Neighbors stand up against building of Verizon cell tower in Upper Valley

Proposed Verizon cellphone tower in the Upper Valley

An Upper Valley neighborhood has won the battle to keep a giant cell tower away from a church and near houses.

Verizon Wireless was told it couldn’t build a cellphone tower on the property of the Rey de Reyes Evangelical Free Church.

The decision was made during the City Planning Commission meeting Thursday night.

Manfred Budkte lives in the Upper Valley and said he was against the tower going up.

“I will not live next to a cellphone tower,” Budkte said.

Stephen Edmonds, who also lives in the neighborhood, said the tower would have a negative impact on home values.

Verizon proposed building a 60-foot cellphone tower with a cross on the property of the church.

"There's a whole bunch of empty fields around here, many of which will probably be sold to build homes on,” Edmonds said.

People are also concerned about the kind of health risk the tower can pose.

"I'm not looking to adversly impact business, but I am concerned, you know, of the health concerns and obviously, the devalue of the home," Budtke said.

Budtke started a petition against the tower that has 28 signatures. He said he was happy about the commission’s decision.

"It feels, not necessarily as a victory, but a first step. At least somebody listened to me," Budtke said.

Verizon can still appeal the decision and take it up with city council.

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