Residents vow to fight cell tower build near neighborhood
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
MISSOURI CITY, TX (KTRK) -- Some Missouri City residents have lost their fight over plans to build a giant cell phone tower on the school district's property. The T-Mobile tower will be built just south of Fort Bend ISD's Progressive High School.The city council here approved the permit for construction of a cell tower earlier this month. But those who live here say they are not willing to let it be built without a fight. Just south of Progressive High, about 300 feet from the nearest home in the Hunters Glenn neighborhood, T-Mobile is planning to build a 100-foot cell tower. Former Missouri City Council Member Cynthia Lenton-Gary lives in the neighborhood and says she represents over 100 homeowners who worry about the health effects of living so close to such a tower - not the least of which she says is a proven increase in cancer. "It has a major impact on the fetus of a pregnant woman; on leukemia, an increase in small children and learning disabilities," said Lenton-Gray. Homeowners also fear the tower could hurt property values. What's more though, the homeowners say they didn't find out about a vote much before the city approved the special use permit. They claim they weren't given a fair opportunity to voice their opposition. City leaders though tell us they abided by state law, sending notices to every person who pays property taxes within 250 feet of the tower site's borders. Don Smith, the lone council member who opposed construction, says he feels the tower could have been built elsewhere. Still, there are many in the neighborhood who are not opposed to the tower. They see it as a plus. "You need better signals to get the calls you're trying to get," said resident Curtis Rogers. T-Mobile says in part that's what its attempting to do - to make its service better for those who live here. A spokesman told us, "They have heard from numerous customers who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the facility and have verified the need with their own engineering and research." The city says legally there is very little it can do to stop a cell tower from being built wherever a company desires. Fort Bend ISD wouldn't tell us today how much it will make by leasing the 1,600 square foot area on its property to T-Mobile, requiring us to file a public information act request first.
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missouri city, local, kevin quinn
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