St. Charles City Council approves Verizon cell tower on city’s east side

Computer generated image of the proposed Verizon cell tower behind the Volkswagen dealership at 4050 E. Main St. (Route 64) in St. Charles. The image was presented as part of a proposal by Dolan Realty Advisors to the St. Charles Plan Commission on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023.

St. Charles City Council members voted Aug. 21 to approve of a 138-foot cell tower off Route 64 on the city’s east side.

Dolan Realty Advisor Properties LLC was granted a special use permit to construct the Verizon cellular communication tower and 500-square-foot fenced-in area on the north side of the parking lot behind the Volkswagen dealership at 4050 E. Main St. (Route 64).

The motion was approved in an unanimous vote without discussion. Alderperson David Pietryla abstained from the vote.

The petition recently went before the Plan Commission and the Planning and Development Committee, where Dolan presented the project and received recommendations for approval from both.

DRA Properties petitioner Doug Dolan said at previous meetings that the new tower would improve coverage and capacity across St. Charles, enhance emergency and 911 services and allow for future network growth without building additional towers.

This subject property, which is owned by the VW dealership, is located within the Pheasant Run Property Association, which has a declaration of covenants, conditions and restrictions that do not allow cell towers.

However, Dolan said a formal agreement has been reached between the applicant and the ownership association, which will be signed prior to the issuance of the building permit.

The fenced-in area will enclose the tower and equipment and the Volkswagen dealership on the property will remain the primary use on the site. The tower would be able to accommodate up to three additional networks.

The lease agreement will be in five-year terms, with four additional five-year options, for a total of 25 years. Should the lease be terminated or reach its completion, Dolan said the tower would be deconstructed.

Verizon previously had a tower on the former Pheasant Run Resort site that was destroyed in a fire in May 2022. Since then, Verizon has been using a diesel-fueled mobile cell tower called a Cell on Wheels that is stationed in the Pheasant Run parking lot while searching for a permanent site.

The structure will be a monopole tower with a 5 foot lightning rod. Dolan said they have received approval from the Federal Aviation Association, and the tower will not be equipped with any lights.

Dolan said in an email after receiving council approval, they hope to start construction in October and have site completed by November.