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Limits for tower height suggested

May 29, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Shannondale, W.Va., resident told the Jefferson County Commission Thursday that wireless communication tower regulations should be modified before being passed.

"A little bit of tweaking can give us a much better final product," said Pam Underhill.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission voted Tuesday to send the proposed ordinance to regulate cellular phone tower construction in Jefferson County to the County Commission for approval.

The county commissioners expect to take up the issue at Thursday's meeting.

If the County Commission decides to make changes to the proposed ordinance, it would return to the Planning Commission for a review.

Underhill said the County Commission should amend the ordinance to include a height limit for cellular phone towers.

Underhill said the county should adopt a height restriction of 199 feet. Towers 200 feet and higher are required to bear flashing lights so they are visible to aircraft.

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She also asked that the regulations prohibit the construction of cellular phone towers on the ridge line of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A moratorium was placed on the construction of the towers until July 1 to allow the Planning Commission a chance to draft the ordinance.

County officials said they believe if the County Commission wants to amend the proposed ordinance, the work could be completed before the moratorium expires.

The moratorium was put in place after U.S. Cellular received a permit to build a 260-foot tower next to Harpers Ferry National Historical park.

County officials passed the moratorium because they worried there could be an influx of construction permits sought for cellular towers before the county could adopt an ordinance regulating them.

U.S. Cellular dropped its plans to build the tower on the site and is negotiating with the Town of Harpers Ferry to build at the water tower on Bolivar Heights.

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