College Township discusses wireless rule

Township council voted to advertise an amended wireless communications facilities rule Thursday, though the rule is not yet in its final form.

In a special meeting Thursday, council discussed the amended ordinance, taking public input into account. The revised rule follows a recent denial by the township council for a Verizon Wireless-proposed wireless antenna, which the telecommunications company sought to install along Cortland Drive.

Notable changes to the ordinance include the definition of a non-tower-based wireless facility, now referred to as an attached facility “consisting of a communications antenna attached to or mounted on a structure not specifically designed and constructed for supporting communications antennas.”

A major point of contention between residents and Verizon was if the proposed antenna, which would have sat on top of an electric pole, constituted a tower-based or non-tower-based facility.

Non-tower-based facilities will also not be allowed within 110 percent of the proposed height to an existing lot line, according to the ordinance — a change to lot line from single-family home suggested by Councilwoman Carla Stilson. For example, a 100-foot facility would have to be 110 feet away from the adjacent property line.

Further changes to the rule clarify stealth design requirements for roof-mounted, facade-mounted, pole-mounted and tower-based antennas. The ordinance also specifies that replacement of existing structures is “permitted given that the new structure is identical in terms of horizontal and vertical dimensions.”

A revised ordinance could be in front of the council as soon as July 21, according to council. The advertised ordinance would go before the board for a vote by September.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews