Residents’ concerns about the construction of a cellular tower on Danville Area Community College property largely disappeared Thursday night.

City officials’ previous concern about setting a precedent with a 250-foot tower, which would be the tallest in the city, also was a non-issue.

Providing more money for DACC, however, was a selling point.

The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approving a special-use permit requested by Site Acquisition Consultants, serving as agents for Salmon PCS, LLC, or Cingular Wireless, to construct a cell tower on the east side of Superior Street, approximately 511 feet east of Superior Street and 691 feet north of Vine Street.

The Danville City Council will act on the request May 16.

The request came back to the commission after SAC withdrew its previous request to construct a tower at the northeast corner of Superior and Vine streets prior to the city council acting on the permit in February.

The zoning commission had denied the request by a 4-2 vote.

Neighbors complained about having to look at another tall cell tower and the negative impact on property values.

The proposed site is located behind the Department of Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System on DACC property.

A 150-foot wireless communications tower operated by Verizon Wireless already sits there.

Mike Bieniek, zoning director with SAC, said the company compromised and moved the proposed tower farther away from the residential area.

By providing better service for Cingular Wireless customers in the area and paying DACC to lease the land, the situation is win-win, Bieniek said.

DACC President Alice Jacobs said the college will receive more than $70,000 over a five-year period.

She said the additional money will help keep tuition costs lower for students.

The tower project also includes a fenced area, 12-foot-wide access road from Superior Street and an 8-foot-wide utility easement from Vine Street.

The purpose of the project is to provide wireless coverage to the southeast Danville area and Inter-state 74.

Most towers in central Illinois are 199 feet tall.

A taller tower means a larger coverage area, Bieniek said.

“They do eventually become a part of the landscape,” he said.

Danville Public Development Director John Heckler believes SAC listened to neighbors’ concerns.

The lease agreement also calls for the tower to be removed if decommissioned.

Vine Street resident Doug Krout said petitions in opposition of the tower went around the neighborhood.

But upon seeing a map of the proposed location, Beverly Woodard, who also previously opposed the construction, said it was farther away from residences than she thought.

“Thank you for moving it,” she said.

Bieniek didn’t know how soon construction could start, pending city council approval.

In other business, the commission:

-- Recommended denying a special-use permit for a proposed billboard at 706 S. Griffin St.

Petitioners Terry Meyer and James West again didn’t attend the meeting after being asked by city officials to further explain their plans.

-- Discussed the city’s comprehensive plan recommendations.

City officials and community members will review the proposed plan and future land-use map May 17.

An open house and public hearing will happen this summer.

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