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Port Orange Observer Wednesday, Sep. 5, 2018 2 years ago

Port Orange ordinance puts a hold on cell tower developments

City staff has three months to evaluate city regulations and what they can do for the proposed AT&T cell tower.
by: Lurvin Fernandez Staff Writer

A proposed AT&T cell tower is on hold until Port Orange city staff evaluates the city's regulations on personal wireless communications on private property. 

City Council introduced a three-month moratorium that will put a hold on applications for site plans, subdivisions, conditional uses, special exception uses and change of use for communication towers, alternative support structures, antennas and other communication facilities within the city, according to the ordinance. It also will hold development orders, building permits, zoning verification letters, special exceptions, conditional use and change of use zoning approvals.

The moratorium results from a proposed 130-foot AT&T cell tower that drew opposition in July from dozens of Port Orange residents, who said the unnecessary tower will lower home values and pose a threat to surrounding homes and schools. 

When residents urged City Council to vote against the cell tower, city attorneys said the tower is a permitted use in the zoning category of the land, which is owned by Port Orange United Church of Christ, and did not require formal action from the council.

During the moratorium, the community development department will work with city attorneys to develop and implement regulations that are legally enforceable. City staff also will make changes, if needed, to ensure residents' health, safety and general welfare are protected. 

Evaluating the code, which has not been updated since 1997, is part of an on-going maintenance effort. Tim Burman, community development director, said three months is enough time to evaluate it and make changes.

The moratorium will end within the three months of when it is adopted, and it can be extended for additional 30-day periods, as needed. 


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