Councilman Richard Banks was speaking in particular about the lights on Paul Huff Parkway and Keith Street and suggested discussing hiring a contractor to synchronize the lights on Nov. 1, at the Council’s Fall Retreat.
Councilman George Poe said he was told six years ago fiber optics are in place on Paul Huff and Keith Street so the lights could be synchronized.
“Six or seven years later we put in the Intelligent Transportation System and I’m being told you can make those lights do any kind of trick and set them up in any way,” Poe said. “Apparently something is wrong. There is a breakdown somewhere and I don’t know where it is.”
On another issue, Banks asked if it would be possible to amend the city ordinance to prevent construction of an 80-foot monopole at 699 17th St. N.W.
City Attorney John Kimball said if the company applied during the process of changing the ordinance, the company could request a permit that would be subject to the current ordinance.
“If you want to change the ordinance, you can, but that may cause them to run in and submit a permit application,” Kimball said.
Banks raised the issue after reading a legal ad in the newspaper. He wrote a letter in response to the ad stating the monopole would be contrary to the best interest of the residents in and around this 17th Street area. Also, the height of the pole would detract from the historic community immediately adjacent to this area.
In response to the letter, Banks said a representative of Verizon Wireless asked for an opportunity to explain how the tower could be an asset to that particular area.
Councilman David May asked Community Development Director Greg Thomas if there was anything that controlled the location of cell towers.
“You could have towers, one right after the other,” May said. “There’s got to be something that controls these towers.”
Thomas said there is some language in the ordinance that talks about designing a tower to accept additional antennas from other companies, “but it doesn’t leave us in the position of determining when a new tower is needed versus when they can just stick something on an existing tower.”
Councilman Banks, who raised the issue, asked Thomas how placement of cell towers is regulated.
Thomas said cell towers are authorized in commercial zoning districts as long as spacing requirements are met. Towers are prohibited in residential areas and must not be closer to that zoning district than 200 feet or 300 percent of the tower height.
“It’s possible they could squeeze one in there and be outside the spacing requirement,” he said.
But, Thomas said the particular area is small. He suggested a survey of the property to determine if it could be lawfully erected on that spot.
The discussion was in response to a legal ad published in the Cleveland Daily Banner. The ad invited public comment on a wireless telecommunications facility proposed to be constructed at 699 17th St. N.W. with respect to impacts on historic properties located at or near the facility.