Cellular phone towers are no longer welcome in local parks.
Hollister – Cellular phone towers are no longer welcome in local parks.

The City Council approved the creation of three new zoning districts on Monday, including “open space conservation,” “open space park” and “public facilities.”

And at the suggestion of Planning Commissioner David Huboi, cell phone towers are banned from all three.

When he first posed the restrictions in May, Huboi said the towers are a visual blight.

“They are grotesque and bizarre, to say the least,” he said.

The three districts are only one part of a new comprehensive zoning ordinance needed to implement the city’s general plan completed in 2005. City planners have said they want to bring a new ordinance forward in the coming months. But according to a city report, the council needed to create these three districts ahead of schedule to allow Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital to build a new support building.

Planning Manager Mary Paxton has said the new rules mean no towers can be built in the city’s parks, open-space areas near the San Benito River and city facilities such as the wastewater ponds. Nor can existing towers be replaced when they become outmoded or fall apart.

Most of Hollister’s existing phone towers are on Vista Park Hill, with another planned for Veterans Memorial Park, Paxton said.

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