Friday, January 7, 2011

Cell tower can go up next to Cresthaven Elementary School

This is an update on an application to place a cell phone tower on property next to Cresthaven Elementary School. The proposed placement of the cell phone tower compound would place the tower close enough to the new Cresthaven Elementary School that if the tower were to fall, it would fall on the school.  

Previously, the Board of Appeals had denied this cell phone tower application. Now, however, that decision has been overruled and the tower can be constructed. Here is an update on this week's news on this application.


On Wednesday, 05 Jan. 2011, the Montgomery County Board of Appeals received Oral Argument in Case S-2709: Special Exception Application for Telecommunications Facility at WHSC [West Hillandale Swim Club]. As background, the Board received a Report and Recommendation to the Board of Appeals that this application should be denied from then-Director Carrier. Then, following a Hearing on Remand, the Board received a Supplemental Report and Recommendation  with an even stronger recommendation for denial from Ms. Carrier’s predecessor, former Director Tierney. Both Hearing Examiners found that T-Mobile had failed to demonstrate that the facility would meet the legislated requirements in the Zoning Ordinance. There were also concerns about compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood.

At oral argument, the Opposition laid out numerous additional problems, including failure to meet several requirements of the zoning ordinance, adverse effects on safety, property values, views, and the general community, and conflicts with other laws (see attached text*).  T-Mobile, at oral argument, sought to diminish the importance of details and precision. And it offered the Board assurance that it would be able to demonstrate meeting legislated requirements to County staff that it had failed to demonstrate during the two hearings.

Despite all of the evidence that the application did not meet the legislated requirements for a special exception in the Zoning Ordinance, and there were incompatibility issues with the neighborhood, and even though the Board of Appeals acknowledged that there were deficiencies, the Board granted this application for a special exception. In doing so, the Board has now left the matter to the County’s Code Enforcement staff to require T-Mobile to demonstrate compliance.

            I have little doubt that if the Board had denied the application, with T-Mobile’s vast resources it would have appealed the decision to the courts. As T-Mobile is well aware, the Opposition does not have the financial resources to mount an appeal against T-Mobile. So, unfortunately, once the Board’s written Order is issued, T-Mobile will likely proceed with its plans to erect a cell tower at the West Hillandale Swim Club, next to Cresthaven Elementary School.

Sue Present

* Information in footnotes was only provided as needed, in response to Board questions. The board did not accept the chart mentioned.

1 comment:

  1. To Whom It May Concern,

    I am reaching out to your organization seeking assistance to get the petition titled "Safeguard Children's Health, Ban Cell Towers near Public Schools" be reviewed by the White House Administration. Please kindly share the following petition to all interested parties:


    We only have until Wednesday 6-3-15 to collect 100,000 signature in order for the Administration to review this petition. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Here’s how to sign this petition:

    1) Cut and paste this link to go to the petition:

    2) You will see our petition titled: Safeguard children's health and ban cell towers near public schools". On the left hand side of the screen, you will see " Add Your Name " form, please fill out your information and hit Sign Now on the bottom of the form.

    3) The last step is very important to complete your signature: After you hit Sign Now, check your email, you should receive an email from We The People ( requesting you to "Confirm your signature by clicking here".

    4) Please click on the link in your email to confirm your signature.

    5) Please share this message with people you know that cares about the children's health and well-being.

    Thank you very much for your time and attention to this very important matter!

    Angel L.


If your comment does not appear in 24 hours, please send your comment directly to our e-mail address:
parentscoalitionmc AT