New site sought for tower
Hearing delayed to ‘appease neighbors’
Verizon Wireless, proposing a 129-foot cell phone tower at Commercial and Forest Sts., asked the city Tuesday to postpone a public hearing on its request for a conditional use permit while it seeks a different location.
Scott Goble, managing member of Pamcorp, a real estate contractor for Verizon, explained why the company made the request.
“We are in an effort to appease the neighbors nearby the proposed tower location,” Goble said. “We are making an effort to find an alternative location.”
Verizon has not withdrawn their request for a conditional use permit for the Commercial and Forest Sts. location.
“We are hoping if the case is tabled for a month, we will have some determination whether we can settle on a backup location to suit Verizon’s needs,” Goble said.
Neighbors are worried about potential health effects because of exposure to cell phone signals, loss of property values, and loss of wildlife habitat. They are also unhappy over insufficient notice to surrounding property owners. They earlier filed a protest petition bearing 31 signatures.
Ruth Herbel, who used to serve on the city planning board, was blunt in her reaction to postponing the hearing.
“I don’t like it because I think they’re just killing time,” Herbel said. “They’ve left all these residents up in the air.”
Herbel said she supports regulations being followed, and said they have not been followed regarding the cell tower proposal.
“I feel sorry for the residents out there because they don’t know what happened,” Herbel said. “If we let one tower in, we can’t discriminate against the next one.”
Autumn Hanson, whose property is within easy view of where the proposed cell tower would stand, said she’s not happy with the postponement either.
“When we first started this deal the only thing I wanted was to not have to look at a cell phone tower 300 feet from my property,” Hanson said. “I’m irritated. I do not want to live by a cell phone tower. I will fight it tooth and nail.”
Hanson also dislikes the way the city has handled the matter, and she wants to see the job is done the right way.
“Zoning laws were written by somebody who wanted to protect people from big towers and stuff like that,” Hanson said.
Hanson said she’s aware of landowners who would like the tower on their property, but Verizon is targeting Marion’s downtown area.
Last modified May 30, 2019