Friday, November 16, 2007

The Westfield Leader 11/15/2007

Letter to the Editor:

Those Pushing 130-ft. Cell Tower Have ‘Utter Disregard’ for Residents in Area

Verizon Wireless, Omnipoint, AT&T and Sprint have applied to the Cranford Zoning Board of Adjustment for seven separate variances to permit the erection of a 130 foot cell-phone tower on the Cranford Swim Club property at 201 County Park Drive in Cranford.

The tower would be located in the middle of a residential neighborhood and be adjacent to the walking trail that extends through Lenape Park.

As a resident of the neighborhood surrounding the swim club and as a frequent user of Lenape Park, I am strongly opposed to a cell-phone tower on this location because of the unknown potential health consequences from prolonged exposure to tower emissions, the resultant reduction in property values in the surrounding area and the ever-present eyesore that a cell-phone tower extending 50 feet above the tallest surrounding trees would constitute to all those living in the neighborhood and enjoying Lenape Park.

Locating a commercial structure and conducting a commercial activity in a residential neighborhood is grossly unfair to everyone else who lives in that neighborhood. In purposely choosing to live in a residential area near a county park, my neighbors and I have demonstrated our desire and commitment to share the rights and responsibilities of maintaining that residential community.

Our willingness to comply with residential restrictions and refrain from conducting commercial activities in our back yards evidences our respect for the rights of others around us to also enjoy the quality of life a residential neighborhood

For one party to be exempt from these rules and in so doing, negatively impact all others in the neighborhood, shows an utter disregard for the rights of everyone living around them. It’s rude, disrespectful, and just plain wrong.

I am perplexed that the members of the Cranford Swim Club, many of whom presumably live in the affected neighborhood, would find it acceptable that its management would offer up its property as a site for a cell-phone tower. It is sadly ironic that a swim club which owes its many years of existence to having been able to locate in a scenic, residential location with ample access to member-families, would now turn on the same community that treated it so well and compromise that residential atmosphere.

I hope that all residents of Cranford and Westfield share my concern and will support my neighbors and me in our opposition to the erection of this tower. I urge all residents to contact their elected officials and to attend the December 10 meeting of the Cranford Zoning Board of Adjustment at 8:15 p.m. to be held at the Cranford Municipal Building.

Finally, I respectfully ask that the members of the Cranford Swim Club please contact their board management and make it clear that they do not support the erection of a cell tower on their club property.

Mark O’Neil