Maricopa County development

Board to hear New River T-Mobile tower case again

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A proposed wireless device tower permit request will return to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ agenda for Wednesday’s 9 a.m. meeting.

The agenda for the meeting, set to be held in board chambers on West Jefferson Street, includes a revisit to an item tabled last summer. T-Mobile and Vertical Bridge want to erect a cell tower on the southeast corner of West Desert Hills Drive and Seventh Avenue in the Desert Hills part of New River.

Revised plans reduce the tower height from 80 feet to 65 feet, changed the color from being painted brown to have a “Corten” brown finish and reduced the array diameter from 13 feet to 9 feet, 6 inches.

The pole and ground equipment will be within a 30-foot by-35-foot compound, with 10-foot tall solid retaining wall.

A lively discussion at its Aug. 4 meeting last year led the board to make a unanimous decision to table the approval vote. The Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission voted last July, 7-0, to recommend the board deny the special-use permit request.

Local residents brought formidable opposition to the board at that August meeting, with seven people opposing the tower verbally.

A consultant and two other people involved with the project also spoke and were not opposed to it. The consultant asked for time to do more public outreach, so the hearing was postponed indefinitely.

Another 33 comments were phoned into the supervisors in advance of the meeting, all in opposition to the tower. To date, there are 123 people registered in opposition to the project, including 80% opposition from parcel owners whose properties are within a 300-foot distance of an edge of the property.

A firefighter told the board last August that T-Mobile, which could lease space on a tower placed on private land, rejected Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical’s offer to place the 80-foot tower at a different site rather than the 1.7 acres at West Desert Hills Drive and Seventh Avenue.

Also on Wednesday’s agenda are major plan amendment and zone-change requests for Hidden Waters Ranch. That’s a planned industrial development set to be built on 200 acres, between Interstate 10 and Buckeye Road and between 339th and 351st avenues.

The board also will hear a permit request for an RV, boat and vehicle storage facility in the New River area.

The board is also set to hold an executive session and a special meeting related to the vacant County Attorney office.

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