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Planners OK the addition of antennas to cell tower

The Rosemount Planning Commission recommended the city council approve a conditional use permit that will allow Verizon Wireless to add 12 antennas to an existing tower and to build ground equipment to help run the antennas.

The tower is located on the Vic's Welding and Engineering property. Currently Verizon Wireless does not have any antennas on the tower but T-Mobile and Sprint Wireless do.

The recommendation came with several conditions, including obtaining a building permit, submission of a landscaping plan, submission of landscape security and relocation of a proposed generator into the building. City planner Jason Lindahl said all of the conditions bring the project into compliance with the city's codes.

The last condition seemed to catch Verizon Wireless representative Rob Viera off guard. Viera said there is currently an unhoused generator on the property and asked why Verizon would be required to house theirs. Verizon will have a 50 Kilowatt generator on the property.

Lindahl said he did not know why a generator on the property did not meet the city's code but said if the owners had gone through the permitting process they would have had to meet the same requirements.

Chair John Powell said he assumed something could be worked out so that Verizon could move forward with its project.

While usually the addition of antennas would only require administrative approval, the construction of the new ground equipment represented an expansion of the commercial tower and necessitated the conditional use permit, Lindahl told the commission.

The planning commission held a public hearing on the matter in which no one spoke. With the conditions, Lindahl said the project meets all of the city's qualification to grant a conditional use permit.

The council will consider final approval of the permit Aug. 6.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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