Janesville70.2°

Cell tower could go on St. Mark property

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
February 28, 2009
— US Cellular is making another bid to build a communications tower to increase coverage for its customers, this time at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 2921 Mount Zion Ave.

At least one neighbor, however, said he is concerned about the tower’s appearance.


“I believe it belongs in commercial property or in industrial property,” Doug Squire, 2923 Hyacinth Ave., said.


“I don’t believe it necessarily belongs in a residential property.”


Squire said he would attend the public hearing at Monday’s plan commission meeting.


City staff is recommending the commission approve the needed conditional-use permit.


The tower would be 120 feet high and could accommodate four wireless antennas. It would be located at the northeast corner of the site and 61 feet south and 80 feet west of adjacent property lines.


The tower is needed to increase service reliability and capacity in the area, according to a staff memo.


“With the introduction of services such as streaming video, additional capacity is needed to provide for the required bandwidth to transmit the higher data volumes that are associated with these services,” Gale Price, building and development services manager for the city, said.


US Cellular has been looking for sites for its communications towers for seven years. A proposed site at Ace Hardware on Milwaukee Street was denied by the plan commission in 2002. In 2007, the plan commission OK’d a site at Marshall Middle School only to have the construction denied by the school board.


In September, a site at the Rock County Fairgrounds was approved after a proposal for a larger one was denied in 2006.


The pole would be a “stealth installation,” in which the transmission panels are inside the pole. City staff believes this will improve aesthetics because the tower design is sleeker.


Still, Squire said room remains for a total of four antennas on the pole.


“This is going to get rather unsightly, I believe, especially since it’s probably within 600 to 700 feet of my property,” he said. “I’m going to be looking at that tower all the time.


“I don’t think they can make the tower look good.”


IF YOU GO


The Janesville Plan Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. A public hearing on a proposed communications tower at 2921 Mount Zion Ave. is on the agenda.



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