Some South Bend, IN residents were vocal in their opposition to a proposed broadcast tower before the structure was approved.
Mid-West Family Broadcasting asked for permission to erect a 189-foot tower near the intersection of Monroe and Carroll streets; the build is part of a plan to move four stations — WNSN-FM, WZOC-FM, WQLQ-FM and WSBT AM/FM — to the area, reports the South Bend Tribune. The owner has to move the stations because the lease expired. He plans to renovate an existing building at the location.
A city resident told the Tribune it didn’t surprise him that the Board of Zoning Appeals voted last Tuesday to recommend the Common Council approve a special use permit for construction of a wireless communication tower near his home.
Homeowner Eddie Forero opposed the rezoning request of the 500 block Carroll Street with another resident. He said that among his worries was the impact that a large tower would have on his property values. He noted there’s another tower nearby and he can see it from his house.
Bob Henning, the chief engineer of the radio stations, said that he and the station’s owner are sympathetic to those concerns and plan to do what they can to be good neighbors. He told board members that he worked to make the structure as unobtrusive as possible. He said that the structure was not a transmission tower.
“The best I could do is do something long and skinny to get the signal to where I needed to get it to,” he said. Henning said the structure will be a 189-foot pole with no flashing lights that could disrupt the neighborhood.
“The owners of this radio station want to make sure we are a good neighbor,” Henning said. “I don’t want something that is up there flashing.”
In making its recommendation that the council approve the special use permit, the BZA noted the vacant building is located in a commercial corridor.
The location will serve as a regional headquarters for WSJM Inc., part of 41 radio stations operating under the Mid-West Family brand in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri.
Henning spoke to Forero and the other homeowner after Tuesday’s meeting and reiterated the station owner’s desire to be a good neighbor. Forero made several suggestions, including how the owner could work with the neighborhood to beautify the area, and Henning promised to discuss those suggestions with the owner.