Kettering officials on Tuesday night reversed the Board of Zoning Appeals and now will allow a resident to build a 50-foot radio tower on his property in the 4800 block of Mad River Road.
Last year, Wynn Rollert, 77, a HAM radio operator, had requested a variance on his property to install the tower.
Kettering’s zoning code allows for amateur radio towers to be 25 feet without a variance, so that is why Rollert sought approval for the extra 25 feet.
In December, the Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-1 without comment to deny the request. The decision went against a report from Zoning Administrator Run Hundt, who indicated that the request should be approved.
Hundt reiterated the facts of the case in front of council in February as members heard Rollert’s appeal of the variance denial.
He said a public hearing on Nov. 12 offered testimony by the applicant and by neighbors, “and a petition submitted by neighbors opposing the request.”
“At that time there was some concern about what the appearance of this tower would be,” Hundt said.
Residents spoke out again Tuesday night, voicing concerns about how the tower would look in their Mad River Road neighborhood because it is a historic street with well-manicured lawns and a tree-lined landscape.
Sue Choate, a resident, said neighbors are concerned about the safety of the tower.
“Please don’t throw us under the bus,” she told council during the meeting. “I don’t think our Zoning Commission got it wrong, I think they got it right.”
Another neighbor, Janet Nixon, showed a picture of the historical marker that is on Mad River in front of David’s Cemetery. She spoke about how the neighbors cherish the uniqueness of the physical beauty of the neighborhood and that 34 of the residents had submitted a petition asking for Rollert’s request to be denied.
“We live in a very small neighborhood... It’s a stable neighborhood of long-term residents. And when I think of all the taxes that we’ve paid all these years, I would hope somehow that counts for something in keeping and preserving our neighborhood the way it is and I would hate to see a 50-foot tower erected there.”
City Manager Mark Schwieterman said the unanimous council vote — Jacque Fisher was absent from the meeting — effectively reverses the Board of Zoning Appeals’ denial of Rollert’s request.