New Cingular Wireless/Smartlink along with the Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department (HHVFD) is requesting a variance to place a 184' cell phone tower with a 50' x 50' fenced "compound" on the summer concert lawn next to where the stage is currently located. It is not compliant with county zoning code so they must apply for 12 variances. You can view the application here
to see the details. The tower will be highly visible and will be an eyesore that will forever alter the character of the neighborhood. We are not opposed to the concept of a cell tower, and are sympathetic to the HHVFD's needs to fundraise, but we are opposed to this specific location for a cell tower.
The initial variance hearing took place on February 14th and was very well attended by community members. In the beginning of March, the variance application was denied. In that ruling the hearing officer stated, "The variances requested do more than bend the Code they rewrite it." Agreed. You can read the ruling here
We won the first battle but we haven't won the war. The applicant has until early April to appeal the ruling. We are expecting an appeal. The HHCA will be required to retain an attorney for the appeal hearing(s). Thankfully we have found an attorney in the neighborhood that has agreed to represent us pro bono (not Megan who has a conflict of interest, it's a different attorney). However, we will still need to pay for expert witnesses during the appeal hearings.
Please consider donating so that we can present the best defense possible.
HHCA will be the beneficiary of all funds. The HHCA treasurer (Connie Pumphrey) is the only one who is able to access the funds. In the unlikely event that not all funds are used, any remaining funds will be placed into an HHCA legal defense fund in case another similar scenario arises in the future.