Bluegrass Cellular will soon erect a 150-foot telecommunications tower along U.S. 31-W By-Pass near Fairview Avenue after getting approval Thursday from the City-County Planning Commission of Warren County.
The cellular company and property owners John, Judy and David Tarter won approval to build the tower and were approved for a variance of 681 feet from the minimum setback of 1,000 feet from a residential district.
The tower at 555 U.S. 31-W By-Pass was approved in a 7-1 vote (with commissioner Sandy Clark dissenting) in the meeting held via videoconference, despite opposition from a nearby local business, Bone’s Auto Electric & Air.
Attorney Matt Baker, representing Bone’s Auto Electric, questioned why Bluegrass Cellular wasn’t using a tower that is about 500 feet away on Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. property.
“If we move it 500 feet, it creates a gap in coverage,” responded John Selent, a Louisville-based attorney representing Bluegrass Cellular. “We’re trying to plug a hole where we’re seeing problems reaching all our customers. This is the optimum site for us to provide coverage for our customers.”
Selent also responded to questions about safety concerns if the tower were to be toppled during severe weather. He said the towers are built to withstand winds of more than 100 mph, and he said the towers are built in such a way that they “collapse down on themselves.”
The planning commission also approved rezoning a total of 7.84 acres at 60, 131 and 141 The Trace Drive from residential estate and multifamily residential to agriculture in order to establish a single zone for the properties that were once part of a proposed golf course/condominium project that never developed.
The commissioners did not take action on a rezoning application for property at Long and Matlock roads, postponing it at the request of residents of that area who want to have the application considered at an in-person meeting.
That application by GVTP Developments and Georgia Blevins calls for rezoning 6.3 acres from agriculture to single-family residential in order to develop a subdivision.
The property is near a larger development that GVTP partners George Vogler and Tim Poston have underway now. That 46-acre, 100-lot subdivision was initially denied in a narrow planning commission vote in 2017 before being approved by Warren Fiscal Court.
Planning Commission Executive Director Ben Peterson said he doesn’t expect the planning commission to have an in-person meeting until July as it continues to observe social distancing mandates.