Carrollton, GA City Council adopted a new small cell resolution on Monday after mulling over how similar ordinances are drafted to give local authorities maximum influence over placement and aesthetics.
City officials, including Mayor Betty Carson and Attorney Chuck Conerly, conducted work sessions throughout March to find a solution that would allow small cell towers in their city under certain conditions. Those conditions focus mainly on two things – making sure towers blend in with the surroundings and discouraging the installation of new poles in the city’s right-of-way.
The Times-Georgian reported Carrollton city officials reviewed ordinances from neighboring Cobb County and the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA). The Cobb County ordinance says the “city can require that new poles blend in with its surroundings to look like trees or other objects to conceal the tower.” The ordinance also allows city staff some discretion on the placement of small cell structures.
Cobb County’s ordinance was finalized last September in response to the Georgia Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act, signed into law in 2019.
Although city council was expected to adopt the GMA ordinance model last month, Conerly indicated that he and other city officials found that the Cobb County ordinance includes rules that are “more straightforward” than those recommended by the GMA.
“Frankly, I think it gives as much local control as you can expect to get under the statute,” Conerly said.
Under the new ordinance, the city has the authority to request movement of structures within 100’ of an applicant’s desired placement in residential areas. Carriers must also explore co-location before seeking approval for installing new poles in the right-of-way.
The Times-Georgian reported Mayor Betty Carson wants to “steer as far away as possible from adding more cell towers.” She added that she does not want people to think she’s not in favor of wireless communication.
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