A controversial proposal to build a 100′ cell tower on the Barren Hill Fire Company is on the agenda of Whitemarsh Township’s Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 p.m. The meeting will be held at the township building at 616 Germantown Pike in Lafayette Hill.
From the agenda:
ZHB#2017-01: Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, 647 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA; Parcel #65-00-04279-00-3; Block 022; Unit 014; VC-1 Village Commercial Sub-District 1. The Applicant proposes to construct a 100’ monopole with a 5 ’ lightening rod at the Property Location, the site of Barren Hill Fire Company. A 50’ by 50’ fenced compound is also proposed to house the associated accessory equipment. The following relief is requested: 1. Variance from Section 116-302.A.(1) to allow the facility in the VC Village Commercial District and to be within 500’ of a lot in residential use or a residential district boundary. 2. Variance from Section 116-302.A.(4)(c) to allow the facility to be within 500’ of a lot in residential use or a residential district boundary. 3. Variance from Section 116-302.G.(1) to allow the installation of groundmounted equipment above ground. This application was rescheduled from the October 4, 2017 meeting.
As we mentioned in the first sentence, the proposal is controversial and there is a group of citizens opposing it. Their main argument against it is that allowing the tower will decrease home values in the neighborhood. The current zoning for that area (Village-Commercial) requires a 500′ distance between such towers and residential properties. If the tower is permitted, it will only be 178′ to residential properties.
You can read all the concerns on the group’s website here.