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story.lead_photo.caption J.R. Shaw, executive director of Visit Rogers, speaks Friday, March 24, 2017, during a discussion hosted by Visit Rogers at Pinnacle Hills Promenade for area businesses to learn about trends and forecasts in the travel and tourism industry.

ROGERS -- Cell phone service in the city may improve if a new policy is put into place this summer.

Phone companies are looking to place more small cell antennas around the city to add capacity, increase data speeds and enhance area coverage, according to a presentation made by John McCurdy, community development director, who addressed the Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

The city is looking to establish a policy for the installation of those wireless facilities based on a recent increase in requests by service providers such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T, McCurdy said. The small towers would be about 6 feet tall and could be placed on utility poles, buildings and other facilities such as streetlights within the commercial zones of the city.

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As far as specific locations for each small tower installation, each one would be considered individually.

"If we have an application for the erection of small antennae, we'll look at 'Is there an existing pole dedicated for communications already that meets (our) requirements?'" McCurdy said. "If there's not, such as a plain light pole, then we're talking (installing) on something like a utility pole 30 foot tall or about the same height."

No official estimates for licensing and fee considerations have been decided upon at this point, McCurdy said.

The informational presentation came with lists of recommended parameters for a potential agreement with the companies. Small towers couldn't inter with other city and public safety communication systems, area TV or radio broadcast and they won't be on each traffic signal in town. McCurdy also recommended the towers on light poles be restricted to only the standard, not decorative, ones and also be banned from rooftops.

A potential city policy for the towers would ensure placement be aesthetically appropriate, consistent with its environment and not obstructive to pedestrians, drivers or interfering with American Disabilities Act standards, according to McCurdy.

Once Planning Commissioners have a chance to fully review the proposed amendments, stakeholders such as AT&T will weigh in and a draft will be published on the city's Community Development website so residents will have a chance to look it over also, McCurdy said.

The issue will go up for a vote at the next commission meeting June 20.

The commission also approved:

• Development of Beatty Office Park, three office buildings within the ERC Office Park on Pinnacle Hills Parkway in the office zoning district.

• Development of a 14-unit multifamily complex ARC Multifamily at 1700 S. Dixieland in the residential multifamily zoning district at seven rental units per acre.

• Laxman Brar's request for a permit allowing vehicle and equipment rental at a U-Haul at 1307 W. Hudson Road in the highway commercial district. Brar said the business has operated in the location for some time without knowing it required a permit. Commissioners noted the site had been improved since the owner became aware.

• Permits for two locations of Zips Car Wash, one at 2000 W. Pleasant Grove Road and one at 2851 W. Walnut Street, both in the highway commercial zoning district. The locations were formerly Boomerang car wash businesses and were sold to a new owner.

NW News on 06/07/2017

Print Headline: New policy could improve cell service in city

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