Howland zoning board OKs cell phone tower near elementary school
It took nearly an hour of deliberation for Howland Township's board of zoning appeals to give Verizon the green light to plant a cell tower near the elementary school. The board based its decision on whether those opposed presented substantial evidence to deny the request.
"That's the standard set forth in the (US) Telecommunications Act, which is a federal statute," said Brendan Keating, chair of the board of zoning appeals.
"We are very disappointed," lamented resident Bruce Gump.
The decision left him and the six other people who showed up to Thursday's meeting against the tower with their hands all but tied.
"We thought that the studies that had been completed, that we presented evidence from would be considered substantial enough, but apparently it wasn't," Gump said.
They say the school board OK'd the tower without ever talking to residents.
They're concerned about their health and other impacts.
"Every study that's ever been done says that cell phone towers located close to homes does decrease the property values of those homes," said Gump.
And while there's no timeline for construction to even begin, it looks like the incoming cell phone tower will be something residents nearby will just have to get used to.
"We considered the law, which is what we're bound to do," Keating said. "It was a judgment call...and we made it."