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Alternate site submitted for proposed Blue Ridge Summit tower

July 01, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

BLUE RIDGE SUMMIT, Pa. -- The Rockville, Md., developer proposing a cell phone tower in Blue Ridge Summit has submitted an alternate site for consideration, with the original one still on the table amid a maelstrom of local criticism regarding its location.

The Washington Township Supervisors recently told Liberty Towers that the company's application for a cell tower at the intersection of Jacobs Church Road and Pa. 16 could be put on hold until September. That site failed one test regarding its visibility from historic structures.

"They said that they would try to find an alternative site, and right now they're working on one at the ballpark, the Pen Mar Youth League ballpark," said Carroll Sturm, chairman of the township supervisors.

Because the ballpark on Pa. 16 is zoned forest conservation, the supervisors would either need to rezone the site or amend their zoning ordinance to apply differently to nonprofit organizations. A draft of that amendment, which is scheduled for discussion at Wednesday's supervisors workshop, would allow the installation of communications towers or antennas on municipal or nonprofit lands in the forest conservation district as a conditional use.

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"They'll have a lease agreement," Sturm said, explaining the youth league's role connected to a possible tower.

Also, a separate proposal from Shenandoah Personal Communications Co./Shentel has been scheduled for public hearings on the evenings of July 14 and 21. That company, a Sprint affiliate, has asked to put antennas on an existing water tank off Old Route 16.

Shentel, which owns a cell tower off Airport Road, has an additional request before the supervisors, asking that it be permitted to turn off that tower's light.

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