MOUNT PLEASANT — Some residents of the Rivertowne subdivision are concerned about the possibility of a 130-foot-tall cellphone tower being built near them.
“It is directly behind my house,” Hank Cardarelli said of a potential site for the tower.
A thick stand of pines separates his backyard from golf course maintenance-shed property 400 feet away where a cell tower may be located. He worried that the structure would mar the neighborhood view as it rose above the trees, which he said are about 70 feet tall. The tower could cause his home to decline in value, he said.
“It will have a major impact on the aesthetics,” he said.
Cardarelli said he has circulated a petition on the issue.
“If we make a lot of noise, it may not go in,” he said.
A spokesman for the company considering installing the cell tower indicated that the project is still in the developmental phase. Keith Powers, owner of Optima Towers, said the firm has scheduled an informational session with residents at Rivertowne Country Club on March 25.
“Right now this is just an exploratory meeting we are going to have with the neighbors,” Powers said.
Mike Ashton, the club general manager, said he understood the residents’ concerns about the tower.
“We think it will be virtually hidden because it is in a wooded area,” he said. “We don’t see it as a problem.”
Optima has not filed an application with the town to build the tower, officials said. If it does, the project would have to pass muster with Town Council after first being reviewed by the Planning Commission.
Cardarelli’s neighbor, Ken Favata, said the quality of cellphone service in the area is an issue to some extent but he, too, worried about a loss of home value if the tower is built.
Cardarelli’s wife Donna said a key selling point of the house where they live was the woods behind them because it prevented another home from being built there. But those trees would not obscure a tower.
“Everyone in the community will see it as they are driving through,” Hank Cardarelli said.
The situation is similar to one on James Island where some residents of Eaglewood Retreat are worried about a plan for a 180-foot-tall cell tower on property owned by the James Island Youth Soccer Club.
Because of those concerns, the official review process for the tower has been slowed. A James Island Town Council public hearing on the project scheduled for Feb. 19 was postponed this week. No new date for the hearing has been set.
A spokesman for the soccer club has said that leasing the 3,600-square-foot patch of property would generate new revenue so the club could make improvements, such as putting in Bermuda grass, and buying a tractor to tend its 16 acres of fields.
Building a new cell tower requires local government approval as well as compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, the Federal Communication Commission website says.
Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.