No Cell Tower in Herald Harbor

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We oppose erecting a 184 foot cell tower at the Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department because:

A large industrial structure dominating the skyline at the entrance and heart of the community will alter the essential character of the community. 

  • The tower requires 7 variances to set-back requirements and is taller than allowed by code.  The purpose of zoning codes is to ensure that property owners are protected from inappropriate development on nearby properties. People purchased homes in Herald Harbor because they liked the off the beaten path character of the neighborhood, it is a refuge from hectic urban environments and cookie-cutter suburban sprawl. The rights of the majority of property owners should not be trampled on by one property owner. Tall trees, claimed by AT&T to shield the tower from view, will be cut down; no tall trees will block the view of the tower. Furthermore, the tower will be ~70 feet taller than tallest trees in the area.
  • The pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) located in the Community is threatened because many parents will not want their children to spend prolonged periods in the shadow of a cell tower on a regular basis.  The pre-K has a large outdoor playground and provides affordable, convenient, high quality pre-K for this community and other nearby communities, e.g., Arden and the Palisades.  It is an irreplaceable asset to the community.  There is significant evidence that children, who have thinner skulls than adults and developing nervous systems, are at higher risk for adverse effects from electromagnetic radiation. Child health and welfare concerns led the Maryland Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council, established by the Maryland General Assembly in 2000, to release recommendations in 2016 to reduce children’s exposure to electromagnetic radiation.  Furthermore, the use of the pre-K school property will be substantially impaired.

  • The tower will have a substantial negative impact on property values of adjacent properties.  In March, 2014 the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy’s survey “Neighborhood Cell Towers & Antennas—Do They Impact a Property’s Desirability?” found that an overwhelming majority of respondents (94%)  reported that cell towers and antennas in a neighborhood would impact interest in a property and the price they would be willing to pay for it.  Properties values of homes within 1,000 feet of a cell tower can be reduced by up to 20%.

  • A 2018 review of 97 studies concluded that towers have negative impacts on birds, a recent study demonstrated a 50% decline in the bird populations and that taller towers have greater negative impacts. This tower will threaten the large, diverse avian population in Herald Harbor that includes several species of woodpeckers, bluebirds, orioles, humming birds, hawks, owls, doves, kingfishers and eagles.  Many of these birds are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The large avian population in the Harbor is one of it’s secret treasures. 
  • Nearby trees in the sightline of towers will be damaged, and that damage will be exacerbated if the water content of the soil is high.  Since the proposed tower is so tall, many trees behind and across the street from the tower will be in the direct sightline of tower.  Many of these trees are poplars that have shallow root systems, which makes them especially vulnerable since the water content of the top soil is often very high.  Weakened trees are a risk to people, cars and homes due to increased risk of falling branches or the entire tree toppling over in high winds.
  • Public health will be adversely affected because of the negative effects of increased, non-stop, full body exposure to electromagnetic radiation, and children are at the highest risk.  A landmark study released in 2018 demonstrated that rats with cell tower levels of exposure had a higher incidence of the same type of tumors associated with cell phone use in humans, and confirmed results from 2016 National Toxicology Program study of rats.
  • The health of fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and others who regularly spend time at the fire department may be harmed.  The International Association of Fire Fighters opposes the use of fire stations as base stations because of health concerns. 

AT&T and SmartLink have several other options for locating the tower in the area.

  • Co-locations at the watertower, which is less than 0.25 miles from Fire Department
  •  Co-location/location on the power lines that crisscross the area, some are less than 1 mile away. There are antennae on a power line pole on Herald Harbor Road now.
  • There are several locations that AT&T should have evaluated before even considering a residential neighborhood. This location was chosen as optimal because it saves AT&T money without regard for the health and welfare of the community.

References available on request.

It is crucial that we demonstrate significant community opposition to this cell tower.  The most important thing you can do right now to oppose the tower is to show-up at the Variance Hearing on 2/14 at 10:30 AM at 44 Calvert St. in Annapolis. Please also sign this petition.  Thanks

In addition, the Herald Harbor Community Association is likely to need a lawyer to fight AT&T. If the variances are denied the hearing, AT&T is expected them to appeal. Please consider a small donation to the HHCA legal defense fund. Every little bit helps. Herald Harbor Cell Tower Defense Fund  If you sign the petition, Change.org will ask for a donation to support their operations and promote petition. Those donations will go to Change.org not the Herald Harbor Cell Tower Defense Fund. 



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