Neighbors Share Cell Tower Concerns with AT&T Representatives - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Neighbors Share Cell Tower Concerns with AT&T Representatives

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A red balloon marks the site of a proposed cell tower in Albemarle. A red balloon marks the site of a proposed cell tower in Albemarle.


People upset with a proposed cell tower near Murray Elementary School met Thursday with the company that wants to put it there.

The tower is designed to provide service for Route 250 and the residences and businesses along it. The company says the spot off Morgantown Road is a prime location, but others say it'll ruin the view.

When Elaine Heffelfinger looks out from her backyard, she can see a bright red balloon flying above the trees. AT&T put the balloon up to show where the tower would be.

"I'm not sure why we need another tower, but I really don't want to sit out in my backyard and see a tower,” she said.

Heffelfinger was among those who met with AT&T representatives Thursday at the site of the proposed tower. AT&T says the location is perfect for hiding the pole.

"The pole, once it's built, is going to be a brown pole. It'll blend in with the surrounding trees, so we really think it's going to look very similar after it's approved,” said Valerie Long, land use attorney for AT&T.

The project isn't a done deal. The company still needs approval from county supervisors to begin construction. But county senior planner Sarah Baldwin says this site meets all their requirements.

"The tower is very well-sited in this location, and, as I said before, it meets most of the ordinance requirements. So in terms of a location, this is probably one of the better sites,” Baldwin said.

Heffelfinger would beg to differ. Aside from the view, she has another concern.

"I know there’s not supposed to be an issue on the electric waves, but I think we really don't know the answer to that,” she said.

Some parents also fear cellular waves may impact children's health at Murray Elementary School.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors hasn't set a date yet to decide on the tower.

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