Verizon wants new cell tower off 74N

Fri, 01/08/2010 - 5:22pm
By: John Munford

Verizon Wireless is asking Peachtree City to rezone St. Paul Lutheran Church so the company can build a new cell tower on the site.

St. Paul, located at Ardenlee Parkway just off Ga. Highway 74 north, is zoned GR-4 which is a residential zoning that allows up to four units per acre. Verizon is asking to rezone the site to open space-public, which is the zoning category for churches and other publicly used buildings.

The city’s zoning ordinance allows telecommunications towers to be built on property zoned open space-public.

The rezoning request will be considered Monday night by the Peachtree City Planning Commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The commission will only be providing a recommendation on the matter, as the city’s zoning powers are vested directly with the City Council.

According to Verizon, the tower would provide increased coverage to residents in the Lake Kedron area. The tower also will have room for three other wireless carriers to locate on the same tower, Verizon design engineer James Hurst wrote in a letter to city officials.

“Verizon Wireless fully commits to allowing other carriers to co-locate on the proposed facility,” Hurst wrote.

The tower height of 185 feet “is the minimum height required to enable the site to meet the coverage objective of a 1.5-2 mile radius along Ga. Highway 74 and the surrounding area,” Hurst said.

The new tower will allow Verizon to provide new technologies to the area as they become available, Hurst said.

The 12.96-acre church site is located next to Crabapple Lane Elementary School.

Verizon previously has looked into locating on existing towers or structures in the area including the city water tank, fire station, the World Airways building, the Georgia Power substation and the Kedron Village shopping center. But none of those locations were suitable for co-location or did not fit with the existing service network, Hurst wrote.

City planning staff is recommending the rezoning be approved largely because it is in accordance with the city’s 1995 update to the land use plan. That update recommended that all churches in the city be permitted only in open space, office and commercial zoning districts.

With the GR-4 zoning, the church could conceivably sell the property for development as a residential subdivision.

In November a proposal from cellular provider T-Mobile drew criticism because the company wanted to build new towers in several city parks. A number of residents derided the concept but council decided to study the matter by getting information from a number of other cell service providers.

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Gene61's picture
Submitted by Gene61 on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 7:30am.

Sure 3-4 other wireless carriers could use the new tower that Verizon seeks, as long as the other carriers are willing to to pay the fee required to use it. Verizon would have to make the cost affordable to the other carriers to generate others to join. But no matter what, Verizon would be in the cat birds seek like those who own the other towers that space is rented.

This is win/win for the city and cell users.

Imagine a scenario where a facility owner makes a call, haggles a bit over a contract, signs some paperwork and someone pays him $25,000 a year--for virtually nothing. In its simplified form, this is what happens all over the country for facility owners with cellular towers on their properties.

The marriage Cell towers is growing in popularity

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 11:15am.

living here who don't want to be like the rest of the country. Maybe we want to be a little better. Maybe we expect the bar to be set a little higher.

Submitted by swac on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 10:21am.

This link shows several towers across America-some good some bad.;page=15

Submitted by jevank on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 10:50am.

Phallic symbol for PTC.

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 3:16pm.

We isn't this just great another company with another cell tower proposal.

Why don't we ask the council to make it mandatory that if a tower is approved, that all cell companies must use it. At least this would cut down on the number erected in our fair city.

No matter what you do they will be unsightly if seen from the road.

Is there a way that the water towers could be used for this purpose? At least it would cut down on the clutter.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 3:46pm.

Cell companies claim the existing towers are maxed out. It's on the city books that they can't add towers till that happens.

What hasn't happened, yet, is a posting of the minutes on the city web site, of the Planning Board meeting in Nov., where almost 7 pages of notes from THAT meeting would be available to ALL of us so we could more fully understand issues like this. And why is that?

Almost 2 months have gone by and no minutes are posted for us to see? And yet, all of a sudden, the Planning Comm. AGAIN has this issue before it, when the discussion at the Nov. meeting was that there would be FULL transparency and numerous workshops and full citizen involvement BEFORE this issue came to city for a vote.
What's the hurry here, folks???? Why don't we have access to the previous discussions at the Planning Comm. on record WAY before this comes up again?
Could it be that it isn't the church that wanted this in the first place, but that the CITY APPROACHED THE CHURCH about it on BEHALF of Verizon???? And, who, exactly in the city, was that person??? And what would their motivation be?
Just a few questions you might want answered before you think this isn't such a big deal.

opustv's picture
Submitted by opustv on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 2:41am.

More than 40% of households here in PTC do not have any land line service...and that number increases dramatically every year (the data is available from The Telecommunications Industry Association). People drop Ma Bell because they use their mobile phone exclusively. My family made the switch 10 years ago. Now more than 35% of mobile phone users carry "smart phones" like the Droid, iPhone, etc. which require an always on, high speed wireless data connection. Consumers demand reliable service and as much bandwidth as possible. They want it to work inside and out of their homes. We've traded telephone poles and lines (and their underground counterparts here in PTC) for a wireless pipe. The wireless pipe requires towers...lots of them. When we had too many cars on 74 south for the old 2-lane road, we made it wider. Is it pretty? Not really. Does it make our lives better? You bet. Either quit bitching about the towers or hand in that cell phone.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 11:06am.

to be the only and best option(s) available for the CITY, for the RESIDENTS? And how is that? Spell it out for us, will you?

SPQR's picture
Submitted by SPQR on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 9:40am.

I am interested in the Telecommunications Industry Assoc. statistic of 40% are wireless only. Can you point me to your reference? I have participated in TIA meetings in the past and am very curious as to where this stat originated. Thanks

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 3:26am.

Out of the 35,000+ citizens of PTC I would be willing to bet that less than 50 could tell us how many and where all the current cell towers are in PTC.

Those that are bitch!n@ about the church entering into an a agreement with PTC and a phone company to have their land rezoned don’t have a clue.

The church is the one that initiated the rezoning request with the city. There’s money to be made with this proposal. Get off your @$$ and look it up.

Those that are bitch!n@ haven’t bothered to look up the details of this proposed plan.

What I can’t figure out is why anyone is bitch!n@ in the first place.

Parts of PTC will get better bandwidth/service if this is allowed to happen.

My question to the naysayers is; what’s your problem?

As for the city rezoning some park/open space to accommodate a tower, the city makes money from it; somewhere around $3,000/year. That’s $3,000/year with NO city support services incurred. Hell, based on that type of revenue we should let the phone companies build a few dozen wherever they’re needed. That’s FREE money to the city.

I would challenge anyone to show me proof that a cell tower has lessoned someone’s property value in PTC.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 11:03am.

On that note, let's put one tower in your front yard and another in your back yard. Shouldn't bother you a bit. I'm sure your property value will remain the same. Of course, you wouldn't care, since the thousands of dollars of income you get would more than offset any concern for property value. Only your neighbors and those that rely on the taxable value of your property would care. So, go ahead, just go after the almighty dollar.

You're darn right there's money to be made. And this church and all churches have the right to make any agreement they want to raise money. I won't give a hoot, until and unless you start asking for things that affect the rest of us (i.e., rezonings, structures that can be seen from miles away, etc.).

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 10:43am.

So, I guess you would mind if we put the cell tower directly behind your backyard? Let's do that and see it if impacts your property value.

After all the city would make a whopping $3,000 bucks a year!

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 1:04pm.

My neighbors and I already have our cell tower. It's located on property that's zoned general commercial adjacent to our homes.

It was there before our neighborhood was built.

As for the values of our homes the cell tower has had no negative effect that any of us can determine. Before the real-estate bubble burst our neighborhood was doing just fine when homes came up for sale.

The cell tower just isn't that big of a deal.

Submitted by PTC Observer on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 4:18pm.

Good, let's put another one back there then. At least we will keep them all together.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Sun, 01/10/2010 - 4:43pm.

Co-locate the cell antennas as much as possible. More towers are inevitable. And more are needed and required. I suggest you take your concerns to the FCC.

It is not a matter of 'if' new towers will be placed. The concern should be 'how' they are placed. Co-locating, and proper location with disguised towers should be the emphasis here.

Personally...I hate them too. Just can't avoid them.

Just Like Welfare and Socialized Medicine - You Don't Have To Work For It.... THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Submitted by jevank on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 4:19pm.

I have not noticed the existing towers we have. Do you know where they are? I'm still not seeing the down side of these towers, other than you don't like how they look.

I do, however, see the point of having all cell companies use them. The article states that 3 or 4 additional companies could use the towers....why not more? (not a question for you, just thinking out loud.)

I'm trying to understand your point on this, PTCGoil, but if you start with conspiracy theories, I'm out.

Submitted by Civic on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 2:20pm.

We have a Verizon tower that was put in the middle of our community and looks like a big tree. As a matter of fact you would never know it wasn't a tree unless some one told you otherwise. So give them a chance to speak to the church, citizens, and the city as a whole before we say no. Because i would say when given a chance they will try and keep the city beautiful.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 9:04am.

Puhleese go to the Planning Comm. meeting this Monday evening at 7PM and tell them we don't want this. It is NOT a done deal and your comments go a long way on this.

Trust me, if we don't speak up NOW,while this is in planning stage, we will end up with towers all over this city. If you can't make it, e-mail them at the city web site. Go to On the left side of the home page, type in planning commission in the site search box and click on "go". Click on the first "page match" and it will bring up their page. Click on the green "email the Planning commission".

borntorun's picture
Submitted by borntorun on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 3:48pm.

Puhleese go to the Planning Comm. meeting this Monday evening at 7PM and tell them we want this. It is NOT a done deal and your comments go a long way on this.

Trust me, if we don't speak up NOW,while this is in planning stage, we will not end up with enough towers. If you can't make it, e-mail them at the city web site. Go to On the left side of the home page, type in planning commission in the site search box and click on "go". Click on the first "page match" and it will bring up their page. Click on the green "email the Planning commission".

Submitted by jevank on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 4:11pm.

It took me a few reads to get what you did there. Pretty funny.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 2:32pm.

Show me a 185 foot tree in PTC on Hwy 74. Anywhere. And that is the visual best case scenario, but I'm sure this thing isn't gonna look anything like a tree.

Then, before Monday night, drive up 74 to Tyrone at the Publix, turn around and come back down and look at the top of the treeline and buffers along this road. Drive INTO the church property and look at the topography there.

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 7:08pm.

They should design the new cell tower to look like a giant middle finger, if the city council votes against the wishes of the community.

Or, since it is on church property, design it to look like a giant cross. Nothing says "free market" like a 185 foot cross.

Submitted by Spyglass on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 1:36pm.

they can be hidden in the Steeple of the church. There are various options that you would never even know it was a cell phone tower. They don't have to look like just a metal tower.

I would like to know what exactly has been proposed before I decide the City should oppose this.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 2:35pm.

Then get yourself to the meeting Monday night and ASK YOUR QUESTIONS and if you don't like it SPEAK UP and say so at THIS meeting. This will be a done deal if Planning Board okays this to go on to Council.

Submitted by Spyglass on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 4:24pm.

I don't see why the Council would even consider a proposal that actually looked like a cell tower. There are WAY too many options.

2ndly, I thought Haddix/New Council was our great defender..what gives? This is a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Either disguise the towers, or no tower at all.

Submitted by PTCGOIL on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 6:37pm.

It's the zoning. And, this is private property, not city property.
And how do you disguise a 185 foot structure sticking up in the sky twice as high as the existing treeline all by it's lonesome? A cell tower disguised as a fake tree on steroids? And that is exactly what it will look like. A cell tower disguised as a fake tree on steroids.

And how would we all feel if we bought our house/land knowing the land next to it was zoned one way and years later the city goes to your neighbor and says, how about rezoning to put in a cell tower for xyz co.? Would you be a little miffed and try to fight it? It's kind of a common experience compassion thing that we would not want to go through and what communities fight against in support of their neighbors. Go ahead, hit me with it.

Submitted by jevank on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 9:22am.

You know, I want to get angry about these towers, but I have yet to read a reason to get up in arms about it.

If they were in any way dangerous, I would be with you. I don't believe they are uglier than the dish on many houses I drive by.

I want better reception. Now give me a good reason to oppose this and I will.

Submitted by jeep2 on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:19pm.

So we have Verizon's take on the rezoning of the church but not one comment on the position that the church holds. Lots of questions here: Does the church support it? Did Verizon approach the church or did Verizon go straight to the city to ask for the rezoning? Can the
church dispute the rezoning request if not in favor of it? How will this potential re-zoning (and future changes) effect the current properties? Is there any money involved/exchanged? Is Verizon service non-existent in that end of the city? Is this a "must have" to benefit the residents in that area and not just add to Verizon's profits?
An informative and well written article might have minimized the negative comments that followed this "news" piece.

Submitted by Spyglass on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 1:37pm.

What's wrong with profits?

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sat, 01/09/2010 - 8:10am.

That's what they offered our church about 3 years ago. Didn't work because there wasn't enough land around the proposed tower. So I'll bet it is more now.

And yes, it is only half the story. Even a no comment from the church would have shown some effort going into the story. I could have written this story myself from just the planning commission agenda packets. Maybe that's how it is done.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 11:45pm.

It tis amazing how people whine about dropped calls, dead zones, and iffy cellular service. But....when it comes to enhancing the infrastructure to deal with these often times 'mandated' service enhancements, the very people who whine the most, are the first ones to use terminology such as "and not just add to Verizon's profits?".

I can assure you that Verizon isn't real happy about putting hundreds of thousand of dollars worth of infrastructure in just for kicks and giggles.

Neither is AT&T right now. But they are having to put a pant load of new towers in this year in these challenging times. Sooooooo.... get ready for the onslaught of tower variance requests that are likely to be seen in the coming year.

Just sayin'......

Just Like Welfare and Socialized Medicine - You Don't Have To Work For It.... THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 6:21pm.

Churches run day cares, preschools, moving companies, thrifts stores, landscaping companies and now they sell or lease land to build cell phone towers. When did worshiping God become all about maximizing profit potential?

Submitted by PTC Avenger on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 7:54pm.

Jesus is the ultimate silent business partner because he never takes a cut.

Submitted by normal on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 7:14pm.

They also run pool companies and just think of that tax free money plate on sunday. Sounds pretty smart to me.

CarDealer's picture
Submitted by CarDealer on Fri, 01/08/2010 - 6:54pm.

When has it NOT been?
This is just another way to "Pass the Offering Plate" I suppose.

I'm just say'n...

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