The Sandy Springs City Council voted 5-1 to approve four 303-foot radio towers at the northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest corners of Blue Heron Golf Course on Morgan Falls Road. The approval will allow Sandy Springs Broadcasting LLC and its parent company, American Media Services LLC (both based in Charleston) to construct the four radio towers to create a local radio station, possibly within the Sandy Springs city limits.
The council also granted, under the recommendation of city staff, variances that allowed the towers to exceed the 300-foot maximum height requirement and be located within .25 mile of an existing Georgia Power Co. power lines and two other radio towers.
The approval was not without dissenters. Councilwoman Karen Meinzen McEnerny cast the only dissenting vote.
“I have very serious concerns about the public benefit of having a radio station operate in our community in greenspace,” said Ms. McEnerny. “In return for four towers, with a variance that’s required, and a visible light for 40-plus years, the offset is that we’re going to have a radio station that every hour on the hour broadcast our [city’s] name? … I don’t see any jobs being created.”
Sandy Springs Council of Neighbors Zoning Chairman Trisha Thompson also opposed the towers.
“Over and over and over again, every one of you have said that we need more greenspace in Sandy Springs,” Ms. Thompson said to the City Council. “All of you have been fighting for more greenspace and for park space for the children of Sandy Springs. … Why in the world are you putting a radio tower [near Morgan Falls Park] that will last and last and last? It will be a blight on the community and take away the very greenspace that you’ve been crying for.”