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Prince of Peace Cell Tower Hearing, Vote is Tonight

Couple vows to fight against tower.

Residents will have a final before council decides on Feb. 7 whether or not a cell tower should be allowed on the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church’s property on Center Ridge Road.

The issue, being fought by several Westlake residents including James and Laurie Frankito who live near where the tower could be built, was tabled in January.

"I've got mixed feelings," Laurie Frankito said outside Council chambers after the vote was delayed. "I was hoping it would be voted down, but it wasn't approved."

The Verizon tower was first proposed in September of 2012, and planning commission voted to recommend plans to build a 100-foot tower on the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church property in early December.

Council’s vote was first delayed during its Jan. 3 meeting. It was again postponed during the meeting on Jan. 17. The city’s Planning Director, Robert Parry, said council wanted to give the applicant time to report on alternate sites for the tower. 

This week, Frankito said she would be back with her husband James on Thursday to again ask council to reconsider the location of the tower, which is within 500 feet of her home and as close as 300 feet to another.

“We’ve been fighting this the whole time,” Frankito said. She planned on meeting with Councilman Michael O’Donnell, Feb. 5.

Frankito said Verizon, who want to build the tower, isn’t considering all options.

“Previously they said the Post Office wouldn’t allow a tower, but the Post Office is saying they would.” She said the library also expressed interest.

She is contending that property values can decline anywhere from 5 to 20 percent by having a cell tower located so close to homes.

The Frankitos have circulated a petition in their neighborhood that has been signed by all but one neighbor.

Alternate locations have been suggested. The post office and the Westlake Porter Public Library were both suggested at the Jan. 3 meeting.

The item, an ordinance considering an application for a conditional use permit for a wireless telecommunications facility at 28579 Center Ridge Road, is on tonight’s agenda. The meeting starts at 8 p.m.

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