Public Hearing Set to Discuss Zoning for Proposed Cell Tower Location in South Jacksonville

By Jeremy Coumbes on June 13, 2023 at 5:49pm

Cell phone users near the Village of South Jacksonville might be seeing a path to better service soon.

The Village of South Jacksonville announced today a public hearing has been scheduled to consider rezoning a portion of property along West Vandalia.

Village President Dick Samples says the parcel located next to the Ameren substation on Sequoia Drive near the village police and fire station, has been selected as the site for a new 195-foot tall cell tower.

Samples says the request was made by a third-party contractor on behalf of AT&T, and that the section of land would need to be rezoned before any further action can be taken. He says the special hearing has been called in an effort to speed up the process.

It should go through the Plans Commission, and that’s a month. And then it would go through the regular board meeting and that could be almost a month. So what I’m trying to to is eliminate this and put it all together. Have the Plans Commission and the board meeting all at one time so we can eliminate a month out of this [process] at least.

Because we’re talking two to three weeks from next week as the earliest it could be voted on. Now once it’s voted on, you’re supposed to wait ten days before it’s passed as an ordinance and all that, but once it’s voted on, it’s voted. It’s in.”

The hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, June 22nd at 6:30 pm, ahead of the Village Board of Trustees’ Committee of the Whole meeting, at the Village Hall on Dewey Drive.

Samples says the meeting will allow for explanation and discussion with the public, including any neighbors who are welcome to voice their opinions on the proposal. “It’s informational and to give people a chance to talk about it because I don’t know if I’d be crazy about wanting a 195-foot tower right beside my house. So we’re giving these people an opportunity to say something about it.”

Samples says no action will be taken at the hearing or during that night’s committee of the whole, however, the zoning matter would then be scheduled for a vote at the next regular board meeting on Thursday, July 6th.