|The arrow shows the location of the proposed cell tower as seen from Nevius Street. [Photo by Milestone Communications]|
Plans are moving forward for a cell tower at JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church. AT&T and Milestone Communications have filed an application with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, and the Fairfax County Planning Commission is expected to schedule a public hearing in October.
The proposal calls for a 100-foot pole in a spot occupied by a stadium light with a new light mounted on the pole.
|An aerial view showing the location of the proposed tower next to the Stuart High School stadium.|
There are 18 stadium lights that are about 70 to 80 feet tall. “The intent is to have the cell tower blend in with the existing light poles,” says Cristian Hernandez, project manager with Milestone Communications. The additional equipment associated with the cell tower would be concealed under the bleachers.
A community meeting was held in May at the Mason District Government Center. Hernandez says 660 postcards were mailed to residents inviting them to the meeting and only four people showed up.
There isn’t much opposition, if any, to the cell tower within the Ravenwood Park or Barcroft View neighborhoods. Ravenwood Park Citizens Association President John Iekel says it is needed because the community has spotty cell service. He says it would be barely visible from the vast majority of homes.
Some residents of the Lafayette Park Condominium, however, have a different perspective, as it would be clearly visible from their windows and are concerned about declining property values. The condo’s HOA hasn’t yet taken an official position, however.
AT&T will provide Stuart with a $25,000 one-time access fee, a percentage on the monthly revenue, plus $5,000 for additional carriers that might locate on the pole in the future, says Hernandez. The pole could support two additional carriers.