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T-Mobile Monopole on Oakwood Road

February & March, recommended for approval: 25-0-1

Applicant is proposing to build a 120-foot monopole on a Oakwood property that backs up to BBHCA homes on Westchester Street. Based on questions raised by BBHCA residents at the February meeting, T-Mobile was asked to address several issues and come back to the April meeting.

At the planning commission hearing, the owner of the Oakwood property was asked about the status of the work he needs to do to regrade his site to address zoning violations. He has filed a site plan but has not deposited the $49,500 in an escrow account required to actually do the work.

The next step for T-Mobile will be to submit their site plan. I was told that the property owner will have to complete the grading work before T-Mobile's site plan could be approved.

Submitted by Carol Alim, BBHCA representative to the Lee District Land Use Committee

Feb 28, 2011The Land Use Committee will not be reviewing the T-Mobile proposal today. T-Mobile is rescheduled to present at the Monday, March 14 Lee District Zoning and Land Use Committee.


Information only presentation made at the February 2011 meeting of the Lee District Zoning and Land Use Committee. Submitted by Carol Alim, BBHCA Representative. (Published in BBHCA News, March 2011)

This is a 2232 Review. The purpose of the 2232 review is to determine whether the location, character, and extent of the proposed monopole is consistent with the site. Since this is commercially zoned property T-Mobile can build the monopole by right if it meets the 2232 conditions.

BBHCA President Jeannie Henry, Darrell Meyer, and the residents immediately adjacent to the Oakwood property attended and presented their concerns about the pole at this location. Darrell also pointed out that several of the pictures that T-Mobile presented were old and did not accurately reflect the site conditions today. Considerable discussion revolved around screening, proximity of a stream, and the visibility of the monopole from the back yards of the adjacent properties.

Feedback from some members of the committee expressed understanding of the concerns of the BBHCA residents, but clarified that those concerns do not impact the 2232 review process.

The staff report will not be ready until two weeks before the Planning Commission hearing, but in my conversations with them to date, they have indicated that there are no grounds to recommend against the application.

T-Mobile will be back to present at the February 28th Zoning and Land Use Committee meeting with answers to specific concerns and questions posed by the committee.
 

Materials provided by T-Mobile following the 6/16/2010 and 11/16/2010 meetings with BBHCA residents at Bush Hill Elementary School.

These meetings focused on T-Mobileís plan to build a cell phone tower at 5419 Oakwood Road. Their initial proposal was to build a tower to 160 feet in height. Their revised proposal was to build a tower to 125 feet in height and locate it at the same address on Oakwood Road, but at a greater distance from the nearest BBHCA home. (Note that they still have the ability to propose a tower at a later date up to 199 feet in height, but this would need to go through the same application process as the current tower.)

A second balloon test was held on 12/11/2010, from 1:00 to 4:00.

A third meeting between T-Mobile and the community has been scheduled for January 18, 7:30-9:00 pm, at the Bush Hill Elementary School Cafeteria.

 

1. F. Stearns T-Mobile PowerPoint Presentation to BBHCA residents on 11/16/2010. (5.35 MB PDF)

Notes from MeetingPictures were taken of a balloon flown on 11/11/2010 to the same height and location as the proposed tower. Many residents at the meeting questioned the choice of locations from which the pictures were taken, saying they did not show the worst views of the balloon. Residents also noted that these views would change quite a bit during the winter when there were no leaves. Note also that the pine monopoles shown in the presentation are only examples, since a picture of the exact pine monopole that T-mobile will use is not yet available.

2. Thorne Consultantís Inc Real Estate Report (5.5 MB PDF)

T-mobile mentioned a study that purported to show that monopoles had a positive effect on property values. BBHCA residents at the meetings were skeptical, and requested a copy of the study so that they could interpret it for themselves.

3. Site Safe Radio Frequency Compliance Report (4.5 MB PDF)

This report on radio frequency emissions from the proposed tower was presented at the meetings.

4. The Amended 2232 Application documents filed by T-mobile in November 2010.

Various documents associated with the T-mobile application. They contain detailed information about the proposed tower.

5. Addresses of other Tree Poles

Residents requested these lists of locations of other monopoles and tree poles in the area so that they could see how obtrusive (or unobtrusive) the proposed tower might be.

6. Fairfax County's Comprehensive Plan language relating to mobile towers.

7. Monopine sample photos

 
View of a monopine.                               Monopine "bark and needles"


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