Otero Approves Cellular Tower Land Use South of Rocky Ford

Description: Lex Nichols prepares to explain various slides to the Otero County Commissioners during Monday's regular public meeting.

Published: 01/23/2023
Byline: SECO News

Otero Approves Cell Tower Zoning 1-23-23

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Cellular Tower Zoning Moves Forward in Otero County

The Otero County Commissioners approved a land use by review permit for Atlas Tower One LLC that will impact cellular service in Otero County. Lex Nichols, with Otero County said, "It's a request to construct a 310 foot self-supporting cell tower that will provide much needed wireless, mobile phone connectivity to the area. It's gonna be placed on a portion of farmland, south of Rocky Ford..."

The Commissioner's unanimously approved the land use permit, which will be reviewed a year from now. The tower will host Verizon cellphone equipment, which will extend the range of the service by miles and improve mobile phone connectivity for not just Otero County residents, but any Verizon users in the area.

Watch the Video:


Nichols: Use by review of U-571-23, Caldwell Wayne and Atlas Tower. Okay, this is a special use permit request, major impact review. Wayne Caldwell is the property owner. The Atlas Tower one LLC is the applicant. It's a request to construct a 310 foot self-supporting cell tower that will provide much needed wireless, mobile phone connectivity to the area. It's gonna be placed on a portion of farmland, south of Rocky Ford property that is commonly addressed as 23207 US Highway 71, Rocky Ford. Owner of Record is Wayne Caldwell and Atlas Tower is the applicant, and Mr. Mike Power of Atlas Tower was there to present his request to the planning commission board, and in this site, there's no need for potable water or wastewater, it's just the tower itself.

And there'll be equipment storage, like the railroad, like a dump house. So there's no need at this time for any building permits or anything. CDOT did request that they don't use access off of Highway 71. I'll show you as we get going here. So they'll turn off 71 onto the County Road Z and then access the property from County Road Z so there won't be egress/ingress problems with the highway.

We did give him a copy of the letter and our thing was to make sure that they had all their paperwork with the FFA because of the height and they said it is all turned in. They're gonna be required to have two separate lighting systems, one for daytime, one for nighttime because of the height. Like I said, at this time, they should not need any building permits and they fall under a different kind of code that we don't do.

It's a tower code to meet wind, snow, things like that. So this one is built onsite, but it's got a huge concrete foundation with caissons, so the chances of it falling are less likely than some of the other table supportive towers. So anyway, we'll go through and show you. The property is south of Highway 10.

Can we turn off the lights off here?

I can. Awesome. Thank you.

Nichols: Okay. That's the subject property. It's down in the bottom right hand corner. You'll see it here in a second. When we progressed through, that's the notification zone. Everybody that was notified of the hearing. And 10 40 ones. It is under highline, but the portion that the tower's on is not historically irrigated.

It's for equipment storage and hay. They stack hay there. So that's 71 right on the east. Yep. That's 71 right? Right there. And County Road Z is right below it. So they'll come off of 71, turn on Z and Mr. Raleigh Jacker lives south of the property. That's his place there. Oh, okay. He has his tractors and stuff parked there now.

He farms it. Wayne Caldwell owns it. Oh, okay. And this is at the intersection of County Road Z and 71 looking to the Northwest. So it'll be up in that back corner to the right. This is looking straight west on County Road Z. Um, that's Mr. House on the left side there. And then this is where they'll access the property.

Once they get on Z they'll go back behind that stack wagon and that's where the tower will be located. And I believe that's it. Yes. And there was nobody to speak pro or con on this request other than the applicant. And we are gonna ask some special provisions, you know, that it's not strung out too long when they build it.

And that they, if they do tear the tower down or they go out of business or something in the future, they just have a decommissioning agreement saying somebody will come and take the tower down if you need. So other than that, the board did recommend approval of this special use permit and requested to review it again in the year.

Oquist: Okay. Any questions?

Baldwin: I do not. Okay.

Oquist: Anyone here to speak for or against this? Thank you.

Oquist: Okay, then we need a motion.

Knabenshue: Okay, so I'll move to approve the use by review U-571-23 subject to Wayne Caldwell and Atlas Tower One LLC will comply with all stipulations on the special use permit for the use by review, U-571-23 and also comply with any and all health department requirements within their entire.

Baldwin: Second.

Oquist: It's been moved and seconded that we approve the use by review. U-571-23, Caldwell Wayne and Atlas Tower, Number One LLC. All in favor?

Baldwin: Aye.

Knabenshue: Aye.

Oquist: All opposed? Motion passes.

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