Truckee Planning Commission approves new cell tower
Truckee Planning Commission has approved a 110-foot monopine cell tower to be installed off State Route 89 near the Truckee Crossroads shopping center.
According to a staff report, the tower will improve reception and enhance emergency services.
All commissioners approved the project except for Commissioner Jerusha Hall.
“I don’t think that having a cell tower at the gateway into Tahoe is an acceptable location,” said Hall. “I think we should be able to find a better site.”
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According Jacob Hamilton of Virtual Site Walk, the company overseeing the tower installation, the selected site for the tower was the farthest buildable location from the highway.
“I’ve done this for 10 years and it comes up often that people want it somewhere else. That’s very common for legitimate reasons,” said Hamilton.
However he said that they have not received substantial community opposition to the project and they are using the “best and greatest technology” to hide the tower from plain sight.
“I’m inclined to feel the benefits outweigh the detriments,” said Commissioner Nikki Riley.
Regarding potential health impacts on surrounding residents Hamilton said they conducted an electromagnetic emission study. Though he could not recall exactly how far under the Federal Communications Commission’s limit that the levels were, he said “it was substantially lower than what is required.”
According to telecommunications regulations if a wireless carrier has shown there is a gap in coverage and demonstrated that they have found the least intrusive way of filling that gap then the town cannot deny their application.
“Staff feels that they’ve provided sufficient documentation to show that they made a good faith effort to locate that facility and enough analysis to show that there’s an existing gap in coverage,” said Laura Dabe, assistant planner for the town of Truckee.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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