OK given for tower in Newsoms

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Southampton County supervisors unanimously approved a conditional permit to allow for the construction of a telecommunications tower in Newsoms. The vote came after a public hearing during the board’s most recent meeting.

Parallel Infrastructures Telecom Infrastructure T LLC, applying on behalf of J.C. Bunn III, Denise B. Bunn and Joan B. Bunn, seek permission to build a 254-foot tall tower for T Mobile on the south side in the 23000 block of East Depot Street.

Beth Lewis, secretary for the Southampton Planning Commission, said this is a “long-sought telecommunications tower,” and it’ll provide a service to which Newsoms is very much looking forward. She added that the Planning Commission had already given its recommendation.

Lisa Murphy, an attorney for PI Telecom, presented maps with two potential towers; one in Sedley, which has gone by the wayside, and the other in Newsoms. She noted that lack of coverage and how T Mobile’s coverage would be filling in blank areas.

Some landscaping would be required and a red and white light would be placed on top

Ash Cutchin, who said he has a tower on his property, mentioned that the workmen at that site “seemed think it’s OK to throw lunch trash,” otherwise he recommended approval. So too did Glenn Updike, tho thanked the supervisors.

“We’ve been begging for this 10 to 15 years,” he said.

The company has a year from the date the permit is granted to begin work.

There were five other public hearings that evening:

• V.S. Pittman II got a conditional use for a sand pit to operate on a portion of a property east of Ridley and Greenhead roads in the Newsoms District. Mining will be done in phases on 125 out of 567 total acres, and it’s 2,900 feet from the nearest residence.

Lewis said that 20 to 25 acres would be used in the first phase. Hours, security, no blasting; reclamation done under mines and minerals.

Edward Railey, attorney for property owner Ida Pittman pointed out that there are no issues about noise, dust, etc., and that it’s encompassed wholly by the applicant’s property.

Ash Cutchin said that if the Planning Commission approved, then the supervisors should also approve it. Updike called it “a win-win proposition for owner and taxpayers.”

Randolph Cook recommended approving the permit and all supervisors agreed.

• Dominion Power got a conditional use permit to create a 115kV electrical switching station within five of 52 acres on the south side of Bell Road in the Berlin-Ivor District, and it’s 3,370 feet from the nearest residence.

Lewis explained that the station “ensures delivery of electricity in case of interruption.”

• William Kemp applied for a zoning map amendment on 6.27 acres, going from Conditional General Business to A-1, Agricultural.

Lewis said that Kemp no longer was in the restaurant business and a church wants to buy the property. She doesn’t anticipate a lot of changes.

Both Cutchin and Updike recommended approval.

All board members said OK.

•John B. Stutts got a conditional use permit to create an outdoor rifle and pistol range on 0.76 acres of a 50-acre parcel. This is in the 19400 block of Camp Twenty Drive off Rivers Mill Road in the Drewryville District.

Lewis said there area would include a 12-foot high berm on northern part of property, and that the range would not be used on Sundays or other times when a nearby church is having services. Further, the range would be used only by law enforcement.

Ronnie West, vice chairman, made a motion for approval, and all board members agreed to grant the permit.

• Finally, an ordinance amendment was granted. The proposed ordinances put a new $50 fee for each inspection needed by the Department of Environmental Quality (two inspections monthly for active permits). Further the fee for permits issued for single family dwellings goes from $50 to $100. The board unanimously approved this as well.