Frisco City Council members discussed potential updates to the city’s cell tower ordinance during a Nov. 21 work session meeting.
Updating the ordinance would allow city officials and developers to have more flexibility when planning for cell towers, Assistant Director of Planning Jonathan Hubbard said.
There are some sections of the city in need of additional coverage, especially around the northern Frisco areas where more development is breaking ground, Hubbard said.
It is difficult to sell corporations on Frisco when the city itself has “spotty cell coverage,” Council Member Angelia Pelham said.
City staff had already been meeting with various coverage carriers for a few months before the Nov. 21 presentation, Hubbard said.
“It is our hope that the relationships that we are building with the carriers through these meetings is that we are going to be able to put them in touch with developers so that this type of infrastructure can go on buildings as the developments are being built,” Hubbard said.
Council could choose to update the ordinance by either:
- Requiring a specific use permit for every tower
- Creating conditional development standards
Creating development standards would offer a quicker turnaround for developers, Hubbard said.
“Obviously, time is money, right?” Mayor Jeff Cheney said.
Requiring a specific use permit for every project would give city officials more control over what gets built, Council Member Bill Woodard said.
“You can deal with a variety of different situations because you're kind of working on a case-by-case basis,” he said.
Updating the ordinance also allows city officials to specify what aesthetics they want for the towers in Frisco, Hubbard said.
For example, “hidden towers” such as the Panther Creek Parkway belltower monument blend in more than traditional towers, he said.
City staff members will work on drafting a new ordinance for approximately the next month before bringing it back to council for their approval, Hubbard said.
A full schedule of upcoming city meetings can be found here.