Board of Adjustment Minutes

July 2, 2007


Minutes - Woodbury County Board of Adjustment Meeting

July 02, 2007

The meeting convened on the 2nd of July, 2007 at 7:00 PM in the Board of Supervisors Meeting Room in the Court House, Sioux City, Iowa.  Present were the following Board members: Corey Meister, Russell Walker, and Robert Brouillette. Brian Crichton was absent. Chairperson Willard B. McNaughton arrived at 7:05 PM.  Zoning Administrator John Pylelo and Peggy Napier were also in attendance. Present from the public was Bruce W. Sorenson.  The Chairman informed those present the meeting was being audio taped.

The first agenda item was approval of the previous meetings.

Minutes of the April 2, 2007 Board of Adjustment meeting were approved on motion by Mr. Meister; seconded by Mr. Walker; motion carried 4-0.

Minutes of the June 7, 2007 Board of Adjustment meeting were approved on motion by Mr. Meister; seconded by Mr. Walker; motion carried 4-0.

The second agenda item is a Conditional Use public hearing  for Jerry and Marlene Witt / and Verizon Wireless tower.

Comment to Board:  Your Board is aware Woodbury County’s ordinances specific to Tower Development permits were nullified in February 2004.  This Conditional Use hearing is warranted as telecommunication towers are not a permitted use in the AG zoning District.

The applicants are property owners Jerry and Marlene Witt of 1431 Eastland Avenue, Lawton, Iowa who have owned the proposed parcel site since 1988.  The owner of the Tower would be Verizon Wireless.  The Witt’s intention would be to lease property to Verizon Wireless should the tower’s building permit be issued.  Verizon is represented by its agent, Selective Site Consultants, Inc. of Overland Park, KS.

Verizon Wireless proposes to construct a 300’ guyed wire telecommunications tower upon the Witt property at a ground elevation of 1268’.  The towers base lies within SE !/4 of the NE ¼ of Section 30 Banner township and is approximately 1 mile NW of Lawton Iowa and approximately 1 ½ miles north of Hwy 20 on the west side of Eastland Avenue between 140th and 150th Sts.  The closest intersecting streets are Eastland Avenue and 140th Sts.  The property is zoned AG (Agricultural District).  The tower would lie approximately 350’ west of the centerline of Eastland Avenue.

Construction is proposed in order to provide an enhanced digital signal along the Hwy 20 corridor near Lawton through 12 antennas placed at the 300 foot level.  The proposed location was selected as it will achieve Verizon Wireless’s coverage and capacity objectives and improve impaired services.  The company states there are no viable collocation opportunities within a one mile distance of the site.

Included in your reference materials are copies of the following of information provided by the applicant:

  1. Application
  2. Consents
  3. Exhibits 1 through 8
  4. Affidavits i through iii
  5. Engineer Propagation Studies
  6. Site Photographs
  7. Photo Simulation
  8. FAA Aeronautical Study
  9. Abstractors List of Surrounding Landowners
  10. Site Plan Drawings
  11. Applicable Woodbury County Ordinances

A separate 24 page document entitled Project Information and Notes which includes Topographic Boundary Survey mapping, Overall Site plan, Enlarged Site Plan, Tower Elevation, Grading Plan, Foundation Plan Detail, Miscellaneous Construction Details, Grounding Specifications, etc.

The fifty-four (54) property owners within 5,280 feet of the site have been notified.  To date there have been no responses.  The closest structures to the tower’s base would be:

1350’ to the N – Witt Homestead Site

1600’ to the E – Sorenson Homestead Site

2800’ to the NE – Nobbe Homestead Site

3050’ to the NE – Coppley Single Family Dwelling

3050’ to the NE – Schwartz Homestead Site

3300’ to the NW - Ludwig HomesteadSite

At your June 7, 2004 meeting a public hearing was held on this matter.  In that meeting a tower development permit was approved.  Enclosed are copies of your Board’s minutes of that meeting and the resulting resolution #BA279.

The development permit was rendered null and void in December of 2004 as County ordinances required the tower’s building permit issuance and construction commence within 180 days of conditional use approval.  The applicant did not meet those conditions and now asks for reconsideration by new application.

Note:  At your October 2, 2006 Board meeting you approved a tower development permit for a 250’ tower at a location approximately 2.3 miles to the SE.  That tower’s property owner was Doyle Smith and the tower owner was C and S Structures, Inc.  The C & S Structures, Inc. tower is currently under construction (since the packets were mailed it is now operational) and offers the only additional co-location opportunity since your 2004 review of the Witt/Verizon application.  Through their agent Verizon Wireless has been provided this information and been asked to take into consideration this newest co-location opportunity.


Mr. Pylelo announced to the Board he received a phone call on Friday from Mr. Robert (Bob) Herlihy advising him he had gotten some erroneous information on latitude and longitude from C & S Structures, Inc. on the Doyle Smith property the Board had approved in 2004.  It hadn’t presented itself to be a viable co-location opportunity.  They re-checked some data and discovered the correct longitude and latitude which essentially place the Doyle Smith tower at a higher elevation than they had studied previously and a mile closer to their tower.  They asked in a faxed received that morning to ask you to consider tabling this issue for sixty (60) days until the Board’s September meeting to give them time to explore this co-location opportunity.  Pylelo has confirmed that they have been in contact with Mr. Cohen of C & S Structures, Inc. who owns the Doyle Smith tower.  They are in negotiations now for a potential co-location issue.

Mr. Pylelo advised the Board their options were to:

  • Approve this site
  • Disapprove this site
  • Adhere to their request to table the matter until the September meeting

Mr. Pylelo further stated if the Board tables the matter they will need to write the resolution in such a way as to bypass publishing and notifying the property owners again.  At this meeting we need to hear any public input, establish a record (done by the minutes), and advise all necessary parties that it is tabled and when the next meeting will be.

Bruce Sorenson lives two (2) miles from the Doyle Smith tower.  He stated he preferred a guyed tower versus un-guyed tower and was concerned about strobe lights in the evening.

Mr. Pylelo gave Mr. Sorenson the dimensions and the fall distance of the tower.  He explained probable issues involved in the placement of towers.

Chairman McNaughton explained Woodbury County’s ordinance for dual lighting on towers.

Mr. Pylelo suggested he monitor the negotiations to make sure C & S’s tower is getting a fair agreement.

A discussion ensued.

A motion was made by Russell Walker to table and to continue the public hearing on September 10, 2007.  Interesting parties will be contacted by the Zoning Office; Mr. Brouillette seconded the motion; motion carried 4-0.

Mr. Pylelo announced the upcoming town hall meetings and asked the Board to review the current ordinance drafts that would be mailed to them and comment on them.

The next agenda item was any citizens wanting to be heard.

Public was no longer present.

Mr. Brouillette made a motion to adjourn; seconded by Mr. Walker.  Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned 7:44 PM.

The next meeting is scheduled to be Monday, August 6, 2007 at 7 PM in the Board of Supervisor’s meeting room.