Kannapolis City Council updates ordinance for cell towers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2018

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis City Council on Monday approved an amendment to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance.

The amendment will allow cellphone towers or “stealth towers” to be located on land adjacent to vacant, unplatted parcels zoned residential without existing separation requirements.

Stealth towers are less than 300 to 500 feet and are usually attached to other structures: light poles, at school stadiums, on water towers or on buildings.

City Planning Director Zac Gordon said that currently, cell towers must have 100 feet or 100 percent of their tower height’s setbacks, whichever is greater, from undeveloped parcels.

Gordon said the requirement eliminates a significant number of otherwise appropriate locations where these sorts of facilities could be permitted, particularly in areas where existing coverage is poor.

The approved amendments only remove setback requirements on these unplatted parcels, he said, where there are no immediate future plans, approvals or entitlements on the land.

Addressing concerns of the effect on property values, Councilman Ryan Dayvault told of his own experience buying a home and the quality of cell coverage factored into his decision.

“I think values of property around these would become greater because of greater quality of service,” Dayvault said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting:

• Mayor Darrell Hinnant read a proclamation declaring Sept. 9-15 as National Suicide Prevention Week.

• Michael Bonoffski, senior vice president of marketing and communications with the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, presented the bureau’s 2018-19 marketing plan.

Bonoffski said that by working with marketing agency Mower, the bureau has increased web impressions to 78 million compared to 38 million last year.

Using this growing presence, the agency plans to target families with children with an interest in NASCAR, dirt track racing, car shows and similar interests, said Bonoffski.

Its secondary market will be adults 25 to 34 with similar interests.

The bureau has also started a campaign called “I’m a Fan.” This extends beyond racing, Bonoffski said, into shopping, panning for gold, baseball and more.

Baseball could be a key marketing advantage for Kannapolis as the city works toward completing its new sports and entertainment venue by 2020, Hinnant said.

“While it may seem that 2020 is a long way away, we’re edging to the end of 2018 now,” he said. “… Time flies. … I would suggest we need to be doing some planning now.”