Public Safety Tower Fight Continues in Florida

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UPDATE A controversial $1 million, 185-foot 911 communications tower project, which was put on hold in May 2018, is once again stirring up controversy, reported the Bradenton Herald. The tower being built by Motorola is intended to address a communication “dead zone” hampering first responders in the University Parkway corridor. But resident complaints regarding the proximity to Kinnan Elementary have kept the tower project from moving forward.

Now, in order to ensure another tower project like this never happens again, Commissioners are proposing recommendations that aren’t legal, according to county attorneys. The Herald reported in August, Commissioner Carol Whitmore made a motion to handle all communication towers as if they were cell towers so they could come before the board for a public hearing. Due to federal guidelines concerning tower approval, this will not hold up in court, per assistant county attorney Bill Clague.  

Commissioner Misty Servia argued residents should have a say before the county makes a decision. Additionally, Commissioner Betsy Benac’s concern was that public safety towers don’t have to meet the standards of other cell towers.

Since the public safety tower issue continues to frustrate county commissioners, Clague suggested the problem was project management, not a question of the county’s land use code. The county attorney’s office will provide a legal clarification of the motions made calling for a change to how towers are handled in the future, the Herald reported.  Comments? Email Us.

December 14, 2018

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