Residents who are concerned that the planned 78-foot-tall “monopine” tower will affect property values and obstruct views have signed a petition against its construction. The club did not return the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s requests for comment.
Plans to build a 78-foot-tall Verizon cell tower at the Boulder Creek (Calif.) Golf & Country Club have drawn the ire of a group of residents over concerns the installation would affect property values, the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel reported.
A change.org petition against the construction of the “monopine” tower—designed to look like a tree—had gathered 47 supporters as of last Friday afternoon, the Sentinel reported.
“I’m not one of those people who is afraid of cellphone towers, but I just think it is not the best place,” said Kerri Berry, 45, who lives on Anchor Court, a few hundred feet from the proposed site.
Berry said she moved to Boulder Creek to appreciate scenic views she believes the tower would obstruct. Other signatories include Brenda Rogers, 56, president of the Anchor Court Homeowners Association, who raised concerns the tower would impact property values of nearby homes, the Sentinel reported.
The opposition comes after a storied history in Santa Cruz County of residents speaking out against the installation of cell towers over unsightliness and perceived health risks. Most scientists agree that cellphone towers are unlikely to cause cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
In 2013, another Verizon tower planned near downtown Boulder Creek fizzled after similar opposition caused the property owner to withdraw his support, and in January 2015 the Capitola City Council axed a proposed Verizon tower, citing residents’ concerns. In recent weeks, a group of La Selva Beach residents were attempting to appeal an approved cell tower on the grounds that it would affect salamander habitat, the Sentinel reported.
Amid the pushback, a number of Verizon customers in Boulder Creek lost cell reception last weekend due to what a Verizon representative called a “software issue” that left some unable to reliably place or receive calls from Friday morning through Sunday evening, the Sentinel reported.
Boulder Creek resident Julia Sauer, 55, who lives near downtown Boulder Creek, was one of the affected customers. “It really brought home to me how in an emergency I’m depending on this machine to work, and thank goodness I still have a landline,” Sauer said.
Verizon was not immediately able to confirm whether the proposed tower would have had any effect on the temporary loss of service, the Sentinel reported.
When it comes to the new tower installation, Sauer said she is tentatively supportive. “I know some people felt very strongly against it,” Sauer said. “I’m not one of those people.”
A public hearing regarding the proposal is scheduled for February 5. County planner Sheila McDaniel asked Verizon to put up a mock tower at the project site by January 29 for the public to view. It is likely Verizon will be asked to put forward a possible alternative to the current Boulder Creek site, the Sentinel reported.
Boulder Creek Golf & Country Club did not return the Sentinel’s requests for comment.