Assembly to consider cell tower moratorium, dog attack appeal

Beware of dog sign. (Photo by unsure shot/Flickr Creative Commons)

Beware of dog sign. (Photo by unsure shot/Flickr Creative Commons)

A moratorium on new cell phone towers, a pair of emotional appeals and a measure to stave off the city’s “fecal cliff” are on tonight’s Juneau Assembly agenda.

Last month the assembly voted to halt permitting of new wireless towers until adopting a cell tower master plan to regulate where and how they are built. An ordinance on tonight’s agenda would make the moratorium official. It would expire on May 19, around the time the assembly is expected to vote on the master plan.

The assembly will also consider hearing two appeals:

  • And Jody and Joyce Vick say they’re trying to save their pitbull-mastiff mix’s life after he fatally injured another dog last Thanksgiving. Juneau Animal Control labeled their dog Sushi a “dangerous animal.” After a failed appeal to the city’s Animal Hearing Board, the Vicks appealed to the assembly. The Vicks claim the designation will force them to put Sushi down. Animal Control says they could save Sushi with a homeowner’s liability insurance policy.
  • Juneau homebuilder Bicknell Inc. filed an appeal of the planning commission’s rejection of a rezoning request for its 82-acre lot near the airport. Current zoning limits development of the so-called “field of fireweed.” Bicknell wants most of it designated for commercial or industrial use.

The assembly also will vote on a contract with Waste Management to continue shipping the city’s sewage sludge to the Lower 48. The company was the only bidder for the service. The contract is for $1.1 million a year, and has no sunset date.

Juneau Public Works Director Kirk Duncan (a member of the KTOO Board of Directors) last month said the deal is an interim solution, until the city develops a long-term plan for disposing of its partially processed sewage, sometimes called biosolids.

“And it’s important to realize that we always need a Plan B,” Duncan said. “And so we will have the option of hauling biosolids south no matter what happens in the future.”

The assembly meeting starts at 7 p.m. You can listen live on KTOO-FM.