Frederick Co. VA Ordinance to allow for personal broadband and amateur radio towers.
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Recently the Frederick County Zoning Administrator, Mark Cheran, ruled that the interpretation of the current Frederick County VA code does not allow for any personal television antenna towers, amateur radio towers or broadband towers in any district other than the Rural Areas District (RA). This means that you are unable to erect any tower or antenna support structure as a property owner if you live in any other district, such as Residential Planned Community District (R4), Residential Recreational Community District (R5), Residential Performance District (RP), Mobile Home Community District (MH1), Medical Support District (MS), Neighborhood Business District (B1), General Business District (B2), Industrial Transition District (B3), )ffice-Manufacturing Park District (OM), Light Industrial District (M1), Industrial General District (M2), Exractive Manufacturing District (EM) or Higher Education District (HE).
On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals upheld this ruling, stating that they accept that the Zoning Administrator's interpretation of the county code is to be taken at face value and this board does not attempt to interpret the county code, but rather relies on the Zoning Administrator's interpretation as being the basis of their decisions.
Based on this interpretation, residents of such areas as Shawneeland and Wilde Acres, both R5, are not allowed to have ANY television antenna towers, amateur radio towers, CB radio towers, broadband internet towers, etc. There are residents of communities all around the county that have these types of towers on their properties now since the 60's and 70's and now the local Frederick County governing bodies are saying YOU CANNOT HAVE THEM, SO TAKE THEM ALL DOWN.
I believe this to be a grossly inaccurate interpretation of the county code, however as Eric F. Lowman, BZA Chairman, stated on April 17, 2018, this is a policy issue and needs to go before the Board of Supervisors for a change in the language of the existing county code to gain clarification on the matter.
With this in mind, I met with one of the Supervisors and was told I should get a petition of a minimum of 25 signatures from local community residents to bring a request for a new ordinance to the county code that will address this issue. Clarke County several years ago already addressed this matter and now has clear language in their ordinance to allow for property owners to erect towers up to a certain height without any need for any conditional use permits or other hoops to jump through. In this internet driven day it is time for Frederick County to bring clarification to this matter of individual property owners' right to erect towers to receive broadband internet signals, amateur radio signals, television signals, etc.
I am a licensed amateur radio operator, KN4IOY, and I had two amateur radio towers denied in an R5 district based on this misinterpretation at this Board of Zoning Appeals hearing on April 17, 2018. PRB-1 by the FCC definitely offers protection from these types of issues, however the Board of Supervisors needs to amend the local County code to ensure other future property owners do not have to spend thousands of dollars defending their position on a matter of similar nature.
I NEED YOUR SUPPORT TO ADDRESS THIS VERY IMPORTANT AND TIME SENSITIVE MATTER. PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION AND LET THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS KNOW IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE ON THIS MATTER OF ERECTING TOWERS AND ANTENNA SUPPORT STRUCTURES, COUNTY WIDE.
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