Danville to discuss cell tower near hospital again

Danville to discuss cell tower near hospital again

DANVILLE — Aldermen will again be discussing the proposed construction of an AT&T Wireless cellular tower near Provena United Samaritans Medical Center's emergency helicopter landing pad.

Some aldermen, including Bill Black, Ward 7, and members of the public believe it could be a safety issue and have been speaking out in recent weeks against the proposed 199-foot tower being built so close to the helipad, which is north of the hospital on Logan Avenue in Danville.

The tower already fits zoning requirements in that area, and AT&T could build a 150-foot tower on that site without seeking any approval from the city. But AT&T needs a 199-foot tower for it to be beneficial, and the extra 49 feet does require city approval for a variance from its zoning board of appeals, which was granted earlier this summer.

Although the variance was approved, the city still has not issued AT&T a building permit while city officials were seeking, and have recently received, approval of the tower's location by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Black said he requested that the issue be added to the city's agenda for Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The cellular tower has been a topic of discussion at the last two full city council meetings. The items Black had added to the agenda include discussion of a motion to review the city's zoning board of appeals decision on the tower and discussion of the minutes from the zoning board of appeals meeting.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer and city planning and zoning officials could not be reached for comment, regarding the items being added to the agenda.

Black said he has also talked to city Attorney David Wesner about changing city ordinances and requiring that decisions by the city's zoning board of appeals also go through the city council for approval. Currently, variance issues are decided by the zoning board of appeals, a three-member panel of city officials, and are final, requiring no city council consideration.


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