MoCo Kicks Small Cells Vote Down The Road

UPDATE The Montgomery County, MD County Council scrapped a vote Tuesday to change its zoning laws to allow small cells closer to homes, reported WTOP(AM/FM). The zoning change, the subject of intense lobbying, would have updated the county’s cell tower siting rules from macro towers, to accommodate small cells. Montgomery now requires small cells to be at least 300 feet from homes, according to The Washington Post. A recent amendment was added that called for a setback of 60 feet rather than the original 30, and a hearing for new replacement towers.

Council President Hans Riemer said in a statement, the bill would have allowed for “robust” wireless service while allowing the county to regulate how cell towers and antennas would be placed. However, other council members disagreed. In an email to constituents, council member George Leventhal wrote that the amendment, “is quite controversial and does not have the support of a majority of council members.”

The decision to take the bill off the agenda means the current council cannot take up the issue. It will have to wait until after the November 6 elections because four of the nine council members are running for re-election. State law prevents lame-duck councils from adopting zoning measures that would take effect when members are no longer in office, reports WTOP. Riemer said the council will reconsider the legislation after new members are seated following the election, according to The Washington Post.  Comments? Email us

November 1, 2018

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