The Joint Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved AT&T’s controversial 200-foot cell phone tower supported by an overflow crowd wearing, “I Support the Tower” buttons, reported the Anderson News.
Along with the supporters, there were opponents of the tower’s location, including Kelly and Mark Danner who asked that the tower be moved “up the hill” from their home. They said they’re not opposed to the tower or improved cell service but the location is too close for comfort.
“No one has ever talked to us,” Kelly Danner said. “I’m just at your mercy to have AT&T talk to me.”
According to David Pike, an attorney representing AT&T, any notion of changing the location of the tower would require the company to basically “start over,” setting the project back at least a year, and that the plans presented to the commission “meet and exceed” all federal, state and local requirements.
Bob Heleringer, an attorney representing the Danners, contended AT&T fell well short of meeting local requirements before he rejected Pike’s comments, saying AT&T wouldn’t have to start over and that Pike was giving a “scare story,” reported the News.
Commissioner Jody Hughes said the commission is “boxed in” by its rules on the matter, but chided Pike and others representing AT&T for not reach out to the Danners. According to Pike, contacting them was not a commission requirement.
Supporters of the tower, noted that with little to no cell service currently, the tower is welcomed. One resident said, if her landline goes down, she has to drive to obtain cell coverage. Others noted that their professions require them to be available 24/7, which is impossible with the current lack of service. At least one resident recounted a time following a vehicle wreck when service was unavailable. Prior to the vote, resident Tonya Rucker said, “I hope you put this through for the community. It’s something we need.” Comments? Email Us.
January 23, 2019