Messageboard - General Columbus Discussion

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

9-story cell tower proposal for 3005 Indianola (near Studio 35)

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion 9-story cell tower proposal for 3005 Indianola (near Studio 35)

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1024976

    Mister MooCow
    Participant

    In case you missed it, there’s a 100-foot cell tower proposed for installation behind the coffee house on Indianola. They need 3 variances (including one to suspend the requirement for setback of towers from residences). The CAC’s zoning & variance committee will vote on the variances at 7:30 pm on July 1 at the Clinton Heights Lutheran Church (corner of Clinton Heights & High).

    To get an idea of what the tower will look like, there’s a one near the railroad at Weisheimer & Indianola (an appropriate location for cell towers that won’t break up a burgeoning urban commercial district) that is of similar height.

    Updated details (just downloaded from the City’s web site) available at http://bit.ly/IndyTower


    moo!

    #1024978

    Eugene_C
    Participant

    Looks like it is a T-Mobile tower. The area generally south of this location is something of a cell reception hole for a couple of carriers because it is difficult to locate towers there due to the city’s zoning restrictions. This passage from the application is interesting:

    The Columbus Zoning Code discriminates agains the siting of tower sites on smaller commercially-zoned properties by employing a 200% of tower height setback from residential districts…however, the greatest service needs today are in high-density residential neighborhoods. The only way to meet this growing need is to locate the towers where the need is…

    Also, I think that Sprint is in the process of merging with T-Mobile, so this could double as a Sprint tower, as well.

    #1024982
    Jason Powell
    Jason Powell
    Participant

    If it looked anything like the one in Dublin, it might not be as opposed.

    Dublin cell tower

    #1024986

    Eugene_C
    Participant

    I think most people nowadays value cell reception more highly than they abhor the site of a cell tower.

    #1025011

    Mister MooCow
    Participant

    All the other carriers locate their towers in the industrial corridor along I-71, in the commercial corridor along 315 and/or use less hideous microcells strategically placed on existing structures (in fact, T-mobile already has a site on the smoke stack of the school just down Weber Rd). Towers like this are wholly inappropriate for residential areas — which is why the zoning code is the way it is — can you imagine locating a 100′ cell tower in the middle of German Village or Italian Village? If you had a choice between buying/renting a house with a cell tower in the backyard and one without, which would you buy/rent? How much extra would you pay for an equivalent house without a cell tower in the back yard?

    The area to be used is about 1/20th of the commercial strip that includes Studio 35 and many new businesses like art galleries, co-working space, etc. It’s like a burgeoning mini Short North. Can you imagine taking out 1/20th of the Short North — right in the middle of it and right as it was starting to develop — to use as a cell site?

    The cellco folks obviously thought that nobody would be paying any attention (and that they could save a few bucks by not putting a tower or two in more appropriate areas). Allow me to be the first to greet them with “Welcome to Clintonville”.

    #1025022

    NerosNeptune
    Participant

    [quote=1024978]Looks like it is a T-Mobile tower. The area generally south of this location is something of a cell reception hole for a couple of carriers because it is difficult to locate towers there due to the city’s zoning restrictions. This passage from the application is interesting:

    The Columbus Zoning Code discriminates agains the siting of tower sites on smaller commercially-zoned properties by employing a 200% of tower height setback from residential districts…however, the greatest service needs today are in high-density residential neighborhoods. The only way to meet this growing need is to locate the towers where the need is…

    Also, I think that Sprint is in the process of merging with T-Mobile, so this could double as a Sprint tower, as well.
    [/quote]

    That would be a long way off, as right now their networks aren’t compatible with each other. If Sprint gets the OK to buy T-Mobile, they’re likely to keep the brands separate until voice-over-LTE becomes standard and they can easily merge the two customer bases into one network. By that time, combining their spectrum assests will make for a very nice network.

    #1025066

    Achekov
    Participant

    [quote=1025022]
    That would be a long way off, as right now their networks aren’t compatible with each other. If Sprint gets the OK to buy T-Mobile, they’re likely to keep the brands separate until voice-over-LTE becomes standard and they can easily merge the two customer bases into one network. By that time, combining their spectrum assests will make for a very nice network.
    [/quote]

    No reason that they can’t put both systems on the same tower is there?

    CDMA is on its way out – most carriers in developed and developing countries, including Sprint and Verizon, are migrating to the LTE standard, which is based on GSM/UMTS. Right now Sprint is changing over all their towers to a new multi-band standard that combines and repurposes the different radio bands of some of their defunct services like Nextel to all work in the same phone on LTE. No reason they couldn’t throw T-Mobile in the mix, too. If they pull it off they’ll have absolutely loads of bandwidth.

    #1027328

    Mister MooCow
    Participant

    [Reminder with additional info from meeting with cell tower agent]

    In case you missed it, there’s a 100-foot cell tower proposed for installation behind the coffee house on Indianola. They need 3 variances (including one to suspend the requirement for setback of towers from residences). The CAC’s zoning & variance committee will vote on the variances at 7:30 pm tomorrow at the Clinton Heights Lutheran Church (corner of Clinton Heights & High).

    If you can spare 15 minutes to attend and show your support for our neighborhood, that’d be great (you don’t even need to speak in front of the committee or anything — your presence with the rest of the neighbors will send the message). Dana reminded us that the meeting will be efficient, so don’t be late.

    It’s worth mentioning that the the business located at the proposed location (the coffee house) is not the owner of the location and thus shouldn’t be subjected to negative attention — the owner is actually the gentleman that owns/runs the Imperial Cleaners dry cleaning store next door.

    To get an idea of what the tower will look like, there’s a one near the railroad at Weisheimer & Indianola that is of similar height.

    For some background on our interaction with the cell tower’s representative, here’re my notes from a meeting we had with him a couple of weeks ago. Libby and Dana arranged a meeting between some of the neighbors and the variance-requesting agent — the idea was to be able to gather information and so the agent could have folks understand the need).

    My take– the agent last night said so many seemingly contradictory things that we aren’t really sure where or what the exact need is. He said that putting a tower [with a range of multiple miles] near 71 (1000′ to the east) was too far away from the coverage area, that putting a tower at the corner of ENB & Indianola (1500′ to the north) was too far away from the area, but that the intended tower would replace the site at Weber&Calumet (1500′ to the west). We repeatedly tried to get him to tell us what the coverage area was and he deflected (probably because he had no idea– being that he handles real estate, I’m sure has never talked to the T-Mobile RF engineer(s) working this project, let alone seen a coverage map or drive-testing results for the project area; his job is to get that tower installed Right There — not to understand why or what the alternatives are — and he’ll say whatever it takes to make that happen).

    We asked him why they couldn’t use the existing site (the smokestack at Weber&Calumet) and he said that it was falling down (which we’ve heard is untrue); then he said that it wasn’t good enough for deploying the LTE equipment (which seems odd, since the variance pack’s mast drawing shows only a single additional antenna pod per cell for LTE); then he said that the school system would only grant them a 6-month lease (which also seemed odd — we’re trying to get a real estate person at CCS to let us know what they actually said) and that “they” wanted something longer term; then he said something about the density of subscribers requiring more towers (seemingly implying that the site at the school would stay and that the new tower would be additional instead of a replacement).

    I asked why they couldn’t use less intrusive microcells (see http://bit.ly/IndyMicrocell or http://www.unisonsite.com/pdf/resource-center/Think%20Small%20Unison-whitepaper-7D.pdf ) — his replies indicated that he had no idea what I as talking about (he first confused femto/pico cells with microcells and then he thought I was talking about distributed antennas) . Then he said they wouldn’t work because they would not cover the area. Which took us back to the “What IS the area?” and more deflection.

    Microcells are truly the answer — from the second page of the Unison whitepaper (http://bit.ly/IndyMicrocell ):

    As carriers look to shrink cell sites, microcells provide a mid-sized option. Frequently employed in urban and suburban areas, microcells offer a coverage radius of less than a mile in diameter. They can be seen mounted on street lights, traffic lights, billboards, bridges, tunnels and flag poles, to name a few. Their less obtrusive size and appearance can make compliance with local ordinances easier. Usually, the installation of three microcell sites can cover the same service area as a large macrocell, but at a lower total cost and quicker installation timeframe. The base station equipment and electrical powering costs for microcells are far less than their larger counterparts.

    If the agent is to be believed (with respect to what antenna placement will and won’t provide proper coverage as well as the increased subscriber density), the area in question is seemingly under a mile in diameter and has lots of subscribers — and is thus perfect for a microcell or two (or three).

    But, to mangle a parable, if your livelihood is to sell hammers, your incentive is to convince everyone that their problem is a nail. So I don’t expect the agent to go back to T-Mobile and ask them about microcells; there’d be no profit in that for an agent who specializes in real estate and zoning for cell towers.

    As a several of us have often said, Clintonville is often the “test case” for doing the right thing — we overthink everything, we scream bloody murder when we see/feel injustice, we want the best that there is for our community, and we just won’t let things go. So we’re likely setting the tone for what will happen elsewhere in Columbus with respect to in-fill cellular service — and we thus need to aim high.

    #1027392

    joev
    Participant

    Why would anyone ever try to build something in Clintonville?

    #1027406

    DouginCMH
    Participant

    [quote=1027392]Why would anyone ever try to build something in Clintonville? [/quote]
    Your point being…?

    #1028068

    ohbr
    Participant

    As a several of us have often said, Clintonville is often the “test case” for doing the right thing — we overthink everything, we scream bloody murder when we see/feel injustice, we want the best that there is for our community, and we just won’t let things go.

    So why are you not up in arms over a proposed retail development that could further hinder any potential to expose the Glen Echo ravine and turn it in to a park that would make a beautiful entry in to your neighborhood and could be another defining feature of said neighborhood? A “test case” for other places in the city or cities nationwide in doing the right thing in bringing natural beauty/assets to the forefront instead of building over it for limited, low value purpose. We should cap highways, we shouldn’t be capping naturally beautiful spaces. I hope I am wrong and that the community will be screaming bloody murder and if so, please be sure to post detailed minutes of those conversations as well.

    #1028179

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    Some company put up numerous microcells in 5XNW, so I don’t know why it wouldn’t work here as well.

    #1028658

    Mister MooCow
    Participant

    Update: the CAC’s zoning & variance committee unanimously opposed the variance requests for the proposed tower. The CAC takes up the issue this week. Details are in .

    #1028914

    gramarye
    Participant

    If microcells are cheaper and faster to construct, require less energy to run, and 2-3 can provide the same coverage as a macrocell, why is TMobile itself set on getting this macrocell tower in this location? I can understand that the agent has an incentive to get this done in this spot, but I’m talking about the principal, TMobile, not the agent. If microcells were so clearly the answer, you’d expect TMobile to be on board with that as well, which makes me think there’s another side to this issue that hasn’t been given airtime in this thread. I’m no electrical engineer nor otherwise qualified to say what that might be, but the story above sounds incomplete.

    #1029105

    Mister MooCow
    Participant

    [quote=1028914]If microcells are cheaper and faster to construct, require less energy to run, and 2-3 can provide the same coverage as a macrocell, why is TMobile itself set on getting this macrocell tower in this location?[/quote]

    That’s the $64K question. After repeated attempts/requests, we’ve been unable to talk to any actual T-Mobile engineering/planning staff, so we’re left to speculate:

    1. Dealing with a single property owner is simpler than dealing with 2 or 3.
    2. Dealing with an unsophisticated property owner — unaware of the going rates for cell tower leasing — is cheaper than dealing with one that has a property management organization that can tap contacts to determine an appropriate (read: “more expensive”) fee structure.
    3. Dealing with a property owner who is apparently unconcerned with aesthetics allows them to do pretty much whatever they want.
    4. Dealing with a sole-proprieter is simpler/faster than dealing with a corporation or government organization (the latter two being the typical property owners in the more appropriate areas along I-71 and 315) with respect to gaining approval to use their property.
    5. The actual tower owner (which would not be T-Mobile) can market the tower for simultaneous use by other carriers and reap a windfall.
    6. The agent/planner in charge of the project was ignorant of how much Clintonville folks care about their neighborhood (this speculation based on the agent’s repeated assertions early on that he was certain that no one would oppose the tower)
    7. T-Mobile (per the agent’s use of the term “unproven technology” with respect to microcells) is apparently familiar only with outdated equipment/technologies from the late 20th century (and hasn’t bothered to visit Houndogs– corner of Dodridge & High — to look up at the chimneys atop of the side facing Turkey Hill — and see what 21st century urban cell phone sites look like).
    8. Perhaps T-Mobile isn’t actively involved with the site selection and gave general parameters to the agent (e.g., “hey, we need to cover this area better; you go find a site or two or three and we’ll get the engineers involved after you have lease — and property/zoning restrictions– in-hand”), leaving the agent to fulfill the requirements using whatever minimal effort he felt appropriate.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

The forum ‘General Columbus Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.