Mono Planners approve Vista Towers cell site plan
Residents of Crowley Lake, who have long clamored for better, or in many cases ANY, cell service, will finally get their wish.
On Thursday night, the Mono County Planning Commission unanimously approved a Use Permit Application and Mitigated Negative Declaration submitted by Vista Towers, LLC. Vista proposed a Monopine or Monopole cell tower be erected in an open moraine near Hilton Creek.
The public hearing at the Crowley Community Center, sedate compared to the uproar from both sides generated last year by the ill-fated Incline Partners plan to erect a pair of towers on property inside Crowley Lake, saw no opponents appear during the public hearing. In fact, even the Czeschins, who own the property in Crowley on which the Incline towers were to be built, stated their support.
If anything, the only real question was whether to go with the monopine or monopole configuration. Commissioners, having no clear mandate from a near perfectly split public opinion on the pine versus pole format, opted to go for the pole plan, which would blend in better with the small array of power and phone poles already in the area.
According to Vista Towers’ Robert MacLachlan, pending some more required work and a bird study to be conducted in May, he said plans are to begin work in June, which should take about six weeks or so to complete. No word on exactly when the tower would go online, but it’s possible residents could see more bars as early as late summer.
Clearly this was a case of “location, location, location.” Even John and Victoria Rawson, staunch opponents of the Incline proposal, who advocated looking for another, “better” site for a cell tower, supported the Vista plan, indicating that taking more time to find one was clearly worth the wait.
District 2 Mono Supervisor Hap Hazard was thrilled at the decisions. “I don’t care where it goes, as long as it happens,” Hazard commented, echoing Long Valley Fire Chief Fred Stump’s take that the much improved cell service environment would aid first responders immeasurably in their public safety work.