September 4, 2014 – Here are some recent stories about the sometimes colorful world of local zoning from around the nation.
Caution: Student Pilot at the Helm
The FAA says a proposed cell tower near Daniel Field Airport in August, Georgia, is not a hazard, but the locals beg to differ, according to WJBF TV. The tower, which would be located behind the Masonic Temple three quarters of a mile from a runway, might be a hazard to errant student pilots. A flight instructor said the beginners “don’t get it right the first 15 times, if they are little bit low [the tower’s] definitely a collision hazard.”
Council member Caves on Conflict of Interest Charge
It’s not always easy getting zoning approval but it becomes considerably harder if it creates a conflict of interest for a municipal official. That’s just what happened in Scranton, Pennsylvania, according to the Times-Tribune.
After learning of Verizon Wireless’ cell tower development plans, a Scranton councilman purchased a piece of land and then pursued a contract with the carrier to erect a cell tower on his land. The other council members were not amused.
One member said, “Whether it’s legal or not, it looks bad,” and another simply said, “It stinks.” The council member subsequently removed his property from consideration.
Rezoning Farmland to Thwart Cell Towers
In an effort to keep cell towers from being developed, Liberty Township, Ohio, has rezoned hundreds of tracts from agriculture status (where cell towers are permitted) to residential status in subdivisions. Now trustees are looking to rezone larger tracts of agricultural land around the subdivisions with an eye toward creating a no-cell-tower buffer zone, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Local farmers gave the idea a cool reception. One was quoted saying, “Leave it alone … I don’t plan to put a cell phone tower there. I want to stay the same.”