Heated Tussle Over Possible Cell Tower - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Heated Tussle Over Possible Cell Tower

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SAVANNAH, GA -

It's been nearly two weeks, since a group of viewers called us, with concerns in their community.

They are fighting a proposed cell phone tower in their east Savannah neighborhood.

Tonight, a neighborhood information session was held and tempers quickly flared.

The proposed site is near the corner of 57th and Waters - on the edge of the Edgemere-Sackville neighborhood.

To say thing got heated at this meeting would seriously be an understatement. It was obvious to us that the Edgemere-Sackville residents do not want the AT&T cell tower in their neighborhood, but did the Metropolitan Planning Commission hear their cries?

They yelled and screamed-and some even walked out. It was supposed to be an informational meeting about possible changes coming to their neighborhood.

But in the end, resident Geoff Pfaff says it was a disappointment all around.

"Sitting there and listening, it sounds like they are going to do it anyway; that nobody really cares about the neighborhood."

If all goes according to plan, the tower will be built on 57th Street where an old, dilapidated shed currently stands. Resident, Theresa Viselli says the tower could do more harm than good.

"That dilapidated shed has been a problem for a long time. We actually had the shed condemned. But not in lieu of a tower, I mean I would rather keep the shed."

They are worried about possible health risks and the impact it could have on the city's skyline. Jack Butler with the Metropolitan Planning Commission says their concerns are legitimate but the city has to go by the law.

"In 2006, Savannah adopted the "Wireless Communications Facilities Ordinance". It established procedures, very in-depth procedures for proving a tower is needed, and then helping in guiding the design of that tower so that it has minimal impact on the neighborhood."

AT&T says this is the best place for the tower to help boost coverage and speed. Residents say they are not giving up without a fight.

Ideally, cell towers are built in on top of tall buildings but because none were available, we're told the free standing tower is the next best option. The Metropolitan Planning

Commission will hold a public hearing at the end of August.

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