PZ - July 16th 2015
Planning & Zoning Commission
Workshop Meeting Minutes
July 16, 2015
The Planning and Zoning Commission met in workshop session on Thurs, July 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mayfield Village Civic Center, Main Conference Room for a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. Chairman Farmer presided.
Present: Mr. Jim Farmer (Chairman), Mr. Vetus Syracuse (Chairman Pro-Tem), Mr. Bill Marquardt, Dr. Sue McGrath, and Mr. Paul Fikaris
Also Present: Mr. Mark Guidetti (Law Department) and Ms. Deborah Garbo (Secretary)
Absent: Mr. Garry Regan, Mayor Rinker, Mr. Joseph Saponaro (Council Alternate), Mr. Tom Cappello (Village Engineer), Mr. Ted Esborn (Economic Development Director), and Mr. John Marrelli (Building Commissioner)
- Conditional Use Permit
New Monopole Cellular Tower
Mayfield City School District
Mayfield High School Wildcat Stadium
6116 Wilson Mills Road
Chairman Farmer called the meeting to order. This is a workshop meeting of the Planning & Zoning Commission. We won’t be taking a vote tonight. John’s not here tonight to catch us up to speed, so we’ll turn it right over to the applicant.
Ronald Gainar, Esq with Verizon Wireless introduced himself. Verizon is proposing to replace an existing light standard at the Mayfield High School football stadium with a monopole. Everyone has the before and after photo simulation. The top is the existing view, below is what it’s going to look like after the site is built. We’re going to take down the light standard, re-attach the existing lights to the new monopole at the same level as they currently are. Verizon’s antennas are going to be on top of it.
To back track, when Verizon determines they need a site, they provide the site acquisition agent a map with a ring on it. Ward 4 is the ring they issued. It’s basically residential houses and then the School Campus. It’s getting harder and harder to provide coverage to these dense areas. All the easy industrial sites have towers on them. What we’re trying to do, because these phones are little computers now, they require more capacity. Currently in this area, the Verizon service is unreliable and there’s a lot of drop calls.
To get creative, in the past they’ve tried flag poles that have the antennas inside. They don’t work because the antennas are getting bigger and there’s no outside support anymore. In Hudson and Wickliffe, we’ve replaced the light standard with a monopole and it works really well.
The shelter will be placed under the existing stadium stand near the base of the monopole and out of view. The size of the shelter is 21 x 11. It’s the best site we can do in this area to make it fit in.
Chairman Farmer asked if the shelter is above ground. Mr. Gainar replied, the shelter is above ground and houses the radio and the guts of what makes the site work for Verizon.
Ronald Gainar continued, the benefit to the community is a high level of improved reliable coverage to the High School for their safety plan they need at this location for safety purposes. I’ll go on the record to say I’ve already talked to the Chief of Police about Fire & Police putting their antenna on this Verizon pole rent free. That is available if safety services need it. I’d be happy to answer any questions.
Michael Barnes, EdD, Director of Human Services/Business Operations with Mayfield City Schools introduced himself. I’m here on behalf of the School District. When we were first approached, I would have to say we weren’t necessarily warm to the idea. We thought why us and why here. As we began to hear the presentation, the benefit that really resonated with us was the increased cellular service in the High School. Our configuration involves cinderblock. It’s tough to get cellular service in the High School. Part of our crisis management plan, our response plan involves us using our cell phone to contact emergency services. We’ve had a couple of situations where that didn’t necessarily work in the matter in which we would have liked it to work. Hearing this presentation, this pitch in what it could do for us with respect to enhancing the service in the building was really something that made us raise up and say this could be really really good for us. It will increase our ability to respond to crisis’s should it happen on that Campus.
Mr. Marquardt asked, has the School considered putting up their own tower?
Dr. Barnes replied, we have not. That’s a great point. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned, but the School will benefit financially from this endeavor as well. Whether we would have benefited had we engaged in this independent of Verizon, we did not travel down that road. We’re happy there’s some opportunities for some annual revenues throughout the life of this concept.
Mr. Syracuse states, I’m hearing an increase in Verizon coverage around and inside the High School. How far will it reach throughout Mayfield Village?
Ronald Gainar replied, about 1 ½ to 2 miles will enjoy coverage around this tower. There’s a basis of coverage that’s there if you pull out your Verizon phone. There’s heavy traffic with Progressive, the highway and down Wilson Mills and it just bogs down and it’s unreliable right now.
Mr. Syracuse asked, where are the nearest towers that currently exist?
Ronald Gainar replied, I’ll bring that map to the next meeting. In each direction, about 3 miles away.
Mr. Marquardt states, we have one at the Fire Station & Service Dept. I don’t know if Verizon’s on it.
Ronald Gainar said, in these congested areas, you need more and more. It’s a fact of life.
Mr. Syracuse asked for confirmation, the pole will be replaced and the exact same existing light fixtures will go back up in the same spot? Mr. Gainar confirmed.
Mr. Fikaris states, I think this is a positive thing for safety issues. My daughter is a senior at the High School. I told her about this, she’s all for it, she said the service is poor. You already have a tower there, I’m sure the process to go through for one of these towers from scratch takes a little more doing than saying no. If approved, when would it be done?
Ronald Gainar replied, after football season.
Mr. Marquardt asked, will the School be coming back when the next carrier wants another pole?
Dr. Barnes replied, the honest answer today is I hope not. We’re in the business of educating kids. The original interest on our end was the safety enhancement that could be provided by this configuration. I humbly speak on behalf of the District today, but I’m certainly not a Superintendent or the Board. This is something that we are not interested in continuing to do should they be lining up at the door.
Mr. Marquardt said, that’s why we put our own up, because everybody and his brother was coming in for a pole.
Dr. Barnes said, we certainly want to maintain the integrity of the School.
Ronald Gainar states, the tower can hold at least 3 carriers, if AT&T came, they can go below. The School has to lease the ground space.
Mr. Marquardt asked, who owns the pole?
Ronald Gainar replied, Verizon owns the pole and they lease 40 x 40 square foot for equipment. They’re fierce competitors with the other carriers but they all live in each other houses. Zoning dictates it in most jurisdictions. They’ve decided to play nice. Hudson built 2 poles, put two carriers on each pole.
Chairman Farmer asked, does Verizon change the burned out light bulbs?
Ron Gainar replied, no. The School will maintain those. We’ll use their lighting company. The warranties will stay the same.
Mr. Guidetti asked, if other carriers are added on, will that affect the space available for the Village?
Ronald Gainar replied, it will. Right now the Police Chief said thank you but passed. He doesn’t see a need right now. I still have to talk to the Fire Chief. I would love to get a response before we got too far along so we could design the foundation with their equipment on it. Right now this space is open.
Mr. Syracuse said I like the idea that this is not a separate tower that’s non-existing. This is a non-invasive ability to increase the Verizon network in the High School and the fact that other carriers and the Village can join if they’d like. I think it’s a great idea.
Dr. McGrath states, it’s a necessary evil and I think this is the least negative way, the pole is already there.
Mr. Fikaris asked what happens if this technology becomes obsolete. Do you remove that stuff?
Ronald Gainar replied, a normal Verizon monopole would get taken down. The foundation goes 40 feet down with steel reinforced concrete. The foundation would stay. You need dynamite to blast it out. Anything above ground would go. In this case, you need it because it’s a light pole that the School uses. If Verizon doesn’t need it anymore, it’ll be given to the School. That’ll be in the lease agreement.
Chairman Farmer asked if any further questions or comments. There were none.
- Planning & Zoning Commission will vote on proposal Mon, Aug 3rd @ 7:00 p.m.
- Mr. Gainar to provide a map with the nearest Verizon sites to the proposed MHS site.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.