Last week, Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission flip-flopped on the request of a local church to build a 150-foot tower on its property and within 300 feet of several homes, reported the Hendersonville Standard.
Vogue Towers requested the conditional use permit that would accommodate two or more wireless providers, including Verizon, on land owned by Hendersonville Church of Nazarene. Pastor Duane Harris noted the area needs a tower due to weak or dead spots in coverage.
“As the demand for data continues to increase…there is an increased need for telecommunication transmission towers to keep up with demand,” Vogue Towers argued in its application.
The city’s zoning ordinance allows a cell tower in a residential area only if a conditional use permit is obtained to build on publicly owned land or land owned by a church. If the board grants a conditional use permit, the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission must then approve a site plan, reported the Standard.
Residents, who presented a petition to the board, oppose the tower due to proximity to homes, potential decreases in property values and possible health risks.
Vogue Towers representative Michael Sandifer told the board the company looked within a one-mile radius to find the location that best fit the city’s guidelines. “We found the piece of property that as closely as possible met the condition of the ordinance,” he said.
Board members requested information on other towers in the area, including one behind an elementary school, where the school system currently receives $18,067.97 a year for the lease, according to Sumner County Schools Spokesperson Jeremy Johnson.
“We haven’t had any health concerns,” said Johnson. “Nobody really notices it. But I do expect the board to evaluate its options once the lease expires [in 2021].”
Although the board voted in favor of the permit, with member Don Ames noting, “I’ll have to put safety over aesthetics,” the following evening, the Regional Planning Commission denied the site plan because it didn’t meet the city’s requirement for a tower to be placed 300 feet from homes.
Vogue Towers’ application was the city’s first since 2003, the year the tower ordinance went into effect. Now, the city is working with a consultant to devise a master lease agreement as well, reported the Standard.
April 19, 2019