BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek will soon be participating in a collaboration with other jurisdictions to try to regain a say in where cell phone towers can be placed within the city limits. A recent law gave the utility companies final say to determine the placement of cell towers.
“Senate Bill 331, takes authority away from the local elected officials,” Beavercreek City Councilman Brian Jarvis said. “This has to do with the placement and zoning issues, which is what we normally do.”
During a work session to discuss the issue, the city attorney, Steve McHugh explained that other jurisdictions, including Dayton, Columbus, and about 50 other cities in Central and Western Ohio were discussing going in together to be represented as a Columbus group to help them fight the cause. McHugh’s indicated that Beavercreek’s contribution would be $6,000, with no additional charges.
Beavercreek Vice Mayor Julie Vann confirmed that the goal of this collaboration was to eventually regain local control over the placement of the cell towers.
“These small cell towers are going to exist, but there is a desire to have some input. The goal is to create a statutory system that will make sense to everybody,” McHugh said.
During the recent city council meeting, Beavercreek resident, Wayne Davidson said that he hoped the city would take this action and help prevent microwave transmission stations from being placed too close to people’s houses, walkways and bikeways. He has done some research on the effects of microwave systems and encouraged other residents to do the same.
Council approved the participation of the collaborative efforts against Senate Bill 331 by a majority of the vote.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.