City council hears 1st reading of wireless facilities ordinance
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council heard a first reading of the wireless communication facilities ordinance during their Tuesday meeting.
After a 112-foot cell tower was approved for the Needle Point/Ski Run neighborhood, many residents asked the council to stop the tower from being installed. The application was allowed based on rules that were in place at the time the application was approved so the council voted 3-2 to deny the appeal.
At the same time, the city began work on writing a new ordinance that would give it more autonomy over future applications. They held two workshops to get feedback from the community.
The ordinance would prioritize locations with proposed sites near schools, residential areas and historic sites being discouraged. It would also allow changing out facilities if smaller ones became available or to remove facilities that are no longer being used.
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Other parts of the ordinances limit the height of the towers and expand resident notification of proposed facilities.
Some members of the public still spoke out against the ordinance, stating they don’t want 5G in the community at all because of health concerns.
Councilmember Cody Bass mentioned concerns with the setback requirements, asking for a large buffer between wireless facilities and schools and residential areas.
One concern continually brought up by the public was that the city shouldn’t be moving forward during the pandemic crisis.
Mayor Jason Collin and council members Brooke Laine and Bass all said the city needs to move forward in order to not run into further issues with telecommunication companies.
The ordinance will come back to the council in May for a second reading before being adopted.
Bass voted no on the motion because the buffer from the school to facilities isn’t big enough.
In other business, the council approved the contract with the new city manager, Joe Irvin.
Irvin was on the phone during the meeting and said he’s excited to get started. His first day will be May 4.
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