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Appeals board to discuss cell tower

January 24, 2012

By STEVEN NALLEY
citybeat@bellsouth.net

The Starkville Board of Adjustments and Appeals will discuss a new C Spire Wireless communications tower for the city of Starkville at its meeting Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the City Hall building department.
The board will also consider a variance request from Saunders and Jordan Ramsey to build a garage attached to the Ramsey residence, creating a 20-foot rear yard where city code typically calls for a 35-foot yard.
The board was originally scheduled to hear an appeal from C Spire for a variance request to place a communications tower west of Pinelake Baptist Church, closer to the nearest residentially zoned district than city zoning regulations normally allow. Assistant City Planner Pamela Daniel said C Spire plans to withdraw this application today. Because public notice of the appeal has already been given, she said, the board will still keep the tower as an item for public comment.
“Any parties that are present that would like to speak on that matter have to be given the opportunity to do so,” Daniel said.
This is not the first time C Spire’s appeal has been delayed. C Spire was scheduled to approach the BOAA on Dec. 14, and had that meeting not been cancelled, the appeal would have come the day after C Spire’s variance appeal to the Starkville Planning and Zoning Commission on Dec. 13.
At the Dec. 13 meeting, C Spire’s request faced opposition from RMR Investment Company, LLC, based in Memphis, Tenn. James Peden, an attorney representing RMR, said his client owned approximately 300 acres adjacent to the proposed tower site and 50 acres on the Highway 25 bypass’s east side. He said company officials were concerned a communications tower would adversely affect its property value.
RMR also conveyed two parcels totaling 22.74 acres to Cross Point Church in 2006, Peden said, donating one of them as a charitable contribution. Covenants were in place, he said, which prohibited installation of the tower shown in C Spire’s proposed design.
“RMR is not here in blind opposition to the construction of the tower,” Peden said. “A site on the far western edge might be more acceptable. It might be good to postpone further processing of the applications.”
Daniel said C Spire and RMR have reached an agreement since the zoning meeting, leading C Spire to choose a different location for the tower. She said she cannot disclose the tower’s location until C Spire submits its official application with the city building department.

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