner, Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this 1 lot minor plat is located on the north side of Hatton Chapel Road approximately 1/2 mile east of the intersection of Locust Grove Church Road and Hatton Chapel Road. The site is approximately 3 to 4 miles northeast of the municipal limits of the City of Columbia. The area being subdivided contains 3.19-acres out of a parent parcel of 13.67-acres. The remainder of the parent parcel is being divided by family transfer. The property is zoned A-2 (agriculture). All the surrounding property is zoned A-2 these are all original 1973 zonings. There is an existing home and on-site wastewater system on the property. The site is in Consolidated Water District #1. Fire hydrants are not required within minor plats containing less than 4 lots, as is the case here. The site is in the Columbia School District. Sewage treatment is proposed to be from an existing on-site lagoon. Any upgrades to the sewer system must be approved by the Health Department and will likely require elevation of the lagoon berms to 1 ft above the base flood elevation, as the lagoon is located in the 100-year floodplain. A waiver for cost benefit analysis for on-site versus central wastewater systems has been requested. A traffic analysis waiver has also been requested. Staff concurs with the granting of these waivers. This plat has 27 points on the point rating scale.
Staff recommends approval along with the granting of the waivers for traffic analysis and cost benefit analysis for central sewer.
Present: Ron Lueck, 300 St. James St., Columbia.
Mr. Lueck stated the owner is cutting off the house and some acreage and wanted to get it down to around two and a half, Mr. Lueck made it to around three acres. The owner will sell the bigger part of the tract. The remaining portion will be transferred to ownerís children.
Mr. Lueck stated the lagoon was inspected while it was being built in 1986 and approved by the Health Department.
Commissioner Neese asked applicant if the lagoon was now in the floodplain.
Mr. Lueck stated yes, but it was approved and designed according to Health standards.
Commissioner Caruthers made and Commissioner Mink seconded a motion to approve with waiver requests Hatton Chapel Road. Shari A Carlos, owner. Ronald G. Lueck, surveyor.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Y
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to approve plat with waiver requests carries. 8 Yes 0 No
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Planner, Bill Florea gave staff report stating the property is located on the west side of Route N, approximately one mile south of Pierpont. The owner of Lot 1-A of Southern Elegance wants to purchase additional adjoining property. The purpose of this plat is to incorporate the additional land into Lot 1-A.
The lot has frontage on and access to Route N. The applicant has requested a waiver of the requirement to provide a traffic analysis.
Consolidated Public Water District Number 1 provides water service.
On site systems will be used for wastewater disposal. The applicant has requested a waiver of the requirement to provide a cost-benefit analysis.
The property scored 13 points on the rating system.
Staff recommends approval of the plat and waiver requests.
No one present to represent the plat.
Commissioner Heitkamp made and Commissioner Neese seconded a motion to approve with waiver requests Southern Elegance Plat 2-A. DCB Revocable Trust and PCB Revocable Trust, owners. James R. Jeffries, owner.
Pat Smith Y Mary Sloan Y
Mike Caruthers Y Carl Freiling Y David Mink Y Keith Neese Y
Mike Morgan Y Kristen Heitkamp Y
Motion to approve plat with waiver request carries
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Director, Stan Shawver stated that the County Commission approved all plats from the August, 2001 meeting.
Mr. Shawver stated that in the by laws, in September of each year, the Planning and Zoning Commission is required to review those by laws. At the work session last week there was a little discussion, although there was no quorum so no action was taken.
Mr. Shawver stated that Commissioner Heitkamp asked about why there is no January meeting.
Mr. Shawver stated that is specified in the by laws and Mr. Shawver had explained to Commissioner Heitkamp that with each of the Commissionerís representing one township, January calls for the Commissionerís to travel to the seat of the County government, it also requires members of the public to attend public hearings at that time of year. The foresight of the Commission predecessors was such that if you look historically, in the last five years, the third Thursday of January there has been bad weather; therefore, it is not a good idea to have a January meeting. If the weather is not bad, the Commissionerís try to have a work session. It also helps the staff recover from the rest of the year.
Mr. Shawver stated another thing that was pointed out, is that the election requirements state that the ballots are counted by the County Commissioner present. There used to be a County Commissioner as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission by statute. That changed a few years ago but never took it out of the by laws. Mr. Shawver handed out copies of the current and updated bylaws.
Mr. Shawver stated that the bylaws prohibit the Planning and Zoning Commission from voting on this tonight and adopting this change, it cannot be adopted until one meeting after it is introduced. Mr. Shawver asked the Commissionerís to look over the changes and if any of the Commissioners saw anything else, they could be discussed at the next work session. Next monthís work session will include the County Commissionerís next month.
Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.
Minutes approved on this 18th, day of October, 2001.