Shentel wants to put a cell tower next to the Bowman Library and lake on Tasker Road in Stephens City.
Although the Frederick County Planning Commission voted unanimously not to recommend this action to the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, that board must hold a public hearing and decide on this issue at its April 12 meeting.
It is important that we let the supervisors know how inappropriate it is to place a cell tower in a residential area next to a library and wetlands. According to many studies, to do so would threaten the health of people and the ecology nearby. It would also destroy the beauty and integrity of precious green space where I and others go to find balance through communion with nature.
It would also lower local property values. In a time when middle and working class people struggle to save a penny, the value of our homes are sometimes the only way we can increase our wealth. To place a cell tower in this area is like handing homeowner’s investments directly to Shentel and to whomever would be collecting the rent (Frederick County).
There are other dangers as well. In recent years there have been many cases when cell towers caught fire, leaned over, exploded if near a propane leak, or collapsed (crushing vehicles, killing three people in Summit Park, West Virginia) as well as numerous instances of workers falling to their death from them.
As a citizen, I have participated in the development of the Comprehensive Plan for Frederick County. I believe that the planners and Board of Supervisors have laid out a balance of land use for our growing urban development area and that placing a cell tower in a residential/recreational area breaks with that vision. Green spaces are a vital yet small part of the plan and should be guarded at all costs from commercial and industrial forces.
Maya White Sparks, Stephens City
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