Hogtied in Hillsboro Over Local Control

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Some residents of Marion County, KY are not pleased at the onslaught of small cells and macro cell towers coming to their town and continue to push back at what they see as a losing battle. The fight over what and where wireless infrastructure is allowed has been an issue for several years now, reports the Hillsboro Free Press, but the avenues of redress have been narrowing.  

“So while I understand this is a hot topic and a lot of people are concerned, the legislature has really tied the hands of local authorities on what it can base its decisions on,” said Susan Robson, Marion city attorney.  

Complaints about threatened business opportunities or perceived health hazards fall within a long list of restricted items that cannot be recognized as reasons to block Verizon from building a cell tower.

State of Kentucky statutes contain a full description of the limitations, but as a brief overview, city councils cannot:

– require the telecom to justify a specific need for wireless support structure

– weigh in on the type of equipment that a telecom needs to address a coverage gap

– require an applicant to use specific services or vendors

– reject an application based on perceived environmental concerns

– grant an approval for less than ten years

The complete list is far more extensive and makes it far more difficult for detractors to halt the progress of telecom providers. Although Verizon has an agreement with a private resident to build it’s cell tower at 505 S. Commercial Street, the public hearing originally slated for February has been rescheduled. The meeting is now planned for April 30, 2019.  

April 26, 2019

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