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  • Charlene Sims, Journal staff

La Cygne cell tower stymied in county planning commission

Updated: Sep 9, 2022

The Linn County Commission sent the issue of a conditional-use permit for a cell phone tower on the southeast corner of La Cygne back to the county planning commission on Monday. (File photo)

MOUND CITY – On Monday, August 29, the Linn County Commissioners reviewed cases submitted by the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission and sent one back to the committee for findings.

Linn County Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson told the commissioners that the case for building a tower for cell phone service near the La Cygne Industrial Park was denied on a 3-to-3 vote. A tie vote in this committee is considered a no vote. While the planning commission has nine members, only six were at that meeting.

The applicant for the variance for the tower, Patrick Erwin of Skyward Land Services, Inc., spoke with the commissioners saying that he had been before the planning board three times with his application.

The first time, Erwin said, they asked him to come back with additional information related to the engineering. The second time, they discussed and agreed that a variance would be difficult to justify and asked if he could come back with another location on that piece of property and also information on how this would not affect property values in the area.

The third time, after he had supplied everything the committee had asked for, a vote on approving the new location was taken and voted down 3 to 3.

Commissioner Rick James expressed his concern that this had taken this long and considered just approving the application.

County Counselor Gary Thompson said that findings were needed to pass the conditional-use permit.

Thompson said the commissioners had three options. One was to accept the planning board’s recommendation and deny the application; second was to overturn the planning commission’s recommendation by a 2/3 vote, make the findings themselves and approve the application; or third, send it back to the planning commission with directions for findings.

Commissioner Danny McCullough moved to send it back to the planning commission and the motion passed 3 to 0.

Wilson presented a zoning change for Regina Gross for property at 8476 West 1800 Road for the purpose of splitting off five acres.

The commissioners adopted the planning commission’s unanimous recommendation to allow the change.

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