The Monroe County Plan Commission gave its approval January 21 to a company seeking to build a new cell tower southwest of Bloomington.
County Planner Jackie Scanlan told the commission there are no other towers near the proposed site, which is on East Lane, just west of State Road 37.
Scanlan responded to a question from commission member Scott Wells.
“The consultant report said that the closest is at least two miles away,” Scanlan said.
County zoning law does not allow cell towers to be built within a mile of another tower. The county ordinance also requires co-location, meaning a given tower should be made available to multiple companies to use.
Wells praised the county’s rules, saying that they limit the proliferation of towers throughout the county.
“What’s so good about our ordinance is that if you go up to Morgan county, right in the middle of the county you’ll see three separate towers, and I’m glad we have the potential to eliminate the clutter,” Wells said.
Jennifer Jones spoke on behalf of JB Towers, the company seeking to build the new 190 feet tower.
Jones said the county’s ordinance limits competition in the area, which will benefit her Fort Wayne-based company.
“Something unique about our company is that we don’t work specifically for any one cell phone company,” Jones said, “We own the tower ourselves and it’s our business plan to co-locate the towers.”
The project requires a variance from the county ordinance, because it is closer than 200 feet from the property line.
Commission member John Irvine said the county should rethink that part of its law, which is intended to prevent a tower from damaging another piece of property if it falls.
After the discussion, the commission voted unanimously, in support of rezoning the property to accommodate the new tower.