Cell Towers on FCPS Properties
Did you know...Under the current policy, Policy 8335, the FCPS Facilities department runs the current FCPS cell tower program with little oversight by the Board due to the current ten-year old policy. Cell towers (Monopoles) are allowed any where on FCPS school properties including next to playgrounds, athletic bleachers, school buildings, etc. with minimum set-backs, no oversight by the School Board or input from Parents.
Currently, FCPS Governance Committee has reviewed Policy 8335 regarding Monopoles placed on school property. There is concern that the FCPS staff’s recommended changes fall far short of adequately addressing the risks associated with allowing cell towers on FCPS properties and that the proposed policy revisions fail to address the community’s concerns.
Why does the Community oppose cell towers on FCPS properties?
• Cell towers introduce unnecessary risk to FCPS students and staff (tower fires, equipment falling off towers, ice falling from towers, attractive nuisance).
• Cell towers inhibit FCPS flexibility to expand/renovate school sites, and therefore interfere with the educational environment.
• The current policy does not provide for needed oversight and involvement by the School Board and maximizes revenues for a third party vendor at the expense of our children’s safety.
Community input to Policy 8335– What do we want?
• Safety and security of students and staff should be the foundational consideration of Policy 8335.
• FCPS land should be reserved for near-exclusive educational use and cell towers should only be allowed on exception-only basis.
• Clear policy language that indicates no cell towers on elementary or middle schools properties, and by exception only on High School sites, subject to meeting a reasonable minimum setback requirement.
• If there is any Community opposition, the proposed cell tower application will be deemed not feasible and will not move forward.
• FCPS will not grant any easement(s)/right of way to adjacent landowners for the purpose of facilitating cell tower construction proximate to a FCPS school site.
• FCPS will hire an independent third party Municipal Telecommunication Consultant (wireless tech expert) to evaluate feasibility and appropriateness of all cell tower applications and provide guidance to the School Board and FCPS management. The cell tower applicant would be required to pay a fee to cover the costs for the third party evaluation.
If you support updating the current policy contact FCPS Board - Click Here for a template email to send.
Want to talk to your School Board Member?
Contact Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill District)
Contact Karen Keys-Gamarra (At-Large)
Phone - 571-423-1091
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