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Planning Commission approves Diego Estates Drive wireless facility


Last updated 6/17/2017 at Noon

The county's Planning Commission approved a wireless telecommunication facility in the 3500 block of Diego Estates Drive.

The Planning Commission's 5-0 vote May 12, with Michael Edwards and Michael Seiler absent, approved a Major Use Permit which will allow Telespan Communications to construct and operate equipment on two 55-foot tall false mono-broadleaf trees along with a corrugated metal equipment enclosure, a concrete masonry block wall enclosure for future generators, and trenching for underground utilities.

The parcel totals 6.4 acres and includes a 4,800 square foot single-family residence and an avocado grove. Its A70 Limited Agriculture zoning requires a Major Use Permit for a telecommunications facility.

When the application for a Major Use Permit was initially filed with the county in June 2016, Telespan Communications proposed one 73-foot false tree approximately 85 feet from the property line. County staff determined that such a height would not be compatible with surrounding trees since mature avocado trees average 25 to 35 feet in height. The avocado grove is approximately 200 feet lower in elevation than the residence and the false trees are approximately 62 feet below the adjacent property line, so Telespan and county staff agreed to two 55-foot false trees.

The false trees will host 48 panel antennas, 96 remote radio units, and 24 surge suppressors. Each panel antenna will be covered by a false leaf "sock", and false branches will extend two feet past the panel antennas to conceal the antennas' visibility. The corrugated metal enclosure and the concrete masonry unit block wall enclosure will both have an earth tone color and will both be 10 feet in height. In the event the canopies of the actual trees are compromised in the future, Telespan will be responsible for providing additional landscaping around the facilities to screen those facilities from the view of neighbors or the traveling public.

Although the Fallbrook Community Planning Group's Public Facilities Subcommittee voted 5-0 with one abstention in July 2016 to recommend rejection of the 73-foot false tree, the final proposal received an 11-3 favorable recommendation at the August 2016 planning group meeting.

The facility will be accessed by a private driveway which connects to Diego Estates Drive.


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