In a recent win for Vertical Bridge Development LLC and Verizon Wireless, the Carteret County Zoning Board of Adjustment (BOA) granted a variance to permit a new communications tower to exceed the maximum height allowed by the county’s Tall Structures Ordinance. The Carteret County News-Times reported that the BOA meets on an “as needed” basis, and at its first meeting in over a year, members found that the tower won’t pose a health or safety hazard to the nearby area.
Vertical Bridge seeks to install a 310-foot tall communications tower, extending 111 feet past the maximum height allowance of 199-feet as determined by the Tall Structures Ordinance. Although two towers exist within one mile of the proposed site, both applicants state that neither of the existing structures is a “feasible co-location option.” The proposed tower will see Verizon as its first tenant with intent to rent space to other carriers and “further expand telecommunications access in the area,” according to Vertical Bridge.
Doug Barker, with Vertical Bridge, explained the necessary tower height. “The 200-foot height limit, it’s great in areas where there’s a dense population, it just doesn’t provide the coverage to areas where the population is more sparse,” Barker noted, according to the Carteret County News-Times. “It just becomes not cost-effective to build that many towers to cover that much ground, so that’s really the need for the height.”
Officials with the nearby Marine Corps Air Station also reviewed the tower application, stating it would not interfere with the base’s operations, reported the News-Times. Additionally, the tower will be subject to certain Federal Aviation Administration requirements, including that it be marked and lighted.
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