Verizon Nixes Cell Tower Location After Neighbors Speak Out

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

BRENHAM, Texas Plans for a nearly 300-foot-tall cell tower were scrapped when residents in the area decided to speak out.

The tower would have been built along a stretch of FM 390 near Brenham. It's also the location of the historic La Bahia Road.

Carole Henry lives just across the street from where the tower was to be built. She said she first discovered the plans in the legal notice section of a newspaper.

"Further down it said Verizon, and even further down it said an address that I knew was close to me," said Parker. "In fact, it's almost across the street from me.

Sandra Parker lives along FM 390. She's a corporate attorney in the Houston area, and she said she knew she had to do something when she heard the news.

"The problem is that this is La Bahia Road," said Parker. "It's part of the Blue Bonnet Trail and it's part of the Texas Independence Trail. There's a lot of history in this area."

Parker and about two dozen of her neighbors got together and formed Citizens Against Verizon's Enormous Antennae Tower (CAVEAT).

"We spoke up, we made our filings with the FCC, neighbors far and wide wrote letters," said Parker.

In the end, Verizon officials said it was CAVEAT's input that changed their mind about the location of the tower.

"It was enlightening, and it was gratifying to see that a lot of small voices can really be heard," said Henry.

Gretchen Whitaker with Verizon said they were happy to work with the community to find a solution.

"We all live in Texas. We want the landscape to stay pristine," said Whitaker. "But it's a challenge to balance it sometimes with satisfying the needs of our customers which is also our top priority."

Whitaker said cell service is lacking in the area, but they plan to work with CAVEAT to find a new location for the tower.

Members of CAVEAT said they plan to throw a Texas-sized celebration. They also said they plan to send Verizon some Blue Bell ice cream as a show of thanks.

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