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Cornelius News

UPDATE: Plan for 199-foot cell tower goes to Town Board Dec. 21

Cell tower simulation

Dec. 7. UPDATED. The Cornelius Planning Board has thrown a hot potato into the lap of the Town Board, narrowly recommending approval of a 199-foot cell phone tower just off Jetton Road. By a 4-3 vote, planners suggested the Town Board OK the request. NEW: The public hearing has been moved to Monday Dec. 21.

There appears to be some opposition among the five commissioners.

“For the record, I am solidly opposed to this tower at this location,” Commissioner Jim Duke said in an email. “Surely there are other less intrusive locations for this tower.” The tower would replace an existing one adjacent to the Lake Norman Cove at Jetton neighborhood near Jetton Park.

The proposal for the new cell phone tower, which would be 84 feet higher than the existing structure, was submitted by Florida based PeakNet. Nearby citizens are not happy.

“We were not consulted on this proposal,” Tony Grisanti, president of the Lake Norman Cove at Jetton HOA told the Planning Board. “We believe our community will be degraded and our property values diminished if this goes through.”

Planning Board member Susan Johnson concurred with Grisanti. “I once lost $25,000 in the sale of my property due to its proximity to a tower,” she said.

Attorney Tom Johnson (no relation), who represents PeakNet, said the 199-foot height achieves the best cell phone coverage in the area, without the need for lighting.

Cell phone providers on the tower include AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

How this will all sit with the Town Board remains to be seen.

Town Commissioner Denis Bilodeau said the town should retain an engineering consultant to advise the board on cell phone tower applications . “Right now we are totally dependent upon the applicant’s engineers for the detailed and specific information we need,” he said.