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Council introduces new small-cell-antenna bill

  • Published in Local

countysealROCKVILLE — Warning that the federal government will take away local control from the County over how it regulates telecommunications towers, County Council President Hans Riemer (D-at large) on Tuesday introduced a zoning text amendment that will help facilitate the expansion of cellphone antennas in the County.

While the County Council introduced and debated a similar bill about a year ago, with members of the Council saying telecommunication companies needed to deploy the small-cell antennas to expand 4G and cellphone service throughout the County, many residents balked at the idea, claiming the antennas are an eyesore or that the radiation they emit may pose a danger to public health.

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Council passes ZTA on small cell towers

  • Published in Local

countysealROCKVILLE — After more than a year of delays and revisions, the Council and telecommunications companies have finally gotten their way regarding small cell antennas.

On Tuesday, the Council unanimously approved a zoning text amendment clearing the way of the use of small cell telecommunication antennas in commercial zones.

“This is really intended to make some very modest changes to reflect the reality of our world,” said Council member Nancy Floreen (D-at large).

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County Council holds public hearing on small cell tower expansion

  • Published in Local

MoCo LogoROCKVILLE — Tuesday night’s public hearing on another bill to facilitate the expansion of small cell antennas was the second go-around and a familiar story for all those involved.

In March, Council President Hans Riemer (D-at large), at the request of County Executive Ike Leggett, introduced a new bill, Zoning Text Amendment 18-02 that would make it easier to place small cell antennas in urban areas. Unlike the previous bill, which the Council did not vote on after public protest, ZTA18-02 only facilities the expansion of small cell antennas in urban areas, meaning the current zoning regulations requiring individual public hearings for placing poles that carry the antennas the same.

Edward Donohue, a representative from T-Mobile who testified at the County Council Tuesday night said the data demands for the first quarter of 2018 have exceeded all the combined data demands from 2012 to 2014.

“There’s an ever-increasing demand on infrastructure in the County,” Donohue said. “And additional sites are really needed in order to address the capacity and coverage issues.”

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County reconsiders small cell antennas

  • Published in Local

celltowerFile photoThe Montgomery County Council is again considering another zoning text amendment that will make way for a series of telecommunication antennas that have been the subject of controversy around the County.

On Tuesday, Council President Hans Riemer (D-At-Large), introduced ZTA 18-02 on behalf of County Executive Isiah Leggett (D). If passed, it would amend county zoning laws to make it easier to erect small cell antennas in commercial zones. The bill’s introduction marks a change in policy for the Council after similar legislation that would have also facilitated the placement of hundreds of small cell antennas on both commercial and residential property was put on hold after meeting significant resistance from the public.

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