Brookhaven could have a new cell tower, the first to be built in the city since its incorporation, according to city officials.
“This is the first macro cell tower we have received a request for in Brookhaven history,” City Attorney Chris Balch said at a Brookhaven Planning Committee meeting on October 6. . “Staff were diligent in reviewing the plans and also brought in outside counsel. ”
During the October 6 meeting, the Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval of an application for a special land use permit that would allow the applicant, Dominion Tower Group, to construct a cell phone tower in 3809 Buford Road.
Ellen Smith spoke on behalf of the applicant and stated that the cell phone tower will support Dish Wireless, but there will be opportunities for the tower to host other networks in the future. Dish is a satellite television company, which acquired Boost Mobile from telecommunications company Sprint in 2020.
“The tower will be structurally built to support additional co-locations, or other antennas, for other operators who may want to join,” Smith said. “There’s a kind of ‘Field of Dreams’ in certain situations – when you build it, they come.”
The tower would be located about 180 feet from the nearest apartments and 75 feet from a nearby Kroger, which would be the closest building. Smith said the location was chosen in part because it would not require any zoning changes, and also because the area surrounding the proposed tower needs better coverage for customers who use Boost Mobile.
Another Dominion Tower Group representative, Sarran Marshall, said the extent of the tower cellular coverage would depend on the technology of the specific operator, but the tower would be designed to accommodate “the latest and greatest 5G technology. the most efficient ”.
Construction will require the removal of three trees, according to Smith. The trees are not specimen trees, and Smith said replanting is necessary.
The commission expressed concern about the aesthetics of the tower, but ultimately decided to recommend approval if coverage in the area was required.
“These things are not very aesthetic … but you weigh that against the benefits you bring to the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Kevin Quirk.
The cell phone tower request is expected to be submitted to Brookhaven City Council at its October 26 meeting. Residents can view the October 6 Planning Commission meeting on the city’s Facebook page.