Permit approved for South Carson Street cell tower
The Planning Commission approved a special use permit for a new cell tower on South Carson Street.
The 77-foot, Verizon Wireless tower is planned for 3331 Carson St., property zoned retail commercial but bordered to the east by a residential development.
Several nearby homeowners spoke during public comment on Wednesday in opposition to it.
“It will detract from my unobstructed view of the mountains and affect property values,” said Daniel Knox. “With colocations, it could reach 110 feet.”
Wireless providers are encouraged by the Federal Communications Commission to colocate towers.
Knox and others also brought up a previous SUP obtained by Verizon for a cell tower farther south on Carson Street, in the parking lot south of Courtyard by Marriott hotel next door to the Casino Fandango.
That permit was approved in 2015 but the SUP has expired, said Heather Ferris, associate planner.
Matthew Moore, project manager, Complete Wireless Consulting Inc., representing Verizon, said the tower was never installed at that site after negotiations with the property owner fell through. The property owner is Carson Gaming LLC, or Casino Fandango.
The neighbors making public comment and two of the commissioners said the previous site was the preferred location as it was not near homes and provided the same service coverage.
The commission approved the SUP by a vote of 5-2 with commissioners Alex Dawers and Hope Tingle voting no.
The commission added several conditions to the approval. The tower, which will have two battery backups, can’t have an on-site generator except during emergencies. It will be a monopine, or pole camouflaged to look like a pine tree, and the builder will have to submit the materials to the Planning Department for approval before building it.
The commission also heard a presentation on a recently completed water use analysis study.
“This is nothing we haven’t done in the past, but it’s at a level of detail that is more sophisticated,” said Dan Stucky, city engineer.
The study analyzes 20,000 parcels in Carson City and looks at peak and average water usage for 19 land uses, including industrial, commercial and residential.
The goal, said Stucky, is to better understand water demand and support land use planning.
The accuracy of the model was demonstrated by the recent application for an RV park on Old Hot Springs Road. The model predicted water usage of 63,460 gallons per day and the developer applied for 65,000 gpd.
Stucky said the city will need to utilize 5,000 acre feet more water at full build out, or a total population of 80,000, and increase water production by 8.9 million gallons per day. The city has water rights for 18,648 acre feet and average current demand requires 11,124 acre feet.
Eddy Quaglieri, water utility manager, described the city’s water system and talked about several projects that could produce the additional water.
Those projects are re-drilling well 3, which would add 1.4 mgd; re-drill well 4, which is currently not in use, adding another 1.4 mgd; an additional induction well to pull surface water, adding 2.1 mgd; and upgrades to the Quill Water Treatment Plant to boost production there by 4 mgd.
The city is now working with Farr West Engineering to determine the cost of upgrading Quill to treat water from Marlette Lake and Hobart Reservoir, which has problems with algae. That report is expected in the fall.
Jason Woodbury, district attorney, and Dan Yu, assistant district attorney, gave a presentation on the DA’s office project to update the city’s municipal code over the next four years.
The Planning Commission will be involved in revising Title 17 and Title 18, the two sections the commission oversees.