Borough Seeks Public Comment on Cell Tower Ordinance

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Island Borough is looking into writing an ordinance that regulates the construction of cell towers and similar structures. The borough held a meeting Wednesday night to reach out to the community and incorporate public input.

Borough Associate Planner Daniel Mckenna-Foster said he hasn’t gotten any written complaints, but people have commented that they don’t like how towers look. He said the borough currently doesn’t have any code in place to regulate cell tower construction.

“For example there’s one up on Pillar and they wanted to extend it to five feet above. It was based on a conditional use permit from a few years ago, and we just didn’t have any framework to deal with that tower because we don’t have anything in place.”

He said the borough is trying to be proactive instead of reactive by working on an ordinance to apply to cases like that in the future.

The meeting attracted just a couple of people.

Curtis Law with Aksala Electronics is a telecommunications provider and said he’d like the local government to do its parts when it comes to hitting the right deadlines.

“The key for government is to realize that whether city or borough or any government agency that I’ve seen on Kodiak does not follow the FCC rule of being timely, and it can sometimes take six to nine months and when you’re a commercial entity to get this going, that’s very frustrating.”

Business is likely to grow, as Mckenna-Foster pointed out.

He said in the last 10 or so years the number of cell towers has shot up because contractors need to build infrastructure to make room for expansion.

He said he’ll submit any comments from the public to the Planning and Zoning Commission.

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