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Dalton Gardens council rejects wireless ordinance

| October 13, 2021 1:00 AM

The Dalton Gardens City Council unanimously rejected an ordinance that would have regulated cell antennas and towers.

Robert Wuest, Aaron O'Brien, Ray Craft and Carrie Chase all voted to turn down the proposal. They instructed the city’s legal counsel to work with others — attorneys and experts in this area — on a more restrictive and specific ordinance dealing with distributed antenna systems and small cells.

Chase said the ordinance presented Thursday was essentially the same ordinance presented last February to Planning and Zoning

“There’s no protections in this ordinance,” Chase said near the end of a three-hour meeting Thursday. “There’s none whatsoever.”

A reworked ordinance will go to the Planning and Zoning Commission and then back to the City Council, perhaps for its November meeting.

Attorney Chris Gabbert said the proposed ordinance was just a first step and “Not meant to be a comprehensive wireless ordinance.”

But as Dalton Gardens has nothing on the books in that area, this would provide some framework for the city to have to review applications. The council could return to the ordinance and change or add to it as needed.

Otherwise, it would be open to “substantial risk of being taken advantage of.”

“We have nothing on the books to address this,” he said.

Eagle, Idaho, has a wireless communications ordinance that Dalton Gardens wants to review.

While the ordinance has long been in the works, there was opposition to it.

Some said that it did not go far enough, while others pointed out it would be better to do it once and get it right. It was also noted there was a cost involved in codifying ordinances and holding public hearings and further, that Dalton Gardens was not in any “big danger” of being overrun with cell antennas or towers.

In the end, the council agreed with those arguments.

Rejection of the ordinance was met with mild applause.

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