|The cell tower in the Holmes Run Pool parking lot.|
When the cell tower was proposed for the Broyhill Crest community in Annandale at least 10 years ago, the pool board and citizens association actually urged AT&T to construct the tower on pool property.
ATT&T was originally planning to put the tower on land owned by Fairfax County Public Schools at the Lacey Center, a school administrative building in the community. Had that happened, the company’s lease payments would have gone to FCPS and not benefited the community. (Since then, the Lacey Center was torn down and Mason Crest Elementary School was built there).
The Broyhill Crest Community Association and Broyhill Crest Recreation Club (BCRC) worked together to persuade ATT&T to move the tower to the pool, so the BCRA would benefit from the rental fees. There were informational meetings for the community, and a petition was presented to AT&T. Mason Supervisor Penny Gross and Kaye Kory (who was then Mason’s school board member and now represents the community in the House of Delegates) helped make that happen.
|Broyhill Crest cell tower.|
Without the cell tower, members of the BCRA board generally agree that the pool might not have able to remain financially viable, as like just about all community pools in Annandale, demographic changes are making it harder to recruit members.
Joan Vollrath of Weichert Realtors, who has sold many houses in Broyhill Crest, says the cell tower “has never come up as an issue” for potential buyers and has not had an impact on depressing the prices of nearby homes. “The tower is relatively concealed,” she says, as it’s surrounded by the pool parking lot and a wooded area.
In fact, both the Broyhill Crest and Holmes Run towers are really large, but actually aren’t that noticeable, especially during the months when the trees have their leaves.
The cell tower in the parking lot at the Holmes Run Pool was put up three years ago. “There was some opposition but ultimately the cell company and pool prevailed,” says Tina Rafalovich, president of the Holmes Run Acres Recreation Association. “One of the things the company agreed to do to assuage the neighbors was to plant several trees to replace those that were cut down.”
The income from the tower “has helped us be able to afford things we otherwise wouldn’t,” Rafalovich says. “We could survive without the income from the tower but it allows us some financial breathing room.”