“We’re a Utility” Tower Company Argues While Town Rejects Site

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Foresite LLC, Verizon and a resident wishing to lease his land for a new tower received a resounding “no” from the Cullman City Planning Commission. The city, located in Northern Alabama, denied the request and sided with several citizens who voiced opposition to the cell tower due to its proposed location, reports cullmantimes.com.

The rejected cell site would have been a 120-foot monopole tower aimed at improving cell service and increasing capacity in the residential area.
In total, 80 residents signed a petition against the cell tower; 33 residents attended the commission meeting on Monday to oppose the cell tower.

Residents argued that the tower “does not conform to the spirit of the city’s ordinance,” and would only benefit two parties—the tower company and landowner leasing his property—not the general public.

“It’s making money off a rental,” said Ricky Kreps, a resident who organized opposition to the proposed cell site. “It would be no different if someone in a residential neighborhood cleared two or three acres off and put up storage units and began renting them.”

Responding to residents’ opposition, Andy Rotenstreich, the attorney representing Foresite, said the cell tower should be treated as a public utility by the commission and not merely as a commercial enterprise.

“We are a utility which is permitted in R-1 (single-family dwelling zoning) as defined by the Alabama Public Service Commission,” he said during the meeting. “We’re not a Wal-Mart, McDonald’s or Home Depot.”  

December 7, 2016

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