Not in my backyard: Proposed cell towers draw residents' protests in Wilson County

With five sites on the table, none are popular.
Apr 26, 2014

Cell tower placement has been a hot topic in recent months with Wilson County residents, and Friday’s Board of Zoning Appeals meeting was no exception.

There were five potential cell tower sites on the table, and all had plenty of community members speaking against them. Particularly vocal were opponents of a proposed tower on Beckwith Road.

Ronnie Green, who lives in the Green Valley subdivision, not far from the proposed site, said he has lived in Mt. Juliet for 60 years.

“All the neighbors around, we do not want any cell towers there period,” said Green. “The feeling of the people is they like the country and want to be left alone.” He also noted the presence of Tennessee Valley Authority power lines and a TVA power station that are already present on the east and west sides of the subdivision.

“We will do whatever it takes to keep this from happening,” Green said.

Board Chair Rusty Thompson said to those in attendance regarding that tower, “as heartfelt as your comments are, we can’t consider it. The only thing we can consider is that AT&T hasn’t met the requirements” for a proposed tower.

Christi Roberts, a realtor at Keller Williams in Mt. Juliet, voiced another concern of many residents.

“This will make our properties unsellable,” she said “No one wants to buy a house there is a cell tower anywhere near.”

County Planner Tom Brashear noted “we typically can’t, on any submission, consider property values. You have to bring competent authorities to show evidence of property values.”

Jared Pearson, who said he and his wife recently bought a home “just down the street” from the proposed tower site.

“I don’t want a giant cell tower that I have to stare at from my front porch,” said Pearson.

A decision on the cell tower was deferred to the board’s June meeting. A cell tower proposed on Logue Road in Mt. Juliet was also deferred to the board’s May meeting.

In total, all five of the cell tower requests were deferred at least 30 days.

The planning commission also deferred action on the cell tower plats at the request of the applicant, P. Marshall and Associates. The action will be revisited at the commission’s May meeting.

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