After a brief reprieve, the cell tower zoning request is back, with Friends University again requesting to be withdrawn from the Delano Overlay. This is a very bad idea, and Delano should be represented at the MAPC meeting this week and object strongly.
This is not because the cell tower is a bad idea. As the picture above shows, it's a modern monopole that will do nothing but extend a stadium light pole by twenty feet (thirty, including the lightning rod). If cell towers were a Conditional Use (like LED signs and other things), it's likely the Overlay committees would waive the hearing and just let it pass. It's that non-controversial. But there is no way in the current Overlay to make an exception for a Prohibited Use. The Overlay should be modified to change the tower from a Prohibited to a Conditional use, but that will require Delano to step up and push that change to City Council.
If that doesn't happen, a very bad precedent will be set - which might in fact be the point of the exercise. Neither Friends nor Verizon initiated the decision to withdraw. That came from City Hall. If this passes, there will be no defense that Delano can offer when developers demand to have riverfront property removed from it as well - and that will happen, whether or not it was their idea in the first place.
The hearing will be held on Thursday at 1:30 in the Planning Department Conference Room on the 10th floor of City Hall. Delano's change is first on the agenda. If you can't make it, you can email your comments to Bill Longnecker, Senior Planner, at email@example.com.
The full agenda is available on the MAPC homepage. You may also wish to check with Planning to make sure it's still on the agenda before showing up, at 268-4421.