Mad River Union
ARCATA BOTTOM – The county Planning Commission will hear applications for two new cell phone towers for the Arcata Bottom at its Thursday, July 15, 6 p.m. hearing. The hearing was postponed from its original July 1 date.
States a staff report, “Planning staff is bringing these applications forward to the Planning Commission as one item because the Humboldt County General Plan requires towers to be designed to minimize the visual clutter of multiple towers through screening and co-location.
Staff’s recommendation is that the Planning Commission approve only one of the applications.
Issues identified for Tower 1 include tower height, aesthetics, coverage objectives and compliance with FCC exposure limits for radio frequency (RF) energy.
The project is located in the Arcata Bottom, on the north side of Foster Avenue, abut 100 feet east from the intersection of Foster Ave and Janes Road on the property known as Assessor Parcel Number 505-151-006, owned by Shirley Butler. The applicant is New Cingular Wireless PCS.
The staff report states that all antennas would be mounted within the faux water tank atop the 100 foot tower. It would host up to two carriers. The tank would be built of a “rustic” dark wood material and color.
The tower would be about 1,500 feet from the City of Arcata. The closest off-site residences are located about 400 feet southwest from the site, and about 550 feet north of the Saint Mary Roman Catholic Church and Fuente Nueva Charter School.
Those locations would have views of the tower, which would be only partly screened by trees along roadway edges.
Present Plan Land Use Designation: Residential Estates (RE) 2.5
Present Zoning: Agricultural Exclusive (AE) and Agricultural General (AG – proposed tower
The project is a Use Permit application proposing the construction of a new 130-foot tall freestanding lattice tower located on a concrete foundation and with ground- mounted equipment. The tower could host up to four different wireless carriers.
The project is located in the Arcata Bottom, on the east side of Foster Avenue, approximately 100 feet east from the intersection of Foster Avenue and Dolly Varden Road, on Assessor Parcel Number 506-231-010, owned by Arcata Land Company. The applicant is PWM, Inc. of Eureka.
Present Plan Land Use Designation: Agricultural Exclusive (AE) Density: 20 to 60 acres per unit. Slope Stability: Relatively Stable (0)
Present Zoning: Agricultural Exclusive (AE); Heavy Industrial (MH) Qualified (Q) Assessor Parcel Number: 506-231-010. ZRecord Number: PLN-2021-17005
Major Issues are General Plan Consistency (Visual Clutter and Co-location). Issues identified for Tower 2 include tower height, aesthetics, coverage objectives and compliance with FCC exposure limits for RF energy.
States a staff report, the two separately filed permit applications for new wireless communications facilities are located in the same general area within the Arcata Bottom. Both are proposed along Foster Avenue, approximately 2,500 feet apart. Both include a demonstration of the need for cellular facilities in this area to expand wireless service to residents of Humboldt County.
Planning staff is bringing these applications forward to the Planning Commission as one item because the Humboldt County General Plan requires towers to be designed to minimize the visual clutter of multiple towers through screening and co-location. Staff’s recommendation is that the Planning Commission approve only one of these applications.
Opponents of Arcata Land. Co.’s proposed cannabis grow, organized as Team 27th, are keenly interested in the proposed cell towers. The group has identified several potential impacts related to concerns about possible runaway re-industrialization of the Arcata Bottom.
This story includes updates and corrections from the print version.