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2009

Minutes Archive

2009-10 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
Board of Zoning Appeals
Nolensville Town Hall 
October 8, 2009- 7:00 p.m.

Members present were: Chair Bob Haines, Charles Lawson, Ken Norman and Brian Truman.  Member Tommy Dugger was absent.  Staff present was Attorney Robert Notestine, Town Planner Henry Laird, Town Building Official Michael Blanks and Cindy Lancaster, Town Recorder.  

Applicants present:   Randall Smith, Joe Epps and Joe Stegall. 

Eight (8) citizens were also present. 

Chair Haines called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and Charles Lawson led the Pledge of Allegiance.   

Announcements: 
Chair Haines asked that all cell phones be placed on vibrate and then went over the procedures of the meeting.  He also explained the function, powers and duties of the Board of Zoning Appeals. 

Approval of Minutes: 
 A motion was made by Commissioner Norman, seconded by Commissioner Truman, to approve the minutes of June 11, 2009. The minutes were unanimously approved by acclamation. 

Citizen Comments 
There were no comments from citizens. 

New Business 

Request for Variance to Construct Roof over Deck at 8652 Burkitt Place 

Randall Smith, of Celebration Homes, made this request to construct a roof over a deck at 8652 Burkitt Place.  Building Official Michael Blanks addressed the Board and staff recommended approval. 

Homeowner Mrs. Sullivan spoke to the Board and stated that within the purchase of this home, this was included to cover the deck.  Mr. Smith submitted a drawing of the existing structure. 

Commissioner Truman stated that due to the regulations being changed after the construction of this home, he felt that this should be granted. 

Motion made by Mr. Norman, second by Mr. Lawson to approve under Section 9.2.4.D.  The motion passed unanimously. 
Request for a Conditional Use Permit for a Religious Institution at 1668 Sunset Road 

Mr. Joe Epps of Anderson, Delk & Associates made the application.  Joe Stegall, pastor of the church, was also in attendance. 

Mr. Laird stated this was a request for a conditional use permit at 1668 Sunset Road.  Written conditions were submitted to the board, and these conditions have been met.  Housing is not permitted, and the applicants have stated there is no proposed housing or school.  The current home will be used as office space and will be torn down once the church is constructed. 

Mrs. Jessie Brown, 1670 Sunset Road, asked if this would downgrade her property at all.  Mr. Epps stated there would be a 30’ buffer. 

Mr. Ronnie Woodley, 1663 Sunset Road, how soon will it be built?  Mr. Stegall stated it will be no sooner than two years. 
Council Notestine stated that Commissioner Dugger is not present and asked that he present a brief statement.  The statement stated that Commission Dugger is involved in the real estate transaction. As a member of this church he would recuse himself if he was here, but as a citizen, he is in favor of this.  He also noted that he wanted to disclose that Mrs. Brown is his client. 

Motion made by Mr. Lawson, seconded by, Mr. Truman, to grant the variance on the conditional use permit.  The motion passed unanimously.     

Commission Truman advised the Browns that what he has found in other areas, when churches have located, that he has never seen the property devalued.  It either remains the same or increases. 

Mr. Haines stated he thought the concerns were the drainage and the buffering, and the Town of Nolensville has stringent guidelines for structures. 

Request for Variance for Development of a Religious Institution at 1668 Sunset Road 

Chair Haines noted this is an ISR variance and that means that the water cannot penetrate. 

Mr. Joe Epps of Anderson, Delk & Associates made the application.  Joe Stegall, pastor of the church, was also in attendance. 

Mr. Laird stated that this has been reviewed by staff members, who have met with the applicant.  They have applied for relief from this guideline.  He stated he though there was a mistake made when this requirement was written.  This is very low ISR, and you could not build a building and adequate parking space to meet this requirement.  When this was written, this particular scenario was not taken into consideration, and Mr. Laird stated he felt there was an error when this was written.   

Commissioner Norman stated with that being said, would not it be wise to refer this back to the Planning Commission.  Mr. Laird stated a recommendation will be made to the Planning Commission in November.  Mr. Epps noted that there is a property purchase in process, and it is contingent upon this approval.   

Council Notestine stated this variance is unique, and it appears this ordinance is faulty and may be a hardship.  This is what staff has stated.  He added that this is an initial step, and there will be further steps in this process. 

This request is for a maximum of 50%.  Mr. Epps said they want to have limited parking in front for elderly and the handicap, with the main parking in rear.  This is mainly an exhibit, and architectural drawings have not been performed.  
Mr. Norman made a motion to not exceed 0.5 under Section 9.2.4 B – hardship not self imposed, and Mr. Lawson seconded the motion.  The motion was approved unanimously. 

Chair Haines stated as matter of record, the Town Planner plans to present this to the Planning Commission.  By acclamation, the BZA membership unanimously requested that this go before the Planning Commission for review. 

Adjournment: 
The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 7:32 p.m.
2009-08 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
Board of Zoning Appeals
Nolensville Town Hall
August 13, 2009- 7:00 p.m.

Members present were: Chair Bob Haines, Tommy Dugger, Charles Lawson, Ken Norman and Brian Truman. 
Staff present was Attorney Robert Notestine, Town Planner Henry Laird, Town Building Official Michael Blanks and Judy Simerson, Permit Specialist.  

Applicants present:  Matt Happel representing William Tisano; Alfred and Evelyn Bennett representing themselves, and Joel Parks and Adam Leibowitz representing Alta Constructors, LLC.  Four (4) citizens were also present. 
 
Chair Haines called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  
 
Announcements:  Chair Haines asked that all cell phones be placed on vibrate and then went over the procedures of the meeting.  He also explained the function, powers and duties of the Board of Zoning Appeals. 
Approval of Minutes:  A motion was made by Commissioner Lawson, seconded by Commissioner Norman, to approve the minutes of June 11, 2009. The minutes were unanimously approved by acclamation, with Commissioner Dugger abstaining.
 
New Business
 
Request for Variances for Greystone Plaza Resubdivision Plat for Town Center/Town Hall Project  Mr. Matt Happel stated he was present to represent this project for Tisano Nolensville, LLC.  Mr. Laird stated the applicant, Tisano Nolensville, LLC, is requesting a variance on the rear and side yard setbacks.  The proposed plans for this project include new buildings on Lot F, where the former grocery store was located, and also for a new restaurant and new façade improvements on all buildings.  Lot G will be sold to the Town of Nolensville for constructing the new town hall building.   The lots are in the CS zoning district where setbacks are 20’ rear and 5’ side yards.  The plans, approved by the Planning Commission and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, are for building new two-story buildings on Lots F and G that will meet at the common lot lines.  This proposal is part of an integrated commercial and office development plan and zero lot line development that will allow a better use of the site and allow for improved parking, access and landscaping of the site, particularly for the town hall site on Lot G.  There will be no detrimental harm to the public welfare and it will not impair the intent and purpose of the zoning ordinance; no effect on adjacent properties will result from the granting of the variances.  Staff recommends that the variances be allowed in order to facilitate the project.  

Request for Variances for Greystone Plaza Resubdivision Plat for Town Center/Town Hall Project – Cont’d  Mr. Happel stated this was the final step in moving forward with this project.  Chair Haines opened the public hearing for citizen comments.  After there were no requests to speak, the public hearing was closed.  Commissioner Dugger stated for clarification purposes, the application does not state Lots F and G.  However, in staff’s comments, both lots were mentioned.  He asked if the request for the variances was for Lots F and G.  Mr. Happel stated yes, and it was specified on the drawing attached to the application.  It would be for the west, north and east sides.  He stated staff had requested that it be shown on the plat.    A motion was made by Mr. Truman, and seconded by Mr. Norman, for approval for the variances.  Commissioner Dugger asked if the variance was for Lots F and G.  Mr. Happel stated it was Lots F and G since the buildings are back to back.  Commissioner Dugger stated that is not what the lines are pointed to for the variance.  Mr. Happel stated it points to the lines that are shared property lines for the new buildings to be built.  Commissioner Dugger stated Lot G does not point to the east and west property lines.  Mr. Happel stated not the furthermost east and west, but where it does come in and around the building it does.  Commissioner Dugger stated it does affect the north side of old Piggly Wiggly building for a variance at this time.  Mr. Happel stated that was the way he interpreted it. 
Commissioner Dugger stated on the plan, the line does not point to anything on Lot F.  Mr. Happel stated it was a shared line, because it is a zero setback.  Counsel Notestine stated when it was a zero lot line, the line was shared.  Mr. Happel took a highlighter and highlighted the area on the variance request.    Chair Haines stated the vote would be to approve this decision for the variance under Article 9.24.D.  The motion passed unanimously.  Request for Variance to Relocate McCord-Nolen House to Bennett’s Lot at 7269 Nolensville Road  Mrs. Bennett presented some photos of the McCord-Nolen House and the proposed route to move the house.  She stated they anticipated putting the house on piers for a foundation after it is moved to raise the elevation and put it on solid ground.  It is planned to put a roof on the house before winter, because it is in great need of repair.  The elevation in front of the house will be brought up to be level with the house.  
   
Request for Variance to Relocate McCord-Nolen House to Bennett’s Lot at 7269 Nolensville Road – Cont’d  Mr. Laird stated the Historic Zoning Commission met last month, and they approved a certificate of appropriateness for moving the house to this site.  Staff recommends approval of this variance, since such a variance would not have any detrimental effect upon adjacent properties or other properties in the Village/Historic District Overlay district.  This is accordance with Article 9.24.D.   The setback will be more in line with the dental office.    Mrs. Bennett stated part of the house is a 2-story log cabin built by William Nolen.  She stated she hoped in the future it could become a museum to preserve the early history of Nolensville.  Chair Haines opened the public hearing for citizen comments.  After there were no requests to speak, the public hearing was closed.  In answer to a question from Commissioner Lawson about graves located on this property, Mr. McCord stated he has never heard of that in his lifetime.  Commissioner Dugger stated graves should have not have an impact on moving the house.  However, it is required to be reported if graves are found when work is done.  Mr. Bennett discussed some of the dreams that they have for the house in the restoration and furnishings to reflect the time period of the late 1700s and the history of the Town of Nolensville.  Mrs. Bennett stated they hope to receive a historical marker for the home.  Motion by Mr. Dugger, seconded by Mr. Truman, to approve the variance to the conditions and staff recommendations under Article 9.24.D.  The motion passed unanimously. 
 
Request for Variance for 4620 Sawmill Place – Home Under Construction
 
Mr. Joel Parks stated he and Adam Leibowitz were present to represent Alta Constructors, LLC.
 
Mr. Blanks stated this was a request from Joel Park with Alta Constructors, LLC for a variance for the front façade setback for the property at 4620 Sawmill Place, Lot 5115, in the Bent Creek Subdivision.  This structure has been sitting since August, 2008 without any inspections.  In March, 2008, the owner at this location was sent a letter to cease work immediately, and a stop work order was issued on the property.  
 
The variance requested is strictly visual, and nothing is being requested for structural reasons. The zoning ordinance requires a minimum of a three foot setback from front facades for garages facing the street.  The original builder built the home with the garage set in front of the front porch, instead of behind the porch as required per the PUD.
 
Staff recommends approval since there is no detrimental harm to the public welfare of the community or adjacent property owners in regard to property values.  Chair Haines opened the public hearing for citizen comments.  
Mr. Mike Moehlmann stated he lived next door to the property, and he was not opposed to the variance.  He stated he has no backyard, because the backyard of 4620 Sawmill Place has washed over onto his property.  He stated he wanted to know what was going to be done about his property, since the other property was three feet higher than his property and it would continue to affect his property adversely.  He stated he had been a good citizen and wanted assurances that this would be corrected.
 
Mr. Blanks stated this problem would be corrected and the property at 4620 Sawmill Place would be cleaned up before the Certificate of Occupancy is given to the owner.  The property would be graded again, and the flow of water would be dispersed and slowed down so that no further erosion would occur to Mr. Moehlmann’s property.
 
Mr. Parks stated his company would come in on behalf of Reliant Bank, the current owner, to finish the construction on this property.  The lot was overgrown with very high weeds, and that has been corrected.  All the dirt on the property will be turned over to get rid of the roots, and final grade dirt will be brought onto the property.  The silt fence will be installed correctly.  The full backyard will have sod established which should help with the flow of water.  
 
Mr. Moehlmann asked about the condition of his backyard, and Mr. Blanks stated his property would be cleaned up.  He stated he would revisit the site and make an inspection, and all issues would be addressed and corrected.
 
Counsel Notestine stated a condition for this issue could be made with the motion for approval. 
 
Commissioner Norman stated for the record that he is a neighbor of Mr. Moehlmann’s, and he the down slope erosion has definitely been a problem on this property for a long time.  
 
Counsel Notestine stated that Commissioner Norman’s vote would not be a conflict of interest.
 
Commissioner Truman stated for the record that he did not live next to the property, but he is president of the Bent Creek Subdivision Homeowners Association.  Counsel Notestine stated that would not be a conflict of interest either.
 
Regarding the installation of additional sod materials, Mr. Parks stated the bank is ready to get this matter resolved.  He stated he would have to get permission for the additional installation of sod, but did not anticipate that being a problem.
 
Chair Haines asked for Mr. Moehlmann’s address, and he stated it was 4616 Sawmill.
 
Motion by Mr. Norman, seconded by Mr. Dugger, to approve the variance request with the condition that the circumstances of remedying the problems for Mark Moehlmann’s property at 4616 Sawmill, and that remedying be part of the issuing of the Certificate of Occupancy.    
 
For clarification, Alderman Dugger asked if Mr. Blanks deemed additional sod materials would be necessary, then the Certificate of Occupancy would not be issued until that occurred.  If that is what is necessary to remedy the situation, Commissioner Norman stated that was correct. 
 
The motion passed unanimously.
 
Adjournment:  Commissioner Dugger made a motion to adjourn, and Commissioner Norman seconded the motion.  The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 7:40 p.m. 
2009-06 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
Board of Zoning Appeals
Nolensville Town Hall
June 11, 2009- 7:00 p.m.

Members present were: Chair Bob Haines, Charles Lawson, Ken Norman and Brian Truman. Member Tommy Dugger was absent.  Staff present was Attorney Robert Notestine and Judy Simerson.  

Chair Haines called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Approval of Minutes:
The minutes of February 12, 2009, were unanimously approved by acclamation, with Commissioner Lawson abstaining.

New Business

Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairman

Commissioner Lawson made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Norman, to elect Bob Haines chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Commissioner Truman made a motion, seconded by Mr. Haines, to elect Ken Norman vice-chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Other Business

Commissioner Truman made a motion, seconded by Commissioner Norman, to create a process to execute a signature on the minutes of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The minutes of each meeting will be signed by the chairman or the vice-chairman in his absence, after the minutes are approved.  Staff will circulate the minutes of all meetings.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 7:21 p.m. 
2009-02 Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting Minutes
Board of Zoning Appeals
Nolensville Town Hall
February 12, 2009- 7:00 p.m.

Members present were: Chair Bob Haines, Tommy Dugger, Ken Norman and Brian Truman. Member Charles Lawson was absent.  Staff present was Attorney Robert Notestine, Building Official Michael Blanks and Judy Simerson.   Applicants present:  Philip F. Head, attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, representing property owners:  Mark and Marianne Blankenship; Alex Wagner, Engineer with Verizon Wireless.  Eleven (11) citizens were present. 
Chair Haines called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.  

Approval of Minutes:
Commissioner Truman made a motion to approve the minutes from September 11, 2008 and Commission Norman seconded.  The minutes were unanimously approved.

Announcements:  Chair Haines asked that all cell phones be placed on vibrate and then went over the procedures of the meeting.  He also explained the function, powers and duties of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  New Business:  7375 Nolensville Road – Request for Permitted with Conditions for the Erection of a Wireless Communications Tower in Estate Residential Zoning District  Mr. Philip F. Head, attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, stated he was present on behalf of Verizon Wireless Tennessee Partnership.  He presented a copy of the written submission detailing the applicant’s compliance with the special exceptions standards for the wireless telecommunications tower in the Town of Nolensville.  As drafted, the town’s ordinance currently only contemplates for telecommunication towers to be constructed in the commercial services zoning district.  State law, specifically, Tennessee Code Annotated Sec. 13-24-301 and 13-24-305)(3) work in concert to preclude local municipalities from limiting the placement of communications towers to specific zoning ordinances.  He stated that they respectfully request that the Town entertain their motion for this tower in the Estate Residential zoning district. The proposed property is owned by Mark D. and Marianne Blankenship, and it is at the address of 7377 Nolensville Road.  The property is located approximately one mile from here on the right towards the top of the hill.  The tower will be a 195’ monopole that will accommodate 3 additional carriers other than Verizon for a total of 4 carriers.  This is done in an effort to prevent tower proliferation and to prevent other carriers from coming before you to request new towers.  It will be located 500’ from Nolensville Road up the side of a hill   

Mr. Head stated he would discuss what he had submitted in writing concerning the applicants meeting the use permitted with conditions standards for communication towers.   Under Section 2.5.0, (A) and (B) of the zoning ordinance under, there is no other tower or other existing structure in Nolensville for Verizon to place its antenna upon that would serve the area that will be served by this tower.  There is a tower located two miles south of this location.  It is owned by American Tower that is a 165’ tower, and it is presently extremely over burdened with five carriers.  The only space available to Verizon is at the 110’ level, and that is simply not high enough with the tree cover and topography of the area to provide adequate coverage.  The location two miles south does not address the coverage needs that Verizon is trying to fulfill, which is the area surrounding the Town of Nolensville.  Regarding Section 2.5.0(C), the tower will not produce any interference with any type of electronic reception in residential areas surrounding the site.   Under Section 2.5.0(D), the tower will be constructed such that there is a 199’ fall radius surrounding the tower in which no structures or other occupied areas are present.  Under Section 2.5.0(E), the applicant has submitted a letter from a licensed Tennessee engineer certifying that, in the unlikely event of collapse, the proposed tower will fall within a 50’ radius from the base of the tower.  The applicant has provided the BZA with copies of the Land Lease Agreement and Memorandum of Land Lease Agreement whereby applicant leases a 100’x 100’leasehold parcel.  Under Section 2.5.0(F), states that maintenance vehicles will have ample room to maneuver within the bounds of the applicant’s access easement and leasehold parcel.  Under Section 2.5.0 (G), buildings erected in connection with the tower shall only be used for storage of necessary on site equipment.  No other buildings will be constructed on the applicant’s leasehold parcel.  The area will also be screened by a natural vegetation buffer.  Under Section 2.5.0(H), since this proposed tower is less than 200’, it is not required to be lit since warning lights are not required by state or federal laws.  Regarding Section 2.5.0 (I), applicant will construct the required buffer yard in connection with the tower.  Under Section (J) the above reference engineer’s letter certifies that the tower will meet the requirements of EIA Standard 222E-1991 utilizing a wind rating of 80 mph plus ice loading.  Subsection (K) required FFA regulations are actually not applicable to this tower.  The applicant does not have to notify the FFA since the communication tower is less than 200’ in height.  Documentation has been provided showing that no notification by the FAA is required.  Under Section 2.5.0 (L), Mr. Head stated in an effort to make the proposed tower site more aesthetically pleasing, the applicant, at the request of the Nolensville Planning Department, proposes to construct a tan or grey manufactured vinyl fence to surround the tower site instead of the screen link fence proposed by the ordinance.  Mr. Head stated that concluded the presentation of the applicant’s compliance with the town’s ordinances, and he stated he would be glad to answer any questions.    Chair Haines stated he assumed the proposed roadway would be built to town standards.  Mr. Head stated it would be certainly done to meet the standards.  Chief Haines stated the applicant would also need to meet all applicable storm water issues.  These conditions will be required when the proposed tower goes before the Planning Commission.  

Commissioner Truman asked how long has Verizon been looking for property in this area.  Mr. Head stated we found an initial site in the town last fall.  Due to the State Historic Preservation Office deeming that site being too close to sites of historical significance, that office requested that tower be located in another site.  This proposed site has been approved by the Historic Preservation Office.  Commissioner Truman asked why this particular area was chosen over other properties. Mr. Wagner stated this area was chosen to meet the coverage objectives and to comply with the state historical requirements.   He stated Verizon had a designer who annually decides which sites should be built for each of their markets.  This area popped up as a trouble area with dropped calls, etc.   Commissioner Dugger asked for clarification on the address, as to whether it was 7377 or 7375 Nolensville Road.   Mr. Head stated the 7377 may be the individual address for the tower location for “911” calls, and the 7375 is for the residence in front of the tower location.    In answer to a question about the construction of the tower, Mr. Wagner stated the way a tower is built; they are actually prefabricated structures that are built by tower companies.  He stated they had a letter from a licensed Tennessee engineer stating that it meets the standards.  A codes person will inspect the installation of the tower as well.  At 7:15 p.m. Chair Haines opened the public hearing for citizen comments.  Ms. Kali Cain stated she was the daughter of Tom Morris of 7383 Nolensville Road and was appearing on behalf.  She distributed a copy of his remarks and stated they had just a few requests.  She asked that the town not be hasty in approving the placement of this tower and stated her father was opposed.  She urged all the board members individually to take the time to do their own research for an alternative location. Research shows that the cell towers can cause potential adverse health effects for those living in close proximity to the towers. The town should look for an alternative non-residential site for the placement.  She urged the Board to listen to the handful of residents that will be affected by this cell tower. She also asked the Board to consider the precedence of control that this could possibly establish because this is an example of a big corporation coming into a small town and deciding where to place their stuff.  The tower will result in a decrease in property values, and it will be an eyesore and affect the health of residents.   Kelly Dever stated her family lived at 9865 Clovercroft and this tower will basically be in their backyard.  The town should create an ordinance to regulate cell towers because the town does not have one at the present time.  She stated she has spoken with the planning department at the City of Brentwood regarding the ordinance that the town has adopted, and she brought a copy of the 9-page document with her.  Brentwood makes it very hard for new towers to be erected.  She urged the Town of Nolensville to adopt these guidelines as well.  Another website showed where the towers can be camouflaged as pine trees or be used on stop lights.  There are other alternative instead of big ugly poles.  She suggested that this be delayed until the Board of Mayor and Aldermen can review.  Other locations should also be considered, and she asked the Verizon representative about the other areas they considered.  She stated they personally objected because it will lower their property values and she was concerned about the health issues for her child.  She stated studies have not been done on the effect of cell towers on children. It will also ruin their “great view” from their property of six acres.

 Chair Haines asked if there were any further comments from citizens, and there were none.  He thanked the citizens for their input.  Chair Haines stated this will also be considered by the Planning Commission and encouraged the citizens present to attend that meeting.  Counsel Notestine gave the time and date for the next Planning Commission meeting in March, and this item is scheduled to be heard at that meeting.   Chair Haines reminded the audience that the Board of Zoning Appeals does not have the power to limit, change or add ordinances for the town.  He stated he understood the concerns of the citizens but the Board of Zoning Appeals also does not have the luxury of “voting from the heart”, and it must adhere to the laws that are in place.  The Board must make a decision tonight on the request for conditional use of the property.  Counsel Notestine stated this was a tough area of the law for small towns to deal with, and there are extensive state statutes that cannot be excluded.  One of the laws states that towns cannot exclude the location or relocation of any facility used for telephone and telegraph services.  Mr. Head has done a good job tonight providing information about these state laws tonight.  The town can do some things similar to what the City of Brentwood has done, and they have adopted a very extensive ordinance regarding the screening of cell towers, roads, parking, etc.  Unfortunately, the Town of Nolensville has been incorporated for only 12-13 years, and the town does not an extensive body of ordinances that deal with cell towers.  The only things the town has are what Mr. Head has addressed tonight with the conditions.  There are no town laws that would let this cell tower be denied.  There is no state law that says the town can arbitrarily tell Verizon that the cell tower cannot be put there.   In answer to a question regarding Verizon finding another non-residential location for the tower, Mr. Head stated the wireless technology is extremely limited in its capabilities, and it is a true line-of-sight technology.  If a person’s handset cannot see a cell tower, then there is no signal.  As the volume of cell phone users increases, the coverage area of existing towers deceases.  He distributed maps showing a gigantic coverage hole in the Town of Nolensville, and Verizon is trying to fill the need for more coverage. He reviewed the current coverage showing the cell phone coverage at the present time and a map of increased coverage after the installation of the cell tower.  The technology does not allow for another location.  This is not the ideal perfect site because the preferred site was closer into town.  However, that site was too close to historical concerns.  The State Preservation Office advised Verizon to move further south for a location.  He stated Verizon did not want to be a corporate bully by any means.  Technology ties Verizon’s hands on where the towers are located for effective coverage.  Mr. Tom Morris, 7383 Nolensville Road, stated the tower would be within 200’ feet of his property.  He stated in California the maximum height of a cell tower was 50’ and asked about the broadcast technology.  Mr. Wagner, an engineer with Verizon, stated it was a line-of-sight technology and not a broadcast technology.   

Chair Haines stated there are federal and state laws in place that the town of Nolensville does not have a say about.  Counsel Notestine stated both the federal and state laws seem to echo the public benefit doctrine that everyone benefits from cell phones.  The Planning Commission will also hear this request from Verizon and that body may make additional recommendations at their level at their meeting on March 10, 2009.  If the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission both approve the request, then it is done at the town level.  Citizens have the right to appeal to Chancery Court if they so choose.  The town may want to look at the Brentwood ordinance and do something different in the future.  Mr. Morris stated he was not an authority but he would like the Verizon representative to explain to the board about his license.  He stated his understanding was that Verizon’s license was for five years for a third of the community, and within ten years they have to serve two-thirds and any other carrier can fill that gap.  It does not to be Verizon.    Mr. Wagner stated that was a true statement.  After Verizon purchases a license, they are given a five or ten year build-out requirement.  Verizon was trying to meet the needs of its customers and sell more cell phones.  Mr. Head stated many communities view the new tower as actually a promotion of the health, safety and welfare of the community.  Local emergency management services have testified at other hearings that the majority of “911” calls are now placed on cell wireless devices.  Verizon does want to make money and today, most everyone appreciates good cell phone coverage.  This has become an expectation in most communities.  In answer to a question from a citizen about delaying this request, Chair Haines stated no.    Mrs. Dever read a letter from a resident from California, Sherry and John Levine, who own property at 9869 Clovercroft, expressing their wish that the request be denied.  Commissioner Dugger asked Counsel Notestine to explain why this item was before the Board of Zoning Appeals tonight.   Counsel Notestine stated this is a conditional use permit.  Under the town’s zoning ordinances that Mr. Head has addressed tonight, there are about 20 requirements that have to be approved.  He did a good job of going over those conditions.  This is not a residential use, but under the town’s zoning ordinance, it does allow the use when conditions are met.  When the conditions are met by the applicant in conjunction with state law, it seems to tie the hands of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  The Board of Zoning Appeals does not create zoning laws.  The Board of Mayor and Aldermen writes the zoning laws with input from the Planning Commission.  This can be looked at down the road, but not by the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Commissioner Norman pointed out the Town’s ordinances are superseded by the State of Tennessee law.  Counsel Notestine said Tennessee law basically says that a town cannot exclude the location of a cell tower, even though town ordinances state otherwise.    For the town’s information, Mr. Head stated there were several new towers in the City of Brentwood, and the screening for this proposed tower is almost identical to what is used in the City of Brentwood.  The same landscape architect was used for this location.    Chair Haines stated unfortunately the Town of Nolensville does not have any large churches where a tower can be placed inside a tall steeple like the one at Brentwood Baptist Church that has a telephone tower in their steeple.  Mr. Andy Smith of 9873 Clovercroft suggested that the TVA tower that is located right up the road could be used for the cell tower.  Whether there is one there or not, Chair Haines stated the Board of Zoning Appeals has no power to tell Verizon to go locate their tower on that tower. Mr. Smith stated he was not for or against this request.  Chair Haines stated the Board’s hands are tied and this was a case of “NIMBY – not in my backyard” situation.  

  Mr. Head stated he could not address Mr. Smith’s comments directly because he did not know the location of the TVA tower.  He stated it would be much cheaper and better for his client’s bottom line to co-locate on any structure.  He stated this was a last resort, and there were no other options.  Verizon is attempting to make this tower as aesthetically pleasing as possible to be a good corporate citizen.  It is much better than a lattice-type structure that is more visible.    Commissioner Truman asked again if any other pieces of property were looked at for consideration that would be friendlier the neighbors.  Mr. Richard Williams, the Verizon locator, stated yes, other areas were considered.  However, you have to deal with rolling hills and terrain blockage.   Another location would involve a taller tower to work.  Towers located too close together also interfere with each other and not solve the problem of dropped calls.  Mrs. Dever asked why the commercial area was not chosen and how much money was the property owner going to receive for the location of the tower on their property.  Mr. Williams stated they were told the commercial location would not be approved because of the historical area.  Mr. Head stated the lease agreement was confidential.  A copy of the memorandum of lease has been filed in the land records and has been submitted to this Board.  There is also a redacted copy with the confidential amounts marked out of the actual land lease of this property for this site.  Mrs. Dever asked why the property owners were not notified.  Mr. Blanks stated all public notices were sent out in a timely manner for this meeting.  He stated comments have been made about California laws, etc.  That really has no bearing on this request because it is Tennessee laws that the town has to abide by.  The application was made under permitted with use conditions A-L, and the applicant has met every one of those conditions.  The Board of Zoning Appeals must determine that all conditions have been met.  The next time this item will be considered is by the Planning Commission at their March 10th meeting.  Conditions can possibly be put on the tower at that meeting.  Counsel Notestine stated the Board of Zoning Appeals would approve or disapprove the conditions tonight.  There is a landscape plan for this tower and the Planning Commission will also review that plan.  Ms. Kelly Berry stated she was a family friend of the Morrison’s and she asked about the health issues associated with cell towers.  Mr. Head stated the applicants were unaware of any adverse health risks from wireless telecommunications facilities.  No published studies have been done showing that wireless communications produce any sort of adverse health effects, and no evidence has been presented before this Board this evening.  Chair Haines closed the public hearing and asked for a motion.  Motion by Mr. Dugger, seconded by Mr. Norman, for approval.  Based on the information before the Board, Commissioner Dugger stated it appears the applicant has met all criteria for the Board of Zoning Appeals to approve.  Commissioner Truman encouraged the citizens to show up for the March Planning Commission meeting.  Commissioner Norman stated there were federal and state laws that have to be considered regarding cell towers.  He stated he understood the concerns of the citizens regarding property values near the towers.  On the other hand, he does use cell phones regularly. 

Counsel Notestine stated he had reviewed the federal laws concerning the towers and they are tough.   Denial of the cell tower would set the town up for violations of existing laws.  Chair Haines made an amendment to the motion for that construction would have no adverse effect on structures or on Mill Creek, and the applicant would meet all applicable storm water requirements.  He stated the Planning Commission will probably require these items during their review.    The amendment died for a lack of a second.   Commissioner Truman stated the reason he would not second the amendment was because it was his understanding that the Planning Commission would apply any conditions to the applicant.  He stated he did not feel this was the responsibility of the Board of Zoning Appeals.  Commissioner Norman said that same reason applied for him also. 

A vote was taken for the original motion and it passed unanimously.  Adjournment:  The meeting was adjourned by acclamation at 8:08 p.m.