Sunday, January 10, 2010

Letter To The Editor Regarding Cell Towers


As our readers know, we are advocates of having an opinion and sharing it with us. Today, we received a letter to the editor from a new resident who lives in the subdivision of Sunnybrook Farms. She is bothered about the possiblility of a cell tower going up on a farm next to her home.

With any issue, there are always two sides to the story. We are in the process of contacting the farm owner to give them equal air time.

Keep an eye on as this story develops.

Thank you,

Tim Enloe


I am a new resident to Milton. I moved from Roswell with my welsh ponies to Milton in search of a more rural, horse friendly community. I found a home in Sunnybrook Farms subdivision which is in the middle of a beautiful, scenic equestrian area. I built a 3-stall barn for my ponies and I thought I was set.

Two weeks ago I received a letter from the City of Milton telling me that T-Mobile wanted to put a 154 foot cell tower on the farm adjacent to my subdivision. I will be able to see it from my rocking chair front porch. I immediately began researching these cases and quickly realized that because of the Federal Communications Act of 1996 a city government cannot deny a cell tower petition because of aesthetics or health reasons. In fact, there are few reasons a petition can be denied. One way would be to prove that cell service is adequate and therefore no new towers are needed.

I have started a petition in our area as well as canvassing neighborhoods to discover if indeed we need better cell phone reception in this area. I have found the contrary. There does not seem to be a need for a tower. It seems that T-Mobile wants to litter the landscape of Milton with their cell towers to make their service more competitive with Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. What happened to putting these unsightly structures on industrial and commercial properties?

Why do I have to suffer the consequences of being within 800 feet of a 154 foot cell tower so that T-Mobile can get a greater share of the market?

It is hard to fathom that Milton would allow this type of structure within a residential area. Because Milton is a relatively new city, it had not written adequate zoning laws to protect neighborhoods before this application was submitted by T-Mobile. I am hoping that incorporating and having our own local representatives who live in Milton will be beneficial and that they will support and protect us against this type of development.I would hope that the City of Milton is poised to stand behind their citizens who have elected them to serve and assist us in protecting our financial investments. The playing field is not level when local citizens, attempting to protect their physical, emotional and economic health, are required to battle against large telecommunications corporations with vast financial resources and experience in litigating these kinds of cases.

I would ask that the residents of Milton stand up and say "NO to cell Towers in residential neighborhoods". Help us to preserve and protect the reason why we live in Milton. Do not allow cell towers to litter the picturesque landscape and detract from our unique environment.

Thank you,
Kay Norvell
2305 Saddlesprings Drive
Milton, Ga


Anonymous said...

I try to be very positive and make the best of everything. Maybe this woman should be glad that the only thing next to her is a cell tower. It is much better than a bunch of noisy, trashy neighbors. At least the tower will be quiet and some of them are actually quite nice to look at.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with the above poster. Our neighbor decided to pile all of her horse manure next to our house and we had to go after her legally. The courts settled it and she got a slap on the wrist. I would rather have a cell tower next to me than all the smell, flies, and ugliness dealing with a bad neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like we want our cake and eat it too. We want cell coverage, but don't want the towers anywhere near us. I believe that is called a NIMBY.

You may not like it, and sorry to say, but this has nothing to do with Milton being a "new city". In fact, we could have less cell towers if Milton allowed for a greater height in those same towers. But because of those restrictions, we have to have more towers to cover the area.

And yes, I am fine if a tower was near my house.

Anonymous said...

Remember we had the same issue with a new water tower about ten years ago. Everyone on county water complained about the poor water pressure, but then didn't support a new tower. Everyone wants it both ways: service without the infrastructure.

Travis Allen said...

My cell phone works just fine everywhere in the city. Why do we need another tower?

Anonymous said...

There is already wonderful cell service from several different carriers in the area of Seven Gables Farms. It is not the responsibility of the city of Milton to get more customers for T-Mobile. I have Verizon and my service is excellent. If you are unhappy with your T-Mobile service, might I suggest switching carriers?

Kay Norvell said...

I understand the negative ramifications of noisy and disagreeable neighbors but quite frankly I do not see the correlation. A tower will be emitting dangerous radiation that will blanket the homes close by. Horse manure is biodegradable, a cell tower is not. Those of you that would prefer to look at the tower could contact T-Mobile. I hear they are looking for willing people to lease their land and it is quite lucrative. I have excellent cell service and am not complaining about that if you will read the original post. This is not about needing more towers for better coverage. It is about T-Mobile wanting a slice of the market in our area to the detriment of Milton.

Anonymous said...

What science and facts (not hyperbole) do you base your comment of "dangerous radiation" on? Lots of rumors and maybes on that one. No facts as of yet.

Anonymous said...

My cell service is just fine with Verizon. T-Mobile can look to another young city to harbor it's towers for financial gain - Milton citizens should be too smart for that request. I can't imagine any passerbys actually "looking" at a tower for any reason other than displeasure vs an intentional look at a pasture filled with animals that gives adults & kids such enjoyment??? What....are you nuts!

Kay Norvell said...

Here is where I stand on the health issues surrounding living in close proximity to cell towers: we just do not have enough information to say conclusively “there is no risk”. You can Google health risk and cell towers and get a variety of opinions and facts for both sides. I have a science background and tend to err on the side of conservatism in regards to believing anything I read. I am not an alarmist. After researching this topic, I concluded that I just did not want to become a guinea pig for scientific study. Our parents blindly bought into the fraudulent test results that calmed concerns of the health risks of asbestos, nuclear energy, silicone implants, and tobacco. When the brain tumors start forming 15 years from now which industry leader or government official will take responsibility? We are dealing with something that is, even as the critics say, "unproven". While Cellular towers might not be scientifically proven at this time to be unsafe, they are also not scientifically proven to be safe. I am talking about the very right to choose not to have radiation bombarding me from the lot next door.

Anonymous said...

You could just stay indoors most of the time and wear one of those silly suits that bee keepers wear if you go outside?

Anonymous said...

Regarding the second posting: If you'd really rather have a cell tower next door rather than a pile of manure, maybe you should contact T-Mobile about leasing land from you.....

Anonymous said...

The problem with the water towers was different - the water pressure was terrible and although no one wanted the towers in their backyard, most people agreed the towers were needed. Cell service is excellent in this area with several carriers, so another cell tower isn't needed!

Anonymous said...

Dear Clueless,
Since the feds do not allow local governments to deny cell phone towers, how about working the City and T-mobile on an aesthetic tower?

Anonymous said...

What about a cell tower that looks like a large pile of horse manure? It could even be made to emit the "rural smell" of maure when calls are placed? I see that as a win/win!

Anonymous said...

To the "dear clueless" poster - see the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling in Sprint Spectrum v. Town of Ontario Planning Board. They outlined several reasons municipalities could deny cell tower applications.

Anonymous said...

One word: "NIMBY." Funny how it is ok for subdivision folk to eat up the country side and change an area for the worse for their benefit but if a farm wants to change something for their benefit, it is hell or highwater.

Habitat give me a call!

Anonymous said...

Why would you be glad that there is a cell tower next to you? I don't get it. Has anyone in these posts thought about trying to sell a house next to a cell tower? I wouldn't buy it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue is whether or not we need a new cell tower, it is finding an agreeable place to put the ones that are coming.I would welcome a cell tower in an industrial or business area, not a private residence or farm. There are better places to put these things and next to someone elses backyard is not the best idea!

Anonymous said...

My goodness, the sky is falling, the sky is falling or is it a cell tower.

Anonymous said...

Is the cell tower on Providence Road in a business or commercial area? Since there are homes and farms on Providence, how did that tower come to be?

Anonymous said...

The truth is nobody knows if there is health concerns. I personally do not want my family to be exposed. There are many areas in Milton that would be more appropriate for a cell tower. Say this tower was in your neighbors yard and you wanted or needed to sell your house. Do you really think that it would be an asset and help with the sale of your home? I think not. I have lived near 7 Gables for 14 years if I could sell my house tomorrow I would. With the way the real estate market is now is not the time to sell. I would like the right to protect my investment. Milton would not allow a friend of mine to build a beautiful 100,000 pool in her back yard because you could see a very small part of it from the road. She had to move it to another part of her yard, but they will allow a 15 story piece of metal to sit in the middle of a farm that can be seen not only from Hopewell Rd, but roads also in Sunnybrook Farms and Greystone.....makes sense to me.
I would like to preserve the vision that Milton is different from other cities and a better place to raise our families.

Anonymous said...

I attended the meeting at the library Monday night and actually feel ok with it once I saw the ballon test pictures. If they can make it look like the small red baloon you can hardly see it. Maybe we could get them to change the color to sky blue and you would never know it was there!

Anonymous said...

To clarify a couple of comments below...although T-Mobile is installing the tower - it will likely house additional carrier cells as well. Because of the restrictive environment for building the towers, the carriers co-locate on each other's towers all the time.

While your coverage with Verizon, Sprint or ATT might be good now - they also need to bump capacity as more folks begin to abandon their home phone service for cell and start to use more data you can bet this tower will serve multiple carriers - all to our benefit - as well.

That said - I wouldnt want it in my backyard either - but if they dont put it there they will look around the immediate area for another location and that might be my!!

Kay Norvell said...

For those of you who are interested in researching how to handle the increased need for additional service with 3G (third generation) faster, data-centric wireless networks please look at this website It describes the direction in which we should be moving. In summary: the need for lower antennas and equipment mounted on already existing telephone poles not 150 foot and higher towers. If we are educated about future technologies and ask for them maybe we won't be left with outdated dinosaurs(towers) littering the landscape. I am not against progress. Let's make sure we are progressing in the right direction.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous: I attended the meeting at the
library Monday night and actually feel ok with it
once I saw the ballon test pictures. If they can
make it look like the small red baloon you can
hardly see it.

I hope you went to the Community Zoning Information Meeting held by the City of Milton last night. The photos that T-Mobile had of the proposed towers were not what will actually go up. The T-Mobile reps admitted that the tower shown in the photos looked like a flagpole, but the ones that will go up have antennae coming off the sides.

Anonymous said...

Rhonda loves cell towers too? What a newflash. But guess what, most people don't see it your Liberal way.

Anonymous said...

If the cell tower EMF and Radiation causes cancer as studies prove with extended exposure, just like power lines, then you'd rather live next to that then horse manure? Why live in Milton or buy a property next to horses if you didn't realize you'd smell the poop? There are really nice neighborhoods in Milton that don't have horses in their yards.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Letters To Leaders in Congress regarding Cell Tower Microwave and Radiation exposure to the public.

All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Environment:

FCC Docket 08-165.
Rep. John Hall
November 7, 2009

The Telecom Act of '96 deregulated the wireless industry. One of the results was that cell tower companies were aggressive about trying to put up cell towers in areas in which they didn't belong- too close to people's homes and schools. Concerns about the health effects of proximity to cell towers are real. Various branches of the military have more stringent exposure standards than the federal ANSI standards.

The federal government allows cell towers to emit much more radiation than is allowed in other countries. Canada and Italy's cell tower emissions are 100 times less than U.S. towers; China's are 166 times less, Switzerland's are 250 times less and New Zealand's are 50,000 times less.

Consider the comments of these Nobel Prize nominees in medicine: Dr. Gerard Hyland says, "Existing safety guidelines for cell towers are completely inadequate."

Dr. Robert O. Becker writes, "I have no doubt ... that the greatest polluting element in the Earth's environment is the proliferation of [artificial] magnetic fields." More than 40 physicians and scientists at Harvard and Boston University Schools of Public Health claim cell towers are a "radiation hazard" and "public health emergency."

Many local communities have dealt with cell tower placement by requiring minimum setbacks from homes, schools and other locations that people frequent.

The CTIA lobby's proposed preemtion of local zoning goes against the spirit of adequate environmental review. Local regulation is not obstructionist but rather within the rights reserved to communities by the Telecom Act of 1996 by the US Congress.

I worked on local siting in my town and I can tell you first hand that without the proposed federal interference, as it is we have very little control over tower siting which is usually dictated by the well-heeled cell phone companies which come into towns, demand to have their first choice sites and often create menacing public campaigns that often contain untruths about coverage.

Towers like other non-conforming structures are subject to local review- without review, towers would go up on property where landowners are willing to cut quick deals. These sites are neither the most appropriate environmentally nor the sites that would provide the most efficient coverage necessarily.

Local review ensures appropriate land use policy. It would be devastating for the federal government to take away local zoning power from us.

Please do not approve the preemption policy or the other policies requested by the CTIA, which would amount to a de facto land taking by the federal government.

In conclusion, the best course of policy would be for the federal government NOT to interfere with local zoning and siting. The best case scenario would be for the federal government to review the weak ANSI radiation standards and consider why the US allows thousands of times more emissions than many of our foreign counterparts.

Barring that, the federal government should not add insult to injury and allow the wireless industry to bulldoze local zoning and municipal laws by forcing towers or transmitters near schools or homes when there are other, more appropriate places for them to be sited.

Deborah Kopald

ft montgomery , NY

Wayne Newberry said...

When Seven Gables farm came into existence there were NO houses or neighbors to contend with. Then the real estate boom came and the trees were torn down and the landscape "remolded" to make way for ridiculously large homes. I see little done to discourage the monetary gain of land developers when you want to have a house uses up enough natural resources to supply 5 reasonably sized homes. Where was that outrage? Give me my right to use my cell phone but please don't make me look at the technology necessary for that cellphone to function!

Anonymous said...

This is all about property rights. Someone should ask the seven gables guy if he liked seeing all the trees torn down to make way for the subdivisions that came through.

City of Milton better watch out or they will end up receiving a lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

I would be willing to bet the farm that if that tower was going to be sitting next to your house you wouldn't want it either..let's be honest. T-Mobile only cares about T-Mobile not the citizens of Milton, not the possible health risks, they do not care that we really don't need another tower. It's all about $$$$$$.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone looked at the City Ordinance? What does it say? If Tmobile has (and I bet they have) no one may have a leg to stand on. You can't just deny them because you don't like it. Particularly if they meet the letter of the law.

If Milton does deny them and they do conform, I would bet Milton gets sued. And I don't think we can afford that can we?

Knit Witch said...

I agree with this. If someone is acting within the law then the other residents really don't have a leg to stand on. If you really have a problem with it then you need to take this up with your city council members and leave the personal attacks out of it. Someone's financial situation or who they hire or do not hire to put up their fencing is really not any of your concern.

I don't think many big business worry about the "little guy" as they are mainly focused on making their products accessible to as many people as possible. Everyone wants to use a cell phone but no one wants the tower in their backyard. I would argue that there are MANY worse things that could be going in the neighborhood than a cell phone tower. Perhaps this is a good opportunity for everyone to review the city ordinances.

I think all of this is getting a little petty from some of the residents. How about we worry about some things that REALLY matter. There are a lot of people in Haiti today who would love to be worrying about something as trivial as a cell phone tower. I say, drop all of this petty baloney and put your efforts into something that REALLY matters where you could actually help people and do some good somewhere. This is just wasted time and energy.

Anonymous said...

It was all about the $$$$$$$$$ too when the subdivisions went up and the 100 yr trees / forests went down. what do ya have to say about that?

Anonymous said...

To knit wit,
Put it in your yard

Knit Witch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

If a member of our community is acting within the laws that are set forth by Milton then I hardly see how we can condemn that person.

We need to come together and petition our local government for how we want to handle things moving forward. Just because we all don't agree does not make someone with an opposing viewpoint wrong. This case can be argued any which way till Sunday but if the Seven Gables guy is following the law then we can't just not let him do it because we don't like it.

I am neutral on this issue but I think we need to all take an active role in our city government and decide as a community what we want going forward. Those who are in the minority - no matter which way an issue goes - then need to decide if they want to suck up and deal with the changes or move to another place.

Anonymous said...

I actually live next to a cell tower so I think I am qualified to comment on this issue unlike some others.

My family actually enjoys having the tower next to us. On warm evenings, with our windows down the steady buzzzzzz helps us all sleep better. Also when our relatives come to visit the cousins love to climb the tower with our kids.

So you people should look at the positives of having a tower next door.

Anonymous said...

I live next to a tower too. I like it because our oldest kid will wear a cooking pot on his head and wrap his arms in tin foil and we pick up armed forces raido. They have great programs on that station.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we get free internet access if we move our computer to the closest outside wall of our trailer. Just another advantage of living next to the tower.

Also sometimes our boys will hang squirrels on the metal bracing for a couple of days and man them things are the best you ever put in your mouth!

Anonymous said...

Open an eatery, name it Tender Young Squirrel, you'd probably put Olde Blind Dog out of business.

Anonymous said...

I grew up wih Julie Bailey and that is what they called her in high scholl, "tender young squirrel"?

Anonymous said...

Who ever took the signs down at the entrance of Sunnybrook Farms, shame on you. They did not belong to you and yu had no right to take them down.