Scenic Moore County highway to get cellphone tower
Posted December 1, 2014
Seagrove, N.C. — The town of Seagrove is famous for its rich display of pottery, but the rural northwest corner of Moore County is also notorious for its poor cellphone service.
The Board of Commissioners recently voted unanimously to build three cellphone towers between Seagrove and Robbins.
But the move isn't popular among some residents who don't want to see a 300-foot tower.
It would rise in plain view of Don Walton's pottery shop.
"It's kind of an eyesore where they're putting it, when there are other options," he said.
N.C. Highway 705 is a state-designated scenic byway.
Moore County used to have an ordinance that no cell tower could go up within a mile of a scenic byway, but this year, county commissioners removed that buffer: Towers now have to be 500 feet from any road.
"It's a scenic byway," Walton said. "It's in the country. People come here to get away from the city and the urban sprawl and the antennas "
But county leaders say the planned tower isn't a matter of convenience. It's an issue of public safety.
"We feel that the safety issue of the people here is more important than the view they see," Moore County Commissioner Otis Ritter said.
Ritter said with all the Pottery Highway tourists and potential for accidents, being able to call 911 is critical.
The board held public hearings, he said, but that only two or three people showed up to voice opposition to the towers.
He doesn't believe it will spoil the scenery. Walton said he doesn't believe it will hurt business.