Crozet Cell Tower Gets Approval


August Lamb, Editor-in-Chief

A proposed cell tower to be built at Western was approved by the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in September, with an additional provision that it be limited to a height of 80 feet rather than the originally proposed height of 145 feet. The Board cited visibility concerns and requirements in the County Comprehensive Plan that restrict the placement and height of cell towers within its borders.
Representatives from Milestone Communications, the company contracted to construct the tower, indicated that they plan to capitalize on a Federal Communications Commission regulation that allows for a 20-foot increase in the height of the tower, bringing the new total height to 100 feet in order to improve service to the Crozet area. The company was concerned that tree foliage could block the signal produced by the tower, which would have a detrimental effect on coverage, though county officials do not believe that the height reduction will have a significant impact.
The tower will be built behind the bleachers on the WAHS Turf Field and will provide cell service to the Crozet area and internet access to approximately 400 homes and businesses, including Western, Henley Middle, and Brownsville Elementary.
The School District is expected to earn $25,000 in the 10-year lease with Milestone, $5,000 for every additional carrier that leases space on the tower, and 40% of revenues earned from the tower. No timeline has been established for breaking ground on the project as of yet.