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Residents keep up fight against cell tower

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

In 2007, T-Mobile (Omnipoint) initially filed its application to construct a 128-foot-tall cell tower at 169 Robertsville Road in Freehold Township. This property is a residential site, surrounded by residences, and is a designated scenic road zoned R-120. The R-120 area is part of the Lake Topanemus watershed area which has been identified for low intensity development.

Residents of Freehold Township spent thousands of dollars presenting our case at township meetings and the board voted in our favor, but in 2011, T-Mobile appealed to the Superior Court Appellate Division without the people of Freehold Township being notified. Our case was not presented adequately, resulting in T-Mobile getting permission to build the cell tower. T-Mobile, however, never built the cell tower.

In 2016, Verizon filed an application to construct a cell tower on the same property. They pulled their application after significant pressure from residents who this time were going to make sure they would put forth the evidence to prove this location is not suitable for a cell tower.

Somehow, coincidentally? after Verizon pulled its application, T-Mobile decided to construct the cell tower, which they obviously had not needed for several years. They started leveling the property to prepare for construction late in 2017, but the township placed a stop work order due to expired permits. Freehold Township and T-Mobile are presently sorting this out.

How can they possibly think that after 11 years they can just return to build a cell tower based on an application they submitted in 2007 – the same year the first generation iPhone was announced?!

The building of a cell tower would cause the loss of the intent of the Monmouth County plan and the Freehold Township plan to maintain the “bucolic landscape” of this area via the designation of the scenic corridor and watershed zoning of R-120, not to mention the loss of property values.

T-Mobile and Verizon have a blatant disregard for our residents. They should seek a suitable location on a commercial property and not in our residential backyard.

Ron and Maria Saputo
Freehold Township

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