Neighbors Group Welcomes Tower to Town


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The McLean Citizens Association, an unofficial association of residents in McLean, VA, believes that a new cell tower is just what its residents need, reports Their resolution states that a tower will, “Improve customer service including internet connectivity speed and voice connectivity, resolve customer complaints in the area, and help address increasing demand for quality wireless service so that the service does not further degrade.” 

Cell tower developer Milestone Communications has been working with the MCA to design a tower that best fits the town’s needs. The proposal would see a 114-foot tower occupying an 11.5 acre site connected to the Wolf Trap Fire Station, a plot of land already owned by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The structure would be surrounded by an 8-foot chain link fence. With a lightning rod on top and room for additional carriers beyond the original occupant, Verizon, the tower would be multi-purpose and adaptable.   

The site selected has the additional benefit of being screened by numerous trees, minimizing the visual impact on the neighborhood. The plan further notes that, “There will be no noise or fumes emitted and only 1-2 maintenance vehicle visits per month maximum.” A virtual presentation was shared at an online town hall meeting, allowing viewers to see what the finished tower would look like. 

When presenting its request to Fairfax County, according to the Reporter, the MCA stated that they were enthusiastic about the Milestone proposal, noting that a cell tower would “improve the cell phone capacity and coverage levels in the areas surrounding the property and would also work with existing neighboring Verizon sites to handoff signals for wireless transmission of voice and data.” 

In order to move forward with the build, Fairfax County would need to issue a zoning variance as the site is in an area slated for low density residential use. Milestone has requested a special exception and a proffer condition amendment to overcome this hurdle. Plans are also subject to the county’s 2232 review process, a review of public facilities in Fairfax County aimed at verifying that an addition like a cell tower would support the county’s overall goals.   

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