Proposal to place cell tower next to historic Addison Township school angers residents

Parents worried about safety

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor, Amber Ainsworth

ADDISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. - A fight over placing a cell tower next to a historic school has angered residents in Addison Township.

The proposed tower would be on a lot that covers a little more than 5 acres, but the township ordinance requires the lot size for wireless communications towers to be a minimum of 20 acres. The township's Zoning Board of Appeals approved a variance that would allow the tower to be placed on the site.

Parents are worried that the tower will be too close to the Kingsbury Country Day School, which is used for kindergarten and first grade. According to plans, the over-100-foot-tall tower would be 92 feet from the swing set on the school's playground.

"You are putting children's lives at risk by breaking your own rules," parent Candice Lajust said.

Parents fear radiation, ice falling off the tower and part or all of the tower potentially crashing to the ground and onto children.

"It appears money has misdirected the moral compass of our local government," resident Debra Renow said.

Residents said the township needs a cell tower, but the proposed location is wrong. At a meeting regarding the tower, the township's attorney, Robert Davis, responded to the crowd.

"You have a large township and how many people are here against it? It's not a packed room. How many people spoke? I counted nine," Davis said. "Absent a cell tower, generally in this location there was some indication that 911 service would not be available in that area in the next several years due to changes in the technology."

The Zoning Board of Appeals is expected to make a decision at its meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

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