Cell tower battle in Chesterfield County

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Disappointment for some Chesterfield county residents in a battle against cell phone towers. Four cases went before the planning commission Tuesday night.

Despite a lot of opposition, the commission recommended approval for two towers, denied one and deferred the fourth case to its May meeting. Some residents went home angry.

Strong emotions after a disappointing vote. Despite a petition with nearly 140 signatures and spoken opposition, planning commission members recommended approval for a 198 foot tall cell tower for the Rose Glen community.

An attorney for NTELOS says it's a last resort move, but an important step to provide service. Residents worry about health risks and property values.

"Obviously we can't fight what other people will bring thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to the table. We can't fight that," said Michael Reining.

Helen Coalter says she could use the money by renting her property to NTELOS but it's not just about that.

"We have taken a great deal of effort to cobble this property together and try to keep it green, and the lesser of the evils was taking the option of getting the tower from NTELOS instead of clear cutting the timber or building several hundred homes, or apartments," said Coalter.

Residents of Cypress Woods and Ramblewood Forest have to wait until May for a decision. They plan to go door to door to get more signatures on a petition to stop the building of a 158 foot cell tower. Robert Napolitano says his big concern is the cancer risk.

"I don't want that near my home when I'm about to have my first child here in May. I don't want that for any of my kids that are in the neighborhood around us," said Napolitano.

All the recommendations will have to go before the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors for a final vote in May.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.