Cell tower cases see different fates

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Everyone wants to get a cell phone signal when they are at home, but putting up towers to get the service to neighborhoods has proved difficult, attorney Michael Sullivan said.

Three cases involving towers in residential areas brought different results Tuesday, including a compromise in one case.

Commissioner Mike Beaudreau said neighbors who voiced concerns about a proposed tower on the land of Annistown Road Baptist Church were able to reach an agreement over the T-Mobile proposal.

That 155-foot tower was approved, although Sullivan said the company agreed to a stealth design to make the tower look like a tree.

Commissioners were less interested in a proposed 100-foot tall tower on River Road outside Lilburn.

During a public hearing last month, neighbors had said the tower, which was proposed to look like a pine tree, could hurt their property values and destroy the residential nature of the area.

Commissioner Bert Nasuti agreed, citing those concerns and said the applicant did not provide information that was needed for the request.

Sullivan said that case would be settled in court.

"We were definitely pleased we were able to come up with a compromise (on the Annistown Road proposal)," he said. "We are very disappointed about the outcome on River Road. ... If you are going to provide cellular service to where people live, work and play, you have to put cell towers where people live, work and play."

The final case, which was originally heard in September, was tabled, with Beaudreau asking for additional time for the company to run another balloon test.

The proposal for a 96-foot monopole with a 4-foot lightning rod on Stephens Road in Loganville will be considered in January.

Staff Writer Heath Hamacher contributed to this report.