Columbia County Planning Commissioners gave rezoning approval Thursday for a wireless tower to be constructed within the Springlakes subdivision.
The planning commission voted to recommend rezoning about seven vacant acres near Cofield Road and Kestwick Drive from single-family residential to special district. The special district zoning was required so that a 150-foot monopole tower could be built on a 10,000-square-foot wooded area on the site, providing additional wireless service to AT&T customers in Springlakes and the surrounding area.
The property already contains a Georgia Power easement, county planner Dave Van De Weghe said.
"We found a site that you don't normally find -- a property that's presently being utilized simply for utility purposes, where we could come in and get the coverage we need into those surrounding homes," said Jonathan Yates, of American Tower Corp. and AT&T.
The proposed tower is necessary to increase wireless coverage for residents of the Martinez neighborhood to make emergency calls, Yates said.
Members of the Springlakes Community Association voted in favor of the tower at their annual homeowners' meeting this year, he added.
Landscaping and a 6-foot-tall fence would shield the tower and 230-square-foot equipment structure, according to county planning staff.
The tower, which will not be lighted, will include space for three competing wireless carriers.
A special use permit for wireless telecommunications facilities for the proposed tower also was granted.
Also at the meeting, developers of the Canterbury Farms subdivision asked planning commissioners for a minor plan revision to keep lot sizes in two future Lancaster sections similar to those in previous sections of the neighborhood. The request was granted.
In addition, Canterbury Farm developers received preliminary plat approval for the two new Lancaster sections, consisting of 72 lots on about 22 acres.
The planning and zoning board also approved a plan revision at 740 Jennings Road that will allow a larger day care to operate behind a residence on the property.
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