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Farmer appeals tower decision

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.comRichard L. Parker, a Mount Ulla farmer, is appealing the county’s refusal to issue a zoning permit for a radio broadcast tower.
Attorneys with the Hartsell & Williams firm of Concord notified the county earlier this month they are appealing the county’s ruling to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
This is the latest step in a multi-year effort to build a broadcast tower in the Mount Ulla area or across the county line in Iredell County.
In 2006, the Parkers tried to get a conditional-use permit to build a 1,350-foot-tall broadcast tower for Davidson County Broadcasting of Lexington, which operates FM station Magic 94.1.
That failed in 2007 when the N.C. Court of Appeals upheld the county’s denial of the permit, based on the tower presenting a hazard to a nearby airstrip at Miller Airpark.
In January, Parker sought a building permit contending the tower is exempt because it would have an antenna for public safety use.
Planning Director Ed Muire noted in his response that even if the antenna was exempt, the exemption did not include a tower. Muire advised the Parkers they must obtain a conditional-use permit to begin construction of a radio broadcast tower and antenna.
Andrew T. Cornelius, an attorney with the Hartsell firm, notified the county earlier this month of the decision to appeal.
In his notice of appeal, Cornelius contends the project is exempt from the conditional-use permitting process and that “the user of the tower will provide the needs of western Rowan County for emergency communication services and license requirements of the FCC.”
The Rowan County Zoning Board of Adjustment is scheduled to hear the case May 12 at 5:30 p.m. in the Cohen Administrative Offices Building, 130 W. Innes St.
Contact Jessie Burchette at 704-797-4254.

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