A growing trend across the country is to disguise cell phone antennas in church steeples. Really, it’s happening and right here in Grand Junction. The Monument Baptist Church has struck a deal with Verizon to put a cell phone radio frequency antenna in their steeple. The church will get paid a lease fee and they don’t have to tell their neighbors or get any public comment. They just do it and that has a few people a little ticked-off.

 

See with more and more people texting and downloading the wireless folks are under a ton of pressure to build more towers to improve service. The deal is that with zoning regulations you can’t just throw up a tower any where you like, that is where the loop-hole with the churches comes in. In Mesa County you can only build a home to a height of 35 feet, but steeples can top out at 55 feet-high enough for a cell antenna. The church leases the steeple space to the cell phone company and they don’t have to go through any public notification it’s all done in total secrecy.

It may not seem like a big deal and a good way for the church to make a few bucks, but look at like this. You buy or build a home 70 feet from a church. Everything is fine until you go to sell your home and you find out that the church has leased its steeple to a cell phone company. Now, you have a cell phone tower just 70 feet from your property and no one told you. So, what the value of your property? Did it go down? Some people have an issue living so close to a cell tower because of the health effects.

The American Cancer Society has said cell phone tower radiation is unlikely to cause cancer, the key word is unlikely. There are conflicting studies around the world about a possible link between cell towers and childhood leukemia. The fact is the verdict is still out, we just don’t know enough about the effects of cell phones on the human body, but that’s not the point.

The point is should a church or anyone else be allowed to do this without any notification to their neighbors?