Village News - Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

By Joe Naiman
Village News Reporter 

Zoning Administrator allows replacement of Pala wireless pole


Last updated 5/28/2020 at 4:01pm

The county's Zoning Administrator gave his approval for the replacement of a Verizon wireless communication pole in Pala.

The May 21 decision of Zoning Administrator Eric Lardy modifies the project's Minor Use Permit to allow replacement of the existing monopole in the 10600 block of Highway 76 with a false pine tree. The existing pole is 30 feet tall and the false tree will be 34 and 1/2 feet tall.

The 12.9-acre property has A70 Limited Agriculture zoning. In 2003, the county adopted a policy for wireless communication projects which requires a Major Use Permit for siting of a tower in areas with residential or agricultural zoning, but only a Minor Use Permit was required in May 2001 when the Zoning Administrator at the time allowed for the wooden monopole along with a 288 square foot enclosed equipment structure.

The wireless communication policy also included an amortization period for monopoles, lattice towers, and other facilities not camouflaged or designed as a false tree or building component.

The change in the tower structure does not affect the equipment area approximately 40 feet from what will become the false tree. A new underground coaxial cable will be installed between the equipment area and the false tree, which will result in approximately 80 cubic feet of trenching.

An existing private maintenance access road connects State Route 76 to the wireless facility area. Hilly terrain, existing vegetation and approximately 1,400 feet between Highway 76 and the facility screen the equipment enclosure from Highway 76 motorists.

The revised permit has a 15-year period and will be valid through May 21, 2035. At that time the site will be evaluated once again to determine if better technology provides for a feasible reduction of visual impacts.

Approval of the Minor Use Permit modification was recommended by the Pala-Pauma Community Sponsor Group on a 4-0 vote in February 2019.


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