“Bhutanese Style” Tower Voted Down in El Paso’s Historic District
Crown Castle’s plan to build a 70-foot-tall exotically-camouflaged cell phone tower in the Sunset Heights Historic District of el Paso underwent a setback last week. The planning commission voted against the proposal due to local pushback and concern over disrupting the historic appearance of the neighborhood, reports KFOX-TV. Local opponents of the plan celebrated the decision as a victory, but Crown Castle now has the option to appeal the planning commission’s decision to the City Council where a final verdict can be given regarding the project. Verizon would be the first tenant on the proposed structure. A company representative made his case before the planning commission last week, arguing the tower would simply replace one that was decommissioned some years ago, as well as the fact that several traffic lights are already much taller than the tower would be. “This isn’t a new facility. This is a replacement facility. Verizon lost one of its cell sites in this area some time ago and it had to be decommissioned. Now, they’re searching for a new location to replace that site,” Verizon representative Alan Potter told the commission. Crown Castle also offered to camouflage the tower in the Bhutanese style of the surrounding neighborhood and reflected in much of the architecture on the UTEP Campus, but local opposition is staunch and demands a new location be proposed for the structure.