Monday, March 9, 2009 | 3:55 p.m.
Sun City Summerlin may be growing a different type of palm tree – one with a wireless Internet antenna.
The community association board moved ahead with plans to allow Clearwire, a high-speed Internet provider, to install a 60-foot wireless antenna faux palm tree at the entrance to the 55-plus community at Lake Mead and Sun City boulevards. The aesthetic palm fronds will add another five feet to the tower. If approved, the faux palm will be hidden among several real palms at the site, which is the gateway to the community.
The board decided at its Monday morning board meeting to allow President Richard Post to sign off on Clearwire’s zoning application, so the company could move forward with the city approval process.
Community Executive Director Ron Winkel said it should be installed within four to five months after all approvals are granted by the city and the association board.
The tower will be the community’s second Clearwire installation. The first antenna is being installed atop the Pinnacle community center, 2205 Thomas W. Ryan Blvd. It was approved about six months ago, Winkel said. The community also has several cell phone towers.
In with the faux, out with the real.
By next January, the 24 palms around the Mountain Shadows tennis court area will be uprooted.
A maintenance crew will remove the palms because the cost and complexity of maintaining the trees has been too high, said Louis Darling, director of landscape. The walking path and surrounding pine trees have been damaged by the machinery used to trim the tall palms. The tall palms also no longer fit the aesthetic of the area, the board said.
Darling said the removal will cost about $11,000 and will come out of next year’s maintenance budget.
“Is there any market in the area for a used palm tree?” asked board member Pat Cullen.
Darling said he didn’t think so because these types of trees are common in Las Vegas.
Executive positions will stay the same for the next year. Richard Post will continue to serve as president. David Steinman, interim city council member, will remain as vice president. Allan Baer is the treasurer and Pat Cullen continues as secretary. Board members serve two-year term.
The fountain at the front entrance of the community will not be dismantled, the board reported.
Maintenance crews will leave the fountain in place, but will drill holes at the bottom for drainage. If economic conditions warrant the return of the community’s decorative water-spurting fountains, the holes can be plugged up in the future, Darling said.
“The city will let us turn our fountain on. If we pay $60,000 we can turn it on. We can turn on our fountains if we’re ready to spend some money,” Steinman said.