199-foot communications tower could improve cell phone coverage in The Villages

A 199-foot communications tower may improve cellular phone coverage in The Villages.

The monopole tower will be built on about a quarter acre along County Road 100B, west of Lake Sumter and off Cherry Lake Road. The quarter-acre site will be leased by the tower developer from property owner Joseph Cash.

Sumter County commissioners Tuesday approved a comprehensive plan amendment, rezoning and a special use permit to allow tower construction.

This monopole went up last year off Bonita Boulevard.

Karl Holley, the county’s development services director, said the tower will address coverage gaps in the area. It will be built by the NexTower Development Group of Gainesville.

Holley said 13 nearby property owners were sent notices about the zoning change and no notices were returned either supporting or opposing it.

A 199-foot communications tower may improve cellular phone coverage in The Villages.

Commissioners accepted conditions set by the Zoning and Adjustment Board, which approved the tower earlier this month.

Conditions call for the tower owner to notify the county within 30 days if the tower changes ownership. The tower area must be fenced and secured from public access. The tower owner also is required to maintain all federal, state and regional permits in good standing.

An proposed antenna array that serves T-Mobile is planned near the top of the tower, with three other arrays at lower heights.

With a galvanized finish, the tower will not require a navigational hazard lighting system, according to the plans. It will meet guidelines of the Federal Communications Commission and the Electronics Industries Association.

NexTower was founded in 2014 by David Boeff, who worked 18 years for Motorola and was an equity partner in another tower development company.

In November, Leesburg commissioners approved an ordinance that paved the way for antennas, cell phone and other communications towers in The Villages portion of the city. The ordinance deemed the 1,127-acre parcel that will contain about 2,800 homes as “suitable for cell tower uses because the location, design and construction of cell towers would be compatible with surrounding uses and would require similar buffering requirements from neighboring uses.”