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The Lake News Online
  • MML hopes gov. vetoes SB 650

  • The fate of the telecommunications bill SB 650 is now in the hands of Gov. Jay Nixon despite unified opposition from Missouri cities and counties and the Missouri Municipal League.
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  • The fate of the telecommunications bill SB 650 is now in the hands of Gov. Jay Nixon despite unified opposition from Missouri cities and counties and the Missouri Municipal League.
    The MML issued a statement Monday expressing disappointment that the wireless legislation was approved, saying that basic local land use and zoning protections for residents will be removed if Governor Nixon signs the bill.
    The MML is urging the governor to veto the bill.
    Osage Beach, Lake Ozark, Sunrise Beach and other communities around the lake joined forces several weeks ago to oppose the bill. City officials from each community, among others around the state, are alarmed that if the bill is signed by Governor Nixon cities will lose their ability to locate placement and management of cell towers within their communities.
    Osage Beach officials are poised to review their existing planning and zoning regulations, while Lake Ozark recently adopted an ordinance city officials hope will curtail the unrestricted location of cell towers. City officials have provided testimony before house and senate subcommittees, and at a Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments meeting attended by the lake’s three representatives.
    Concerns outlined by the MML, and supported by Osage Beach and Lake Ozark, include:
    •The bill allows a cell phone provider to replace or upgrade equipment used to provide wireless telecommunications services on or in existing structures with no local government zoning review or even a public hearing.
    •The bill allows wireless equipment to collocate on existing facilities ― again, without any oversight allowed from local officials or residents. The placement of structures could include towers, buildings or water towers.
    •The bill does not allow communities to require any type of screening or landscaping related to the appearance of these facilities, and does not allow the requirement of removing abandoned facilities.
    The intent of the legislation is to provide for expansion of broadband and wireless services throughout the state. The MML and local communities support that expansion, which now comes at the expense of well-established local oversight that protects the quality of life for citizens, the MML says.
     
     

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