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Cell tower disguised as bell/clock tower planned on Manitou Boulevard

A drawing included in the application for T-Mobile's 40-foot high bell/clock tower provides a basic depiction of how it's intended to conceal cell-phone service equipment on the Living Hope Church property.
Courtesy of Advantage Engineering
A 40-foot bell/clock tower - intended to conceal a T-Mobile cellular tower - is planned for construction on the Living Hope Church property, 640 Manitou Blvd.
       According to a staff report by Rachel Teixeira, the city planner assigned to the project, such towers are allowed in residential areas, if they are “designed to blend into the surroundings.”
       She believes that's the case for the T-Mobile plan; however, she adds in her report, because the maximum building height is 30 feet in the R2 zone in that part of Manitou Boulevard, a conditional-use permit is needed from the Colorado Springs Planning Commission.
       “As a reference,” Teixeira notes in her report, the current church building is 65 feet high at its peak; "therefore, the proposed watch tower has a compatible height and tends to 'blend in' within the site,” she asserts.
       A hearing is scheduled before Planning Commission Thursday, March 16. It's one of several items on the agenda for the meeting starting at 8:30 a.m. The location is City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave.
       According to the Project Statement - supplied to the city by Advantage Engineers, on behalf of the tower applicant, Eco-Site Inc. - the plan is part of an effort by the T-Mobile company to “upgrade its network” in Colorado Springs. The apparatus will also be available “for additional carriers to collocate, thus providing fast and reliable service to cell phone users in the areas that depend on that coverage for everyday use,” the Project Statement continues.
       No organized opposition to the plan has arisen. However, two individuals sent complaints to the city, out of 470 property owners within a 1,000 foot buffer distance who were mailed notices of the proposal. According to a review of the complaints by Advantage Engineers, one complaint was based on view impairment, the other on a “dislike of the church.”
       The Living Hope Church sits on 7.8 acres. Located at the rear of the property, the tower would be set 185 feet away from the current building, Teixeira's report states, with tower access from the parking lot off Manitou Blvd.
       The concealed devices inside the tower will include antennas and a microwave dish, with ground equipment to be housed in a “brick-walled compound at the base of the tower,” the Project Statement explains.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/8/17; Land: Development Proposals)

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