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Commission to consider telecom regs

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

Bradenton Beach commissioners on April 21 are set to consider the first reading of a draft telecommunications ordinance that prohibits cell towers anyplace but government property.

The meeting at city hall, 107 Gulf Drive N., will begin at 1 p.m.

The ordinance, drafted to comply with federal law but protect the local ambiance, also would require that any cell tower on government property be a stealth tower.

City commissioners and planning and zoning board members held multiple meetings to discuss the proposed ordinance with Jackie Hicks and Rusty Monroe of the Center for Municipal Solutions, the consulting firm hired to write new regulations and to review any inquiry for telecommunications facilities.

The city began work on the ordinance more than a year ago at the urging of Commissioner Janie Robertson, who said the city’s existing measures were outdated.

Mayor Bob Bartelt, at the time a commissioner, also expressed concern for the city’s position — the municipality had not updated its regulations, but was receiving applications from companies interested in building telecommunications facilities.

At least one company, Alpha-Omega Communications LLC, remains interested in building a facility in the city. Alpha-Omega Communications has proposed building a stealth tower on city-owned property adjacent to the public works and police department between Church and Highland avenues.

An application, however, will need to be resubmitted if the new ordinance is adopted, said city attorney Ricinda Perry.

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