Plans for cell tower struck down by unanimous vote

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:50

STILLWATER — Plans by Nextel and JCP&L to construct a cell tower in Stillwater have been denied by a unanimous vote from the Stillwater Zoning Board on Dec. 20. The nine-month struggle between Stillwater residents and the communications giant saw a man named Kenneth Bradley become a community leader opposing the tower and lawyers on both sides arguing legal precedents for and against the 150-foot monopole. After months of rallying residents against the tower, raising funds for legal assistance, creating an anti-tower website and placing countless signs around the community, the citizens against the tower were victorious as the board voted 7-0 to deny Nextel/JCP&L’s application to build the tower behind the Swartswood Fire Department. "We are extremely happy with the decision," Bradley said, "The fact that it was unanimous further proves what the community felt from the beginning, that we are not willing to sacrifice the beauty of our area and the safety of our residents, so some billion dollar corporation can make even more money. It is a shame that the Stillwater Town Council did not take their residents concerns into account before this became a lengthy and costly ordeal for their citizens. We would like to thank the zoning board for educating themselves on the complexities of tower siting and then making the correct decision." Immediately after the vote the room was filled with clapping and cheers. The proposed 150-foot tower would have required eleven land use variances. "These cell towers are going to be an ongoing issue everywhere," Bradley said, "We should all take a look at our zoning ordinances regarding cell towers and make sure that they are adequate. There is no reason why we can't keep our area beautiful and residents safe and still improve our communications if done in a responsible manner."