Council Delays Action on Small Cell Towers

The next County Council, which will be seated on Dec. 3, will decide the county’s next steps, if any, on small cell towers.

Lacking a clear majority for passage, the current council deferred action on zoning regs that would have decided where the towers could be placed. State law prevents a county council from enacting zoning or land use regulations after Oct. 31 in an election year. The new council’s first session is scheduled for Dec. 4.

The tower regulations have been a contentious issue. Opponents outnumbered supporters at a September public hearing.

Council President Hans Riemer supported the zoning regs, fearing that if the county did nothing, it would empower state and federal officials to take over regulation of the towers, pre-empting local control.

He also supported the installation of new technologies that would come from the towers, such as video messaging to 911.

“We need to support the future of wireless while balancing the impact it will have on our communities,” Riemer said in a statement. Riemer’s term as council president is scheduled to end with the arrival of the new council.

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