County commission considers 6-month moratorium on cell towers

County attorney questions legality.
May 20, 2014

 

A last-minute resolution presented to the County Commission Monday caused some discussion.

Commissioner Clint Thomas presented a resolution calling for the commission to develop a master plan for radio, cell tower and telecommunication support structures, such as cellphone towers. Thomas defended the immediacy of introducing the resolution.

“We’re getting inundated on a monthly basis with these things. I felt it very expedient that this happen before our next meetings of BOZA and Planning,” he said.

The resolution calls for a moratorium on consideration of all applications for such structures during the development of the master plan, a period not to exceed 180 days. County Attorney Mike Jennings spoke on the proposed resolution saying “I’m not sure that we can do a moratorium. I’m not sure that we can’t either. Federal and state laws control this; we don’t have a lot of wiggle room as county government.

“We do, on a county level, fight this battle with both hands and one foot tied behind our back,” said Jennings.

Commissioner Wendell Marlowe made a motion to send the resolution back to the Planning and Zoning Committee, which was approved.

Also at the meeting Monday, local emergency services personnel were honored with a resolution declaring May 18-24 Emergency Medical Services Week. In keeping with the theme of the week, several emergency medical personnel as well as a responding Sheriff’s deputy were awarded Medals of Valor for their actions in regard to a child found unresponsive in a swimming pool.

“I have the honor of reading a resolution recognizing some individuals for a job well done,” said Commissioner Mike Justice.

The resolution honored the responders who, on April 11, treated Addilyn Gray after she was found unresponsive in a swimming pool. Responders performed life-saving measures before paramedics transported Gray to Vanderbilt Hospital by Life Flight.

“This is a group of county employees using their training to help others,” said Sheriff Robert Bryan.

 

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