U.S. Cellular Says No to City Council Over Tower Relocation




A Wisconsin state law may help prevent a skirmish between U.S. Cellular and the Waukesha City Council over the carrier’s plan to construct a 106-foot tower in a neighborhood. The law restricts the power of local municipalities to decline tower requests based on height, appearance or location.

U.S. Cellular has already reached an agreement with Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church to build the tower on its property, which will replace a nearby tower whose lease is expiring, reports CBS-58. After initially supporting the tower, the church has changed its mind after hearing from concerned citizens over the location of the proposed structure.

Considering the contract and state law that restricts municipality’s zoning authority over wireless structures, there is little the Waukesha City Council can do except approve the structure. “Given the way the state law is written, our hands are tied,” said Alderman Joe Pieper, a member of the City Council.

The existing tower the proposed structure is designed to replace is located on land owned by the county. U.S. Cellular is changing the location of the tower due to its expiring lease and the offer made by the church.

In order to minimize the aesthetic impact of the structure, U.S. Cellular is planning to build a camouflaged tower resembling a tree. The carrier has also offered to move the proposed location of the tower if the county agrees to match the offer made by the church.

January 6, 2017

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