Oppose Verizon's Cell Tower Construction- Angus Valley Mesa Park Switch Willo & Whispering
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Verizon Wireless is proposing the installation of a 100ft cell tower at Covenant United Methodist Church on 4410 1/2 Duval Road. This will potentially affect Angus Valley, Mesa Park, Switch Willo, Whispering Valley, and Champion Forest residents.
We the undersigned concerned citizens are opposed to Verizon's plan to install a telecommunications tower at 4410-1/2 Duval Road, Austin, Texas in a predominantly residential neighborhood. Due to the short notice of this site plan application, SP-2018- 0030CS, petition writers are not able to travel across town to see site plans in time to provide more specifics about the proposed structure in this document. The two business days turnaround time from notification of interested parties and possible approval of this application requires immediate public action. Our opposition is based upon the following concerns:
- Decrease in home value due to perceived negative health effects. Although the telecommunications act of 1996 doesn't allow a municipality to prohibit the location of cell towers based on adverse health effects, people’s fears about the presence of electro-magnetic signals will drive down home values.
- Research shows home values drop between 4-20% where cell towers are installed in residential areas.
- If home values drop, the City loses too, as property taxes are lower.
- Due to site plan applicant’s actions, petition writers were not given sufficient time to find and vet more recent publications, but a cursory internet search indicates that the cited information holds true https://www.emfanalysis.com/property-values-declining-cell-towers/.
- We were shocked to learn that neighbors within 300 feet of the project site did not receive an initial notice of the plan, as required by the City of Austin City Ordinance, Section 25-5- 4(B) until March 2, 2018 with the possibility of the site plan, SP-2018- 0030CS, application approval as early as March 7, 2018. This timing allowed only two business days before possible city action for interested parties and residents of the surrounding neighborhoods to respond.
- Verizon, the landowner Covenant United Methodist Church have been in the planning process for this project from at least July, 2017, yet potential interested parties were first made aware of the project on March 2nd, 2018. We in the neighborhood were denied the time necessary to educate ourselves and understand the scope and impact of this installation. Our community has the right to determine if this communication facility is compatible with our neighborhood. We don't believe it is. Not for ours or any residential neighborhood.
- We object to the placement of this communications towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions in our neighborhood until it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of members of this community, and the flora and fauna therein.
- While it is inconclusive whether EMF directly causes health impairment in humans, pets, wildlife and plant life, more research is needed. In the absence of scientific consensus that Electro-Magnetic Frequencies (EMF) is not harmful, the best course is not to site telecommunications facilities in residential areas.
- Cell Antenna facilities require maintenance that may be performed at any time, day or night. We will see an increase in trucks and service personnel that will be an additional unnecessary public nuisance.
- Additionally, the operation of a generator and cooling systems is quite likely to increase noise levels especially for those living close to and in the building, and the back-up diesel generators could add to air pollution in our neighborhood.
In light of all above factors we the undersigned request that Verizon Wireless, the City of Austin, and the owner of the land, Covenant United Methodist Church, immediately halt the planned installation of EMF antennas at 4410-1/2 Duval, Austin, Texas.
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