Verizon withdraws plan for Lakepoint facility
FRISCO – Ken Duke, a homeowner at Lakepoint Towers in Frisco, wasn’t very hopeful when he and his wife first began their campaign against a Verizon Wireless proposal earlier this summer. Their story is an example of how the big guy doesn’t always win.
In an effort to improve its cell phone coverage in the area, Verizon Wireless had proposed to build an unmanned telecommunications facility on top of the tall Frisco condominium building. Eight of the 12 towers were to stand less than 10 feet away from the Duke’s bedroom. (The Duke’s two-story condo is on the building’s seventh and eighth floors.)
“We thought it was horrible that Verizon would do that to us,” Ken Duke said, noting that, according to his research, antennas must be at least 33 feet above or away from living quarters.
By the time the Dukes realized the details of Verizon’s proposal, the homeowners’ association had already voted to approve it. The telecommunications company only had to get the approval of Frisco’s Planning Commission before installing the facility.
The Dukes’ campaign was off to a late start.
“We thought we were up against the law, and we didn’t know if we would win, but we plowed ahead anyway,” Ken Duke said.
The Dukes and concerned neighbors began researching information on telecommunication towers and passing it on to other homeowners at Lakepoint Towers. They asked that residents have another chance to vote on whether they wanted Verizon’s facility on top of their building.
The Dukes were able to collect 28 signatures of the Tower’s almost 60 homeowners of people who said they were opposed to the installation. Several homeowners expressed their concerns about the Verizon proposal at a Frisco Planning Commission meeting last month.
At the time, commissioners tabled the proposal and asked Verizon officials to return with more information on the safety of the antennas and asked the company to explore alternate locations.
On Thursday, the planning commission approved Verizon’s request to withdraw its proposal.
“We’re thrilled with the decision,” Ken Duke said. “We hope they don’t come back.”
Jenny Weaver, spokeswoman for Verizon, said the withdrawal was not a direct result of the homeowners’ opposition but rather was based on the recommendation of the planning commission.
Verizon is exploring alternate sites for the towers, Weaver said, but would not specify any potential locations.
According to Mark Gage, Frisco community development director, Verizon’s withdrawal of its application means the company must go back to the beginning of the approval process.
Lu Snyder can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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