Milton Council approves a loblolly antenna

Milton City Council, at its January 4 meeting, unanimously approved conditional use permission for Loblolly LLC to build a 525-foot antenna tower with a 15-foot gravel access path on a 77-acre lot that the company will own in the Sam Lucas Road owns.

The project is now being referred to the Milton Planning and Zoning Commission for review of the site plan.

While the exact location of the tower on the property remains to be determined, Loblolly has indicated that it will be in the southeast corner of the property adjacent to the 5 acres that will be used for Tidewater’s new sewage treatment plant. The tower would be made of steel and anchored in three directions with a guy system.

Loblolly, the property management arm of Draper Holdings, owner of WBOC, WRDE, Fox 21 and Telemundo television networks, plans to use the tower to improve its radio and emergency signals. In addition, Loblolly has provided space for city communication devices, a weather camera and up to three cell phone signal antennas on the tower.

The property is in Zones R-3 residential area with a large parcel development designation. Under this zoning, the tallest antenna that could be erected is 40 feet, so a Conditional Use Permit is required.

At its meeting on December 30, the planning and zoning commission recommended that the tower permit be approved. The application was for the purpose and intent of conditional use in an appropriate location and would be desirable for the general convenience and welfare of the city.

The commission set six conditions for its recommendations, all of which were accepted by the city council. The antenna tower must be set back from adjacent structures and property lines. The structure and guy ropes must be enclosed in a 6 foot fence. The site plan contains the location of the fence and all ancillary structures. The antenna must comply with Federal Communication Commission and Federal Aviation Administration regulations. No signs can be placed on the tower. The proposal is subject to a review of the site plan.

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