Louisiana’s Ascension Parish is re-evaluating local ordinances with respect to small cells and improving wireless coverage. As the 5G rollout continues and more small cell units are appearing to support the service, local communities are keen to weigh in on how the telecommunication changes will impact their neighborhoods. Re-examining the rules, reports GovTech.com, would give the parish, and the homeowners who live there, some voice in the placement and appearance of new cell tower equipment.
“It’s gonna change over time, based on population growth, concentration of users, and that’s a variable that none of us can fully predict, and that’s why we constantly look at how to evolve our network,” said Stephanie Doiron, the state director for AT&T.
Doiron and council members have been working to come to an agreement on new cell towers prior to their construction. A standard 30-foot tower with equipment located above an attached streetlight was favored by some. Others pointed out that being able to vary a tower’s height between 20 and 40 feet would provide a better opportunity to match the new structures with the existing aesthetics in a given area. The 31 page ordinance is still undergoing edits but Ricky Compton, director of planning and facilities, said he expects to have a final version ready by next month.
So far, the parties have agreed that new towers placed in Ascension Parish’s right-of-way would generate a fee of $1,000 for each new pole. Modifying an existing pole would be subject to a $500 fee. A new tower placed within 300 feet of a residence or neighborhood would also require that advance notice be provided before a structure is erected. The advance notice may provide a concerned party time to address issues while the shot clock is still ticking so that there is an opportunity to consider adjustments.
The acknowledgement that 5G travels short distances and will require more poles makes it difficult to predict how many towers may eventually be needed. Ascension Parish council members like Joel Robert, noted that it was important to allow room for the public to have some say in the development of their relationship with small cell towers.
The post Ascension Parish Rises to the Challenge of New Towers appeared first on Inside Towers.