UPDATE In an ongoing skirmish between Verizon and opponents of cell tower construction, residents in Lakeland, FL won the latest round, scoring a denial from the Lakeland Planning and Zoning Board, reports The Ledger. Mattaniah Jahn, working on behalf of the telecom, applied for a conditional use permit to address a coverage gap. Although the zoning was already approved, the proximity of residential structures necessitated the request.
In considering the request, the six Board members voted, and came down 4 – 2 against allowing tower construction. “The conditional use request is incompatible with adjacent uses and would be detrimental to the character of the Harden Boulevard corridor as the location is highly visible within public view,” the Board determined.
Leading opposition to the cell tower were residents Jennifer and Marco Aguilar, who have a history of going to battle with telecoms, according to The Ledger. “This is an extreme conflict to the adjacent residential communities that this would impact. It’s not harmonious,” said Ms. Aguilar. “It’s violating your codes, it’s violating your design standards, and if we don’t have that infrastructure, that basis for building our city for tomorrow, then what do I have to look forward to as a resident living here?”
Although Jahn argued a “significant gap” in coverage existed, and no other available location could address it, the Board was not swayed. Jahn also pointed out the original design had been lowered to a 110-foot structure involving little maintenance and less visual impact. While the concessions were acknowledged, the Board noted the tower would still be seen by residents of the Autumnwood Apartments and the Citrus Center Colony Mobile Home Park and voted against it.