Planning Commission approves Aldorado Drive wireless facility

Joe Naiman
Village News Correspondent

The county’s Planning Commission approved a wireless telecommunication facility in the Gopher Canyon area.

The Planning Commission’s 6-0 vote Sept. 8, with Doug Barnhart recusing himself because his family trust owns Verizon stock, allows Verizon to construct a false broadleaf tree 35 feet in height in the 1500 block of Aldorado Drive. The false tree will include 12 panel antennas and one microwave antenna, and the permit also allows for accessory equipment and a 10-kilowatt emergency backup generator.

The 6.5-acre property owned by Giovanni and Susan Cupaiuolo has A70 Limited Agricultural zoning. The parcel currently includes a single-family residence, accessory structures, and a small avocado orchard. The planned wireless facility is 145 feet from the nearest property line and more than 400 feet from the nearest residence.

Aldorado Drive is a private road which connects to Fairview Drive, and Fairview Drive resident Gee Gee Garvin expressed concern about the use of Aldorado Drive for the Verizon facility.

“It’s a private road with one way in and one way out,” Garvin said. “One car goes in at a time and one car goes out. That is the only access road, and it is a very dangerous road.”

The approval of the Major Use Permit is conditioned upon proof of access rights to Aldorado Drive.

“We will definitely add it to this one,” said Planning Commissioner Michael Beck, who suggested that future proposals for wireless facilities utilizing private roads also include that condition.

The backup generator will be housed in a 212 square foot concrete masonry unit enclosure with a height of eight feet, six inches. The enclosure will be located at the base of the false tree and painted an earth tone color to match existing structures on the property.

A 45 foot tall false water tank was initially proposed, but on Jan. 3 the Bonsall Community Sponsor Group recommended denial of that proposal due to the design, the distance to homes, the height, and the aesthetics. The proposed tower was changed to a 35 foot false eucalyptus tree, and on May 2 the Bonsall Community Sponsor Group voted 6-0 to recommend the project with the conditions that the tree be changed to a false broadleaf tree and that the existing vegetation is maintained within a 30-foot radius from the facility. Conditions were added to ensure ongoing maintenance of the existing vegetation.

The project will also include trenching of approximately 380 feet to connect electrical and telecommunication cable lines to the facility.

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