Aesthetics vs. Safety at Northview High

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After receiving the support of the local school board, Verizon was prepared to move ahead with plans to begin construction of a 140-foot cell tower on the grounds of the Northview High School campus in Sylvania, OH. However, as the Toledo Blade reports, protestors at the Zoning and Annexation meeting expressed their displeasure, citing concerns about both aesthetics and radiation exposure.

Placing a cell tower on school grounds received the backing of the school board, which saw its students cope with connectivity issues over the past year. Prior to the pandemic, the school also faced a bomb threat incident that underlined the importance of maintaining good communication. “I just want to point out we’re not doing this for the money,” stressed school board member Greg Feller. “We really looked at this as a safety issue.”

Opponents cited their own list of safety concerns including the threat of falling icicles, topple fears, and dropping property values. Change.org petition organizer Erin Stampflmeier argued that the 100 signatures she obtained demonstrated an overwhelming backlash against the Verizon tower. Fellow naysayer naturopathic doctor Lindsay Samuelson asked why a better location could not be considered.

Listening to both supporters and objectors, Councilman Doug Haynam said that he’d like to see the matter given more study. He said he understood the need for better connectivity, but wanted time to consider all viewpoints, concluding, “We’re at a tough spot there.”

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