July 19, 2024

New T-Mobile clock tower approved at Sundance Crossing

The Buckeye Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit for a new T-Mobile clock tower at the Sundance Crossing Commercial Center during its June meeting.

The 120-foot-high vertical bridge multi-carrier telecommunications facility will support T-Mobile coverage at the top with space for two future carriers below. The applicant was Shannon McCrea of State 48 Development Consulting on behalf of Vertical Bridge. The property area designated for the tower is owned by the City of Buckeye. The leasing process has already begun, and the applicant is expected to go before Buckeye City Council by the end of the year.

The proposed location of the clock tower. [City of Buckeye]

The proposed design of the clock tower. [City of Buckeye]
The stealth cell facility will be a fully functioning clock tower within a 900-square-foot enclosure at Sundance Crossing Commercial Center. It will be located more than 240 feet away from the closest residence to the south.

“The proposed facility will be located within a landscaped area on the western boundary of a fully constructed commercial center,” said City Planner Jennifer Fostino, who presented the request.

The design and materials of the tower have been agreed upon by the city and include a clock displayed on all three sides of the tower. The numbers are backlit so as to be visible at night. Maintenance of the tower will be conducted by the applicant.

Cell phone coverage before and after the new tower is built. [City of Buckeye]

Gap in coverage

The tower aims to fill a cell phone coverage gap in the area. Fostino provided maps showing the current coverage and future coverage once the tower is installed.

“As shown here, there is a significant gap in coverage with the closest facility approximately a mile and a half away,” Fostino said. “There is also no structure in the immediate vicinity that will accommodate the height required to maximize the coverage as the proposed height of the tower is 120 feet and the nearby buildings are between 20 and 30 feet. Staff does feel the applicant has met the burden of proof for a new telecommunications facility at this proposed location.”

In response to the Facebook live meeting coverage, resident Melissa Marie commented saying, “That’s amazing! When we moved to Buckeye, we had to switch from T-Mobile.”

Public input was collected from September through June with neighborhood meeting notices, information mailed to property owners within 300 feet, Planning and Zoning Commission meeting notices, a newspaper ad and a site posting.

“The proposed conditional use permit is in conformance with the general plan and the conditional use permit standards outlined in the development code,” Fostino said. “The use is consistent with the character of the area and it’s not expected to disrupt the surrounding neighborhood.”

Fostino requested to approve the permit and the applicant provided no further comment. A public hearing was held and there were no speakers. The motion to approve the conditional use permit was unanimous.

“I think this is a beautiful design. I’m glad to see it,” said Vice Chair Ted Burton. “We all know living here there are dead spots with cell phones, so this will help tremendously.”

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