A cell tower in northern Amherst County is on its way to receiving a 20-foot increase in height that will help improve coverage to its immediate service area.
The Amherst County Planning Commission on Nov. 18 unanimously recommended approval of a special exception that allows AT&T Mobility to allow the tower at 369 Moses Mountain Road to increase to 132 feet and expand the size of the existing equipment compound.
Jeremy Bryant, director of community development, said the tower has been up for nearly a decade and provides service to a fair amount of people in that portion of the county.
The property is wooded and is on 156 acres, according to county documents. The extension will not increase noise or traffic and will not cause disruption to the surrounding area, the company said in its application.
“The extension of the tower will allow for AT&T to provide enhanced coverage in the immediate area,” the application states.
No one spoke during a public hearing the commission held on the matter. Commissioner Jim Thompson said he visited the tower site area and feels the request is reasonable.
“I can find no issues with it,” Thompson said.
Also during the meeting, the commission unanimously recommended approval of a special exception request to allow a short-term tourist rental of a home at 455 Robinson Gap Road. David and Susan Moon, an Evington couple, recently purchased the property and fell in love with it, Susan Moon told the commission.
“It’s just beautiful and peaceful,” said Susan Moon. “We are visiting it regularly. We want to keep this in the quality and condition that it already is and our purpose is to share it with others in the area because it’s beyond gorgeous and we love it.”
She said they plan to use a company to fully screen guests and a maximum of four people would stay there.
James Barton, a neighboring property owner, said he opposes the request during a public hearing.
“With the possible increase of traffic with renters, it would just be a big change in my life,” said Barton. “It’s very quiet up there.”
Both special exception requests are expected to go before the Amherst County Board of Supervisors in December.
In other news:
Bryant said the Monacan Indian Nation has submitted a major site plan for a new 14,000-square-foot health clinic at the corner of Dixie Airport Road and U.S. 29 Business. The Amherst County-based tribe recently broke ground on the new facility, which Chief Kenneth Branham said has been a longtime dream to help the Monacans and the general public with a range of health needs. The site’s commercial zoning allows the clinic as a permitted by-right use, which means a public hearing is not required and staff is reviewing the site plan to make sure it meets all applicable regulations, according to the county.