Issue to Watch: Communications Towers

Door County Board of Supervisors, June 23, 9 am

During its June 23 meeting in Sturgeon Bay, the Door County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to receive a recommendation from the Resource Planning Committee (RPC) that amends the county ordinance regulating communications towers, including fixed wireless broadband towers. The RPC is recommending amendments to the ordinance that ease some restrictions and keep the ordinance current with state law.

Advocates for greater connectivity in Door County are asking the county to deregulate fixed wireless broadband towers to make it easier and less expensive for companies – currently only Door County Broadband – to install them in areas that have inadequate or no internet service. Nineteen people testified orally or in writing in favor of this type of deregulation during the RPC’s June 4 public hearing, but the RPC kept the amendments as proposed with a 6-4 vote. It’s now up to the County Board of Supervisors to act on the RPC’s recommendation. 

The public hearing has already been conducted before the RPC in accordance with Wisconsin statutes, but advocates for deregulation have been contacting their supervisors to ask them not to support the RPC’s recommendation and to instead support amending the ordinance so that it deregulates all fixed wireless structures of 200 feet or fewer.