Athens, GA residents strongly opposed to a 196-foot cell tower on Nowhere Road swayed the Athens-Clarke County Commission last week to vote 9 – 0 against Verizon’s request. As reported by Online Athens, “owners of nearby houses and farms said the tower would lower their property values, would be unsightly in one of the few remaining rural parts of Clarke County, and could have uncertain health effects.”
“It changes the character of our neighborhood,” said one resident. Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner George Maxwell, whose wife owns property in that area, said: “We love the remote nature of our neighborhood.
Put it somewhere else. They don’t need it out there.”
Despite recommended approvals for the tower by Georgia’s Athens-Clark County planning staff and Planning Commission, county Commissioners postponed their vote last month so that residents’ concerns could be addressed. Residents in attendance at the November meeting cited research that implicated the decline in property values and cell phone radiation with a decline in the bee population.
Although Verizon’s declaration that the proposed tower at 855 Nowhere Road would improve emergency 911 coverage and reception in the area, voting commissioners agreed with District 5 Commissioner Tim Denson that the benefits of the new tower would not outweigh the negative impacts.
December 11, 2019