CITY OF COLUMBIA
CITY COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARING MINUTES
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2004
10:00 A.M. – 1737 MAIN STREET
CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS

The City of Columbia City Council met for a Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 21, 2004, in the City Hall Council Chambers, 1737 Main Street, Columbia, South Carolina.  Mayor Robert D. Coble called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  Council members present were The Honorable E. W. Cromartie, II, The Honorable Jim D. N. Papadea, The Honorable Anne M. Sinclair, The Honorable Hamilton Osborne, Jr., The Honorable Sam Davis and The Honorable Tameika Isaac Devine.  Also present were Mr. Charles P. Austin, Sr., City Manager and Ms. Erika D. Moore, City Clerk.

PUBLIC HEARING

ORDINANCES – FIRST READING

A.  Communication Towers – Mr. Marc Mylott

  Ordinance No.: 2003-083 – Amending 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 17, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 8, District Descriptions; Use and Dimensional Regulations, Sec. 17-283, Communication towers

· Mayor Coble opened the Public Hearing at 10:00 a.m.

Mr. Gary Pennington, Pennington & Lott, P.A., representative for Verizon Wireless, appeared before the members of Council in opposition to the proposed setback.   He stated that Verizon Wireless is committed and dedicated to providing adequate wireless coverage and although their current network is mature, there is a need for additional capacity and service areas within Columbia.  He suggested that the matter be referred to a subcommittee for further review.

Mr. Jonathan Yates, 151 Meeting Street, Charleston, South Carolina, Cingular Wireless representative appeared before the members of Council in opposition to the proposed setback.  He stated that Cingular Wireless is currently dealing with capacity issues and they need an Ordinance that is based upon criteria for flexibility and design.

Ms. Geneva Martin, 2218 Gadsden Street, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  She asked the members of Council to keep the neighborhoods beautiful.  Ms. Martin told the members of Council that she had difficulty selling her farmhouse because a relay cell tower stood next to it.

Ms. Marie Dugan, Hyatt Park Neighborhood Association, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.

Mr. John Gibson, Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.

Mr. Hawes Adams, 2226 Lincoln Street, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback because Suncom wants to erect a cell tower between Elmwood Park and Elmwood Cemetery.  He stated that residents should determine the ambiance of their neighborhood.

Mr. Ed Brault, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback because cell towers are intrusive.
· Mayor Coble left the meeting at 10:56 a.m. and Mayor Pro Tempore Jim D. N. Papadea is now presiding.

Ms. Jennifer Powers, Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  She stated that the service providers had adequate time to prepare their recommendations and should invest in the appropriate technology.

Ms. Susie Copeland, Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association Secretary, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  She stated that by allowing one (1) cell tower to be erected in the community there is the potential of creating a cell tower farm.

Dr. Robert Young, 2301 Park Street, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  Dr. Young addressed the issue of cell towers being a health hazard.  He stated that all cancers are a result of the mutation of cells.  He said that drugs and radiation are also causes.  He informed the members of Council that cell towers could negatively affect a fetus and children.

Ms. Judy Wyatt, Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  She stated that community safety and property values come before cell phone usage.  She requested to review a study that outlines the impact that cell towers have on health.  Ms. Wyatt inquired about the efficiency of the current cell towers.

Mr. Tom Shea, 914 Confederate Avenue, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  He stated that he would not purchase a home that’s located near a cell tower.

Ms. Mary Robinson, Skyland Drive resident, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  She stated that she suffered for years from not knowing that a cell tower was on her property.

· Mayor Coble returned to the meeting at 11:27 a.m. and is now presiding.

Mr. Chad Grossclose, Charleston resident, Triton PCS representative, appeared before the members of Council in opposition to the proposed setback.  He stated that connectivity and capacity are the issues at hand.  Mr. Grossclose said that customers want to use their cell phones at home as well.  He assured the members of Council that the Ordinance could be modified to benefit all.

Mr. Tobey Burleson, Cottontown Neighborhood Association President, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  He said that the residents have worked hard to make this community attractive.

Dr. Bruce Skinner, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback. He stated that cell towers do create a low level of radiation and should not be erected in concentrated areas.  He suggested that cell towers be erected in less populated areas.

Mr. Bill Manley, Hyatt Park Neighborhood Association, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed setback.  He stated that the Hyatt Park Neighborhood Association was paid off to allow service providers to erect cell towers in their community.  He requested that they remove the tower on Avondale.

· Mayor Coble closed the Public Hearing at 11:45.
Upon motion by Mr. Davis, seconded by Ms. Sinclair, Council voted unanimously to approve on first reading Ordinance No.: 2003-083 – Amending 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 17, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 8, District Descriptions; Use and Dimensional Regulations, Sec. 17-283, Communication towers.  This item will appear before City Council for second reading approval within the next thirty- (30) days.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Public Hearing at 12:02 p.m. to break.

· Mayor Coble reconvened the Public Hearing at 12:08 p.m.
 
B.  Pay Day & Title Loan Issues – Mr. Marc Mylott

Ordinance No.: 2004-005 – Amending 1998 Code of Ordinances of the City of Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter 17, Planning, Land Development and Zoning, Article III, Zoning, Division 8, District Descriptions; Use and Dimensional Regulations, Sec. 17-258, Table of permitted uses, Division H, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, SIC 60-67, to add 6141, Non-depository Personal Credit Institutions

Mr. Wilbur Tucker, Standish Acres / Burton Heights Neighborhood & Columbia Council of Neighborhoods former President, appeared before the members of Council in support of the proposed amendment.  He told the members of Council about a neighbor whose grandson had to pay twice the loan amount to get his vehicle back.  He urged the members of Council to stop this type of lending.

This Public Hearing was deferred until the District III Evening Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

APPEARANCE OF PUBLIC HAVING BUSINESS WITH CITY COUNCIL

No one appeared before Council.

· Mayor Coble adjourned the Public Hearing at 12:15 p.m. to reconvene the Work Session.

Respectfully submitted by:
Erika D. Moore
City Clerk