04-0758R


RESOLUTION GRANTING A SPECIAL USE PERMIT TO MINNESOTA TOWERS, INC., AND AMERICAN CELLULAR CORPORATION (DBA CELLULAR ONE) FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A 195 FOOT TOWER DESIGNED TO HOLD FIVE WIRELESS TENANTS ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 2901 MORRIS THOMAS ROAD, THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF MORRIS THOMAS ROAD AND KARL AVENUE (JAMES BECHTHOLD, MINNESOTA TOWERS, INC., AMERICAN CELLULAR CORPORATION).

BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:

     WHEREAS, James Bechthold, Minnesota Towers, Inc., and American Cellular Corporation (dba Cellular One) have submitted to the city council a special use permit request for a telecommunications facility, including a 195 foot tower designed to hold five wireless tenants; on-ground support equipment cabinet/buildings, one for each tenant; and coaxial cables and antennas for each tenant; such facility to be constructed on property located at 2901 Morris Thomas Road, the northwest corner of Morris Thomas Road and Karl Avenue and legally described as the east 1/2 of the southeast 1/4 of the southeast 1/4 of the southwest 1/4 of Section 30, Township 50 North, Range 14 West; and

     WHEREAS, the city planning commission reviewed this request at its regular meeting on October 27, 2004, and again on November 9, 2004; and

     WHEREAS, the commission, after careful deliberation and by a vote of 7-1-1, recommended approval based on the following findings:

     (a)  This facility will accommodate up to five cellular providers. This will have a limiting effect on the potential for other towers; although other towers may be exempt from the special use process (less than 50 feet) or be shorter towers;

     (b)  The site is zoned commercial; and

     (c)  The structure is subject to the all applicable laws, state building code and other regulations.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that a special use permit is hereby granted to Minnesota Towers, Inc., and American Cellular Corporation (dba Cellular One) to install and operate such facility and associated equipment at 2901 Morris Thomas Road, subject to the condition that the project be limited to, constructed and maintained in accordance with plans to and approved by the office of building safety and inspection for permitting purposes.



STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution grants a special use permit to Minnesota Towers, Inc., and American Cellular Corporation (dba Cellular One) for the erection of a 195 foot cell tower and associated equipment on property located at the northwest corner of Morris Thomas Road and Karl Avenue. The physical address is 2901 Morris Thomas Road.


The city planning commission held a public hearing on Wednesday, October 27, 2004, and tabled the matter for additional information. Then, they received additional information and public input on Tuesday, November 9, 2004, and after careful deliberation, voted 7-1-1 to recommend approval.


Adjacent property owners Rick and Amy Bourdeau opposed this request, citing concerns about the environmental, safety and visual impacts on the surrounding residential neighborhood. In addition, they submitted a petition, received in the department of planning and development on October 26, 2004, which included 72 signatures from persons opposing this project. At both planning commission meetings, the applicant provided additional information, responded to concerns and emphasized that this site was the most appropriate commercial location for this facility.


On Monday, June 14, 2004, the city council voted to reclassify the property at 2901 Morris Thomas Road from R-1-b, One Family Residential District, to C-2, Highway Commercial District. The zoning was a consideration in the applicant’s choice of this site.


This project will have little or no tax impact for the city of Duluth.


Date application received: September 29, 2004

Action deadline: January 27, 2005