Despite neighborly opposition, Cobb County, GA.’s five-member Planning Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend approval of a proposed tower to be constructed on the grounds of Wildwood Baptist Church in Acworth, GA. That’s about 11 miles north of Marietta. Yesterday, MariettaDailyJournalOnline.com reported “the final decision to approve the special land use permit could come at the February 6, Board of Commissioners zoning meeting.”
Municipal Communications has made several changes to its initial proposal in an effort to make it a less visually intrusive addition to the landscape. Initially seeking to construct a 190-foot tower, the company reduced the height to 165 feet, and is planning to construct the tower with a “monopine” design. The 3,600-square-foot portion of church property is the site selected after rejecting several commercial sites.
“Are you going to see this tower? Yes, it’s a cell tower. The goal, however, is to mitigate the visual impact to the greatest extent possible,” Municipal Communications attorney Ellen Smith said Tuesday. “You will still see it, but in this instance, the provision of wireless service has to be balanced with the visual impact, and in this case, we’ve done what we can to ameliorate the impact.”
Planning Commissioner Christi Trombetti offered, “Nobody really wants to have a cell tower near their home or think of being able to see a tower that’s not already there today. (But) the context of this application is not unusual — we’ve seen many others where towers are proposed on church property, even on residential property.” Trombetti, who represents District 3, where the church property is located, said she did not believe property values would plummet if this cell tower were constructed, as it would be a significant distance away from residences. Its distance away from the nearest structure, she added, was in line with other cell towers constructed in the county.