Originally reported by The Times of Northwest Indiana.
VALPARAISO — A new tower for Verizon Wireless won the blessing of the Porter County Board of Zoning Appeals despite neighbor’s complaints.
Bryan Donley, of Insite, asked the board for permission to put a new 185-foot cell tower and supporting ground equipment at 36 W. 700 North, on property owned by St. Iakovos Greek Orthodox Church. The land is zoned for rural residential use.
The tower is needed to improve the signal strength and cellular capacity for Verizon Wireless, he said. Customers have complained of poor coverage in that area, he said Wednesday.
“Customers are demanding improved telecommunication coverage where they live, work and play,” he said.
Donley said other wireless carriers and perhaps emergency responders would be able to rent space on the tower, too.
Five neighbors spoke against the tower and had questions about its proximity to their homes.
The monopole tower is at least 185 feet from surrounding property lines, so it would fall only on the church’s property if it were to topple. That’s required by county ordinance, Donley said.
The tower wouldn’t have lights, because the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t require them on a tower that size, he said.
There wouldn’t be any noise except when the backup generator used in the event of a power failure. That generator would be powered by natural gas. All utilities serving the tower would be underground, Donley said.
Dan Witkowski, who lives across the street, said he doesn’t want to see a cell tower outside his window. Donley said the tower would be relatively well hidden by trees.
“Cell towers are not attractive,” BZA member Marvin Brickner said. “I feel bad that somebody has to look at it out their back yard.”
The board voted unanimously to support the zoning exception.
Central States Tower, the developer of the site, will own and operate the facility under the title “IN-02-3040 E 700 N Meridian”.