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Longboat Key Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 6 months ago

Longboat Key leaders to consider Verizon plans for nine cell poles

Town leaders will consider a plan to help improve cell service.
by: Mark Bergin Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Nov. 16, the Planning and Zoning Board is set to consider a special exception and site development plan to build nine small cell poles and antennas to improve the north end’s cell service.

Shane Thorson is an authorized agent on behalf of Verizon and is requesting poles at: 

  • West side of the 6100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • Southeast corner of Broadway Street and Lois Avenue 
  • West side of the 6900 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • West side of the 6600 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • South side of Binnacle Point Drive 
  • West side of the 6400 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • West side of the 5500 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • West side of the 5000 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 
  • West side of the 7100 block of Gulf of Mexico Drive 

To construct the poles, the Town Commission must also provide final approval of changes to the Town Code.

On Monday, Nov. 15, the Town Commission is planning to hold its second reading of proposed changes to regulations of pole-mounted equipment. The approval is necessary to allow equipment that doesn't meet town size standards for installation on poles. Also, wireless facilities differ from the town’s lighting infrastructure.

If the Town Commission votes to approve the proposed changes, the town is planning to increase the maximum size of equipment attached to utility poles to six feet in height, two feet in width and two feet in depth. The code has the following dimensions: Four feet in height, one foot in width and one foot in depth.

The proposed changes also address how close poles can be from each other. The proposal calls for the poles to be no closer than 60 feet from adjacent lighting built by the town or another free-standing wireless pole.

Earlier this month, commissioners voted 7-0 in favor of the proposed code change.

The town is continuing to have discussions with AT&T about other ways to improve cell service on the island.

The map shows where Verizon Wireless is proposing to put nine small cell poles and antennas. Map provided by the town of Longboat Key



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Mark Bergin is the Longboat Key Town Hall reporter for the Observer. He has previously worked as a senior digital producer at WTSP, the CBS affiliate in St. Petersburg. Mark is a graduate of the University of Missouri and grew up in the Chicagoland area.

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