No Tower For Whine Country


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Horizon Tower’s proposal for a vineyard-site tower was declined by the El Dorado County Agricultural Commission, after weighing the complaints of locals, reports the Mountain Democrat.  Citing the need to address a coverage gap, the developer suggested a 125-foot multi-tenant tower disguised as a pine tree. Situated in the middle of a wooded 52-acre lot, the fenced site would also include underground utilities, a propane tank, and a back-up generator.

Speaking on behalf of Horizon Tower, John Merritt said that alternate sites were considered, but one advantage to this one would be the monopine’s ability to disappear in the natural treeline. 

 Local vineyard owners were not persuaded and voiced their concerns about a cell phone tower in their midst. Stan and Joan Geel of Sun Mountain Farm, for example, said their business would be negatively impacted by the tower.  Geel noted that there is already a cell tower within two miles of their farm and that it wasn’t needed. He insisted the tower was incompatible with agricultural production and worried about property values.

Merritt replied that he did not anticipate a drop in property values, and confirmed the tower would not emit microwaves. Property owner Dick Bush further explained that no trees would be cut down to accommodate the cell tower.  He pointed out that revenue from the tower would be used to help maintain the forest.

After hearing both viewpoints, the El Dorado County Agricultural Commissioners unanimously agreed that a cell tower at the proposed location would not be built at this time.  However, Horizon Tower was invited to return at a future date with alternate site suggestions. Comments? Email Us.   

March 21, 2019

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