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story.lead_photo.caption The Benton County Courthouse. - Photo by Ben Goff

BENTONVILLE — Benton County’s Planning Board on Wednesday night denied a variance for a proposed 195-foot telecommunications tower in the Garfield area.

David McGehee with CMI Acquisitions of Madison, Miss., the project applicant, said after the meeting he didn’t know whether Verizon would submit new tower plans. Verizon would have built and owned the tower, he said.

CMI Acquisitions requested a setback variance in lieu of the required 300 feet from a residence. The applicant sought a variance of 226 feet. Board member Ashley Tucker said there was physical evidence the tower could have been moved to another part of the proposed site and not have needed a variance.

The board voted 7-0 against the variance and 6-1 against the proposed tower.

Board Chairman Ron Homeyer gave McGehee the opportunity to table the tower plan after the board voted against the variance. McGehee first accepted, then declined the offer.

The site was at 22078 U.S. 62. The landowner is Charles Capps, according to county documents. The applicant planned to lease a 60-by-60-foot area on 11.77 acres, according to planning documents. The tower would have helped fill in a coverage gap and make service more reliable, McGehee said. The tower was driven by customer demand, he said.

Cameron McNabb lives across the street from the site. He said he was against the variance and suggested moving the tower to the north on the Capps property.

“My big thing is I don’t want to see it,” he told the board.

A host of other residents stepped to the microphone to express concerns. They mainly cited wanting to maintain a conservation corridor, to not harm the natural environment or disrupt the beauty of the area. Health concerns, including exposure to radiation, also were cited.

The item was tabled at the board’s May 1 meeting after CMI Acquisitions asked for more time to address issues with the site plan in a letter Taylor Reamer, planning director, received April 29.

The original proposal was for a 250-foot telecommunications tower.

The Planning Board approved two telecommunications towers in Benton County in 2018, Reamer said. The board approved one other new telecommunications tower this year, Reamer said.

The Planning Board on Wednesday night also approved the site plan for WEN Investments Group at 14637 E. U.S. 62 in Garfield.

Mike Jones may be reached by email at .

Board actions

Benton County’s Planning Board also reviewed site plans during the Technical Advisory Committee part of Wednesday night’s meeting for:

Rocky Springs RV park, 17094 Martin Pedro Road in Siloam Springs.

Stuckey Boat Sales, 14491 Arkansas 12 in Rogers.

Lakeside Storage, 15509 Arkansas 12 in Rogers.

Source: Benton County

Planning Board

Print Headline: Planning board denies tower plan

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