Vicksburg Board upholds zoning appeal’s tower decision

Published 5:25 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday upheld a Board of Zoning Appeals decision denying a special exception sought by a company to build a cell tower on South Frontage Road, saying the company failed to prove the tower was necessary.

Vertical Bridge, a company that builds communications towers, sought the special exception to build a tower for T-Mobile, which is upgrading its equipment, at 2480 South Frontage Road and within a mile from an existing tower owned by a company called SBA.

Zoning administrator Dalton McCarty opposed the special exception, citing the city’s zoning ordinance prohibiting installing communications towers within a mile of an existing tower unless there is proof the existing tower wouldn’t work. Officials for Vertical Bridge took its request for the special exception to the Board of Zoning Appeals, which denied the request on March 16 and Vertical Bridge appealed the decision to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which held a public hearing on May 25.

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In its resolution denying the exception, the board said it “determined that based on substantial evidence that the proposed special exception application does not meet the special exception use requirements set under the city’s ordinance governing communications towers.”

The resolution indicated that Vertical Bridge failed to satisfy the standards for a special exception allowing the construction of a wireless communication tower because it “failed to demonstrate to the reasonable satisfaction of the city” that no existing tower or other structure could accommodate its proposed antenna within a 1-mile search radius and that the granting of the application would adversely affect the public interest.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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