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New Vinton cell tower stopped by community opposition

Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 3:38 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Plans for a new cell phone tower were shot down in Roanoke County Tuesday night, after massive opposition from residents.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to reject the plan, which called for the rezoning of Stonebridge Park and the construction of a 137-foot-tall cell tower in its center.

“I’ve heard from the citizens, and at the end of the day I represent the citizens of my district,” said board member Jason Peters, who represents the Vinton area.

More than a dozen residents attended Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting, all opposed to the project.

“People move in this area for one reason, and that’s the view,” said Roy Lee, who lives next door to the park. Lee presented the board with a 500-signature petition opposing the project. Another neighbor collected 200 more signatures though an online petition.

The project’s developer, MileStone, argued the tower was needed to improve cell service in the Stonebridge area. Their proposal called for demolishing the current park bathroom and concession building, closed for years, and replacing it with a cell tower, ringed by a chain link fence, with landscaping out front.

Residents argued that would have been a major eyesore, and damage local property values. Some also raised objections to this project being built, even as maintenance of the park continues to fall behind.

“It’s a great park," said Roy Lee," if someone would just maintain it."

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