Washington County Planning Board discusses cell tower, RV park and storage facility

FAYETTEVILLE – Members of the Washington County Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustments met on Thursday to discuss permits for a cell tower and a boat and RV storage facility, as well as a preliminary development application for a fleet of leisure vehicles.

Cody Sexton, Senior Project Engineer at Blew & Associates, worked with board member Sita Nanthavong to submit a large-scale development application for Blue Springs RV Park, which would be south of US 412. La preliminary request only covers phase 1 of the project. The phase includes approximately 63 RV parking areas with associated driveways and entrances, parking areas, a pavilion, a swimming pool and two septic fields.

Colene Gaston, staff attorney for the Beaver Water District, said the district initially opposed the permit for the RV park due to issues with sediment pollution, stormwater runoff and of wastewater. The concerns pose a threat to the water quality of Beaver Lake and Blue Springs Cove. Another issue is that the topsoil on the property has been disturbed by a previous owner, which could affect the installation of the septic tank.

The claimant did not submit enough information to the Arkansas Department of Health for the assessment of the wastewater treatment plan, Gaston said. Sexton said the project is still in the early development phase and the appropriate information will be submitted to the state at a later date.

In addition to concerns about their drinking water, community members have expressed concerns about a dangerous bend in the road. Council approved Sexton’s development application, on the condition that an additional lane be installed at the park exit.

Planner Nathan Crouch applied for a license for the storage of boats and recreational vehicles from Sonora off the United States 412. The board of directors approved the application, with the condition that real estate ownership errors must be resolved.

The last item on the agenda was a permit application for the Been Mountain wireless communications facility. The applicant, David McGee, intends to construct a 250 foot communications tower in the 0.96 acre area. The tower is 945 feet from the road and there is no residence within 625 feet of the tower.

Several residents objected to the cell phone tower during Thursday’s meeting, saying they didn’t want their property’s value to drop and there was no need for a new Verizon tower. Residents also expressed concerns that the tower poses a health risk to residents of the area due to the emission of RF waves.

The board was not able to achieve a simple majority with its vote, so the request will go to the quorum court as a denial. The applicant has the option of appealing to the Quorum Court, and all approved requests will be sent to the Quorum Court for further consideration.

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