Council paves a path for placement of communication towers

 By Andrea Cordle

Grove City Editor

Grove City residents and business owners have noticed a communication connection issue in several parts of the area. City officials are aware of the issue, and they have taken steps to address the problem.

At a recent meeting, council members approved legislation that would require special use permits for any communication tower.

According to councilman Randy Holt, this streamlines the process. Once a location for a communication tower is selected, council members would not have to rezone the property, which would add time in building the tower.

“The process is smoother with a special use permit,” said Holt. “We could have a tower up and solve the problem in 2025 as long as there are no stumbling blocks along the way.”

In the fall of 2023, the city hired cellular tower infrastructure company Arcadia to help solve the connectivity issue in the area. Arcadia is looking for property where it could build a cellular tower, then lease space on that tower to the cellular providers. The company typically looks for public space. In a previous report by Arcadia, it identified parks, fire departments, police departments, and schools as ideal places for towers.

According to the report, there are pockets of coverage issues throughout Grove City. Most of the issues are east of Interstate 71, near the shopping center off Stringtown Road and Ohio Health Grove City Methodist Hospital. There are also coverage issues further down on Buckeye Parkway near the Pinnacle and in downtown Grove City.

The report identified the need for seven to nine communication towers in the area.

Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage, along with the city council members, sent a letter to the main mobile carriers (Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T) to emphasize the community’s need for improved wireless connectivity.

The letter states in part, “Wireless coverage has become essential for individuals, businesses, and institutions alike. It is crucial in enabling education, easing communication, promoting economic growth, and ensuring access to vital services such as our first responders.”

The letter explained that wireless communication is essential for public safety, community growth, economic vitality, education, and healthcare.

It goes on to say that by contracting with Arcadia, the city is proactive in working toward expanding its wireless infrastructure and improving coverage.

The letter states, “We are reaching out to seek your support toward investment in our community’s wireless infrastructure. By collaborating with wireless providers, we can bridge the connectivity gap and provide our community with the reliable service it deserves.”

“We are doing our part to push them (the carriers) along and continue this process,” said Holt.

Since the Telecommunications Act in the mid-1990s was enacted in the United States, local jurisdictions cannot prohibit the placement of communication towers. Municipalities can attempt to regulate how and where the towers are placed if the impact does not preclude wireless service.

Once a location for a tower is selected, it could take a year or two before it is operational.







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