2 groups meet about cell tower in Santa Rita neighborhood

A cell phone tower, similar to the one pictured, is under dispute. (Source: wikimedia commons)
A cell phone tower, similar to the one pictured, is under dispute. (Source: wikimedia commons)

A proposed cell phone tower for the Santa Rita neighborhood is not sitting well with some residents in that area.

This evening two groups that are passionate about the issue, spoke to the City of Tucson's zoning administrator. It was the second meeting about the tower.

The tower would be placed on the City of Tucson's property at the north-west corner of 25th street and 3rd Ave. It would be 70 feet high and look similar to a palm tree. According to the city, there are over 30 towers on city property from various cell phone carriers. Those towers are bringing in over $450,000 into the city each year.

The residents have several concerns about the tower going up in their neighborhood. They are worried about the property value going down and future health issues form the tower's radio frequency emission.

James Getsi lives about 200 feet from the proposed location of the tower. Getsi thinks it's a bad idea. "Studies show that it can lead to bee colony collapse syndrome to leukemia to health problems, that is the biggest concern of all the people," said Getsi.

AT&T looked at several locations in that area. It was narrowed down to 25th street and 3rd Ave, because the city agreed to have it on their property. Also, the cell phone carrier wants to improve service in that location. There's a demand for improved service and AT&T wants to provide that to the customers.

Karen Kruse is the spokesperson for AT&T. Kruse said, "We are in strict compliance with the FCC rules and regulations, we fall way below what they believe is a safe RF emission."

The zoning administrator will provide a preliminary report five days after today's hearing. He will then have his final assessment two weeks from today's meeting.

If approved, the cell tower could be up within three to six months.

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