Weatherford Democrat

January 1, 2012

Vertical real estate to provide faster wireless service

Erin Cooper

— Residents traveling along Santa Fe Drive in the last several weeks may have noticed some unusual real estate developing vertically toward the sky.

The tower construction of the metal tower is the result of an ordinance approved by Weatherford City Council at a Nov. 8 meeting.

The ordinance approved a conditional use permit for a communication antenna and its support structure, or tower, to be built at the intersection of Santa Fe Drive and Clear Lake Road. A conditional use permit deals with land use that is unique in nature and must fall under a specific zoning district. This particular structure fall under the C1 commercial zoning district.

Conditional use permits must be passed through both the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council. Planning and zoning and councilmembers are required to “evaluate the impact of the conditional use on, and the compatibility of the use with, surrounding properties and neighborhoods to ensure the appropriateness of the use at a particular location,” the agenda report stated.

The tower, which will be 150 feet tall once completed, is near three other commercial businesses, including Jack-in-the-Box, the Petro gas station and a drug screening office.

American Tower owns the materials used to construct the tower, but a company spokesman said the tower will be utilized by AT&T.

“Its purpose is to provide wireless service for the area,” Matt Peterson, vice president for Communications at American Tower, said. “AT&T will be installing equipment on this tower to improve its network services in the area.”

Peterson advised further inquiries about the use of the tower to be directed to AT&T officials. A spokeswoman at AT&T, however, stated last week that she could not comment on a tower that the company was not currently using.