04-0802R


RESOLUTION RATIFYING DENIAL OF A SPECIAL USE PERMIT TO JAMES BECHTHOLD, MINNESOTA TOWER, INC., AND AMERICAN CELLULAR CORPORATION TO ERECT A 195 FOOT TOWER ON PROPERTY LOCATED AT 2901 MORRIS THOMAS ROAD.

BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:

     The council acknowledges:

     (a)  James Bechthold, Minnesota Towers, Inc., and American Cellular Corporation have submitted to the city an application for a special use permit for land located at 2901 Morris Thomas Road, owned by Bechthold;

     (b)  The proposed tower would be 195 feet high and hold at least five antennas for cellular telephone signals;

     (c)  Pursuant to ordinance, the matter was processed by city staff and the city planning commission at its meetings on October 27 and November 9, 2004. The applicants and all interested parties were allowed to submit information and participate as allowed by law. The commission recommended approval;

     (d)  The matter was referred to the city council, by Resolution 04-0758, and the council took up the matter at its meeting on the evening of November 22, 2004. The applicants and interested parties were heard. The materials from the planning commission file, the staff report and the applicants were presented;

     (e)  After consideration and discussion, and based upon the record before it, the council announced findings with regard to whether the application met the criteria of City Code, Chapter 50, including sections 50-32 and 50-25(ff), and based upon its findings, concluded to deny the application for permit and, accordingly, defeated Resolution 04-0758 by a vote of 0-8-1;

     (f)  On November 23, 2004, the city attorney sent to the applicants a written notice of denial of the application and the reasons therefor, the reasons being the council’s findings that had been announced.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:

     (a)  That the council by this resolution, shall ratify the denial and state its findings for inclusion in the public record;

     (b)  That the council made the following findings upon which it based its conclusion to deny the application:

           (1)  Property values in the immediate area will be significantly diminished by the presence of a 195 foot tower;

           (2)  This denial does not have the effect of prohibiting personal wireless services in the area as there is already adequate cellular phone coverage in the area;

           (3)  The height of the tower in its proximity to neighboring homes creates a hazard from blowing snow and ice as well as potential dangers from the proximity of the tower itself, should it fail structurally;

           (4)  The tower height requested is not the “least intrusive means” of achieving services in the area;

           (5)  Other potential tower sites have not been evaluated;

           (6)  The 195 foot tower does not blend into the surrounding area and the plans submitted do not show any attempt to alter its appearance to more appropriately match the character of the surroundings;

           (7)  The proposed use as a tower site would result in a random pattern of development with little contiguity to existing or programmed development, causing negative fiscal and environmental impacts. This is because the limited commercial activity in the area is, and is expected to be, neighborhood oriented, serving only the neighborhood. This proposed use is for commerce outside the neighborhood and its size, 195 feet high, shows that its use is out of scale with the neighborhood scale of commerce in this area. The region is better served by several small towers so that the neighborhood pattern of development that the city wants can be preserved.