BOONE COUNTY PLANNING & ZONING COMMISSION
BOONE COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER
801 E. WALNUT ST., COLUMBIA, MO.
7:30 P.M. Thursday, November 21, 1996
Chairperson Schnarre, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m., with a quorum present. Roll Call was taken by Secretary Kirkpatrick.
Present: Keith Schnarre, Chairman Bourbon Township
Keith Kirkpatrick, Secretary Missouri Township Darin Fugit Columbia Township
Ron Marley Cedar Township
Frank Abart Public Works Director
Joe Falco Perche Township
Mary Sloan Rocky Fork Township
Bill Grace Centralia Township
Also present: Stan Shawver, Director Don Abell, Staff
Thad Yonke, Staff Noel Boyt, Staff
Commissioner Kirkpatrick made and Commissioner Falco seconded a motion to approve the minutes of October 17, 1996, meeting with no corrections.
Motion passed by acclimation.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS
Juanita Inez Hickam on behalf of United States Cellular Corp. for a
Transmission Facility with 185’ tower on 3.97 acres located at
5250 S Scott’s Blvd., Columbia.
Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this property is located on Scott’s Blvd., approximately 1 1/2 miles southwest of the Columbia City Limits. This site is 11.15 miles from Columbia Regional Airport (9.69 nautical miles). The property is zoned A-1 (Agriculture) as is all of the property to the east, south and west. Property directly to the north is zoned A-2. The site is currently vacant and has most recently been used for agricultural land uses. This request is for a conditional use permit for a transmission facility which will include a tower 185 feet tall. Top mounted antennas and a lighting rod will achieve a total height of 199 feet. The tower is self supporting. The facility will include a 12’ x 20’ unmanned equipment building. The 3.97 acres included in the request will provide enough space to contain the tower on-site should it fail for any reason. There have been no previous requests submitted on behalf of this property. However, in 1993, the Commission approved the installation of a portable transmission facility roughly across from this property at 5275 S Scott’s Blvd. That facility includes a tower measuring 84 feet in height. Electric service is the only utility that will be required for this use. Electrical service can be provided without a decrease in the level of service to existing customers. The 1996 Master Plan designates this area as being suitable for residential land uses. Staff notified 18 property owners concerning this request.
Ken Jacob, 1101 East Walnut, Suite 201, attorney for United States Cellular addressed the commissioners. He introduced Todd Walden, Network Operations Manager -Missouri Midwest Region; Joe Thompson, General Manager; Steve Csizmadia, RF Engineer from Cedar Rapids; Tim Brown, Network Engineer from Columbia; and Scott Van Roekel, Project Manager, out of Iowa and Joe Thompson from Columbia.
Mr. Jacob stated that they had submitted the application which was lengthy and wanted it part of the record. During the presentation they wanted to cover the economic necessity for the project, the safety, the impact on the area and the public necessity. United States Cellular has been a business in the area since 1988 and has over 6,000 subscribers.
Todd Walden, Network Operations Manager for United States Cellular, 2909 Falling Leaf Lane, 65201 addressed the Commissioners. He stated that United States Cellular has experienced a lot of rapid growth in Boone County in the last few years. As the customer base grows, so does the customer needs. Four (4) years ago when United States Cellular was before Planning and Zoning Commission, they stated that the subscribers were already converting from mobile phone use to a portable hand set use. The difference being that mobiles generally get 2 to 3 times the range of the portable phone around each tower. Currently they are selling over 80% of their packages with a portable phone.
They are also in the process of converting the cellular system over to portable needs.
Mr. Walden went over the exhibits (site comparisons of Boone County) regarding portable service and distributed them to the Commissioners to review.
The first comparison was of the Existing Signal Area in Boone County, Exhibit A.
It is a computer generated theoretical map showing the green areas shading indicates the portable coverage in Boone County.
The next diagram was that of the actual coverage map, Drive Test Data, Exhibit F. It showed about half of the county is covered with reliable service. This is done with an actual hand set as it is driven around having a satellite in the receiver that tracks the location and signal strength. The blue and green shading indicates where there is portable coverage and the yellow and red indicates where there is no coverage. The weakest points are in the northwest, northeast and middle west portion of the county.
The portion they want to concentrate on is the middle west or the southwest portion of Columbia because it is most densely populated. The growth in this area has been rapid. To support the claims of the poor service it is the area of the most customer complaints in Boone County. People complain of a lot of static, dropped calls and no service in that area on portable phones. The drop call statistics from their switching office support this as well. Over 50% of all calls in Boone County are made on portable phones. Forty percent (40%) of all of the drop hand off come from the Columbia tower and their Ashland
The economic reasons that factor into this are the customer disconnects in January and February of 1996;47 due to coverage issues in Boone County. US Cellular has lost about $20,000. in revenue just for those two months alone. They decided the most sensible area to have reliable portable coverage and decrease their customer disconnects is in the southwest part of Columbia.
Another reason for US Cellular to want reliable coverage is due to competition. Not only does Ameritech have a tower site located there, but PCS is a new cellular technology that has just been granted licenses throughout the United States. It is a cellular technology and Sprint PCS is already looking at Columbia. From what he had heard they are wanting to build nine (9) cell sites in the Boone County area in the near future. He did not know if they would be roof tops or collocations. Their technology is designed around portable coverage use. In order to keep the current customers and continue to grow, they need to stay competitive with the portable service.
They choose this location because it did meet all of their current and future challenges. It is approximately one (1) mile on Scott’s Blvd., right off of Nifong. It is located on fairly high ground which they need for coverage. Cellular signal is best when higher because it works on a line of sight theory. This area has enough ground area to cover the fall down radius if the tower should fail.
The tower would be 185’ ft. The antenna and lighting rod will make it approximately 199’ ft. The 12’ x 20’ building will set at the base of the tower. The tower is designed to hold many other antennas other than their own. In the application they noted their intent to let access be granted for other communication carriers to collocate on their tower. The tower would be under 200’ ft. so it will not have to be lit. A chain link fence would be built around the compound of 90’ x 90’ square and 8’ ft. tall. There is ample room for other facilities to have their facility underneath the tower. Trees will be placed in front of the fence towards the road. They investigated the possibilities of collocating on existing towers in Boone County other than the Ameritech tower across the road, there were not any close towers. In contacting Ameritech to place antennas on their tower, they responded that their structure was not designed to hold any more antennas. Their tower vender said that the tower was not designed to be upgraded to support any additional loading. The three other towers are KOMU, KFMZ and Interphone.
Mr. Walden showed more diagrams of the coverage of the different towers. KOMU Site diagram, Exhibit E; Interphone Site diagram, Exhibit C which was located down in the Ashland area; KFMZ Site diagram, Exhibit D which was another Ashland area tower. All three of these towers they theoretically designed the best possible circumstances to demonstrate that even with the most favorable conditions they would not be able to cover the area they need to.
They feel the tower location near Scott’s Blvd. is most desirable for Boone County residents, businesses and emergency services in the county. As the county grows and the area southwest of Columbia grows, they feel they must accommodate their needs and all of the cellular users.
Ken Jacob redressed the Commissioners. He showed photos of the proposed tower area. He noted that it was an undeveloped area. The stakes in the pictures would be the location of the tower. He showed pictures of the water tower close to the Ameritech Tower.
Scott Van Roekel, Project Manager, 4550 Brady, Davenport, Iowa, addressed the Commissioners. He said his basic responsibilities are siting, tower sites, construction of tower sites and putting them into service. He had been with the company for eight (8) years and had seen a lot of changes in the cellular industry and the cellular business itself. He stated Todd Walden did an excellent presentation and he did not want to reiterate any of his points. He did want to say they had been working on this site for a very long time just to be able to present it to the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Ken Jacob made reference to the application. Director Shawver stated that staff had reviewed the application and compared it with the application requirements and zoning regulations. He stated that it was a very complete, comprehensive application and addressed each point as required by the regulations.
Steve Cizmadia, Radio Frequency Engineer, 5975 Rockwell Dr., Cedar Rapids, Iowa addressed the Commissioners. He stated he had been an RF Engineer for 12 years. He asked for the Commissioners to look at the summary plot with the site comparisons which show the adjacent tower and KOMU, KFMZ and Interphone towers. He stated that the problem with locating on those towers was the distance involved and the lack of coverage that they would provide. They were just too far away. Interphone Tower was approximately 11.5 miles from the proposed Scott’s Blvd. location. One of the basic premises behind cellular radio/telephone is frequency reuse. They need to locate the towers where the traffic is, where the users are, because of the low powers involved. Most of the users today are using the portable phones which count as much as 80% being used in buildings, elevators, cars; people use them wherever they possibly can.
The situation with the signal coverage is not such that they can put an antenna further away and crank up the power to make up the difference in coverage. Because of the limitations involved with the FCC rules, the maximum power they could radiate are on the diagrams he had shown the Commission. They are designed with the maximum obtainable power they could actually radiate. Even with those maximum powers at the top of 400’ - 500’ towers, the signal does not reach the target area. The two issues they face are capacity, how many calls, how many people can talk at the same time, and portable coverage, can it be used in the building, can it be used in the basement of your house or in your car.
Open to public hearing. No one spoke in favor or opposition to the request.
Commissioner Kirkpatrick asked if anyone knew the distance from the tower to the overhead electrical lines across the corner of the property? Todd Walden stated he thought the electrical wires were, "right by the road". Director Shawver spoke up and said approximately 185’ ft. Mr. Walden agreed, yes from the tower. Commissioner Kirkpatrick said that the site map did not state the distance. He continued that he understood that if the tower were to fall, it would be contained on the property, but if that were to happen could it be a problem for the electrical wires?
Mr. Walden said he did not know the distance. He stated it looked like it would be on the very edge of the tower if the tower were to fall face flat towards the lines. The closest area for a tower fall down would be directly towards the road on the drawing. If that radius was used as a circle around that corner it would be on the edge. He continued that the towers were designed so that the weakest part of the tower were the legs of the tower. They are designed to crumple first so that the tower actually falls like an accordion instead of outward. They generally get the additional land just in case that did not happen.
Commissioner Kirkpatrick asked if he could describe the electrical line, usage. Mr. Jacob stated it was a telephone line. Commissioner Kirkpatrick asked if this was a high capacity transmission line or a line to someone’s home?
Chairman Schnarre asked Director Shawver if it was owned by Boone Electric? He stated yes, it was a local service line. Commissioner Kirkpatrick stated it would be one thing to risk a minor electrical line even to one home would be a risk, quite another to risk a high capacity service line.
Mr. Jacob stated they would provide more information if that was not satisfactory.
Chairman Schnarre asked if they knew how many towers they would need in Boone County? Mr. Walden stated they did not know. Mr. Van Roekel spoke up and said it was based on a complex formula. There were two operating companies within United States Cellular Corporation, one is the operations or marketing side. This is the people that actually sell the phones and service the customers. The second operation being the engineering side which Todd Walden works for; they maintain the switches and hardware. They were working on the 1997 budget now. He could say through 1997 this is what United States Cellular plans to do. October of 1997, he could say what 1998 would bring. Right now there were no further budgeted sites for the Boone County area for 1997. He stated he could not give a five year plan or a 10 year plan.
Chairman Schnarre asked if they were going to have full coverage, how many towers were they going to have to have? Mr. Van Roekel stated it would have to be a developing thing. There was no doubt there would be more sites brought in front of this Board whether it would be them, Ameritech, Sprint Spectrum or Western Wireless. He stated there were approximately one in ten wireless uses in the United States right now. By the year 2000 (within 3 years) they are predicting one in four people will be wireless users. To support the demand from the public the government has allocated more frequencies for this type of service, allocated more competition because America was built on competition.
Mr. Van Roekel continued that as far as their company through 1997 this is the only site they are working on.
Mr. Walden spoke up and said they have talked about getting another site that is not budgeted near Centralia. They did not have good service in that area (referring to the diagrams) working with AB Chance to locate on one of their tall buildings. In all instances they do not need a tower, they just need a location to put their antennas on.
Mr. Joe Thompson, General Manager for Missouri, United States Cellular spoke up and stated that living in the southwest part of Columbia, he personally has experienced lousy service. They are basically trying to fulfill the needs of their customers. They did not have the signal strength to serve all of their customers.
Commissioner Abart asked if they had signal strength for the phones permanently attached to the vehicles. Mr. Thompson agreed, if he was in his car he had a full 3 watts of power which is 5 times the power of a hand held phone. Commissioner Abart asked for the figures again. Mr. Thompson said 50 % of the total calls placed are from portable phones. Current sales are 80% - 85% portable units though.
Chairman Schnarre stated that the tower regulations are a complete set of regulations; before the process gets to the Planning and Zoning Commission it has been well reviewed. He said the Federal Communications Commission sent new rulings down on towers in the last six (6) months.
Director Shawver stated that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed and it limited local ability to regulate towers. It did not take away their authority to regulate them through the zoning activities. It took away ability to discriminate between providers. They can not reject an application based on electromagnetic radiation emission. The standards have been changed, actually stricter than our regulations require, however that can not be used as basis to turn down an application.
Director Shawver stated that this application has done the service studies required by the regulations. The calculations are complete and the engineering statement indicates the electromagnetic emissions for this tower are in compliance with the "new" federal regulations and actually are well below the federal threshold which makes it a minor percentage of what our regulations would actually allow.
Commissioner Abart wanted to note that at the work session last week the application was looked at and reviewed.
Chairperson Kirkpatrick made and Commissioner Abart seconded a motion to recommend approval of the application by Juanita Inez Hickam on behalf of United States Cellular Corp. for a Transmission Facility with 185’ tower on 3.97 acres located at 5250 S Scott’s Blvd., Columbia with the following condition:
- Prior to the County Commission hearing on December 3, 1996,
the applicant research and prove that the tower will be
of no threat to the overhead electrical lines shown on the site plan.
Voting as follows:
Keith Kirkpatrick yes Frank Abart yes
Joe Falco abstain Darin Fugit yes
Bill Grace yes Ron Marley yes
Keith Schnarre yes Mary Sloan abstain
Motion was approved 6 yes 2 abstentions
Lorene Jacobs on behalf of Robert E. Graves to rezone from A-1
(Agriculture) to A-2 (Agriculture) of 11 acres, more or less,
located at 1400 E State Highway CC, Sturgeon.
Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this property is located on State Highway CC approximately 1 mile west of Sturgeon and 1/2 mile east of Highway 63. The site is an 11 acre parcel of a larger 21.75 acre tract of land. This property is zoned A-1, as is all of the land to the north east and south. Land to the west is zoned A-2. The site is vacant and has been used for agricultural purposes. There is a home on the 10.75 acre tract that will remain zoned A-1. This site is within the Boone County R - V School District. Water service is provided by Public Water District No. 10. If approved, the 11 acres included in this request will be divided into three lots. There have been no previous requests submitted on behalf of this site. The 1996 Master Plan designates this area as being suitable for agricultural and rural residential land uses. Staff notified 5 property owners concerning this request.
Mr. Robert E. Graves, 5705 Mexico Gravel Rd, Columbia, potential owner, addressed the Commissioners. Mr. Graves stated he wanted to purchase the land and have it rezoned. It was a nice area and wanted to build some homes on the property.
Chairman Schnarre asked if Mr. Graves would be moving into one of the homes. Mr. Graves said at this time he could not answer. He lives in town now, but since he had a farm in that area he could move out there. Most likely he would build on it, but not to live on the land.
Chairman Schnarre asked if he wanted to subdivide the property into three lots. Mr. Graves said that is what he is asking for. He really would like it into two lots, but by rezoning, three were allowed.
Open to public hearing. No one spoke in favor of the request.
Mr. Arlin Bloemker, 1210 E Trails End Rd., Sturgeon addressed the Commissioners. He stated he adjoined this piece of ground to the south. He has a hog operation (nearly 100 sows) and hogs do smell like hogs. He stated that the neighbors on both sides of this land smell his operation. Not real offensive, but depending on weather conditions....
He had been there for 31 years raising hogs and his concerned if it was zoned into A-2 they would not know who they would be getting as neighbors. Could be fine or could be a problem. His recommendation to the Board was that it was left as A-1.
Mrs. George Blakemore, 205 Stone Street, Sturgeon addressed the Commissioners. She had a question. The owned property to the east but live in town at present. She asked what business could be put on A-2 and could not be put on A-1. Chairman Schnarre stated that A-1 and A-2 are about the same other than the size. Director Shawver agreed and said the difference was the minimum lot size. A-1 minimum lot size of 10 acres, A-2 minimum lot size of 2.5 acres. Permitted uses are the same for A-1 and A-2. As far as businesses, he read from the Zoning Ordinances. SECTION 5. District Use Regulations., A-1 Agriculture Dist., Permitted Uses and Conditional Uses. Chairman Schnarre stated that all Conditional Uses had to come back to Planning and Zoning for approval.
Mrs. Blakemore said they had a nice little community there and wanted to keep it that way. She agreed with Arlin Bloemker, his hogs did smell but he keeps it well groomed. She want the owners to know what they were getting into.
Mr. Graves came before the Commissioners. He stated the only thing that would be built on the lots would be nice homes.
Closed to public hearing.
Commissioner Kirkpatrick asked what was the property being used for at present. Mr. Graves stated open land, just hay. Commissioner Kirkpatrick asked if anyone knew what was the size of the piece of property across the road. Mr. Graves stated he was waiting to have it rezoned before actually having it surveyed. Director Shawver stated it was about one (1) acre. Commissioner Abart asked if the one acre was buildable? Mr. Graves stated it was not buildable. He did not know what it could be used for other than turning it over to Boone County Highway Dept.
Commissioner Falco asked if the intent was for three (3) tracts and build homes? Mr. Graves said that was the intent. Commissioner Falco asked what was the price range of the homes? Mr. Graves stated they would be approximately 1600 to 1800 sq. ft. homes. He would not be building in the near future.
Commissioner Abart asked why if Mr. Graves only initially wanted two lots was the application to rezone for three lots? Mr. Graves found out in the application to rezone he found out there was enough property to make three tracts. Commissioner Abart asked Director Shawver if it could be rezoned with a stipulation that only "x" amount of lots be developed. Director Shawver said they could not restrict a rezoning request to two lots. If the rezoning is granted he is permitted to subdivide as small as the zoning will permit.
Chairman Schnarre stated that master plan sets aside agriculture land, it appears that the flat prairie from Highway 63 all the way over to Centralia in the northern quarter of Boone County is a farming area. It behooves them to keep farming activities in the farming areas and the housing activity in other areas zoned for residential use. He thought this was definitely an agriculture area, and that a goal of zoning is top preserve agricultural areas.
Commissioner Grace asked if one house could still be built on the property without any rezoning? Chairman Schnarre agreed. A-1 minimum lot size is 10 acres and the proposed rezoning was for 11 acres.
Commissioner Kirkpatrick wanted to make a comment that looking at the zoning districts that surround the subject tract, he did not think anyone would call it a spot zoning. He is not opposed to it on that basis at all. However, it does seem that Hwy. CC provides a natural dividing line if you can call a highway a natural line. Since Chairman Schnarre had commented on the agriculture nature of that particular area, he personally felt maintaining that dividing line as it stands. He could not see any compelling reason to grant this request.
Chairperson Kirkpatrick made and Commissioner Fugit seconded a motion to DENY the request of Lorene Jacobs on behalf of Robert E. Graves to rezone from A-1 (Agriculture) to A-2 (Agriculture) of 11 acres, more or less, located at 1400 E State Highway CC, Sturgeon.
Voting as follows:
Keith Kirkpatrick yes Darin Fugit yes
Bill Grace yes Ron Marley yes
Keith Schnarre yes Joe Falco yes
Mary Sloan yes Frank Abart no
Motion to DENY was approved. 7 yes 1 no
Paradise Hills Estates, Block 4. S33-T48N-R13W. A-2.
Russell and Laura Devenney, owners. Timothy D. Capehart, surveyor.
Don Abell gave the staff report stating that this is a 10 lot subdivision located approximately 7/10 mile southwest of the City of Columbia on the west side of State Highway KK. The area being subdivided contains 27.9 acres and lots are in the 2.5 to 4.0 acre range. This property is zoned A-2, which is the original 1973 zoning. The original Preliminary Plat was approved in 1988, and a revised Preliminary Plat was approved in December of 1994. This is the final phase of development for Paradise Hills Estates.
Sewage treatment will be provided by the City of Columbia.
Applewood Creek Road is a gravel surfaced county maintained road.
Consolidated Water District #1 has an existing 8" transmission line running along the north side of Applewood Creek Road. The District has guaranteed more than adequate water flow to meet the requirements for fire hydrants. However, fire hydrants will have to be installed at the developers expense prior to County Commission approval. .
This area is within the Urban Service Area of Columbia and has 79 points on the point rating scale.
Staff recommends approval.
Timothy D. Capehart was present to address the Commissioners. Comments from the Commissioners was that there were a lot of stem lots. Mr. Capehart stated that the redesign of Applecreek Road created some banks on the north side that made it hard to deal with. In order to access those lots a little easier, the stem lots were developed at Mr. Devenney’s request.
Mr. Devenney spoke from the audience regarding the driveways. He stated he wanted to have good access to put the stems in. Some of the lots were combined for a common driveway.
Commissioner Falco made and Commissioner Abart seconded motion to approve Paradise Hills Estates, Block 4. S33-T48N-R13W. A-2. Russell and Laura Devenney, owners. Timothy D. Capehart, surveyor
Voting as follows:
Joe Falco yes Frank Abart yes
Mary Sloan yes Keith Kirkpatrick yes
Darin Fugit yes Bill Grace yes
Ron Marley yes Keith Schnarre yes
Motion to approve was unanimous. 8 yes
Finley Bridge Plat 5, S28-T51N-R12W. A-2.
Larry and Debra Bolles, owners. Donald E. Bormann, surveyor.
Thad Yonke gave staff report stating that this two lot plat is located on the south side of Gordon Rd. The site is approximately 1/2 mile east of the intersection of Gordon Rd. and State Route V. The site is approximately 3 miles south and slightly east of the city of Sturgeon. The area being subdivided contains 10.09 acres. This property is zoned A-2 (agricultural), which is the original 1973 zoning. Water service is provided by Public Water District # 10. There is currently a 4 inch water line running along the north side of Gordon Rd which will serve these lots. The water district does indicate that there should be sufficient water for these two lots (as per phone conversation 11/18/96). Sewage treatment will be on site, the appropriate area is designated on separate document in the file. The owner has requested a waiver of the requirement for traffic analysis and cost benefit analysis for sewage treatment. Staff concurs with this request and recommends that the waivers be granted. This plat has 26 points on the point rating scale.
Staff recommends approval along with granting the waivers for cost benefit analysis for sewage treatment and traffic analysis.
Donald E. Bormann, surveyor addressed the Commissioners. He stated that the Water District was currently putting in another water line in on Gordon Road with another 8" water line.
Commissioner Abart made and Commissioner Sloan second motion to approve Finley Bridge Plat 5, S28-T51N-R12W. A-2. with waiver of the requirement for traffic and cost benefit analysis for sewage treatment.
Voting as follows:
Frank Abart yes Mary Sloan yes
Keith Schnarre yes Ron Marley yes
Bill Grace yes Darin Fugit yes
Keith Kirkpatrick yes Joe Falco yes
Motion was approved unanimously. 8 yes
October, Rezoning Request by Jeffrey E. Smith Investment Co. to rezone from R-S to C-GP of 5.99 acres, 6501 N. Rte B, Columbia was recommended for approval and they upheld the request.
Director Shawver gave copies of the 1996 Boone County Master Plan to the Commissioners.
Being no further business the meeting was adjourned.
Minutes approved on this 19 th, day of December, 1996.