According to a published legal notice in the June 11 issue of the farragutpress, U. S. Cellular is planning to construct a 38-foot cell tower in Village Green near the intersection of E. Fox Den and Weathervane Drive.
No construction timetable has been established, and it is believed the tower will help address coverage issues in the area.
In accordance with Federal Communications Commission regulations, the project currently is in what is referred to as the National Environment Policy Act phase, and is gathering public comments pertaining to “potential effects on cultural or historic properties.”
Environmental services firm GSS Inc. is conducting the study, and Chris Lenihan, assistant project manager with GSS Inc., is overseeing the survey, which will be compiling comments during the 30-day window that began the day the ad was published.
As designed, the tower would be constructed in the right-of-way in the front yard of Village Green resident Jerry Guthrie, who lives along Weathervane Drive. He was very vocal at several Board of Mayor and Aldermen and Municipal Planning Commission meetings earlier this year, opposing 5G implementation in the Town of Farragut.
Guthrie’s primary concerns have regarded potential health risks.
Even though U.S. Cellular’s proposed tower is likely to support current 4G technology, and not 5G, Guthrie is upset about the proposal.
“Our congressmen, Federal and State, have passed laws allowing this to happen!,” he said in an e-mailed Letter to the Editor, which is published in its entirety on Opinion page 4A. “They didn’t take into consideration the health or well being of the citizens of this country or the environment.
“Also, a cell tower in my yard can cause my property value to decline 21 percent.”
While no applications or communications with Town of Farragut staff or officials has occurred regarding the proposed cell tower, Vice Mayor Louise Povlin, once apprised of the situation, began conducting her own research and reached out to Guthrie and the Village Green Homeowners Association. “I spoke to representatives of GSS for this particular project,” she wrote. “He indicated that he thinks the NEPA phase will take about 60 days.
“Please know the Town of Farragut has not received an application of a small cell support structure for this proposed location, but I felt that it was necessary to bring this notice to your attention.”
She went on to encourage the Board to review both state and federal law regarding the matter.
Her entire letter can be found here.
“To be clear, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Town of Farragut planning commissioners and Town staff are incredibly frustrated that both state and federal laws completely undermine our ability to regulate small cell deployment to protect our residential areas,” she stated.
“I believe our best avenue to find relief is to advocate for an amendment to the state law,” Povlin added.
“Our Board is working closely with (state) Rep. Jason Zachary (R-District 14) and (state) Sen. (Richard) Briggs (R-District 7) to advocate for an amendment.”
To comment on the project or ask questions, call GSS Inc. at 515-331-2103.