Creativity and Perseverance Get the Job Done in Rural Siting Case

Sleepy Hollow, IL  residents were in desperate need of better cellular service but wanted no part of a tower in their midst that visually destroyed the rural landscape.

“In speaking with the administration of the community it was revealed that the Village Hall, Fire Station and Police facilities were lacking in solid wireless communication services,” said Bob Stapleton, CEO of National Wireless Ventures. “This is a problem caused by the topography of the community causing most wireless services to blow over the tops of the residential area of town,” he told Inside Towers.  

After some discussion between the developer and the locals, it was agreed to present the idea of a tower at the Village Hall complex. Stapleton presented the basic generic tower idea at the opening meeting but was met with opposition. “We were asked to come back so the community on the whole could respond,” Stapleton said.

“The following month we returned and the Village Hall was overflowing with folks wanting to know more information. We supplied information to the community and by that time QuadComm, who supplies the E911 services, chimed in with a letter of support of our plan. The community and three of the trustees were not pleased,” he said.  So once again the question was tabled and turned over the Village Attorney to look into a couple of issues while Stapleton’s side prepared for a conditional use hearing.  While doing their research they determined it was a permitted use and advised the village they would plan accordingly.

A few months later, a public meeting was convened to advise the community that a cell tower is a permitted use on Village owned property. “The community was not too happy to hear those words,” Stapleton said. Signs opposing the project were distributed throughout the town.  “Every yard going to the village hall had one in it,” Stapleton said. After a meeting according to Stapleton of “very fiery and loud responses and interchanges,” the board agreed to take it under advisement.

Additional public, private and executive session meetings were held as the press began to take notice, and not just the local papers but the Chicago Tribune. Numerous items in the press continued to address the issue. “Finally someone asked if we could make it into a windmill” Stapleton said. “We agreed and the vote was 4-2 in favor.”  Construction of the 125-foot structure will begin shortly.

March 16, 2017   


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