Cell Phone Towers
4:21 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

End Expected in Winston-Salem's Residential Cell Tower Debate

The fate of cell phone reception for some Winston-Salem residents may soon change.

People living in Winston-Salem's Northeast and South Wards may soon get better reception if the city approves the construction of new residential cell phone towers.
People living in Winston-Salem's Northeast and South Wards may soon get better reception if the city approves the construction of new residential cell phone towers.
Credit www.publicdomainpictures.net

On June 2 at 7 p.m., Winston-Salem city council members will vote on a proposal submitted by American Tower, LLC. The company wants to build a cell phone tower in the North East Ward near the 4000 block of Reidsville Road.  It also wants to build a second one in the South Ward near the 2000 block of Bethel Methodist Church Lane. Both would be under 200 feet tall.

Luis Sanchez, who lives near this location on Luzelle Drive, says he objects to the cell tower because he worries how it will impact his neighbors. “When a tower of this nature comes to your neighborhood, I believe property values will go down and there is unsightly nature of a tower of this sort," says Sanchez. "I’m also concerned that when I walk next to a tower, I get a headache and experience irritability, so I know this thing has an impact on the body.”

According to a Winston-Salem’s city ordnance, a cell tower must be built on at least 4-acres of land. This is to create a distance between it and residential homes and main roads. South Ward Councilwoman Molly Leight agrees she’s not thrilled about building cell towers in neighborhood areas, but that the city has to consider what is best for the broader public. “I fought against this as must as I could to protect neighborhoods. But in parts of the South Ward there are weak spots and people want access to their iPads and iPhones, so we have to look at the practical side of this.”

Monday night's 7 p.m. meeting is open to the public. It’ll be held in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 101 North Main St. in downtown Winston-Salem.

WFDD’s Kathryn Mobley will cover that meeting and have more Tuesday during Morning Edition.