The La Paz County Board of Supervisors has decided to continue until their next regular meeting a pair of matters regarding a proposed cell tower in the upriver area north of Parker.
At their Nov. 2 meeting, the Supervisors decided to table a proposed zoning change and a conditional use permit for the Eleanor G. Stephan Trust for putting a cell tower for Verizon Wireless in Moovalya Estates.
The decision came after a public hearing where several residents voiced their objections to the project.
Among other things, the residents noted that, while the county only had to notify property owners within 300 feet of the property for the proposed cell tower, the tower would affect many more people than just those within 300 feet. They said the tower would be an eye sore, and it would lower property values and make some properties unsellable in the future.
There were also concerns raised over health issues. Concerns have been raised in the media and elsewhere over long-term exposure to microwaves and the effect they have on the human body. Some residents said they feared an increase in cancers due to the tower.
Residents also said there were alternatives to putting the tower in a residential area. They asked the Supervisors to talk to Verizon and seek another location.
District 2 Supervisor Duce Minor, whose district includes the upriver area, said the residents’ comments made him have second thoughts about the project. He said he was included to support the cell tower, and cellphone reception in the upriver area is notoriously bad. Hearing from the residents, Minor said he found himself with questions that need to be answered.
“I think we need to continue this,” he said. “We need to do more research.”
District 1 Supervisor D.L. Wilson said, “That’s my thinking as well.”
The board’s Chairperson, District 3 Supervisor Holly Irwin, said she wanted more information as well.
The vote to continue the matter was unanimous. The board’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Nov. 16 at 10 a.m. at the County Complex, 1008 Joshua Avenue.