Catoosa County commissioners unanimously shot down a proposal Tuesday night, Dec. 19, for a new cell tower to go up just off Dietz Road.
The denial was of a special-use permit applied for by Gulfshore Towers (GST) Capital Partners, LLC, which was needed to erect a new T-Mobile cell tower in a neighborhood on Daily Hill Road.
County Zoning Director James Davis says the county's Planning and Zoning board voted down the request in November due to the proposed tower being taller than the county's ordinance allows, plus its proximity to residential homes.
Davis says the GST's initial proposal in September was for a 250-foot-tall tower, and that the company whittled its plan down to a 160-foot tower in a new plan that was unanimously voted down by Planning and Zoning on Nov. 28.
Doria Durham, an agent acting on behalf of GST, addressed the Board of Commissioners claiming that the company would paint the tower to look like a tree in order for it to blend with numerous other trees in the area. She also spoke about what the tower would mean for technology growth in the area.
"New technology is coming your way," Durham said. "Over the next couple of years, more services will be available. It's very important that the infrastructure is there to support it."
Aside from the height and size of the tower, commissioners also had to consider that the proposal would place the tower within 1,000 feet of some homes, a violation of the county's codes for cell phone towers.
Before the vote, three residents of that neighborhood raised their hands in opposition of the proposal but did not speak to the commission at the podium.
Commissioner Jim Cutler said his issue was more so with the impact the tower would have on those residents.
"I just can't see putting a cell tower there in that neighborhood that close to all those houses," Cutler said.