It's back to the drawing board when it comes to a proposed cell phone tower in Roanoke.
Roanoke City Council was expected to make a decision whether to move ahead with the construction along Franklin Road, but it's going to take a little more time.
Council members postponed the vote until a meeting in June. In the meantime, they want Pegasus Tower Company to look at other locations and to speak with people who live near the tower before they make any final decision.
Residents in Roanoke said they have no intentions to give up the fight.
"We feel very strong that it is visually way too close to the old southwest historic district,” said one resident at Monday night’s meeting. “We can see it very, very easily."
Many people are upset about the tower because they claim they never knew the proposal in the first place.
After hearing concerns from a handful of people, some Roanoke City Council members had a change of heart and voted unanimously to hold off on voting until more research can be done on the location of the site.
Some fear this new cell tower will lead to many more in the coming years.
"A plethora of cell towers in a community will kill the environmental friendly clean and green outdoor brand that we are trying to establish here in this area,” said another resident.
The tower would be 165 feet, according to the submitted plans and would provide better cell service in the area, but most people are not on board with the idea for fear it will ruin the natural landscape that Roanoke has worked so hard to preserve.
"This is putting commercial interest, a big business and one property owner over everything else knowing that somehow there is a better solution that given more time will reveal itself,” said another resident.
Roanoke City Council will revisit the matter at the meeting on June 16.
A member from Trinity United Methodist Church spoke at Monday night’s meeting as well. The church is offering its steeple for an antenna. The offering sparked a debate at the meeting, but city staff said it will take some time and research to see if that location will work for the tower.
Roanoke City Council also ended the debate over the the Mill Mountain Advisory Committee.
Council voted to create a permanent board. It will replace the ad hoc committee that’s been in place for nearly 50 years.
The new board will now have advisory capacity over the entire mountain, including the 30 acres on the mountain top, according to Roanoke City Mayor David Bowers.
Those on the committee said it guarantees representation of the stakeholders on the mountain. Those stakeholders include the Mill Mountain Zoo, Mill Mountain Garden Club and the Fishburne Family, which donated the land to the city.
"It does give us more security,” said Mill Mountain Advisory Committee Chair Nancy Dye. “As far as leverage, we serve at the pleasure of city council and we only serve in an advisory capacity, but it allows us continue the tradition we've had for almost 50 years of working together in a mutually beneficial way."
Members of the board will be appointed by Roanoke City Council and will not be paid for the work.