A healthy debate provides a look into opposing sides of one issue. And, the planning commission of Spyglass Hill, CA, deemed that the residents posed a more convincing argument than Verizon Wireless regarding a proposed tower. The structure, which was approved in September by the town’s zoning administrator, was to be placed at Spyglass Hill Park. However, after homeowners voiced their concerns along with convincing evidence and a zoning appeal, the planning commission denied the request on November 5.
NewportBeachIndy.com reports that Planning Commission Vice Chairman Tim Brown said that his opinion was swayed by the number of residents who were opposed to the location and the facts and due diligence that was used in presenting their findings “in a logical and organized manner.” He said Verizon representatives “did not adequately dispute those facts in my opinion.”
Verizon reportedly will not appeal the decision for that particular location, but is looking into a solution for a tower in Spyglass Hill, which it said is an area in need of better coverage. Verizon, according to resident Bruce Horn, did not do enough convincing that was the location for the best coverage. While Horn said the residents want coverage, they just don’t want it in that location.
City documents show that another wireless telecommunications facility for Verizon was approved last spring, to be built at 4302 Ford Rd. NewportBeachIndy.com said that other towers with other carriers already are located there. Residents said that the tower at Ford Road would “fill any possible gap in the area.”
Verizon said that it proved there was a gap, but about 50 residents who were at the planning commission appeals meeting said that those facts were “misrepresented,” and cited a possible decline in property values and improper outreach as other reasons they didn’t want the new tower. Horn, who led the resident charge, used dimensions provided by a civil engineering and surveying firm to “create his own illustration.” He also used two trashcans as an additional visual aid at the meeting and personally visited 25 homes to document how their views would be affected by the tower. Additionally, about 250 residents took a poll—97 percent opposed the tower at Spyglass Hill. The commission agreed that Verizon was not adequately prepared to address residents’ concerns and did not provide proper outreach.
Horn said at that meeting “towers in general are getting into communities where they don’t belong and residents aren’t getting all the information. If you don’t stay vigilant, this could end up in your backyard. They don’t care about our homeowner rights, they don’t care about residential views. All they care about is putting up another tower.”