June 24, 2014 Minutes | www.charlescountymd.gov

www.charlescountymd.gov

Charles County, Maryland

June 24, 2014 Minutes

Minutes
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 

The Board of Appeals held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland. 
  
The following were present:

Luke Hannah, Chairman
Brendan Moon, Vice Chairman
Frederick Mower
Lynn Green
Sean Johnston, Alternate
Matthew Clagett, Associate County Attorney
Joseph Adams-Raczkowski, Program Manager, Planning
Kirby Blass, Planning    
Carrol Everett, Clerk

  • The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and stated there was a quorum. 
  • Shannon Houston-Smack was absent. 
  • The Chairman announced the process by which all Board of Appeals hearings are to be conducted.
  • The Chairman announced that anyone wishing to make a statement pertinent to the operations of the Board can do so at this time, excluding the items on tonight’s agenda.

7:04 PM, Public Hearing:

Docket #1317 - InSite Towers, LLC, for a Special Exception for a telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall, as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance. 

Mr. Clagett stated there was sufficient compliance with the notification requirements.

Mr. Blass, County Staff, gave a brief summary of the request, using a location, aerial and zoning map for reference as follows:

  • Proposed:  A new 195’ monopole cell tower and 4’ lightning rod (199’ total height) within a 50’ x 50’ 8’ high chain-link fenced compound.
  • Location:  12283 Three House Place, Hughesville, Maryland 
  • The site, known as “Dentsville”, is designated as Tax Map 45, Grid 5, Parcel 45 in the 8th Election District.
  • Property size:  10.02 +/- acres
  • Zone:  Agricultural Conservation (AC)
  • Parcel owned by Mr. Robert L. Fowler  and  lands contiguous to this parcel
  • Staff recommends eight (8) conditions of approval

Greg Rapisarda, Esquire, represented the Applicant.  He proffered testimony for the Applicant. 

Questions from the Board included the following?  What is the nature of the lot?  What is the standard pole color?

Mr. Rapisarda stated that to-date, there are no carriers signed up for co-location. 

Mr. Mower referred to Condition #5 of the Staff Report stating that the tower must be occupied with a carrier/service provider within 6 months of the approval date of the Site Development Plan, and provide Charles County with verification of such or the approval is null and void. 

Mr. Rapisarda stated that the 6-month timeline could be a problem. 

Mr. Mower acknowledged that InSite Towers is more of a speculative venture as opposed to previous Applicants who were users such as AT&T, Verizon, etc.

Mr. Mower stated that Condition #5 was added to prevent the proliferation of towers in the County.

There was no testimony from the audience.

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mower, seconded by the Vice Chairman, to approve the Special Exception for Docket #1317 with eight (8) conditions of approval as recommended by Staff.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed. 

7:15 PM, Public Hearing: 

Docket #1318 - InSite Towers, LLC, for a Special Exception for a telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall, as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance. 

Mr. Clagett stated there was sufficient compliance with the notification requirements.

Mr. Blass, County Staff, gave a brief summary of the request, using a location, aerial and zoning map for reference as follows:

  • Proposed:  A new 195’ monopole cell tower and 4’ lightning rod (totaling 199’) ft.) within a 50’ x 50’ compound with an 8’. high chain link fence
  • Location:  6395 Port Tobacco Rd., Welcome, Maryland
  • Property, known as “Cobb”, is designated as Tax Map 52, Parcel Grid 11, Parcel 152 in the 2nd Election District
  • Parcel is owned by Jeffrey L. Chisley
  • Parcel is heavily wooded
  • Zoning:  Agricultural Conservation (AC)
  • Acreage:  Approximately 96 acres
  • Staff recommends eight (8) conditions of approval
  • Potential impact from the Religious Freedom Scenic National Byway without mitigation efforts
  • Community Planning does not support request unless the following conditions are added to the eight (8) conditions already recommended: 
    • Height of tower to be reduced 20 ft. (from 199 ft. to 179 ft.)
    • Color of tower to be determined by Staff prior to future SDP approval

Greg Rapisarda, Esq. represented the Applicant. 

The Vice Chairman asked how reducing the tower height will improve the view from the Byway.  Beth Groth, Community Planning Staff addressed his question.

Mr. Rapisarda offered the following Applicant Exhibits for the record:

  • Exhibit #1 - Revised photo simulations at the reduced tower height of 179’
  • Exhibit #2 - Revised site plan with the reduced tower height of 179’

There was no testimony from the audience.

Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Mr. Mower, seconded by Ms. Green, to approve the Special Exception for Docket #1318 with Staff’s eight (8) recommended conditions for approval and two (2) additional conditions as recommended by Community Planning.  With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed

7:26 PM, Public Hearing:

Docket #1322 - InSite Towers, LLC, for a Special Exception for a telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall, as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance. 

Mr. Clagett stated there was sufficient compliance with the notification requirements.

Mr. Blass, County Staff, gave a brief summary of the request, using a location, aerial and zoning map for reference as follows:

  • Proposed:   A new 195’ monopole cell tower and 4’ lighting rod (199’ total height) within a 50’ x  50’ 8’ high chain-link fenced compound
  • Location:  4865 Port Tobacco Rd., Nanjemoy, MD
  • Zone:  Agricultural Conservation (AC) Zone
  • The property, known, as “Ruth Hunter”, is designated as Tax Map 51, Grid 9, Parcel 58 in the 3rd Election District.
  • Property size:  43.17 acres
  • Mr. Mark S. Rollins, Sr. and Mrs. Kelley A. Rollins are owners of the property
  • Property abuts the 1500 acre Doncaster Demonstration State Forest
  • Property description:  Mature heavily wood forest
  • Four (4) co-location heights on the tower
  • Staff recommends approval with nine (9) conditions 

The Chairman asked if there is a buffer around the compound.   

Mr. Blass stated that the 10 ft. buffer around the compound was shown on the conceptual site plan submitted by the Applicant; therefore, demonstrating their intent to comply with that use requirement.   

The Chairman asked for confirmation that the pole would be a matte grey finish. 

Greg Rapisarda, Esquire, represented the Applicant.  

The Chairman swore in the following witness from the audience:

Larry Deakens
5005 Port Tobacco Rd.


The witness made statements in opposition to the Applicant. 

Mr. Rapisarda stated this tower location has no impact on the Religious Freedom Scenic National Byway.
 
Actions by the Board

A MOTION was made by Mr. Johnston, seconded by the Mr. Mower, to approve the Special Exception for Docket #1322 with nine (9) conditions of approval as recommended by Staff.    With all voting to deny the request, the MOTION passed.

 

Approval of Minutes

  • April 22, 2014 approved
  • May 13, 2014 approved.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.