Town seeks telecommunications extension

 

Town seeks telecommunications extension

 

Date: October 17, 2013
by: Kurt Schultheis | Managing Editor

 
 

The town of Longboat Key will seek an extension of a state-mandated 180-day window to have a Comprehensive Plan amendment approved in order to bring both a telecommunications ordinance and Comp Plan amendment reviewed together by the Town Commission.

A Comp Plan amendment approved on first reading Oct. 7 removes the regulation of personal wireless service facilities, such as towers and other equipment, out of the Comp Plan and places it in the town’s land development regulations instead.

The town is trying to amend this portion of the Comp Plan before a deadline from the state expires on Nov. 18, which would force the town to start over a six-month approval process.

But commissioners have expressed displeasure the Comp Plan amendment will be approved before they review an ordinance in December that that deals with everything from tower height to where towers or other structures can be placed.

Town attorney Maggie Mooney-Portale informed town staff Wednesday in an email there’s a provision in state statutes that allows the town to seek an extension of the Comp Plan amendment.

Town Manager Dave Bullock said in a Wednesday email he recommends an extension because “we owe the community a full airing of the issue.”

Bullock suggests the town request an extension based “on the grounds of a new planning director who had little or no involvement with this ordinance, the relationship between the Comp Plan and the ordinance and the importance to the community of understanding both (changes together)."

The Town Commission could now most likely review changes to its telecommunications ordinance and Comp Plan on second reading at its Jan. 6 regular meeting.

Contact Kurt Schultheis at kschultheis@yourobserver.com.

 

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