Not content with another steeple-disguised tower like the one hidden on the Episopal church property in Claremont, CA, local residents are considering a second tower with a completely different look. The Claremont-Courier reported the latest discussions on the proposed 63-foot SmartLink/Verizon tower project.
“The goal here is to not see any of the wireless equipment,” said Claremont associate planner Nikola Hlady during his presentation to the architectural commission.
The challenge for any tower design is trying to hide 12 panel antennas, 12 remote radio units, two dual-mount brackets and one microwave dish. Whatever the resulting structure looks like, the site under consideration is owned by the Claremont Center for Spiritual Living.
“If they use our property, it would be lovely. If it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out,” stated Reverend Tracy Earlywine. “But we’re not here to push people away. We are a spiritual community committed to living in harmony, and that’s who we are.”
“I feel for a struggling church,” countered resident Kim George, “but you can’t sell out the neighbors, you can’t sell your residents for something like this that’s going to impact us.” Other townsfolk weighed in, calling the tower “phallic” and comparing it to Disney’s “Tower of Terror.” Resident Murray Wentz added the standard comment about any tower being an eyesore and a threat to property values. Community Development Director Brad Johnson said succinctly, “It sounded to me like the neighbors were dissatisfied with the design of the tower entirely and fairly opposed to the location on the property.”
After a heated discussion, the Claremont architectural commission denied the tower design with a decisive 6 – 0 vote. Talks continue on the need for another Verizon cell tower, with other locations and designs to be considered.
October 7, 2019