Lakepoint residents wary of wireless plan
FRISCO – Homeowners on the top floors of Frisco’s tallest building don’t want to sleep next to microwave antennae, a fact that has stymied Verizon Wireless and divided the condo association.
Lakepoint Towers owners approved a deal in December allowing Verizon Wireless put a telecommunication facility on top of the building.
But that was before top-floor residents started researching what would be outside their bedrooms. Now, they want a revote.
The Frisco Planning Commission gave them time to campaign when it tabled the Verizon proposal on a recent 6-1 vote.
“We thought it was going to be one antenna – turns out it’s going to be 12,” said Ken Duke, who owns one of the top units in the south tower.
Verizon has requested a special use permit to install an unmanned telecommunications facility on top of Lakepoint Towers, just east of Summit Boulevard.
According to Frisco’s staff report on the application, Verizon looked at the Best Western and Holiday Inn as potential sites in an effort to meet Frisco’s preference to keep the facility within a commercial district.
But Best Western declined the idea, and placing the facility on Holiday Inn’s roof would compromise the antennas’ coverage and capacity – potentially adding the need for an additional location.
Lakepoint Towers is the tallest building in Frisco, and Duke isn’t necessarily opposed to having the facility installed on its roof. He is, in fact, a Verizon customer.
“I don’t have any problem with Verizon, I just don’t want to sleep next to their antennas,” he said.
Duke owns a unit on the seventh floor of the eight-story building, and the proposed antennae would be installed on the same level – less than 10 feet from his eighth-floor bedroom. His is one of four units on the seventh and eight floors.
According to Duke’s research – he referenced John Moulder’s “Electromagnetic Fields and Human Health” – antennae must be at least 33 feet above or away from living quarters.
“It’s like sleeping next to a microwave 10 hours a day,” he said.
If Verizon proceeds with its plan to install the facility, Duke would like it to place the antennae above the eighth floor.
Duke was one of several homeowners to express concern with the proposed facility during the Aug. 7 planning commission meeting.
Though the staff report recommended the commission approve Verizon’s application, commissioners agreed to table it until they receive further information about the safety of the antennae.
“We gave them “til early September to come back to us,” said commission Chair Bill Pelham.
Commissioners asked Verizon to bring information about antennae radiation and its effect on residents and more details about how the antennae would be installed.
“What they told us the other night is they’re supposed to be on sleds and anchored by weight.” Pelham said. “This was the first time we heard they were not going to be attached to the building.”
Though the planning commission can’t require Verizon to look at other sites, they did ask that they do so to see if there’s one better suited.
“We just want to make sure they’ve investigated all of their options,” Pelham said.
Verizon still is evaluating the Lakepoint Towers site, said spokesperson Jenny Weaver, who declined to comment further on Verizon’s plans.
“It would be really premature to start talking about anything on this project other than the fact that we’re still evaluating it and we are listening to homeowners,” she said.
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