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Community members upset over proposed T-Mobile cell phone tower

Posted June 10, 2015

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— Concerned members of a southern Wake County community attended an informational meeting Wednesday to voice concerns about a T-Mobile cell phone tower planned in their area.

"It's going to be an eyesore," said neighbor Kerry Ahrend.

Neighbors filled the Swift Creek Baptist Church asking the county to deny Skyfall Towers' permit request to build the tower at 7208 Blaney Franks Rd.

"Right in my backyard, literally," said Ahrend. "I'll be looking at it every day. That was the first thing I thought of, but then I also started thinking about the radiation emissions."

However, Mark Wilson, a spokesperson for T-Mobile, said the tower will not put the community in danger.

"It doesn't pose a danger to anyone," he said. "It is very low power - comparable to the amount of power a baby monitor gives off."

The land, owned by a local family under an LLC called Greenview Farms, will likely be leased to the cell provider, according to county planning official Tim Maloney.

According to Wilson, the location was carefully chosen.

"The location was chosen to meet an unprecedented demand for voice and data services in that area," he said.

According to the county's unified development ordinance, since the tower would be under 200 feet, the plans can be approved by the county planning staff without a public hearing.

Maloney said it's difficult to take community concerns into consideration if the tower meets the parameters of the ordinance.

"We will listen to the concerns, and we will address them," Maloney said. "We will see if there is a creative way to maybe help, but to do anything above and beyond the ordinance, that will be up to the developer."

Ahrend said she is concerned property values will drop, but Wilson disagrees.

"There will be some financial gain for them, but it will be a tremendous loss for everyone else," she said.

T-Mobile has 37,000 towers nationwide.


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