Hall County is considering an ordinance to establish guidelines for technology like antennas in public rights of way.
State Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, who introduced the bill, said the goal is to cut down on the intrusiveness of the poles and technology that will be needed to expand broadband access.
“Instead of having cell towers that are 200 feet in the air and have lights that blink and you have them all over the landscape … you’re going to see them camouflaged on street lights, light poles and utility poles and buildings around your city or town,” Gooch told The Times in April.
Under Hall’s new ordinance, any new, modified or replaced pole on a right of way zoned residential cannot be more than 50 feet tall. In areas that are not zoned residential, poles must be 50 feet or shorter, or within 10 feet in height of the highest pole within a 500-foot radius, whichever is higher.
The ordinance would regulate “small wireless facilities.” To qualify, the structure's antenna must fit within an enclosure of 6 cubic feet or smaller, and when accounting for all other wireless equipment at the facility, it cannot take up more than 28 cubic feet.
Srikanth Yamala, the county’s planning and development director, said the goal is to make sure that any new technology does not interfere with other equipment.
"Hall County understands the valuable tools these types of facilities can be, but we want to ensure that they don't interfere with vital equipment, like traffic signals, that citizens rely on for safety," he said in a statement.
The Hall County Planning Commission will consider the ordinance on June 3. The Hall County Board of Commissioners is tentatively scheduled to hold two public hearings on the ordinance on June 13 and 27, with a vote tentatively set for June 27.
Hall County Planning Commission
When: 5:15 p.m. Monday, June 3
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville