Cell tower proposal at standstill, for now
Council tables issue for more discussion amid outcry
A proposed cell phone tower at Commercial and Forest Sts. in Marion was tabled for more discussion Monday after five people spoke against it during Monday’s city council meeting.
Autumn Hanson, who lives and operates a dog grooming business just south of the proposed tower site, was the first to step to the lectern.
Hanson told council members that a letter required to be sent to neighbors 20 days before a Feb. 26 board of zoning appeals hearing was not mailed until Feb. 16.
She said also that the first newspaper advertisement of the proposal called the tower “a wireless communication facility,” not a “cell phone tower,” which was misleading.
A tower is to be located so if it falls, it does not land on someone’s property, Hanson pointed out.
“If this one falls, it could land on someone else’s property,” she said.
A tower is to be placed where it will not fall and land on someone else’s property, Hanson said.
“We did receive a protest petition with the protesters’ reasons,” city attorney Susan Robson told council members. Robson also listed numerous things the city is not permitted to do in deciding whether to allow a cell phone tower in Marion.
Scott Goble, representing the property owner and Verizon Wireless, the company that wants to install the tower, said the tower will provide better service to Marion. Goble showed slides to illustrate how the tower would work with an existing tower two miles northwest of the city.
Goble said cell phone towers have not been found to cause health problems.
“I know there’s a lot of articles out there on the Internet, but I wouldn’t believe anything you read on the Internet that’s not written by an expert,” Goble said.
Goble said the ideal location for the tower would have been south of the proposed site, but a test hole drilled earlier at that site found shards of pottery.
Lawyer Kurt Harper, speaking on behalf of the neighbors, said there were
two things going on at the meeting.
“One is a discussion of what the city can’t do. That’s about what the zoning department can’t do.”
He said notice to neighbors was inadequate.
Although planning and zoning director Clayton Garnica had prepared a proposed resolution to approve the tower, council members made no motion to approve it.
City administrator Roger Holter said after the meeting that he will meet with Robson to decide how to proceed with a possible cell phone tower.
Last modified March 27, 2019