Dressed Up As Trees, Cellular Towers Stir Debate

Cell towers dressed up as evergreen trees have appeared along the highway in the Sierra Nevada foothills in El Dorado County, California. Called “mono-pines,” these faux evergreens were created to comply with El Dorado County’s strict design guidelines.

Some residents, however, are speaking out against a 90-foot tower scheduled to be built above Arrowbee Lake in Placerville, CA by Verizon Wireless, arguing that the tower will be an eyesore.

“[The tower] looks like a fake pine tree that doesn’t belong there. It looks like it should be in an urban or industrial area,” says Placerville resident Janet Barbieri, who lives roughly 400 feet from the proposed tower site. Barbieri, who created stopthecelltower.com, is organizing community meetings to discuss the issue.

According to Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Heidi Flato, the Arrowbee Lake site is one of the few in the area that meets the necessary technical and engineering requirements, and notes that the site “lies in an area that is well-screened from public view.”

“[Verizon is] working to provide the best service possible to our customers where they need it,” says Flato. “We have heard from a number of residents who are supportive, because they want better service.” Even so, Flato maintains that the project is still under study, and that the project and design may be altered to address neighbors’ concerns.

Click here to read the full story on The Sacramento Bee.

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