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Planning Commission formally denies permits for inactive wireless applications


Last updated 10/18/2007 at Noon

Seven inactive Major Use Permit applications for wireless communications facilities were denied by the county’s Planning Commission October 5, formally terminating the application process for those sites.

The Planning Commission’s 7-0 vote provided the official denial of an inactive AT&T Wireless Services application for a Fallbrook site west of South Mission Road near the intersection of La Canada Road and of a Cingular Wireless application for a Bonsall site on a reservoir at Vessels Ranch.

“We’re just tying up some loose ends,” said Merry Tondro, the project manager for the county’s Department of Planning and Land Use.

The application for the Fallbrook facility was filed on April 7, 2003, while the Bonsall application was filed on April 11, 2003. On April 30, 2003, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors adopted a wireless communications policy which included zoning regulations.

While a Minor Use Permit had previously been required for most wireless communications facilities prior to the new policy, a Major Use Permit is now required in certain cases (most notably the siting of a tower in areas with residential or agricultural zoning). A “pipelining” provision allowed applications filed prior to the effective date of May 30, 2003, to be processed under the Minor Use Permit process, although those projects were converted to Major Use Permits.

In April 2007 the Department of Planning and Land Use commenced a review of all open wireless facility applications to determine the status of each project and to follow up with inactive cases.

A list of projects which had not been active for at least one year was compiled. “They’ve remained open,” Tondro said. “But no one was acting on any of them.”

Some of those projects had been inactive for up to four years. In May letters were sent to those applicants asking for either a request for a due date extension or a withdrawal letter for the project, and follow-up letters were sent in August. No responses to those letters were received for the denied projects, and no utilities or landowners expressed objection to the plans to deny the applications.


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