— As US Cellular eyes a new cell tower
location in the city of Waukesha, Ald. Joe
Pieper and some residents are raising concerns.
address those worries, they are seeking help
from state lawmakers to give local
municipalities additional control over the
placement of the structures.
Cellular is seeking to install a cell tower on
the property of Buen Samaritano United Methodist
Church, located at 915 Magnolia Drive.
said as neighbors in the area have become
apprised of the situation, they have reached out
to him with concerns regarding property values
and possible health risks.
at a standstill
tower would replace an existing tower on county
land east of the Huber Facility, for which the
contract expires next year. Negotiations between
the county’s corporation counsel and US
Cellular to re-up the contract have come to a
standstill, as the county has sought to include
language that would protect it from any
potential lawsuits filed against US Cellular
related to the cell tower. That type of
provision is standard in the county’s
telecommunication contracts, said Shawn Lundie,
Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow’s chief
Cellular, however, hasn’t agreed to those
terms. And it’s caused the company to look
elsewhere — namely, the church property on
my humble opinion, they’re capitalizing on a
church that could use the money,” Pieper said.
“What nonprofit or church organization
couldn’t use extra income for a cellphone
out to the state
said he has reached out to several state
lawmakers regarding his and his residents’
concerns. Wisconsin Rep. Scott Allen’s office
said he shares those concerns and plans to
introduce legislation in January that would
allow local governments to prohibit the
placement of a new mobile service support
structure within 750 feet of a boundary of a low
density residential zoning district. Allen
introduced a similar bill last session.
has been enough of these situations around the
state that it seems there may be some traction
in Madison to change this and give all of the
local control back to the city level to decide
where these things go,” Pieper said, “versus
allowing these cell phone companies to put these
things wherever they want, no matter where the
neighborhood is or what the neighbors say.”
Pieper is optimistic that the city could block
the installation of the new tower.
Cellular will need to show that the lease
agreement with the county constitutes a
financial hardship for the company. City staff
is therefore going to recommend denial when the
cell tower placement comes before the Plan
Commission on Oct. 12, arguing that the
agreement doesn’t impose financial hardship on
going down the path of ideally not having the
cellphone tower there,” Pieper said.
Cellular couldn’t be reached for comment as of