Fourth Warders on/near South Seventh Street: Cell phone tower application is back

In case this is new to you, we’ll start with a recap. From a post published April 2015:

[DeKalb Planning & Zoning Commission] has discussed a request made by Central States Tower (CST) for a permit to place a Verizon cell tower/antenna at 1300 South 7th Street even though CST did not follow procedures required by city code in the application process — and despite city staff’s recommendation to reject the application for that same reason.

Public hearing proceedings revealed that CST did not arrange a pre-application conference with city staff, nor did it pursue a feasibility investigation into co-locating its tower on an existing site, such as the parcel hosting the AT&T tower a couple blocks north of the proposed site. The pre-application conference and co-location due diligence are required by DeKalb’s Unified Development Ordinance.

CST withdrew its application in May 2015 just before city council was to vote on it, presumably because the company anticipated a negative vote. But now they’re back with what looks to be the same plan as before, and will come before Planning & Zoning on Wednesday, August 23 at 6pm.

City council, city staff, and some P&Z commissioners have changed since CST’s first attempt, but the opposition is the same. Fourth Warder David Lehman, who lives on Karen Avenue, is circulating information about the request, and asking for support in questioning CST’s plan anew. In a flyer left at homes last week, Lehman says (his emphasis):

We still contend that a cellular tower is completely unnecessary since co-location of the required equipment is possible on the existing AT&T tower, which is less than 500 feet from the proposed new tower construction site.

Lehman says he and other residents who live near the proposed tower site are particularly concerned that CST has failed to adequately pursue co-location at other sites as required by city code. They are also concerned about the effect on neighborhood property values.

For more information, you can contact Lehman at davidlehman1[at]frontier[dot]com

Affected residents who already have an opinion on the matter are urged to send their written comments to Dan Olson, principal planner with the city (200 South Fourth Street; deadline of August 16) and/or contact the Fourth Ward alderman at patrick.fagan[at]cityofdekalb[dot]com