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MUP approved for Verizon facility on Aqua Hill water tank

The county’s Planning Commission voted 6-0 September 25, with Commissioner Bryan Woods absent, to approve a Major Use Permit which authorizes the construction, operation, and co-location of an unmanned wireless telecommunication facility on top of a water tank in the 2300 block of Aqua Hill Drive.

The permit allows Verizon Wireless to mount 12 panel antennas and one microwave dish antenna on the 50-foot-tall water tank owned by the Fallbrook Public Utility District. The top of the antennas will be at 36 feet.

The equipment associated with the tower will include four compact metro cell outdoor equipment cabinets and global positioning system antennas which will be surrounded by a wooden fence six feet tall, and the associated equipment will also include an emergency generator receptacle.

Existing eucalyptus trees will screen the facility from surrounding areas, and the water tank, existing and proposed wireless facilities, and the private driveway access to the site will be surrounded by a chain link fence eight feet in height.

The 5.0-acre parcel owned by the water district has Limited Agricultural, or A70, zoning. Preferred zones include parcels with commercial and industrial zoning and some special purpose zoning, so a Major Use Permit is required to place a wireless facility on a property with agricultural zoning.

In May 2008 the Fallbrook Community Planning Group voted 14-0 to recommend approval of the Major Use Permit for Verizon Wireless.

Although the parcel is not in a preferred zone, mounting antennas to an existing water tank is considered a preferred location, as is a co-located facility.

In December 2006 the Planning Commission approved a Major Use Permit for Cingular to construct and operate a wireless telecommunication facility, and in September 2001 – prior to the current county regulations for wireless facilities – the county’s Zoning Administrator approved a Minor Use Permit for Sprint to construct and operate a wireless facility.


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