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AT&T proposes cell tower at Oakwood church

Company anticipates little traffic, limited noise from structure

POSTED: November 20, 2013 11:38 p.m.

AT&T is seeking to put up a 195-foot cellphone tower at Maranatha Baptist Church in Oakwood.

“The primary focus of this project is to improve highway coverage along McEver Road (in West Hall County) and to provide better indoor coverage in the surrounding residential areas,” states the telecommunications company in a letter concerning the effort.

The Oakwood Planning Commission recommended approval of the tower on Monday, forwarding the matter to Oakwood City Council, which will hold a public hearing and take its first vote at a meeting set for 7 p.m. Dec. 9.

Providence Real Estate Consulting of Loganville has filed the application for AT&T.

“AT&T anticipates very limited traffic to or from this site and most often is no more than one visit per month by (a) technician,” the company states in a Nov. 6 letter to Oakwood. “There should be no noise except in the event of an emergency power outage, at which time a generator may be activated for a short time.”

Also housed at the church at 5135 McEver Road is Maranatha Christian Academy.

Maranatha’s pastor, Rod Bell Jr., couldn’t be reached for comment.

The tower would “be on the back of the property over by the soccer field in a wooded area,” City Manager Stan Brown said.

The Providence letter says property at West Hall High School, 5500 McEver Road, “was evaluated as a potential candidate” for a tower but AT&T engineers “determined that the location would not meet the current coverage objective.”

In September, the Hall County Board of Education approved a 245-foot cell tower at Flowery Branch High School, in a 25-year option that could pump $659,000 into the school system over that period.

In an unrelated matter, Arrow Auto Auction, 4712 Flat Creek Road, near the Maranatha campus, is seeking the annexation of an adjacent 13.29 acres into Oakwood and rezoning it from Hall County’s agricultural-residential category to Oakwood’s highway business category.

There are “no development plans at the time,” the application states.

The planning board also recommended approval of that proposal, which also goes before the City Council for a public hearing and first vote on Dec. 9.


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