A cellular tower is proposed to be built in Dutchtown, but some neighbors are not happy about the idea.
Michael Pogue has lived in the neighborhood for more than two decades.
“Every time I step into my kitchen to wash my dishes I have to see this beautiful, big tower they’re wanting to put in, I don’t think that’s very good,” said Pogue.
A company called Selective Solutions has proposed to build 125-foot cell tower in a lot near the intersection of Oregon Avenue and Chippewa Street.
Pogue points out this is an area where most buildings are only two-stories high and a huge tower would be a focal point, hard to miss and could lower his property value.
In order for the company to build this tower a conditional use permit is needed. It was initially denied by the Building Commissioner.
Wednesday a hearing was held for an appeal. At the hearing the company asked for more time and said it would take the community’s opinion into account, according to Alderwoman Cara Spencer.
“There are better solutions, there are ways to mask cellphone towers to better blend into communities which they often do,” Spencer said.
Spencer said a lot of investment is coming to this Chippewa corridor and she fears this tower would hinder the improvements.
She also brings up a debate happening at the state level.
House Bill 1991 ‘The Small Wireless Facility Deployment Act’ is a bill that would modify “provisions relating to wireless facilities and related infrastructure”.
It would basically change local control and give companies more power to place towers without so many regulations.
Spencer said she feels this would give too much power to for-profit cell companies and not to residents.
“This bill would essentially remove municipal control over a large amount of wireless cell infrastructure,” said Spencer. “It removes zoning, permit process and community input on where these things are installed,” she added.
The bill is sponsored by Republican Representative Shawn Rhoads of District 154 in West Plains.
Rhoads tweeted, “This bill will lead to a $2 billion investment in small cell infrastructure, create thousands of jobs, and lay the ground work for the next generation of wireless technology.”
The bill is now being debated in the Senate.
This article originally ran on kmov.com.