Helotes City Council to discuss Verizon cell tower

Helotes City Council will meet for the first regularly scheduled meeting for March tonight, March 8 at City Council chambers. Chambers are located at 12951 Bandera Road. The meeting starts at 7pm and is open to the public.

Council will conduct a public hearing regarding the placement of a Verizon cell tower on the property of the Helotes Hills Presbyterian Church. The cell tower is to be 120 feet high and will be considered a stealth tower shaped in the form of a large cross.

Verizon first approached city officials and requested permission to place the tower on city property near the existing stealth tower. City officials refused the request forcing Verizon to locate another place inside the City to place the tower.

The tower designed by Verizon, according to documents filed with the City, will also allow for the location of two other providers to utilize the same tower.  

City ordinates restrict the height of cell towers to 80 feet in height and must not allow for collocation of additional tower providers.

New cell towers are not to be located within 2000 feet of existing towers and the proposed location falls within the 2000 feet boundary from the city’s tower.

Forest Hills listed the Church’s desire to have a symbol that recognizes the church and represent the City of Helotes as the primary reason for wanting to install the tower. New road construction has blocked the sign for the church, city vehicles use the parking lot for traffic stops and redirecting traffic during accidents creating wear and tear on the infrastructure of the church that is in need of repair. Church officials are hoping to use the revenue from the cell tower to provide for the repair of the church’s parking lot and other needs for the church.

The church pastor also detailed the desire to represent the community and the church by having a large cross on the church grounds and hopes this will be the start for others to add additional art in the area near the tower to create a destination place for people with Helotes.

Neighbors near the church are in opposition to the tower because of fear the tower will lower property values. Others have also expressed their concern and reservation that a large tower is more of an eyesore for our community and hope that Council will not approve the variance.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the request from Verizon in a 5-2 vote. Final approval now rests with Council.

To speak at the public hearing an individual must be a resident of Helotes city limits. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes and must register before the meeting starts.

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