2018-02-09 / Government / Neighborhood

Opposition to cell phone tower on Rosewood continues

By Josh Cruse


Thomas Wingard discusses real estate trends before and after a celltower is built. Thomas Wingard discusses real estate trends before and after a celltower is built. For the first time since October, officials were on hand at the monthly South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting to discuss the cell phone tower proposal for Rosewood Drive Thursday, February 1.

Jonathan Yates, with Hellman, Yates, & Tisdale, along with TMobile representative Douglas Hager, and Wingard and Associates representative Thomas Wingard provided more details on why the project was needed and what the impact would be on the neighborhood.

Wingard referred to a study he did to two similar neighborhoods with cell phone towers. One is at the corner of Beltline Boulevard and Trenholm Road. The year prior to the tower being constructed property values increased in a range from 1.28 percent to 9.92 percent, an average of 4.28 percent. The year after the tower was built the values ranged from 3.33 percent to 9.72 percent, an average of 5.70 percent.


TMobile representative Douglas Hager reviews a coverage map during the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting. TMobile representative Douglas Hager reviews a coverage map during the South Kilbourne Neighborhood Association meeting. The surrounding areas of the Walgreens in Forest Acres also saw an increase after a tower was built in 1995. The average increase changed from 3.23 percent before the tower was built to 5.61 percent the year after.

Wingard said many factors went into the property value change such as the condition of the home and the real estate market.

Hager explained there have been a noticeable amount of complaints from customers in the area regarding dropped calls and slower download speed. He said other carriers are having similar problems in the area.

After a study was done, Hager said he noticed as many as 200,000 connections were being made in the area in a seven day period. He said the new tower would help with those complaints.

Despite the presentations, the representatives were met with a room filled with residents who live near the proposed location and do not want the new tower.

There was a brief discussion about ways to publicly vote against it. Neighborhood association president Michele Huggins read three letters sent to her from residents and businesses owners who were unable to attend the meeting but still wanted to voice their opinion. All three letters were against the tower.

Bob Hill, a representative from Towering Engineering Professionals, classified the project as perfect from the standpoint of location and its ability to turn an area of weakness for TMobile and its customers into a strength.

The location, 3624 Rosewood Drive, was determined considering height of tower, topography of area, and most optimized area for the tower to get the desired response.

While the proposal has not been submitted to the City of Columbia, once it has been Yates believes it will be within a 90-day window in which it will be heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

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