By Diana Samuels, Daily News Staff Writer
Posted: 09/03/2010 10:13:58 PM PDT
Updated: 09/04/2010 07:37:40 AM PDT
A group of Los Altos area residents who lost their bid this week to keep a 55-foot-tall cell phone tower out of their neighborhood said they plan to take their fight to the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
The county’s planning commission voted 4-2 Thursday to reject an appeal from residents of the San Antonio Hills neighborhood in an unincorporated part of the county. The residents say neighbors Marshall and Nadja Jackson are operating a commercial “cell tower farm” on their Whitham Avenue property, in violation of county zoning regulation.
The Jacksons already have three cell towers on their property and won approval from the planning commission in June to build a fourth for Verizon Wireless. Marshall Jackson declined to comment Friday, but said earlier this week he believes the 55-foot-tall “monopine” — a tower disguised as a pine tree — will make the community safer thanks to the better coverage it will provide.
Tower opponent Chris Hyrne [in photo at right] said he and other residents plan to appeal the commission’s decision to the board of supervisors.
This site has long discussed one of the true pleasures of homeownership: the joy of watering one’s own lawn. How come nobody ever brought up the delight of collecting fees for hosting a “cell tower farm” on your own property? You don’t even have to water the monopine! Just sit back, relax, and watch those checks start rolling in. Sure, you’ll earn the enmity of your neighbors and your kids won’t be able to show their faces at recess, but so what? If you’re tough enough to have become a Real Bay Area homeowner, you (and your kids) can handle a little ostracism.
We are not talking about beer money. The Jacksons are currently hosting towers for AT&T, Sprint, Metro PCS, and T-Mobile. They earn between $500 and $3500 a month per tower for having them on their property. The new Verizon tower would be 15 feet taller than the existing structures, and by law that means the other carriers can raise their towers to the same height as the new one.
Meanwhile, the neighbors against the towers have their petition against the “antenna farm” online, complete with address of the “butt-ugly” towers. They have a website as well. But we’ll save you the trouble of driving over to Whitham Avenue, as the Stoptheantennafarm.org website has this lovely view of the towers:
Can’t imagine why the neighbors are complaining. They must get cell reception like no tomorrow. Heck, Marshall Jackson, who just happens to be a Realtor, said the house across the street from him sold in two days, over asking price, because of the awesome bar count. “I’m concerned for the greater good,” Jackson said. “I certainly want to make profits myself; I’m a capitalist and I’m profit-motivated. … but I also don’t do things I think will hurt people.”
Here is the house in question, sold for $1,000 over asking. (Something very funny is going on with that house, take a look at the sale records.)
Now that the cellular antenna farm idea has been featured on burbed (an award-winning site, you know!), everyone will want to be the first on their block to plant an antenna farm! So hurry! Unless you’re a renter, in which case you can spend Labor Day Weekend watering your landlord’s lawn.