Community News

The City Council has deferred a request to write a local church that plans to allow T-Mobile to build a cell phone tower on church property.

City Planning Director Ian Munce had drafted a letter for the Council to discuss which would ask the United Methodist Church to explain why the proposed T-Mobile installation isn’t on the church’s Conditional Use Permit.

The City Council granted the conditional permit in 1999 and doesn’t include the T-Mobile installation, but which includes the language “The scale and scope of the project shall not exceed that set forth in these Findings.”

T-Mobile has applied for a separate Conditional Use Permit, which the Council rejected. However, a court ruling has overturned that denial. A judge is considering the city’s appeal of that denial.

The Council discussed the proposed letter during Monday night’s meeting. Kevin McKeown liked the idea of the letter, saying “this could establish a dialog.”

Cynthia Richardson said there is an overriding issue. “Any entity with a Conditional Use Permit can’t just add anything else a few years later.” She added “People need to respect the conditions.”

Erica Pickett suggested holding off on sending a letter until the City’s request for the court to reconsider is decided. That could come as early as mid-July.

Bill Turner said “We voted against this permit; we need to start a dialog” with the church.

Mayor Dean Maxwell wound up discussion, saying “We’ll bring this back after we get a court ruling.”