By Lyndsie Ferrell
CREEDE— On June 21, a public Mineral County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was held in order to gain public insight on a proposed project that would bring cell towers to the area.
The meeting was co-hosted by the Divide District of the Rio Grande National Forest and Mineral County. As part of the forest’s environmental analysis the Divide Ranger District is seeking public input on the proposed location of five towers by Viaero Wireless. During the meeting it was explained that it is not a decision of yes or no, but only to confirm that the Forest Service is doing everything according to the laws and regulations that govern this type of use on forest land.
The county’s decision on the other hand does consider public comment as to the yes or no decision regarding two additional sites. The planning and zoning commission will consider one of three options regarding the proposals which include, recommending the proposed cell towers to the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) for approval as is, recommending to the BOCC approval with modifications or conditions or recommending the BOCC deny the project entirely. The BOCC will then hold a second public hearing after receiving the Planning and Zoning recommendation and make a decision accordingly.
After introducing and discussing the two different processes the floor was opened to questions, most of which Henry Jacobsen from Viaero Wireless answered. The planning and zoning hearing was then called to order and all written comments that had been received were read aloud to the commission and attending crowd. Additionally, audience members were asked to give verbal comments, which a couple of them did.
The planning and zoning commission will meet Monday, July 16, to debate the issue and reach a recommendation. The meeting will be held at the Creede Town Hall beginning at 6 pm.