Cell Tower Proposed for Catharpin Road, Rural Crescent

Guest Post by Melanie Kaminski

Thank you for the opportunity to share our concerns over the 145 foot, plus 20 extra feet anytime they want it, fake mono-pine that will tower 100 feet plus above the natural tree line at 5513 Catharpin Road, in the Rural Crescent.

Community Wireless Services (CWS) has a 10-year old lease with the landowner and has decided we have poor coverage in the immediate area. Our neighborhood, Oak Valley, is where the majority of those in this so called gap live. We went door to door and a majority of homeowners signed a petition that they did not want the cell tower.

We have service provider maps and our own field testing shows there is good to excellent cell phone coverage. It may not be 5 bars everywhere, but it is fine for us!  We chose to live here because of the rural nature of this area and a commitment of the county to preserve this as stated in their comprehensive plan.

The County even has a Telecommunications Chapter in the Comprehensive Plan, which this application by CWS does not line up with!  This site is the least favorable, according to that plan due to its agriculture and rural designation.  CWS has asked for three waivers for improper set-backs of the tower. It sits in a valley which makes it a poor choice.

Also, CWS did not consider nearby Manassas National Battlefield Park (Brawner Farm) when making this request. The National Park Service has since asked for another balloon flight and more information from the applicant.

The CWS application has many flaws. In trying to win the Board of Supervisors approval, they tried to show what poor coverage we have here. Their first presentation to the Planning Commission showed only four or five towers. But for the Board of Supervisors, CWS changed it to eight towers. However, even this does not show all the towers and leaving off a tower of their own nearby!

We have had to hire lawyers in order to have a voice in this process. On October 13 the application was deferred once again. The new date is November 17.  We are asking for those who are like minded in preserving this beautiful area to send an email to the Board of County Supervisors sharing your opposition to the Catharpin cell tower. You can write them at bocs@pwcgov.org.

Our website is: www.nocelltowerov.com

Our Email: concernedcitizensofgainesville@yahoo.com

If you feel inclined to help with our legal fees: https://www.gofundme.com/3k5ryd4c

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