Supervisors Approve Height Increase of Ocotillo Telecommunications Tower

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County Planning & Development Services Director Jim Minnick approached the Board of Supervisors and explained the benefits of increasing the height of an existing  communications tower at a public hearing during Tuesday’s board meeting.

OCOTILLO – With no opposition from community members, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors supported increasing the height of a 100-foot communication tower near Ocotillo to 140 feet following a public hearing that was held during the regular board meeting Tuesday morning.

In an effort to improve telecommunications, the board approved the increase in height of the existing 100-foot monopole telecommunications tower to 140 feet. The modifications include accepting the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) that changes the area designation from community area-desert residential to community area-open space, and a zone change from low density residential to open/space recreation to allow the tower to exceed the 100-foot limitation.

The tower is located on a 70-acre vacant parcel with no development located adjacent to Highway 98, southeast of Ocotillo and is surrounded by vacant desert land to the east, south, and west.

Imperial County Planning & Development Services Director Jim Minnick said the open space zone is compatible with the surrounding areas and the nature of the area allows the permits to move forward.

“This particular site is surrounded by Federal lands and it one of the few sites that is privately owned,” said Ray Castillo, District 5 supervisor. “It’s nice to see something coming up there and am happy for the property owners that will make some revenue out of this.”

“This is also going to help our border security in that area because there is no communication out there once you get to that point,” said Castillo. “People will be able to communicate particularly, our Border Patrol. This is going to enhance the security of our nation. I am glad to see this coming.”

“I think this is a project that is acceptable and totally agree with Mr. Castillo,” said John Renison, District 1 supervisor.

The anticipated construction time is estimated between 30-60 days.