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Site of application for conditional use in Bethel Park

Bethel Park Council rejected a conditional-use application Monday for construction of a communications tower in the municipality’s industrial park.

The vote against the proposal by Capital Telecom Holdings LLC and Pittsburgh SMSA Limited Partnership nearly was unanimous. Council member Jim McLean abstained, citing primarily his not attending the second of two public hearings on the matter.

According to Timothy Moury, council president, plans call for a 140-foot-tall structure on which to place equipment. The stated purpose is to fill Verizon Wireless coverage gaps in the local area.

“If this tower were to go in, we’re still going to have ‘dead spots,’” Moury said prior to the vote. “This is not going to 100% resolve the problem that we have in that general vicinity. It’s going to help, I’m sure, but it’s not going to resolve.”

The proposed tower site at 5412 Enterprise Blvd. is zoned for manufacturing and light industrial, which allows such uses.

“That’s principally why this area was chosen,” said Joe Perotti of the Pittsburgh law firm Sittig & Cortese, representing the applicants, during the June 22 public hearing. “No variances absolutely were needed for this facility.”

As for the conditional use required by the municipality, the Bethel Park Planning and Zoning Commission voted in January to recommend council’s approval. The following month, council conducted the first public hearing, during which several residents expressed concern about the proposal.

In further action July 13, council voted to approve the findings of fact, conclusions of law and decisions denying the application.

“This is a summary – it’s, I believe, 42 pages – of the deficiencies we found,” Moury said. “Because we turned it down tonight, we are now going to adopt a findings of fact that will go along with the denial process if the applicant chooses to take this to court.”

The summary is based on information provided by a professional consultant hired by the municipality to review the application process.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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