Streetsboro -- Mayor Glenn Broska believes the city made the best choice by picking Thomas Heritage Park for the proposed site of a new 190-foot Verizon cellular tower.
"Everybody considers a cell tower an eyesore," Broska said. "But our main goal was to keep it out of the downtown area, and I think we have succeeded in doing that."
Resident Paul Yupa said he was disappointed there was no citizen input about where the cell tower would be placed in the park, adding that city officials should have considered comments from residents at a Streetsboro Parks, Recreation and Conservation Advisory Committee meeting.
Broska said that would not have been the most efficient process.
"We could have put 10 residents in a room, and there is a possibility of 10 different opinions. There has to be some trust by residents that we will make the best decision for the city," Broska said. "No matter where we put it, there will be complaints, but we have to put it in a location that we feel will be the best."
After the July 28 Council meeting, Yupa was concerned that "No one on Council could tell me what the location would be, even though they were voting on it [July 14]. No one could tell me where it would go. They never had a map at the meeting."
A map of the park that appeared in the July 23 Streetsboro Gateway News showing the location of the proposed cell tower in the western part of Thomas Heritage Park seemed to assist residents visualize the location, said Broska, adding, "I think the map helped."
The cell tower was first proposed downtown behind Harbor Freight Tools on Route 14, but Broska said Thomas Heritage Park is a much better location. The cell tower will be near a dog park and fishing pond. The 130-acre park is along Route 303 just west of the Target store.
"We plan on making the area more of a minor recreation area," he said. "There is a possibility of a sled hill. When you stand on the hill in between the dog park and fishing pond and look to the west, it is one of the prettiest views in Streetsboro."
Broska said when the cell tower issue was brought to Council July 14, "There was some confusion as to what signing that lease actually did."
"Getting the lease is essentially the same thing that a developer does when he takes an option on a piece of land," he said. "A developer will scout the property and say, 'Can we put what we need here on this land?' He will take an option on the property, sign that option and then go back and start developing a plan about that option. If he can't build there, he's not out any money. That is what happened with the lease. Now, they have to go through our planning and zoning commission [for approval]."
There is no cell tower application on file for Thomas Heritage Park for the Aug. 12 planning and zoning commission meeting.
"There is a significant amount of money [spent] in developing a property -- leveling ground, putting in a road, putting in electricity," Broska said. "They didn't want to invest money if they couldn't do the project."
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