Cell tower debate heats up in Chesterfield - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

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Cell tower debate heats up in Chesterfield

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – The Rose Glen neighborhood near Brandermill is quiet and lined with trees and if n-Telos gets its way, an addition on the block could soon boost cell phone service.

"Nobody's very happy about it," said resident Kristen Mathews.

Kristen is definitely upset. There's absolutely no way, no chance she's going to let a cell tower hover over her house.

"The health risks that it causes for our children and ourselves. I read about DNA damage, possible cause of miscarriage, types of cancers. In this community there are many young children and besides the concerns for ourselves, it's the safety of our children that can't be looked past," she said.

n-Telos, the cell phone provider, wants to install a 48th cell tower in Chesterfield. The company says the towers are safe and are regulated by the FCC. With more people on cell phones a boost to coverage and power is needed.

"It's a pretty tall tower," said Robert Clay with the Chesterfield County Planning Department

Clay says the height is pushing it and the location doesn't fly with the county's policy.

"The policy generally tries to steer the towers away from areas of existing or future development," Clay said.

A cell phone user herself, Pat Eicher wouldn't mind what others are calling an eyesore.

"To me, its everyday living because we have water towers we have power and electrical lines," said Eicher.

But just up the road Kristen is preparing for the long haul.

"It's going to take all of us to make it successful to get the result we're looking for," she added.

An n-Telos spokesperson says the company plans to meet with residents before a decision is made.  The county's planning department says it will recommend for the permit to be denied.  

Public Hearing

Chesterfield County Planning Department

April 20th, 6 PM

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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