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August 26, 2009 > Testing a satellite dish

Testing a satellite dish

By Dustin Findley

Assistant Planner Cindy Hom explained to the Planning Commission on August 12 the application request for a conditional use permit to locate a 50-foot tall, receive only satellite dish, a temporary office trailer, and perimeter fencing on an existing industrial site for the purpose of testing tracking technology for deep space satellites for a period of 12 months.

The project site is located at 1 Hanson Court where existing land use is a concrete batching plant. Surrounding land uses include light industrial to the immediate east and south.

Staff is recommending as a condition of approval that any additional structures or further extensions will be brought back to the planning commission for a subsequent permit request.

The site was primarily chosen for its view of Mt. Allison.

The project was reviewed by the telecommunications commission. The dish will not transmit or radiate any power.

Most telecommunication applications are for wireless telecommunication companies which have panel antennas. This particular application is for a satellite dish 11 meters wide and 50 feet tall.

In reviewing the application staff concluded that it would be appropriate at this location given that it is not adjacent to any scenic resources, it will not obstruct any views or vistas of the hillside.

Speakers during the public forum wondered if there were any hazards to human health, why this location, if any contingency plans in place, and when work would begin.

The applicant commented that the dish installation would have no impact on the public. A transmitter on Mt. Allison will send a miniscule signal to the dish.

Once the dish is tested and approved, the applicant will remove all equipment and the location will revert to its original state. Testing has no sound or real impact on the environment.

Construction will begin in about a month following bore sampling, drawings and a city permit process. Hom explained that part of the building permit process is a soil study leading to design recommendations for secure footing.

Testing is expected to continue for 5 months. The 12-month time frame will include constructing the pad site, erecting and testing the dish, then removal. The dish will move a few times to test its rotation then point toward Mt. Allison.

The Planning Commission approved this item.

Next planning commission meeting
Wednesday, August 26
7 p.m.
City Hall
455 E. Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas
(408) 586-3000

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