In the middle of a forested neighborhood in Show Low, Sunquest Financial LLC and Verizon Wireless are planning to erect a 110-foot monopine, and residents object. There is a documented need for better service, high-speed internet, and overall data capacity, reported the White Mountain Independent.
The Show Low Planning and Zoning Commission members acknowledged the need for a tower during a September 22 meeting. Planning and zoning commissioner Rob Hephner said he understands that “there is a lot of fear and uncertainty around change,” but that “broadband is needed.”
According to the Independent, the proposed site in Fairway Park covers two addresses and is adjacent to a commercially zoned property. The tower will offer 4G service with co-location capabilities.
Twenty residents attended the recent meeting, and “vehemently disagree with a cell tower in their backyard.” Residents that spoke out cited concerns over aesthetics, reduced quality of life, adverse health impacts, safety hazards for children and teens, and lowered property values, reported the Independent.
According to Fairway Park homeowner association spokesperson Kevin Lowery, the commission was presented with a list of 10 alternative sites to explore. A Sunquest representative explained that alternative sites were investigated.
“We did look at about 13 other locations for the cell tower,” said the representative. “It’s not just about finding a spot; it’s about a location that is high enough, a location that will offload other cell towers … This property met the majority of the requirements. Other sites did not.”
Lowery also addressed the conditional use permit amendment, which proposes a reduction to the required setback. City code requires cell towers to be 200 feet from adjacent properties, and the application requests an exception of 174 feet, reported the Independent. The 26-foot difference means the tower would be, on one side, 26 feet closer to a property line.
In response to the setback exception, commissioner Josh Adams asked, “Does the cell tower bring enough good to override a city code?” The planning and zoning commission ultimately voted to table the discussion for the conditional use permit until the October meeting.
(ed: a “mulligan” is a golf term for a ‘do-over’.)