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Archive for Tuesday, February 27, 2007

New cell phone tower raises some concerns

Residents criticize notification process

February 27, 2007

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Cheri Stuart, Lawrence, plays with the family dog, Thomas, on Monday morning along Huntington Court in northwest Lawrence. In the background, a new cell phone tower has been installed despite the objections of some neighbors.

Cheri Stuart, Lawrence, plays with the family dog, Thomas, on Monday morning along Huntington Court in northwest Lawrence. In the background, a new cell phone tower has been installed despite the objections of some neighbors.

Bob Stuart wasn't happy last week when he saw a cell phone tower being erected near Interstate 70 and Kasold Drive.

Stuart, who lives nearby, wondered how the tower could go up by a residential neighborhood without residents being notified ahead of time.

"I've talked to some of my neighbors, and none of them got any notice," Stuart said.

While Stuart wasn't notified, other neighbors were.

Last year, when T-Mobile filed a request for the tower to be placed just outside the Lawrence city limits, notifications were sent to certain nearby residents.

Douglas County requires notifications be sent to residents who live within one mile outside the city limits. Notifications also are supposed to go to owners of city property within 200 feet of the tower property. Stuart said he lives less than a quarter of a mile away, which puts him outside the notification range.

In addition, notifications of public hearings about such projects must be published in the Journal-World.

Stuart doesn't think that notification process is adequate. Many people who live within city limits near the tower site were unaware of it until it was built, he said.

"I guess my problem is, the notification procedure is afoul if someone who lives as close as I do didn't get notified, and I did not," Stuart said.

Douglas County commissioners would like to reduce the number of cell phone towers that are springing up throughout the county. Although the county and city of Lawrence have requirements that telecommunications companies must meet to erect a tower, more needs to be done to regulate them, some city and county leaders have said.

Tonight, the Lawrence City Commission is expected to vote on a resolution establishing a special-use permit fee to pay for an independent review of new telecommunications tower proposals to make sure they meet city code. The review would be conducted by an independent engineer.

County commissioners also have considered implementing a fee to pay for independent reviews of tower requests. A review also would determine if a company could share a tower already in use by another company.

"We're just not in a position to where we have the staff that can determine where a cell tower should be located," County Commissioner Charles Jones said.

The county, however, will watch the city and see how its tower review effort fares, Jones said.

"I think we want to go in that direction, but I think we're of the mind right now to kind of watch the city and see how good their resolution works," he said.

Jones voted against the T-Mobile tower when it was approved in August. Commissioners Bob Johnson and Jere McElhaney voted for approval, saying it met county requirements.

Comments

JackRipper 7 years, 1 month ago

Sure, how about inviting me over in 10-15 years and we'll see how things are then. I've been meandering through that area for almost 30 years so I'm well aware of the area-before and after. You may not have understood my point about Fritzel, his building efforts are to do exactly what I said, isolate the JOCO style of architecture from his stuff which makes an effort to look like it fits in. If you think I meant he was trying to keep people out then you must be a bit paranoid. I have friends who are builders in town and also have had experiences with those who are tarnishing the reputation of builders in town. Certainly one is allowed to make a distinction between the two aren't they? Or maybe that is more small town, anti progressive thinking on my part.

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x96merrill3 7 years, 1 month ago

Well, Ripper, if you meander out this way (through the construction) you will find that we are predominanty a neighborhood of young families with kids in Deerfield or retirees. Both demographics are not high risk candidates for short term residence. We are not the "Yuppies" you want to believe live here. As for blending in with the surroundings, I am blessed to have a back yard full of trees and a historic creek that was once used to shuttle runaway slaves on the underground railroad.
There is history in West Lawrence. While we are labelled as careless, money driven souls, we actually appreciate our surroundings and care deeply about the rich history and character of this town. Any stereotype to the contrary is unfounded and is spread by people trying to break the pride of this community. As someone who comes from a construction background, I can vouch for the stability and quality of the homes currently being built. We have a good group of builders in this town. While you may not like new developments or the developers, there is certainly no reason to libel the hard working men and women swinging the hammers to put food on their kids' plates. If you will notice, GF (Gene Fritzel) is planning future expansions around the Falls Creek area. Also, it's not off limits to anyone. My wife and I often take walks through there and enjoy the scenes as the sun sets into the hills of West Lawrence. Never once have we been glared at or asked to leave. In fact, at least once a night (on nice evenings) we run into someone working in their yard and are usually able to strike up a polite conversation about various topics such as the weather, gardening, kids, or KU Basketball (there seem to be a couple of tall guys up there that know an awfull lot about that.) You are welcome to come over some time...I'll show you where the deer roam through our back yard!!!! (Kinda like the home on the range song...only not so far from HyVee)

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JackRipper 7 years, 1 month ago

Hi X96, you know I didn't mean to come off dissing someone's abode and sorry you were offended but even Fritzel realized that something had to be done to keep that kind of development from spreading to close to the mansions on the hill to the south. It would be nice that housing could compliment the land rather than become an eyesore. My information about the quality comes from people I know who live in them. That would be great if you live there and make it your home but how many of your neighbors will be there 10-15 years from now?

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hornhunter 7 years, 1 month ago

Just wait until they circle Lawrence with wind turbines, then let the whinning begin. Everybody wants, but they don't want what comes with progress. LIVE WITH IT.

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x96merrill3 7 years, 1 month ago

JackRipper, As one of the residents in the neighborhood in question, I would like to invite you over to inspect the construction yourself. Those of you who do not live in any of the new constructions homes like to complain about their asthetic beauty and quality of construction. I guess I don't understand this. Are you a qualified engineer? Are you an architect? Are you using a sour grapes defense to make yourself feel better?
I didn't buy my home with any intention of moving in the next 12 years. I plan to raise my kids in this home. After they have left, the wife and I will evaluate our living situation and may decide to stay longer. Even if we do, as you say, use our home as a stepping stone on the way to a better way of life; I have to wonder, what is wrong with aspirations? I pity you. It seems your satisfaction with mediocrity has sapped your soul and motivation. I'm truly sorry to hear that.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 1 month ago

Craigers, that WAS my old phone and was a while back....still sticks in my memory....my new phone is pretty good....even down in Playa in MX I had service (digital roam) which even though I limit it---good to know it works....the GPS locator is great.

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Emily Hadley 7 years, 1 month ago

Anyone living right on the side of an interstate highway can bet that they will have cell phone towers close by.

It would be interesting, driving along I-70, to pass one of the "Call *55 for emergencies" signs, then a local sign proudly stating

" Welcome to scenic Tree City No cell service for the next 4 miles "

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Staci Dark Simpson 7 years, 1 month ago

They can put a t mobile tower in my yard. I need the help paying my mortgage. Plus t mobile reception stinks in Tonganoxie.

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Gootsie 7 years, 1 month ago

"Those houses won't last long anyway since they were only built to be bought as investments so in a few years they can move up to something much bigger in a few years. Wonder what happened to the idea of buying a house to serve as a home for the long term and expect it to be built to last for years. Isn't progress suppose to be better then what we have now? Funny all the complaining about the sewers not being built fast enough and now complaining about a tower, a sign of progress!"

wow. 2nd silliest post this year.

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compmd 7 years, 1 month ago

there isn't a single pilot who thinks the new strobes are bad idea. taking off from klwc its really nice knowing where the myriad antennae are easily. also, a pilot unfamiliar with the area that runs into trouble, whether with instrumentation (altimeter failure in IFR flight conditions) or other aircraft failure would very much like to not hit an antenna. he can see those strobes in much worse conditions than other lights.

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lubyloo 7 years, 1 month ago

I echo sleepylady 100% about the white strobe lights. I live just southeast of town and there is a tower with white strobe lights that is terrible. The level of brightness changes from time to time. When the lights are dimmer, it is tolerable, but sometimes it is so bright that it looks like there is a lightening storm outside.

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JackRipper 7 years, 1 month ago

Those houses won't last long anyway since they were only built to be bought as investments so in a few years they can move up to something much bigger in a few years. Wonder what happened to the idea of buying a house to serve as a home for the long term and expect it to be built to last for years. Isn't progress suppose to be better then what we have now? Funny all the complaining about the sewers not being built fast enough and now complaining about a tower, a sign of progress!

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davisnin 7 years, 1 month ago

Apparently the approved paint color in that neighborhood is 'soulless taupe'.

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Emily Hadley 7 years, 1 month ago

The city commission agenda is always published ahead of time, so that if something interests you, you can go and speak directly to the commission.

I think it is definitely a good idea to read it online beforehand, sometimes it will surprise you.

(How many of the complainers have cell phones, and how attractive was that neighborhood in the first place?)

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macon47 7 years, 1 month ago

if we didnt have so many people that have the need in public places and driving up and down the street to babble on their cell phones we woudnt need the towers. HANG UP, SHUT UP AND DRIVE i really dont care to be in a public place and hear your stupid converstation

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Roy_Als 7 years, 1 month ago

Nice comment Andini. You hit the nail on the head with that one old-timer.

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Andini 7 years, 1 month ago

Quit complaining people...it's progress.

I long for the days of party lines and shared phone numbers with different rings for different addresses.

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SportTea 7 years, 1 month ago

As much as I would like to rage against the dying light, you and I asked for this. Total connectivity all the time. Next is a monthly bill for an implant so you are never off the network.

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JackRipper 7 years, 1 month ago

Geez, you all have to be kidding. Considering how they took a beautiful piece of land made it into a mini JOCO a cell phone tower ought to fit right in out there.

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sleepylady 7 years, 1 month ago

the cell towers are ugly! but not near as ugly as the bright white stobe lights that destroy the night view. whatever happened to the red throbing lights? they were MUCH easier on the eye, and just as effective.

i agree, more notice should be given in advance allowing people to object. these things are nearly impossible to remove once in place.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 1 month ago

true informed, not as ugly, and who can't use extra cash.

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Norma Jeane Baker 7 years, 1 month ago

You're right, momma. As more and more people ditch their land lines in favor of only a cell phone, more towers will be the result. Personally, I think the cell towers are a lot less ugly than seeing mile upon mile of wire running to and from a tower. And I sure wouldn't mind receiving the lease fee for having one on my property.

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Curtis Lange 7 years, 1 month ago

Good example of NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) right here. People just like to whine, that is all.

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Christine Pennewell Davis 7 years, 1 month ago

kind of funny, really people always complain about service and lost calls and then when the company tries to help with this problem, ugly yes I know , they are still in the wrong.

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craigers 7 years, 1 month ago

right_thinker, you might think about getting a new phone or getting the software on your phone updated. I talk in that area all the time (on Sprint) and never drop calls. you might check into it man.

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Tom Shewmon 7 years, 1 month ago

davisnin---I very strongly agree with your 6:17......love dropping a call on I-435 or Hwy 69 whilst looking at the Sprint corporate building.

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Reality_Check 7 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, it's like $1200 a month that they pay the landowner. This guy wouldn't be screaming if it was on HIS property.

Also, this thing is right next to I-70. I'd think the noise of the traffic would bother people more than a cell tower.

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compmd 7 years, 1 month ago

This is so stupid that I hope to bang my head against the wall enough times to kill whatever neuron remembered reading this story. Sigh.

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craigers 7 years, 1 month ago

That would be pretty nice. I am sure I wouldn't mind one on some property I own considering I would get a nice lease fee.

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davisnin 7 years, 1 month ago

I could use a Sprint tower in my living room.

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Marion Lynn 7 years, 1 month ago

Lemmee see here.......................................................

Proper notification was given according to County regs.

The Commissioners approved it.

The lives outside the notification area.

The guy makes claims that folks were not notified yet it appears that all notification requirements were met.

Reads like a "Progressive" to me!

Non-story.

Thanks.

Marion.

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