Zoning Commission Disregards Resident Petitions

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Creston (Iowa) Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of a 195-foot AT&T cell tower despite petitions against the conditional use permit. 

A public hearing was held this week via Zoom to hear arguments on both sides of the cell site debate. Representing more than 100 residents against approval of the tower, resident Curtis Bolinger cited health and home values as reasons to deny the application.

“They don’t want this permit,” Bolinger said. “I have over 100 signatures and it’s important to the people.”  

According to the Creston News, Bolinger also referred to biases when it comes to health concerns related to cell towers. “Do the research yourself,” he said. “We all know of the biases that exist (in industries with connections to the government).” 

Steve Schneider, president of Bug Tussel Wireless attended the meeting and spoke to the Commission about the concerns raised by Bolinger. “The first place I would look if you want evidence that there is no health risk, is the American Cancer Society,” said Schneider.

Schneider also told the Commission that it is more common for properties with poor telecommunications services to lose value rather than the other way around. 

The News reported that Commissioner Keith Post moved to recommend the conditional use permit to the city council saying, “I don’t see anything against it.” 

Bug Tussel Wireless submitted the permit application as the tower owner and operator. The Wisconsin-based ISP is working in partnership with AT&T and FirstNet. FirstNet operates the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. 

The permit is now slated for city council review on May 19. Written and verbal comments will be allowed during the open forum.

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