Apache County Zoning Board Pow Wows With Verizon

Vital Statistics: Verizon will pay a monthly lease rate of $1,000 to the Fire Department

Last Friday’s meeting in front of the Apache County Planning & Zoning Commission was supposed to focus on Verizon’s conditional use permit application for a 150’ tower near St. Johns, Arizona. But commissioners raised questions regarding tower projects that are still under development that had received conditional use permit approval in late 2015, reports the White Mountain Independent.

“A lot of what we do here is done on good faith,” Apache County Commissioner John Freeman said during last week’s public hearing, noting that conditional use permits have a “shelf life of two years.”  

In late 2015—August & November, respectively—the commission approved two Verizon sites in the county that have yet to be constructed. One of those towers will be located on property owned by the Greer Fire Department and Verizon will pay a monthly lease rate of $1,000, according to the Greer Fire Chief.

Construction on that site is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2017, which is later than the commission would like construction to begin, citing concerns that residents and visitors in the community will not have access to emergency services without the tower.

Reg Destree, a contractor representing Verizon during the meeting, said that he expects construction to begin this quarter. The St. Johns site, which is the newest site Verizon is seeking a conditional use permit for, should be built later this year, Destree said, assuming the carrier’s application is approved.

The conversation regarding the progress of the two 2015 sites was halted, as the Community Development Director Devin Brown noted that discussion of those sites were not on that meeting’s agenda. No decision was reached regarding the conditional use permit application for the St. Johns Tower. 

February 10, 2017

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