The Green Oak Township Planning Commission is working to stay ahead of new laws on cell phone towers.

Commissioners discussed a proposed amendment to their wireless communications ordinance at Thursday night’s meeting. Township Planner Paul Montagno said there is new state legislation coming down the pipeline. The Small Cell Tower Wireless Communication Act is in the State Senate now, and has not been approved yet, but is expected to.

Once the Act is approved, it will take effect immediately. By amending the ordinance now, the township will have greater control over the allowed height of small cell towers when it happens. Montagno suggested that the board set the maximum height allowed be at 40 feet, with a 5 foot extension for the antennae. Clerk Mike Sedlak, who is the Green Oak Board of Trustees representative on the Planning Commission, was interested in setting more specific specifications. While most small towers are known to be mono-poles, Sedlak wanted to make certain that cell companies couldn’t come in and put a three-prong pole up, especially in a right-of-way. A motion was made to recommend approval of the amendment to the township board, with conditions that the type of poles allowed would be defined, along with minimum and maximum heights. The motion passed 5-1, with Secretary Deborah Sellis dissenting, stating that she believed the ordinance needed more work. (MK)