Amendment will provide controls over placement of new equipment
The Monett City Council approved an amendment to its zoning ordinance to provide more regulation over the incoming 5G internet technology.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle reported that federal and state governments passed laws that would take all regulation away from the city. With a zoning amendment, the city would have the authority to regulate the location of new internet devices in single family zoned areas. The devices, Pyle continued, are small, ranging from four-by-six feet to seven cubic feet.
With the ordinance, the city could have say on disguising the units, camouflaging or asking to have smaller units used. The new units, rather than broadcasting to a wide audience like large antennae, would target customers 300 feet away. The devices could be placed on top of standing utility pole, or below the crossbars of a power pole, or even resemble a free standing flag pole only shorter.
Without the ordinance, internet operators could place their devices anyway without regulation. With the amendment, the city would also have the ability to request a permit fee and a pole attachment fee.
The citys Panning and Zoning Commission recommended the change. The amendment had been drafted by the citys legal counsel on telecommunications issues, Cunningham, Vogel and Rost in St. Louis. Pyle, Utilities Superintendent Skip Schaller and Building Inspector Wade Ennes all reviewed the language and approved it with minor changes.
Generally our ordinance encourages companies to co-locate their equipment with ours, to put them on existing poles, though the FCC [the Federal Communications Commission] allows them to put poles on our right of way, except for spacing, Pyle said.
Units are already popping up in St. Louis and the suburbs. Pyle anticipated it would take a while before they began appearing in Monett.
Police Chief George Daoud did not anticipate the units would become magnets for vandalism, since most would likely sit higher on poles, out of reach. He did not think the units would have much if any copper in them to attract thieves, who may not even recognize the camouflaged devices.
Council members thanked Pyle and colleagues for their time invested in tracking and crafting a measure to give the city better controls over an incoming system, and passed the amendment.