But he warned that most property owners — churches and others — are underpaid because they don't understand how much their location is worth to cell companies.
"You'd been amazed at the disparity of what they're being paid for rent and what the tower companies are making off the use of that same land," Odom said.
In most cases, the income does not affect a church's tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, but it depends on specific factors in the lease terms, Odom said.
Communities often point to health worries when opposing cell towers.
The Federal Communications Commission says radio frequency emissions from cell towers are so low on the ground level that "there is no reason to believe that such towers could constitute a potential health hazard."
Still, in Catonsville, some neighbors have raised concerns about the potential health effects of the cell towers, Glennan said.
"There were a lot of questions that came up," he said. "It's natural people are concerned."
In Timonium, the opposition of neighbors was strong enough to thwart plans for a cell tower at Epiphany Episcopal Church around 2005.
The church was considering a proposal from Cingular to build a tower. Community members put pressure on county officials and the phone company, said Margaret DiNardo, a board member of the Greater Timonium Community Council.
The residents were worried about property values and their health, she said.
"What is going to remain sacred?" DiNardo said. "What we try to impress on people is, the biggest investment in their lives is their homes and their health."
The church never went through with the proposal. Leaders there "decided it was not worth any money to alienate" the neighbors, the Rev. Kathryn Wajda said in an email.