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Monday, November 8, 2010

Monopole proposed for Holmes Middle School

The Holmes Middle School administration has reviewed an application from Milestone Communications and T-Mobile to erect a monopole on the Holmes Middle School campus and has agreed to permit the companies to file the application with the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.

According to an announcement from Fairfax County Public Schools, the review process will take several months, then a final decision will be made by the Fairfax County Planning Commission. The Planning Commission has scheduled a hearing on the proposal Feb. 9, and nearby community associations and individuals will have a chance to comment before then.

The Holmes Middle School PTA has not yet taken a position on the proposal. “We’re still in the information stage,” said PTA President Karen Curtin. She hasn’t heard about any opposition to the tower, although she notes cell tower proposals in other communities faced concerns about environmental and health issues.

Holmes Principal Roberto Pamas is expected to hold a meeting on the proposal, but nothing has been scheduled yet.

According to Milestone, the monopole would expand T-Moble coverage to a large area around Holmes that is currently not covered. Holmes, located at 6526 Montrose Street in Alexandria, serves students who live in Annandale.

Milestone has filed similar proposals with six other schools in other parts of Fairfax County. According to Milestone, each monopole generates $30,000 a year in revenue to the land owner. Curtin says there would likely be a revenue sharing arrangement with FCPS allowing some of those funds to be retained by Holmes Middle School.


  1. Please sign the petition against erecting this tower in such close proximity to local residences and the school.

  2. There exist a growing opposition to the Cell Tower at Holmes Middle School. The Community has just recently been notified about the plan to erect the T-Mobile Cell Tower. The project is moving fast in the PTA should be beyond the information stage. Please sign the petition to stop the tower at

    Signed member of Lincolnia Park Holmes PTA.

  3. James Albright11/9/10, 5:37 PM

    They (or a similar vendor) tried this a few years ago. There is no reason why we should host cell towers on public property. The $30,000 pot of money (only SOME of which goes to Holmes) is far below the market value. As I noted in the petition, the real market value is that negotiated with a private property owner - for example, the homes near the tower or even Home Depot down the street, a retail outlet with lots of space and little use. The argument will be that, for some reason, Holmes Middle School happens to have the ideal characteristics for a tower - it fills a gap in the service network, for example (unnoticed by this T-Mobile user 1/2 mile away). There are other alternatives - just not as cheap as the desperate public sector.