Last Thursday, Jan, 16, at 6 p.m., the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission held a Workshop on the proposed Verizon small cell 5G cellular roll out for the Town of Farragut. This meeting attracted over 110 residents and had people standing even as more chairs were brought out. The Workshop was followed by an FMPC discussion and vote on 11 sites in Farragut for the new small cell 5G cellular antennas. All 11 sites were approved, much to the frustration of the residents attending.
The biggest thing we learned last Thursday night is that as many as a third of the homes in Farragut will have small cell 5G high frequency antennas in their front yard, next door or across the street. This came towards the end of the meeting and about half the crowd had left. Why did our elected representatives in the Town of Farragut keep this a secret? This was the most important issue.
After four-and-a-half hours I was finally allowed to address the Planning Commission. When I spoke I asked the two Verizon people, Jason and Alex, and their counterpart, Andy (Loeb) with (Tower) Source from Roswell, Georgia, three questions. The first question was what kind of cell towers would be next to Stone Crest and on Sonja Drive? All three of them looked at the floor and did not answer. I asked them the frequency of the towers. They looked at the floor and did not answer. It turned out none of the three of them knew much about the actual antennas that are being forced on us. Or they chose not to say.
Then I asked the Verizon experts, “For four weeks I’ve been trying to find out if the people of Farragut will have small cell 5G antennas in their front yard. Will there be these small cell 5G antennas in the front yards of people in Farragut?”
Andy (Loeb) of (Tower) Source walked to the podium and attempted to misdirect the answer. (Loeb) said, “There will be 5G antennas in the right-of way. I asked him, “In people’s front yards?” (Loeb) said, “yes.”
I then told the Planning Commission what this would mean to homeowners in Farragut.
Multiple real estate studies show homes lose between 2 percent to 21 percent of their value if a small cell 5G antenna is placed in their front yard. The median home value in Farragut is $386,624. A 21 percent reduction of the median price is a $81,000 loss. There are approximately 8,760 homes in Farragut at this time. If there are 5G cellular antennas in one-tenth of the yards in Farragut, that could affect 2,628 homes. Ten percent of 8,760 is 876. The home next door is affected and the home across the street is affected. So multiply 876 times three. This equals 2,628 homes, ehich is 30 percent of the homes in Farragut. Your chances are one-in-three of getting hit.
If 30 percent of the homes in Farragut at a median home price of $386,624 have their property value reduced by 21 percent, this is a total loss of property value in Farragut of $213 million dollars. If the property value goes down only 10 percent, the total loss is $106 million. We need the Mayor and Aldermen to pass a resolution requesting the Tennessee legislature change the 5G rollout legislation to protect the property owners of Farragut.
I then told the Planning Commission that State Sen. Richard Briggs had replied to me about this issue, and he suggested the Mayor and Board of Aldermen send a recommendation to the Tennessee legislature so they can change the 5G cellular law and make it a local option. Neither the Mayor nor Vice Mayor said a word when I told them this.
I am asking the residents of Farragut to come to the Mayor and Board of Aldermen meeting this Thursday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., and speak in Public Forum at the beginning of the meeting and request that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen pass a resolution requesting the Tennessee legislature change the Tennessee 5G cellular law so it will have a local option, so dense suburban neighborhoods like Farragut that have multiple high-speed Internet choices can opt out of having small cell 5G antennas in their front yards.
Mike Mitchell, Farragut