McK cell tower talk termed troubling

Jack Durham
Mad River Union

MCKINLEYVILLE – Numerous residents of the Cochran Road area in southeast McKinleyville are adamantly opposed to new cell towers being erected in their neighborhood.

However, it’s unclear whether cell companies are actually interested in locating towers there.

The issue was discussed at the July 1 meeting of the McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors, which received 12 written protests against the cell towers.

MCSD Manager Patrick Kaspari stated in his manager’s report that the district was approached by two “cell tower real estate brokers.”

“Both brokers are in the very early phase of the process and are reaching out to property owners in the general vicinity of where their cell providers need/want towers,” Kaspari wrote. “The two District sites that they have expressed interest in are the Cochran Tank site and the District office site. They have not provided any information on tower height or design, whether it is 4G or 5G, lease price or restrictions, or any other additional information. We still do not know if the cell providers themselves are actually interested in either of these sites either.”

At the July 1 meeting, Kaspari told the board “There is no project.”

If there was a proposal, it would need to be approved by the board.

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In their protest letters to the district, opponents of new cell towers stated that they were concerned about the safety of the towers, the aesthetics and the how they might affect property values.

“I’m angry that those in power can impact my family’s health and ruin my property value,” wrote Susanne Westbrook. “No one’s going to want to buy my house with a cell tower in close proximity. Would you? And what about my young children’s exposure. Would you place your children at risk?”

The district received one letter of support for a new cell tower from Michael Glass, who said a new tower could provide revenue for the MCSD and boost the strength of the cell signal in the area.

“I feel a new tower with appropriate redundancy would be a valuable asset to our local McKinleyville Community,” Glass wrote.





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