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Verizon Plans to Build New Cell Tower Behind mTrade Park

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor

Those spending the day at Sardis Lake and residents living in the northwest corner of Lafayette County may soon notice their cell phones having better service – but not everyone is happy about it.

The Lafayette County Planning Commission approved several requests from Verizon Tuesday to construct a 250-foot cell tower on a quarter-acre lot behind mTrade Park off County Road 147.

“Verizon has a coverage need in this area they are trying to meet,” said Verizon representative David McGhee. “This spot would help meet that need.”

The self-collapsing tower will be located in a heavily wooded area; however, the commission required a natural screen around the tower made from evergreen trees to shield the bottom of the tower as much as possible from neighbors.

Two landowners living near the proposed cell tower site spoke out against the tower. One presented about 25 signatures from people living in the area against its construction. Another man said he was concerned about the cell tower lowering his property value and reported health concerns from living near a cell tower.

The cell tower will not support 5G technology. McGhee said other providers are welcome to rent space on the tower for its customers.

The commission voted to recommend approval for a conditional use permit for the tower, a dimensional 5-foot variance, and the preliminary and final site plan for the tower. The request to place the cell tower still needs approval from the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors.

“I understand nobody wants a cell tower in their back yard and I can sympathize with that,” said Commissioner Ray Garrett. “But at the same time, how do we address the concern of (failing) emergency calls on the lake that predates everybody in my lifetime basically.”


In other business Tuesday, the commission:

  • Approved a conditional use permit, dimensional variance and preliminary and final plat for Zack’s Cabinets at 411 Highway 30 East
  • Tabled a request for a conditional use permit and preliminary and final site plan for Satterfield Pottery to allow the owner to work with the commission and building department on hours of operation and sewer plans.
  • Approved the preliminary and final plat for Phase 5 of Twelve Oaks
  • Approved a conditional use and preliminary and final plat for Addison’s Place on CR 415
  • Approved Phase 2 for The Highlands preliminary and final plat


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