Cell towers get bad reception from residents
NORTHAMPTON, Pa. - May 10, 2012 (WPVI) -- It calls itself America's largest 4-G network, but for some residents in Northampton, Bucks County, it's now the enemy.
They're against plans to build 12 new towers around town, right next to private homes.
"It's being forced on us; we have no choice. I just think it's wrong," Northampton Township resident Janice Lee said.
To be clear, what's going on here is not a traditional 150-foot tall monster, they are zoned out of residential areas, instead it will be a 25 foot steel pole.
Residents say one of the selling points from the get go in this neighborhood is no overhead utilities, now they feel betrayed.
"We didn't have any notification from the township, from the company until they actually started doing work," resident Ed Bendzlowicz said.
There are to be 60 some cell antennas or nodes atop both new and existing poles to be wired together in a swath across several townships, the goal is better wireless service.
At first, Northampton Township thought it could control the placement, but the tower company citing a state utility commission order won a court battle.
The bottom line is the poles can go up in utility right-of-ways including residential front yards.
"That essentially gave them carte blanche like PECO and Verizon to be in our right-of-ways without any local control," township manager Robert Pellegrino said.
Angry homeowners believe the township gave up too easily and want to go back to court.
"Our remedy will be to see if we can file a preliminary injection to get the work stopped," Bendzlowicz said.
An emergency meeting of the township is scheduled for next week.
pennsylvania, bucks county, at&t, local/state, john rawlins
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