Washington Twp. residents concerned about cell tower construction

Washington Twp. residents concerned about cell tower construction (WRGT/WKEF)

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WRGT/WKEF)- The construction of a cell phone tower in Washington Township is getting a bad reception. Leslie Walker said she's desperate to stop the construction of the 160-foot tower next to her home on West Social Row Road.

The tower is being installed in her neighbor's backyard and would be visible from her bedroom window.

“This tower is going to be 100 to 150 feet from my bedroom. What kind of effect is that going to have on my health?” Walker wondered. “There's up to a 20 percent decrease in the value of properties that surrounds one of those cell towers."

Residents of the nearby Washington Trace development are also concerned, wondering how Washington Township could allow the potential eyesore.

Ryan Lee is Washington Township's development director. He has been sending a statement to residents concerned about the project. That statement says in part "The Township is unable to contest the location and construction of the tower as it is located on Agriculturally zoned land, predating recent code modifications to allowing better control. While this particular property does have a single family residence, it is not residentially zoned and does not allow the Township to exercise jurisdiction in enforcing zoning provisions. The contractor for the tower contacted the

Township Development Services Office in May 2017 to verify that the tower was exempt from zoning control."

But for Leslie Walker, that explanation just raises more questions, such as how her neighbor's property was zoned as agricultural.

"He's not even had so much as a garden out there. There's been no agricultural activities on there. There's been no animals, no growing of any kind of crop or anything like that," said Walker.

Now those concerned residents are starting to hold meetings and trying to figure out if they can and/or should take legal action.

"We have not sent any kind of notice or demand to him but he probably knows by now. We're just investigating," said David Brennan, a nearby resident.

According to Walker, her neighbor is being paid to host the cell phone tower on his land. We reached out to the owner but he declined to comment for this story.

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