Multiple hearings set

Published 2:28 pm Thursday, November 8, 2018

The Buckingham Board of Supervisors will have several projects to consider during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The meeting is scheduled to begin 6 p.m. at the Buckingham County Administration Building at 13360 W. James Anderson Highway.

Projects that are set to have public hearings include special use permits for two cellular towers that were recommended for approval by the Buckingham County Planning Commission in September.

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One tower, from applicant Shenandoah Mobile LLC, “Shentel,” is proposed to be a 195-foot monopole tower with a 4-foot lightning rod on approximately 55 acres on River Ridge Road, Route 763 in the Slate River Magisterial District. The property is currently zoned Agricultural 1 (A-1). The applicant is requesting a special use permit with conditions.

E.E. and Vickie Talbott are listed as owners of the property.

The special use permit has 15 conditions that include making sure the tower complies with Federal Aviation Association (FAA) standards in addition to other federal and state regulations, that if the tower has a backup generator, that the noise level would not exceed 65 decibels, and that the tower would be completed within two years of the date of approval.

No one spoke during the public hearing for the Shentel tower.

The second telecommunications tower was from cellular company U.S. Cellular for a 195-foot monopole telecommunications tower with a 4-foot lightning rod. The proposed tower would be located on approximately 5 acres on Seven Eleven Road, Route 711, in the Curdsville Magisterial District. The property is currently zoned A-1. The applicant is requesting a special use permit with conditions.

Florence Lango is listed as the property owner.

A U.S. Cellular representative said the tower would currently offer 4G, but that the company is working toward offering 5G.

District Five Commissioner Sammy Smith asked Representative Emilee Switzer if there had been specific cell carriers that have signed up to use the tower.

Switzer said the company approached surrounding carriers such as AT&T and Verizon about having a tower there, but no companies currently have plans to have a tower at that location.

Commission members also asked about the space the tower would be located, noting that 5 acres seemed like a small parcel.

Zoning and Planning Administrator Rebecca Cobb said she could not recall the acreage for towers the county considered before.

“Typically the question has been if it meets setback requirements, if it’s going to meet collapsing requirements,” Cobb said.

One person spoke during the hearing. Deborah Devore, who lives on Seven Eleven Road expressed concern about the location of the tower, as she lives in close proximity to the Lango residence and the tower would face the road by her home.

“I did not move to Buckingham County to walk out my door to see a cell tower,” Devore said. “If it was back, I would have no problem with this.”

District Three Supervisor Patrick Bowe said according to the site plat, the tower is already at the setback and could not go back further.

Members of the board voted to recommend the tower to the board.

CityScape, a consulting group that has worked with the county on telecommunications tower proposals in the past, evaluated the two projects and determined that the project complies with local and federal guidelines.

Members of the board of supervisors are also set to consider special use permits for a retreat center and antique shop.

The retreat center, proposed by C&S retreats, LLC, is proposed to be in the area of S. Constitution Route, Route 20, in the Slate River Magisterial District on lots containing approximately 250 acres.

A letter sent by adjacent property owner Katie Emanuel to the board of supervisors expressed concern about the close proximity of the proposed facility and overflow parking lot to adjacent property owners and the potential strain the retreat center could have on fire and rescue departments in Buckingham.

The proposed antique shop is listed in the area of North James Madison Highway, U.S. Route 15, in the Marshall Magisterial District. Rebecca Herndon is listed as the applicant and owner. The property is currently zoned as Agricultural-1.