Members of the El Paso City Council are expected to revisit new and more strict regulations regarding cell tower heights in the wake of recommendations from another city body calling for more relaxed regulations.
Members of the El Paso City Planning Commission, responding to input from cellular industry representatives, have suggested that new rules governing both the height of a proposed cell tower as well as its distance from the nearest residential area should be reconsidered.
In January, city council members approved regulations capping cell tower projects in both residential and light commercial areas at 35 feet. Towers built in heavy commercial and manufacturing areas were allowed heights up to 60 feet.
The rule changes also mandated that new towers must be camouflaged in an attempt to make them more visually appealing.
The new rules have sparked the opposition of cellphone companies who have particularly argued that limiting towers to 35 feet will also limit the speed and amount of coverage the tower can provide.
Planning commission members have suggested that cell towers 60 feet in height should be allowed under certain conditions in residential and light commercial areas.
It is not known when the City Council will once again take up the cell tower regulations.
By Garry Boulard
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