Mountain View Voice

News - November 12, 2010

Preschool parents oppose cell tower atop church

by Daniel DeBolt

Mountain View's First Presbyterian Church has proposed putting a cell phone tower on its roof, but the parents of a preschool on the property aren't happy about it. The zoning administrator is set to rule on the proposal on Wednesday at 4 p.m., after the Voice goes to press.

The First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Miramonte and Cuesta streets has proposed a slew of wireless antennae devices on its roof to be enclosed in a new steeple. Parents of the Little Acorn preschool, located next door on the church's property, are concerned about exposing 70 or so children to what may be cancer-causing radiation. As of noon on Wednesday 57 people signed an online petition in opposition, and 15 others have signed the paper version.

Parents have only recently learned about the proposal and started circulating the petition two days ago, said parent W. Tsang.

"People are concerned about radiation," she said. "Does the community really want this or need this or can it be explored somewhere else?"

While the church may make money from leasing the space to Clear Wireless LLC, Tsang said the pre-school may lose enrollment because of it.

Pastor Tim Boyer said a committee of church members had been discussing the proposal since July.

"We wouldn't do anything on this campus that would hurt God's children," Boyer said.

After examining research compiled by the cell phone company and having discussed the issue with church members, Boyer said he was confident the cell phone antennas were safe.

"I would be more concerned with that (cell phone) in your hand that I would be with that (cell phone tower) on top of the church."

Boyer declined to say how much the church would be paid to host the antennas, saying, "I don't think that's important." He said the reason for allowing the antennas was more to "provide a service" especially since the site is within sight of El Camino Hospital.

The proposal on the zoning administrator's agenda for Wednesday, Nov. 10, is for "a wireless communications facility within a new steeple feature on the roof of an existing church, including a GPS antenna, three microwave dishes, three panel antennas/RRUs and one equipment cabinet in a fence enclosure."

The zoning administrator will make a final decision on the proposal on Wednesday at 4 p.m. after the Voice goes to press, but his decision will be reported online at mv-voice.com.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

Comments

Posted by A. Reader, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 12, 2010 at 9:08 am

Radiation! Ha ha! What a joke and utter nonsense! What about "natural" cosmic background radiation? Ban them too?


Posted by Dennis Wingo, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Nov 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Oh good lord people. It is time for people to get an education. You get 1,000 x the radiation from the sun as you do from cell phone towers.


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