“Not In My Front Yard” is the New Battle Cry

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Tower Trends, sponsored by TCI Business Capital

That strip of ground between your sidewalk and the street is becoming hotly contested real estate in towns across the country as small cell builders try to find room to grow.  The fabled and sacred ‘backyard’ is no longer the only option for site developers.

Earlier this week, Inside Towers shared “NIMFY” (sic) resistance to a proposal by Crown Castle in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Crown requested permission to install nine small cell towers, each one 30-feet tall. A decision will be made regarding that request will be made next week.  A new debate over the same turf has prompted a Pennsylvania community to impose standards to head off the inevitable debate.

The town of Meadville, facing pushback over new small cell installations, has drafted regulations to curb their construction.  The town’s City Council met on September 7, to hear public comments concerning the city’s new zoning ordinance aimed at governing placement of future cell towers. The regulations target monopole towers intended for small cells, typically raised in the public right of way. 

According to city attorney Gary Alizzeo, small cells in other regions are multiplying, and Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission has granted tower companies access to right of ways. Meadville Tribune reported Alizzeo told the City Council at a recent meeting, “It’s important for municipalities like the city to regulate that use, design criteria for it and to have them go through a set procedure, so that’s what this ordinance does.”

Among the proposed restrictions, tower applicants must demonstrate a need for towers, provide engineering studies, and make the towers aesthetically pleasing. In addition, towers must not exceed the height of nearby utilities, unless they are located on private property.

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