cellular telephone

Controversial Cell Phone Tower Proposed in Encanto Neighborhood

Neighbors say will change community but the owner doesn't understand the issue.

An Encanto man trying to put up a cell phone tower on his vacant lot is facing a backlash from neighbors who argue the land is meant for homes.

Robert Miller owns property on Eider Street near the Encanto Rec Center.

He plans to allow a 30-foot tower on his property that he said will bring better internet and mobile service to the neighborhood.

“You're going to be able to watch video on cell phones,” Miller said. “This is going to be tied into a fiber optic back haul. It's a fantastic infrastructure investment.”

However, neighbors argue the tower has no place in a neighborhood zoned for single-home use, not commercial use.

They also don't want this project approved because it will set a precedent for what could come in the neighborhood.

Miller doesn't understand why neighbors are upset. He said hedges and six eucalyptus trees will camouflage the tower.

He also says it has been reviewed for several months by a field biologist to test its safety.

“We are trying to increase the desirability of this neighborhood,” said opponent Kathleen Macleod. “We want that site to be a prime location for a home up here to improve the community here. A cell phone tower would degrade it. It's detrimental.”

The group has already opposed four other proposals for cell phone towers in the area.

A water tower used to be in the area. When it was taken down the land owner got a call from T-mobile.

If approved, it would be a 25-year commitment.

The issue will be discussed at Tuesday’s San Diego City Planning Commission meeting.

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