Shaler residents concerned about proposed cell tower camouflaged to look like tree
Some Shaler Township residents are upset about a proposal to erect a communication tower near their homes.
FMHC Corp., a Chicago-based company that provides consulting and construction services to wireless-communications companies, is proposing the construction of a 125-foot stealth monopole communication tower for AT&T Inc. on property owned by Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, off of Regina Street.
The communication tower would resemble a tree, with brown base with a green, tree-like structure at the top and be surrounded by a 65-foot-by-65-foot fenced in area with landscaping, said Jim Prokopiak, a representative for FMHC Corp., during the Aug. 18 township planning commission meeting.
“AT&T is in the process of a project called ‘densification,'” Prokopiak said. “This is designed to fill in a gap in coverage ... at the lowest height to fill this gap in coverage.”
The structure would be designed to carry three to five other carriers and is similar to the communication towers in Fox Chapel, Prokopiak said.
There are three similarly designed communication towers in the 8.5 square miles of Fox Chapel, according to Gary Koehler, borough manager.
The borough ordinance requires all communications towers be “stealth towers” or camouflaged in some way, such as to look like a tree or concealed in a church steeple.
However, James Carragher of Westwood Avenue said he opposes the communication tower in Shaler.
“I've seen the tower in Fox Chapel and one in North Park, and it sticks out like a sore thumb,” Carragher said. “It sticks out above every tree in the area, and it's an eyesore.”
Bernie Zlobecki of Westwood Avenue said he likes his neighborhood because it is like a “wildlife reserve.”
“We don't want to see it disturb the area,” Zlobecki said about the proposed tower. “This eyesore, I feel it will hurt property value … and the jury's still out on microwaves.
The planning commission members said they would like more information on the proposed communication tower, including a radio-frequency emissions analysis, structural analysis of the tower and an analysis of the electrical power required to run the facility.
“There is a lot of information requested, so I think we need time to get that … and review it,” said David Piekarski, chairman of the planning commission, before the planning commission tabled the conditional-use request.
The planning commission will review the proposal and additional information at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at the municipal building, 300 Wetzel Road.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Storytelling festival events set for 2 Hampton sites
- Developer of proposed Ross housing plan sues diocese
- North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
- Workshop to shed light on using solar power in Ross
- Pine charity gives adaptive bikes to kids with disabilities
- Retired Richland physician celebrates 90th birthday by skydiving for 1st time