Law would restrict height of communications towers

February 18, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

In an attempt to prevent large communications towers and antennas from sprouting in residential neighborhoods in Hagerstown, the City Council is considering a law that would regulate such towers.

The law would limit the height of such towers in residential areas to 50 feet.

The tallest towers would be allowed in areas zoned for industrial use. Those towers could be up to 199 feet tall, under the proposed law.

At 199 feet tall, the towers would not have to be equipped with blinking lights that the Federal Aviation Administration requires on structures more than 200 feet tall, City Planner Kathy Maher said.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure said if the tower is 199 feet tall, it should still be equipped with blinking lights.

The proposed law has not been changed to include such a requirement.

The law "will encourage towers in industrial districts and to steer them away from residential areas," Maher said.


She said the city can't make it against the law to put a tower on private property but the law can make it easier to place them in industrial areas and harder to place them in residential areas.

"These people are usually in a big hurry and will go the path of least resistance," she said.

City planners believe the area is underserved by wireless providers and expect requests for more towers to come eventually.

"There aren't any requests pending, but we want to be ready," Maher said.

A public meeting on the proposed law is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Martin Luther King Center at 131 W. North Ave. in Hagerstown.

The council is expected to vote in March to introduce the law and could take a final vote in April, City Clerk Gann Breichner said.

Existing communications towers would not be affected by new law, City Planning Director Ric Kautz said.

Public hearing

  • Proposed law to regulate wireless communications towers in Hagerstown
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23
  • 7 p.m.
  • Martin Luther King Center, 131 W. North Ave., Hagerstown
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