The Hamlet City Council has decided to hold off on making a decision to adopt a revised Telecommunications Tower Ordinance.
At the City Council meeting Tuesday, there was a public hearing regarding the proposed changes to the Telecommunications Tower Ordinance. The Planning and Zoning Board submitted the proposed changes, which would allow the city to be in line with other municipalities when it comes to regulations, requirements, the application process, penalties and fees for towers and still protect the safety, health and welfare of residents.
Van Billingsley, owner of the Electronics Service Company in Hamlet, spoke about why it would not be a good idea for the city to adopt some of the proposed changes.
Billingsley said that over the last 38 years he has built many towers and read over many ordinances.
He said that the proposed changes to the ordinance concerned him because the revisions would stifle small businesses.
“Some parts of the ordinance that they are proposing stifles entrepreneurism within the city, and lots of other cities and counties are actually trying to make it easier to conduct communications businesses within their city,” Billingsley said.
He agreed that it is good to have an ordinance, but when it goes too far and stifles growth, it is a problem.
“If they clamp down too tightly it will hurt the city instead of help the city,” he said. Billingsley also mentioned that other counties are relaxing their ordinances.
Billingsley asked the council to table adoption of the proposed ordinance in order give him a change to bring several materials to the council for review.
The council decided to table the matter for 60 days.
After the meeting, Billingsley told the Daily Journal that Marlboro County actually rewrote its ordinance to help promote high-speed Internet within the county, and Montgomery County did the same thing.
“We don’t understand tower communications as well as he does,” said Johnathan Buie, a councilman, after the meeting. “In order for us to come to an agreement the city will need to sit down and communicate with him so that we can come to a conclusion.
— Staff Writer Iris Hunter can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.