Support the maintenance and expansion of a robust wireless communications network creating reliable service throughout Lexington’s urban and rural areas.
In the last several Comprehensive Plans, as well as in the Rural Land Management Plan, the importance of wireless communication has been recognized as integral to the safety and welfare of the community – in both the Urban Service Area and the Rural Service Area. Having become a critical form of infrastructure in the last several years (as much as water, gas or electricity), it is important to be able to provide wireless service for use by residents, commercial entities, and emergency services. It has been stated in multiple articles regarding e911 as it relates to wireless service that a reliable e911 system can only exist if a reliable wireless service system is in place. This supports (and is supported by) the current as well as past Comprehensive Plans.
While wireless communication infrastructure is incredibly important as noted above, it is also crucial to minimize the intrusion and negative aesthetic impacts they can bring. Cell towers come in many shapes and sizes, but the technology to camouflage them through stealth concealments has existed for many years. When new public or private applications come in for new towers the applicants need to show how they propose to camouflage the facility. Every situation will be different, but every application should illustrate how the tower will either blend into the existing surroundings through context-sensitive camouflaging, or how it can function as a piece of public art that will complement the surrounding area. Given how prevalent these facilities have become, it is vital they do not detract from the landscape, but enhance it or have zero impact. If an applicant does not feel they can utilize these camouflaging techniques, they must be able to demonstrate a compelling and legitimate reason, other than strictly financial, that they are unable to do so. Design elements should be considered with any type of development in Lexington, including cell towers.