Even as a new cell tower soared to a staggering height of 162 feet above the Anna Maria city skyline, pieces of the other new, 150-foot cell tower, at the gateway to Bradenton Beach, began crashing down into the marina. Fortunately, nobody was killed, injured, or maimed.
In order for the Bradenton Beach cell phone tower to have even been located in such a densely populated area, the previous city commission overturned an existing city ordinance.
Under the previous ordinance, this tower would have required a fall zone with a radius of 165 feet in all directions. No habitable buildings were to have been permitted in that fall zone.
It is fitting that the Bradenton Beach cell tower is located in the city's historic district. It is a monument to old technology of the previous millennium.
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Today's 4GLTE networks are probably better served by small cell technology of the 21st century, using units mounted on standard utility poles. This is especially true for a barrier island that is scarcely a quarter-mile wide.
Bowing to special interests, the previous city commission effectively established a new fall zone that now includes habitable buildings, a children's park, public works, the police station, the marina, a municipal parking lot, and the Intracoastal Waterway.
Some of these same people are currently trying to unseat Mayor Bill Shearon because of his steadfast efforts to uphold long-established laws and precedents that protect his city's quality of life.