Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cell-phone tower construction rankles neighborhoods

By Rosemary Shinohara, Anchorage Daily News

New wireless communication towers are popping up in Anchorage, Mat-Su and elsewhere in Alaska as a big new company, Verizon Wireless, moves into the state and other cell phone companies upgrade their networks.

Verizon is set to begin Alaska service sometime in 2013.

The increase in cell towers is leading to conflicts in some areas between residents who don't want tall poles and antennas looming over their yards -- and companies competing to offer ever-more sophisticated cell phone services.

For example, east-side residents joined a battle this week over a proposal to build a 100-foot tower at 2100 E. Northern Lights Boulevard, in the parking lot of a medical building near Northern Lights and Lake Otis Parkway.

The city Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday rejected the tower site after city officials said it didn't fit with the College Village neighborhood just off Northern Lights.

In Turnagain, another controversy has developed over a plan to install a tower at a site off Wisconsin Street between 31st and 32nd avenues.

In the Valley, there's also trouble brewing. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough no longer requires permits to build towers, so residents may not even hear about plans until construction materials start arriving.

Read the entire article here.

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