Commission approves telecommunications changes

 

Commission approves telecommunications changes

 

Date: October 8, 2013
by: Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor

 
 

 

 

The Longboat Key Town Commission approved on first reading and public hearing amendments to its Comprehensive Plan Monday night at Town Hall that affect future telecommunications rules.

In particular, the commission approved changes that exempt personal wireless service facilities, such as cellular towers and other cellular equipment, from height limitations in the Comp Plan. The changes will regulate the height of such structures through the town’s land development regulations instead.

The amendment also clarifies the town’s policy for the approval of additional or modified proposed wireless services, noting “the town will encourage the location of such infrastructure in suitable areas, consistent with criteria that includes safety, aesthetics, and neighborhood compatibility…advancements in technology have made personal wireless service valuable to Longboat Key residents and visitors.”

Some commissioners worried about approving such changes before they review an ordinance in November or December that will regulate rules such as where you can place such equipment or how high a cellular tower can be.

Town Manager Dave Bullock, though, explained that the two separate changes don’t have to be approved at the same time. Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve the changes, with Commissioner Jack Duncan voting against the motion on first reading.

Also at the meeting, commissioners:

Approved on first reading and public hearing:
• An ordinance that amendment the fiscal year 2012-13 budget to provide funds for an assistant town manager and for paid accrued vacation and medical insurance for employees that retired or are entering the Deferred Retirement Options Program (DROP).

Postponed:
• Approving a fiscal year 2013-14 holiday schedule.

Approved:
• An interlocal agreement with Sarasota County that monitors the town’s storm sewer system for stormwater runoff.

Adopted:
• An ordinance that temporarily extends a franchise agreement with Waste Management by six months as town staff works on a procurement process to go out to bid for a new solid waste and recycling franchise collection agreement.

Passed:
• A resolution that reallocates infrastructure surtax funds to pay for police vehicles and radio equipment.
• A resolution that amends the commission’s current policy to clarify levels of participation and ability to vote at specific types of meetings.

For more information on Monday night’s meeting, pick up a copy of Wednesday’s Longboat Observer.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.

 

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