Unsightly cell phone towers could be a thing of the past, if small-cell technology catches on. Johns Creek has adopted a 120-day moratorium to give itself time to figure out how to regulate the new installations.

Johns Creek puts new wireless technology on 120-day hold

The Johns Creek City Council has imposed a 120-day moratorium on permits for small-cell wireless installations to give the city time to either update current ordinances or create a new ordinance to deal with the new technology.

Small-cell technology has been proposed as a way to expand 5G coverage without putting up traditional cell towers, and it theoretically can be regulated through right-of-way encroachment permits, Public Works Director Lynette Baker said in a report to the council. But those regulations were written years ago for traditional cell tower and telephone installations.

The moratorium “includes four weeks for strategy and discussion, working collaboratively with Public Works and Community Development, and 90 days to either update the current right-of-way encroachment ordinance or create an ordinance specific to small-cell technology,” Baker said.

Johns Creek currently has seven applications pending from AT&T, and two from Mobilitie. Verizon has discussed submitting applications for 20 to 50 locations in the city.

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