Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The Board of Appeals held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.
The following were present:
Frederick Mower, Chairman
Luke Hannah, Vice Chairman
Jean Schappet, Member
Natalie McKinney, Member
Brendan Moon, Member
Cindy Terry, Alternate
Matthew Clagett, Associate County Attorney
Kirby Blass, Planning
Carrol Everett, Clerk
The Chairman called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and stated there was a quorum.
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.
7:02 PM, Public Hearing: Docket #1289 – Verizon Wireless, for a Special Exception for a telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall, as provided in Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance.
Mr. Clagett stated there was adequate compliance with the notification requirements.
Kirby Blass, Planning Staff, gave a brief summary of the request using a location, zoning and aerial map as follows:
• Property address: 11350 Maryland Point Road, Nanjemoy, MD.
• Action requested: Telecommunications tower more than 50 ft. tall.
• Height of proposed tower: 250’ with a 5’ lightning rod.
• Site will be enclosed by a 50’ x 100’ fenced-in area with a 11’7” x 30’ equipment shelter.
• 15 antennas and 1 microwave antenna are proposed.
• Tower will accommodate at least 4 additional carriers.
• Facility is accessed via a 12’ wide easement off of McClarren Place.
• FAA determined there was no hazard to air navigation.
• Tower is required by the FAA to be lit with a beacon and side lights.
• A farmhouse on the adjoining Holly Springs property is eligible for, but not listed on, the National Register for Historic Preservation.
• The distance from the proposed base of the tower to the Holly Spring farmhouse is 3,340’.
Steven Resnick, Esquire, represented the Applicant. The presentation included the following information:
• The equipment will be located inside a shed within the compound that is secured with a fence, gate and barbed wire.
• The facility will not be manned and will not generate fumes, dust, or glare.
• Electricity is already at the site.
• The site will not require water or sewer.
• It is a very low, intense use.
• The site will be visited approximately 4 times a year for routine inspections.
Mr. Resnick provided service coverage maps with and without the proposed tower.
The Chairman swore in the following representative for the Applicant:
Consultant for Verizon Wireless
9000 Junction Dr.
Mr. Beiro further expanded on service coverage.
Mr. Resnick presented an aerial view of the site. He stated that the site is ideal in that it is surrounded with dense tree coverage. The setbacks far exceed what are legally required (200 ft.) from any residential structure. The closest dwelling on-site is 815 ft. away and the closest dwelling off-site is 1,874 ft. away. There is a one-to-one setback for tower height with the closest property line being 641 ft. away.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Study determined there is no negative impact on the environment.
An evaluation by County Staff determined that there will be no negative impact on historic properties.
After analysis by the County’s RF consultant, it was determined that the proposed tower will not interfere with Public Safety in that it provides a valuable service to the community. The site is most favorable due to its close proximity to the middle of the search area.
Mr. Resnick continued that all requirements have been met as determined by the FAA and
Questions from the Board included the following: Why the long time frame from the start of the proposed tower in 2010 until now? Why is the coverage area so small?
Mr. Beiro discussed service coverage objectives.
The Chairman swore in the following witness for the Applicant:
RF Design Engineer
9000 Junction Dr.
Annapolis Junction, MD
Mr. Neiswander further expanded on service coverage.
The Chairman swore in the following witnesses from the audience:
11420 Holly Springs Rd.
The witness stated that he inherited the adjoining Holly Springs Farm property. His property was not considered by the Applicant. He was not opposed to the tower. Mr. Linton’s concern regarded the close proximity of his air strip to the tower.
Holly Springs, LLC
3480 Laurel Dr.
Indian Head, MD
The witness manages Holly Springs Farm. She had no objection to the proposed tower as long as there were no negative impacts to the air strip on their property.
ACTIONS BY THE BOARD
A MOTION was made by the Vice Chairman, seconded by Ms. Schappet, to approve Docket #1289 with six (6) Staff conditions. With all voting in favor, the MOTION passed.
The meeting adjourned at 7:52 PM.
The Decision & Order for Farmstead Kennels (Docket #1292) was signed.