Whether or not to put a new cell phone tower in Navasota was the hot topic of debate at Monday’s Navasota City Council meeting. In April, a conditional use permit application was submitted by Hassell development Inc. to build a 200 foot cell service tower at the intersection of FM 379 and FM 1227, near the Heritage Meadows Subdivision, where there already stands a 200 foot tower on the North end of the neighborhood owned by SBA Towers.
Lawyers from AT&T and SBA were at the meeting, along with Mr. Hassell, and the trio had a debate that lasted over an hour. In short: the new tower would not end up providing improved cell service to Navasota.
Councilman Josh Fultz stated his concerns, saying that the tower would one, be an eyesore to the neighborhood, and two, provide nothing more than the already standing tower near the neighborhood. Other council member discussed the pros and cons of the tower, and listened to rebuttals from the lawyers present.
After some confusion on the motion to deny the request, the council met in executive session with the city attorney for 30 minutes before Councilman Fultz gave the reasoning for rejecting the application in his official motion, which are listed below.
(1) The close proximity to of the proposed tower to the FM 379 and FM 1227 rights of way and creating safety concerns that would result from the collapse of the proposed tower.
(2) The negative visual impact that will be caused by the additional tower and the proximity of the proposed tower to the existing tower
(3) The safety concern that would be created by the location of the driveway in the proposed tower’s site and close proximity to the intersection of FM 379 and FM 1227.
In the end, the conditional use application failed, as council voted 3 to 2 against the conditional use permit. Councilman Fultz, Horn and Mayor Miller were those who voted to deny the tower, while Councilman Bernie Gessner and Grant Holt voted for the acceptance of the application.