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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FXCO Board of Supervisors sets hearing on Parklawn cell tower


A sign at the entrance to the Parklawn Pool advertises a Board of Supervisors hearing on the cell tower.

After the Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals rejected an application for a special permit exception to allow a cell tower on property owned by the Parklawn Pool, people who live closed to the proposed site breathed a huge sigh of relief. At the time, it seemed the cell tower proposal was dead, although there was a possibility it could resurface.

Well, that is happening faster than they thought possible. A sign has been posted on the property announcing a Board of Supervisors hearing on the cell tower on Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission unanimously endorsed the cell tower around midnight on July 10 after dozens of community members presented their positions on it. The Board of Supervisors will vote on a special permit application to determine whether the cell tower fits in with the character of the neighborhood and otherwise complies with the county’s Comprehensive Plan.

The BZA considered whether the special exception already approved for the pool should be amended to allow another use, the cell tower, on the pool property.

An official in the Fairfax County Department of Planning andZoning said all three bodies need to support the project before it can go forward. The only way for AT&T to appeal the Board of Zoning Appeals ruling is to take it to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 2012, that court upheld the right of residents of the Fort Hunt area of Fairfax County who opposed a cell tower.

In general, during numerous meetings and hearings, members of the Parklawn Recreation Association said the cell tower is needed because there is poor phone coverage in the area and that is a safety issue. Opponents expressed concerns about the tower being an eyesore and hurting property values, while disputing the lack of coverage. Revenue from the tower would support the PRA. Both sides are mobilizing their forces to influence the Board of Supervisors.

15 comments:

  1. I cannot believe its back. Its like a rabid beaver coming back to life over and over again.

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  2. why are these morons trying to build a cell phone tower down in a valley???

    hey, fools, put the cell phone tower on a hill where it will do some good.

    A cell phone tower at this location was already rejected as a poor choice, why are these people back again? Too many lawyers with too much money and not enough brains.

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  3. Parklawn Rec Assoc, bullies with a lot of money who won't take "NO" for an answer. Wasting taxpayer money on another needless hearing.

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  4. This telecommunications tower has the support of the Mason District Land Use Committee, the Fairfax County Planning Commission, County Staff and is backed by the greater community and even the Heywood Glen Lincolnia Hills Civic Association. There IS a coverage issue which was confirmed by Commissioner Janet Hall (interesting that the opposition continually said this was NOT true after she made her statement). The Opposition to the tower feels that we should sacrifice safety and coverage because of a poor decision by the Board of Zoning Appeals who had no idea what their role is in approving a telecommunications tower (see the video for yourself). PACACT has put out threats and nasty emails in addition to makinng false statements to try to squash this necessary facility. It was interesting that one person put their home on the market for WELL above market value with a non-conventional realtor (several realtors confirmed that this home was not on the market to sell) just to say that they could not sell their home while other homes were selling all around the tower site. Let's stick to the facts of this and stop these silly postings.

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  5. Here are some facts for you Anonymous 8/30/13, 8:20AM:

    1) MDLUC could not even get their voting protocol straight in terms of Parliamentary procedure when it came time to make their recommendation. They are simply a way for AT&T to work out the kinks in their 2232, SPA, SEA, etc.
    2) "Backed by the greater community" means those who live OUTSIDE the actual Parklawn neighborhood and will not be impacted by its presence. ~70% in Parklawn do not support the tower. I analyzed the addresses of those who left comments on the Change.org survey posted by PRA - only 7.5% actually live in Parklawn. I'll send it to you if you provide me your email publicly. You can confirm for yourself.
    3) AT&T has never definitively demonstrated that there is a safety or coverage issue. They will say there is and expect one to simply believe it. PACACT has provided (to PC, BZA) sworn, notarized affidavits from several individuals who have tested cell coverage (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) at various times and locations along the entire Holmes Run from Columbia Pike to Heywood Glen. No problems. Have you done this or will you simply rest on your hearsay laurels?
    4) The BZA is the most professional body before which this issue has been presented. They clearly know their role and made reasoned decisions with each member justifying his/her position. That did not happen (or happened incompletely) at MDLUC and PC.
    5) So now you are making defamatory statements against PACACT? Accusing them of making false statements? You must back up your accusations with proof. I'd certainly like to know what you consider false since I am a member of PACACT.
    6) You end on another fine hearsay note - above market value, "non-conventional" realtor (what does that even mean?), "Several realtors" (names please, affidavits?). Take a look at Zillow and compare the home's square footage (new addition) to nearby homes and you may have part of the reason for the list price. What was the list price by the way?

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    1. Great response. Can you please explain how the board of supervisors can hear this again? Doesn't it have to go to the State Supreme Court?

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  6. We bought our house in Heywood Glen because our house is a five minute walk through the park to the pool (yes, OUR community pool--with members from Heywood Glen, Lincolnia Hills and Parklawn). We actually live closer to the pool then many of the opponents in the Parklawn neigbhorhood. The pool and the park is a resource for all of us--and we need adequate cell phone coverage. Please listen to those in the community of need to ensure safety and security for adequate cell service in the valley areas near the pool. And, if the outcome is negative, consider the years of trying to sell your home in the community without adequate cell service and with an abandoned pool property tied up in who owns what with crime and stagnant water for years.

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    1. Yes, but is the proposed tower going to be completely visible from your yard? I'm sure our opposition would dry up if the tower were moved somewhere less conspicuous, like Glen Hills Park. We're not against cell towers, coverage, safety, etc. just the proposed location of the tower.

      Also, your continued use of "OUR" community is misleading at best. You are really referring to the PRA community who, by and large, want to foist a cell tower on the Parklawn community who, by and large, does not want it. Divisive, by definition.

      Question for you: if the proposed tower were moved to a location not on PRA property, but satisfied all of your coverage and safety arguments, would that be acceptable?

      Your scare tactic of stagnant water and crime as the result of abandoned PRA property is massively misinformed. What do you think happens to blighted property in Fairfax County? Have you even bothered to look? PRA would be responsible for it and the county can compel remediation. Check it out: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/code/property/blight/

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    2. Mike, you can keep bullying folks all you want, but the sky is not green just because you keep saying it is. And please stop acting like the PACACT is not the king of scare tactics here. Given the way you antagonize each person who posts, no wonder people post anonymously.

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    3. Just wondering why the anonymous posters (if there are actually more than one, who knows?) don't actually respond to questions or points from my previous comments?

      I'm not bullying, I'm poking holes in your argumentation and I'm interested in knowing if you are able to defend your positions with facts?

      So now you think you have an easy out for anonymous posting because of my "antagonizing"? What do you have to be afraid of, Anonymous? No on knows who you are. This *should* allow you to defend your positions without fear.

      Apologies to "Anonymous 8/30/13, 8:20 AM" if you are not the anonymous who posted on 8/30/13, 11:56 PM and 9/1/13, 1:06 PM. Just hoping one of you will respond to my recap below.

      To recap:
      1) I analyzed the addresses of those who left comments on the Change.org survey posted by PRA - only 7.5% actually live in Parklawn. I'll send it to you if you provide me your email publicly. You can confirm for yourself.
      2)PACACT has provided (to PC, BZA) sworn, notarized affidavits from several individuals who have tested cell coverage (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile) at various times and locations along the entire Holmes Run from Columbia Pike to Heywood Glen. No problems. Have you done this or will you simply rest on your hearsay laurels?
      3)So now you are making defamatory statements against PACACT? Accusing them of making false statements? You must back up your accusations with proof. I'd certainly like to know what you consider false since I am a member of PACACT.
      4)You end on another fine hearsay note - above market value, "non-conventional" realtor (what does that even mean?), "Several realtors" (names please, affidavits?). Take a look at Zillow and compare the home's square footage (new addition) to nearby homes and you may have part of the reason for the list price. What was the list price by the way?
      5) if the proposed tower were moved to a location not on PRA property, but satisfied all of your coverage and safety arguments, would that be acceptable?

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  7. I think Mgates is the only one on here who is using his name. This to me is commendable.

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  8. I just typed out a response on my phone and it crashed when I tried to put in my name, so perhaps that is why people are putting in anonymous posts. I wanted to just note that people are probably not responding because to debate all of these points will not change anyone's mind as to where they stand IMHO. But I will address the coverage. I have lived in two homes over 12 years in the neighborhood and had terrible service because of the geography of the Glen (or whatever you want to call it) that we live in. I have had Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T and none of them have worked well. And yes, I have had T-Mobile since Peace Lutheran installed their antennae, so that location does not fix my issue. It is interesting to note that the family who bought my last home and has NO relation to PRA signed the petition stating that they have zero cell phone service in the home. They did this on their own without any prodding from me or others even though I live just a few houses down the same street. I put this out there because there are plenty of folks where I live that have AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon that have either terrible or non-existent coverage in their homes and this is not acceptable. Many of these folks live just as close to the tower site as you do and are situated at a much lower elevation that the Parklawn homes which is what causes the issue. I appreciate that some folks have signed affidavits stating that they do not have issues, but that does not mean that the folks who state differently on my petition are not telling the truth and I like to believe that you are not intending to call them liars. And if you do not believe that there is a coverage issue, then why are you supporting an installation on your church (which I assume is the alternate site you are hinting at)? But like I said, I don’t believe that you and I debating this and the other points will really change people’s minds. Either your believe there is no coverage issue or you do have a coverage issue. We can discuss your other points on September 10.
    I will, however, take you upon your offer to provide the analysis of our data. Please go ahead and send it to my email address.
    Thanks,
    Austin

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  9. just checking if this comment goes through ... I do take exception to the anonymous message disparaging my realtor as unconventional. Please identify yourself. I tried twice to use my name so I'll need to put it into the text and post as anonymous...this is harder to post a comment than I thought , Austin is right in that I also tried and it crashed when I used a name , so you either have to have a google account or some other secret code to use your name.

    The house was not renewed after the 90 listing expired and there were no offers. This followed the county notice signs being posted by the pool drive way which coincided with the house sale by approximately 1 week.

    I testified to that at the BZA hearing and it is part of the public record.

    Dont disparage an honest realtor over this one and either appologize or fess up to who you are here or to me personally. There are now 2 definitions of market value near my home, pre cell tower proposal and post cell tower proposal. Following the BZA mtg to deny the proposal , the house in question for sale was not renewed for extending the listing beyond 90days. In the 2 weeks following that, I have had 9-12 unsolicited letters from other realtors guaranteeing a sale. The house was already removed from sale, yet realtor agents were actively saying they could sell the house , once the BZA deciaion was made. You decide what that means. I told them it wasnt for sale any longer, following the listing expiration.

    Your definition of market value has been proven to change. It is now proven that there was a market value prior to a cell tower proposal , then it went down during the period it was under debate, and immediately had offers for the property following the BZA decision.

    Do not bring my real estate agent into this and discredit them , you owe me and their team an apology. The right thing to do would be to identify yourself and apologize.

    thanks Tom Kelly ,6013 Crater PL

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    1. Thanks Austin and Tom for signing on engaging civilly. Will respond to Austin tomorrow and will email separately analysis of the 81 records that I could see without signing the petition.

      Mike

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  10. Victory

    From Petition Organizer: The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors denied the AT&T application for a cell tower that would have been placed behind our homes, destroying the natural beauty of the area. The signatories on the petition and the petition we created on Change.org were specifically cited as part of the reason for denying the cell tower application!!!!
    Find out more!!!
    http://www.change.org/petitions/at-t-elected-fairfax-county-officials-staff-and-pra-stop-the-cell-tower-in-parklawn

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