New push for Germantown cell tower raises new concerns

Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 9:51 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - There’s a new plan concerning a controversial cell phone tower in Germantown.

Last week, Germantown’s Board of Education unanimously approved a contract for a cell tower to be placed on Dogwood Elementary School property.

Plans to build the cell phone tower on school property has been met with a lot of push back from concerned parents.

The developers literally pushed the tower plans back farther from the original plan.

The plan would tuck the cellphone tower into the woods, but that led to another problem for Dogwood Elementary School fourth grader Pierce Holley.

“I love the back door playground and coming out to play on it every day,” said Holley.

The cellphone tower would still be technically on Germantown Municipal School’s property but it would be close to a nature trail and playground.

“Safety is absolutely an issue,” said Carie Alley, who also has a child that attends Dogwood Elementary and opposes the cellphone tower being built there.

Members of the city’s planning commission subcommittee meeting had similar concerns. Some were concerned about how the developer would keep the children away from the tower.

The developer’s solution was to move the playground and build a six-foot unscalable wall around it.

Alley isn’t convinced that will be enough and she has other concerns.

“I live in that neighborhood and I don’t want a 140-foot tower, fake mono pine right there,” said Alley.

Alley is concerned about her property value dropping. Her neighbors are concerned about dropping calls.

“I get one bar, and if I want to hear really well I have to come out on the front porch,” said Jean Carroll who lives in Germantown.

Spotty cell phone service is an ongoing issue in the Dogwood community, including making emergency calls.

But these parents say better service shouldn't come at the expense of their kids.

Many parents brought up health concerns surrounding the cell phone tower.

Federal rules prevent local governments from denying tower permits for health concerns.

The full planning commission will consider the cellphone tower proposal Feb. 4.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.