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Planning Commission approves MUP modification for PacBell antennas

The county’s Planning Commission approved a modification to a Major Use Permit for the Pacific Bell/SBC building in Fallbrook which will allow panel antennas along with support equipment for an unmanned wireless telecommunications facility.

The Planning Commission’s 6-0 vote October 31, with John Riess absent, allows the antennas to be mounted on the north, west, and south sides of the existing switching station building in the 700 block of North Stage Coach Lane.

The panel antennas will not exceed the height of the existing building and will be painted to match the color of the existing building.

Although a Pacific Bell/SBC telephone switching station is on the 1.15-acre parcel, the site has RR2 rural residential zoning.

Properties with agricultural and residential zoning are not considered preferred areas for wireless communications facilities, but preferred locations include existing structures.

The residential zoning triggered the requirement of a Major Use Permit, although such a permit has already been issued for the switching station and only a modification was needed to allow the wireless facility.

In addition to the antennas, the modification allows for supporting equipment which will consist of six self-contained base transceiver station outdoor equipment cabinets, one electric meter panel, and one telephone interface.

The equipment will be located within a custom-built concrete block enclosure which will be constructed to match the color and texture of the existing building.

The enclosure will be located adjacent to the east of an existing concrete platform and will be surrounded by existing landscaping.

Additional landscaping to screen the enclosure has also been proposed, and the conditions of the permit include photographic evidence that all landscaping included in the plan has been installed and that an automatic irrigation system has been provided to help establish the vegetation.

The original Special Use Permit for the switching station was approved in December 1975.

A modification to the Major Use Permit was approved in June 1986 to allow for an increase in the parking area and the placement of a portable room in the parking area, and in March 2001 a modification to the permit allowed for an expansion of the switching station building.

The Fallbrook Community Planning Group unanimously recommended approval of the most recent Major Use Permit modification during a December 2005 meeting.

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