I could use some sage advise, but I think i'm screwed.
I have a cell tower proposed on agricultural zoned land that happens to be a golf course - no problem. My code allows towers in all zones as a use permit. There are no codes to regulate height, setbacks, or anything specific to guide the use permit. We use the general requirement to make findings to approve or deny use permits. Don't ask why I have no codes, the last planner didn't feel it was necessary for whatever reason.
Like I said, the zoning is okay, it's a golf course which is fine. The tower is 180' high monopole (no requirements to regulate height or camoflauge). The tower sits 80' from the property line (no setback requirement). On the other side of the property line is the city limits. The city prefers towers are 400' from residential areas (not that I can enforce city codes - and obviously i'm the county planner). The city also has an approved pre-plat for that location. Let's just say the developer is not a happy man (he is easy to work with though). The planning commission looked at the case and denied the tower based on a desire for a setback equal to the tower height (every tower before did it - they did it without being asked and had room to move). This tower can't move over, it would end up on the fairway (no mini golf windmill jokes!). The tower is getting appealed based on no code to support the setback finding. The tower could also be engineered to fall within the 80' setback according to the applicant.
My problem, I think the tower will affect the ability of the developer to sell lots in the future and the few houses that are currently around (400' or more away) would have an ugly tower to look at (the neighbors aren't happy either). I just can't figure out how to make a substantial finding to say that it could lower property values (the tower already gave me research saying it doesn't) or how to say it just doesn't fit into the community. Using just general use permit approval standards from the courts and no codes to support it, is there a finding I might be able to make?
Just to make you laugh at me some more, we are trying to get new codes in place, but the newly elected people don't seem to want any new codes (that was their campaign platform).