“Camo” Tower Goes Up Unannounced in Fort Collins Neighborhood

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Skyway Towers of Tampa, FL spent $70,000 so far, building a 100-foot camouflage tower in a Fort Collins, CO neighborhood, the Coloradoan reported, much to the concern of residents who were not aware of its impending construction. The project began on January 9, on a farm within 100 feet of the nearest homes. The site will have a 2,500 square foot enclosure for ground equipment and feature T-Mobile as the lead tenant.

It was not legally required for county officials to inform residents of the tower plans because it is a “camouflaged” tower, designed to look like a pine tree with faux branches covering the antennas. 

Resident Christine Houldsworth organized a group in an effort to have the tower taken down or altered, and she said everyone in the area was “completely blindsided” when construction began.

County commissioners Steve Johnson and John Kefalas asked Skyway Towers if it would be possible to alter the tower plans, and the company’s president said it was not likely, since the developer already spent a large sum on construction.

According to the Coloradoan, neighbors in opposition to the tower want the tower to look like a storage silo. Despite the concerns of residents in the area, construction on the tower has continued, and recently bales of hay were stacked in front of the site, in an effort to discourage neighbors from gathering to watch the build. Shauna Ferrera manages the farm owned by Swift Farms LLC, and said she did not mean to anger residents of Fossil Lake Ranch by going forward with the project.

According to Lesli Ellis, community development director, county officials will review the Land Use Code’s rules for cell towers and the process of notifying nearby residents in Larimer County this summer. Any changes to the rules will be implemented in the fall. Houldsworth said she hopes this situation will have a positive outcome for both the neighbors and the developer. That outcome would put the town in a position to examine its current policies and regulations in order to have the public more actively involved in the tower permit approval process in the future. She said, “I think this could be a wonderful learning experience moving forward and partnership with a cell tower company where people can feel better about this in this community.”

January 22, 2019

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