Planning Commission tables cell tower vote

  • Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 9:17 p.m.

The Aiken County Planning Commission tabled a proposed construction of a Verizon Wireless telecommunication tower on Fox Pond Road in Aiken during Thursday’s meeting, requesting the property owner to revisit with the company to try to find a better location.

Eight individuals approached the Commission during the public hearing portion of Thursday’s meeting, including Ann Ritger, owner of the property where the proposed tower would be located, and David Kirk, a legal representative for Verizon.

Six nearby property owners offered criticisms toward constructing the new tower, largely indicating the location was rural and undeveloped and that the proposed 250-foot tower would be an “eyesore” to the neighborhood.

The Commission’s decision was ultimately reached on a 4-1 vote with Commissioners George Turner and Terri Turner absent from the meeting and Commission member Camille Furgiuele voting against tabling the proposal. Chairman Tom Biddle did not vote since the decision was not met with a tie.

Furgiuele said she believed no matter where the tower was placed, neighbors would still find it objectionable. She added that the proposal appeared to meet all the necessary requirements outlined in Aiken County’s zoning code.

Ritger explained to the Commission that she requested the tower be built in order to increase the availability of cell phone service in the area. She said a recent fire in her husband’s workshop prompted her to explore the possibility of a new tower since the fire knocked out her landline phone and she was unable to acquire adequate cell service near her home.

The Commission is set to reconsider the proposal during a meeting scheduled for April 18.

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