City Council May Take Action Next Tuesday On Small Cell Devices; Ledford Says A Unique Chattanooga Design Is Needed In Place Of "Horrible" Structures

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The City Council may take action next Tuesday on one section of new regulations dealing with the evolving technology involving small cell devices.

Assistant City Attorney Phil Noblett said the industry is moving from the large cell towers of the late 1990s to smaller apparatus designed to bring additional bandwidth to particular locations.

Councilman Darrin Ledford said, "The versions I've seen are all horrible. They are not very appealing. None of the options look unique and creative."

He said he was challenging providers to come up with a special Chattanooga look so people will say, "That's really cool. What is that?"

Attorney Noblett said the city had not granted a new telecommunications franchise in over two decades, then it got an application from the Zayo firm. Zayo eventually sued the city in Federal Court, saying it was taking too long to come up with regulations.

Attorney Noblett said that suit has been settled through mediation. He said the city was supposed to come up with new rules by the end of March. 

He said Zayo and other providers are in talks with the city on how to proceed and what will work and not work for the industry. There was a session on Monday with five providers.

The attorney said, under federal law, the companies have the right to install the devices with or without the city's blessing. He said the city needs to act to set up controls on such factors as height, distance apart and design or lose all say-so in the matter.

Appeals will be through the Board of Appeals, or could also be by the new Form Based Code Committee.

There will also be an aspect of zoning on the small cell applications.

Attorney Noblett said, in addition to fixed installations with antennas, that providers sometimes will bring in mobile structures for temporary infusion of bandwidth at concerts and other events.

He said most of the interest thus far has been for downtown, UTC and the Hamilton Place Mall area.


Search On In Marion County For Man Who Stole Sheriff's Car, Wrecked It; Halfacre Added To TBI's Most Wanted List

Authorities were searching in Marion County on Tuesday for a man who stole a Marion County Sheriff's Department vehicle and wrecked it in front of the Dollar General in Whitwell. Dewayne Lee Halfacre of Hohenwald, Tn., then ran into some nearby woods.   Afterward, a nearby highway was closed and students were  dismissed from Whitwell Elementary, Middle, and High ... (click for more)

Trio From Chattanooga Charged In Shoplifting At Sweetwater Walmart In Which Attempt Was Made To Stab Employee

Three people from Chattanooga were arrested at Sweetwater, Tn., after allegedly walking out with a shopping cart of items without paying, then one of the trio allegedly tried to stab an employee who sought to stop them. The Monroe County Advocate and Democrat said those charged include  Quwana Young, Jeremiah Nelson Woods and Delicia Brown. Sweetwater Police said Woods ... (click for more)

Dismal Educator Teaching At UTC - And Response

Roy Exum,  People are talking about the inability of UTC to turn out high quality teachers. Well, should any university be expected to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse? We all know how our school system students fail miserably on national scholastic aptitude tests as a whole.  Forget Tcap tests, those are teacher tests not meant for measuring student progress, but ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Making A Difference

It was about 50 years ago when the late writer Loren Eiseley penned an essay called “The Starfish Thrower” so it’s been one of my favorite stories for almost as long. It tells about a man who walks up to a young boy on a beach, this just after a strong storm had washed hundreds of helpless starfish onto the shore. The boy was picking up the stranded starfish and, one at a time, ... (click for more)

East Hamilton's English Suspended For Tonight's Bradley Game

(Story will be updated) East Hamilton boys’ basketball coach Rodney English has been suspended from his coaching duties and will not accompany the team to Cleveland for tonight’s District 5-3A game against Bradley Central. English, who guided the Hurricanes to the 2017 boys’ state tournament in the program’s best season since the school opened in 2009, was suspended by ... (click for more)

Ooltewah's Second-Half Rally Dumps East Ridge, 66-54

East Ridge launched an all-out 3-point blitz against Ooltewah on Monday night at Catherine Neely Gymnasium. The Owls, who trailed 2-0 before the game even started due to Cam Chambers’ technical foul because of dunking in warmups, weathered that storm. They whittled an 18-6 first-quarter deficit down to 27-23 at halftime. Ooltewah took its first lead at 31-30 on Kobe Smith’s ... (click for more)