Sykesville residents object to phone tower

November 23, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Opponents of a proposed telecommunications tower jammed the Sykesville council meeting last night to voice their concerns about health risks and devalued property.

The 200-foot-high mobile phone tower Bell Atlantic and Cellular One would use is proposed for private property on Hollenberry Road, just outside the town's corporate limits.

Although Sykesville has no authority over the project, the council formally voted its opposition.

"We oppose the tower in any area close to Sykesville," said Councilman Walter White, who asked that letters be sent to the Carroll County commissioners. "This is an absolutely terrible place close to a hospital, ball fields and houses."

Mayor Kenneth W. Clark and Councilman Garth Adams, both employees of Bell Atlantic Systems, abstained, citing a conflict of interest.

Councilman Jonathan Herman questioned building the tower on land zoned for conservation and suggested that the companies look for commercial property.

Mark Sapperstein, vice president of West Shore Communication Inc. of Odenton, said he is willing to meet with the residents to address their concerns. He said he hoped to change some opinions with facts.

"Look for an alternate site and leave Carroll County," said Cathleen Heisch, who has organized her Beachmont Road neighbors and hired an attorney to fight the tower.

She urged everyone to attend the public hearing on the issue next month before the county Board of Zoning Appeals. A hearing set for today was postponed at the town's request.

Resident Lauren Ballantine complained that the county notified only those residents whose property adjoined the site about the hearing.

"If a neighbor hadn't noticed the sign, there may have been no opposition," she said. "We would have awakened to construction crews one morning, and then what?"

If the tower is built, antennas could be added and space rented to other users.

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