Residents of “Horse Country Miami” Say ‘Nay’ to T-Mobile Tower

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A Miami resident has started a petition to keep out a T-Mobile tower from horse country. What is referred to as “Horse Country Miami” is seen by residents as a bucolic and agricultural oasis …and they intend to keep it that way, reports Miami’s Community Newspapers.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory & Economic Resources is recommending approval of the application to build a 130-foot cell tower on a private parcel. Eco-Site hopes to build, own and operate the tower, if the application is approved.

The BKHA (Horse Country Miami) has a long and distinguished record of preserving and protecting Horse County, homeowner’s Association President Ernie Thomas tells Inside Towers. “This is small section of Miami in the middle of a metropolitan area that hosts horse farms, fruit groves, cattle, nurseries, open air dog ranches, endangered animal rescue and educational facilities, residents, schools, churches and an equine therapy center for children and veterans.” 

In the Community Newspaper, he cites lowered property devaluation as a big reason residents should sign the petition to oppose the tower. “According to a 2005 study published in the Appraisal Journal, ‘the results of the sales analysis show prices of properties were reduced by around 21 percent after a cell phone tower was built in the neighborhood.’ Simply ask yourself if you would prefer to purchase a home which has cell towers looming over it, or one that does not.”

He also cites potential RF radiation as a reason to oppose the structure siting, stating that as “local stewards of Horse Country, it is our responsibility to protect the flora and fauna from the ‘downward scatter’ of cell phone tower radiation.”

Eco-Site should build the tower in an industrial location, according to Thomas; he urges “working with the developers” to accommodate the homeowner’s association request not to build in the currently proposed location and find an alternative site, so Eco-Site can finish the project without opposition and T-Mobile can add capacity.

Asked by Inside Towers how many signatures had been gathered so far, Thomas said that would be disclosed at an upcoming community meeting. The last time the group gathered signatures in November, 2015, they signed more than 4,000 in a three-week span.

“We have engaged our community organizing group and legal counsel as we prepare to oppose the application at the community counsel and ultimately litigate if necessary,” according to Thomas. “This group has had success in filling county hearings with neighbors and supporters in an effort to protect the area. Bolstering our efforts to protect Horse Country, the Miami Dade County Commission recently designated Horse Country as an area of significance in the County due to the importance of agriculture in Miami.”

Asked about whether the group has an alternative site to propose, he said “We have started consulting with various experts on as many of the related issues as possible so we can advise our members and board.” The group says Eco-Site told them the site was chosen because of T-Mobile’s “need.”

The carrier has not spoken yet with the neighbors, according to Thomas who says currently the group is opposing the application “unless we learn something new from our experts that change the neighbors’, members’ and BOD’s mind.”

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