Locals Worried About Clock Tower Attracting Climbers and Graffiti

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UPDATE At a recent meeting, the Menifee City Council (CA) struggled with a decision regarding a request by AT&T to install a 70-foot high tower in Wheatfield Park, reported the Valley News. After considering several locations, AT&T says the proposed tower site would fill a significant gap in the mobile phone coverage for the city and the Mt. San Jacinto College Menifee campus.

Although AT&T’s proposal complied with all city building regulations, the planning commission determined that Wheatfield Park may not be the safest and most aesthetic location for the tower. 

Half a dozen residents opposed the tower, claiming it would encourage graffiti, endanger school students and other children who might try to climb it, hinder nearby residents’ line of sight to the annual fireworks show and the surrounding mountains and is not needed to fill a coverage gap.

AT&T representatives explained the tower itself was designed to fit in well with the surrounding community, safety measures to keep off climbers are included, and its design complies with all the city’s building codes. The representatives said the tower, with a clock-facade, is the “Taj Mahal” of cell towers and includes a working clock system, per the Valley News.

Council asked AT&T if small cells could be the answer instead of a tower. The carrier explained that it would be possible but would require hundreds of small cells to fill the current coverage gap.

The council expressed concern over denying the tower proposal, as it might conflict with federal communication regulations. The Menifee city attorney confirmed that a denial could result in a lawsuit brought on by AT&T.  

The council made a motion to continue the decision at its December 4 meeting. They asked the staff and the AT&T representatives to review the tower location and present alternatives before the final decision is made, according to the Valley News.

November 18, 2019

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