SAN MARCOS, Calif. - Residents in San Elijo battled plans for a new cellphone tower in their neighborhood Tuesday night. The AT&T tower would be near an existing T-Mobile tower, 5 feet taller and almost twice as wide.
Many neighbors do not want it, calling it an eyesore and potentially dangerous as they pleaded their case before the San Marcos City Council.
Elliott Herman told the council, "They know how much money can be made off this. They can use it as their personal Christmas tree and put their kids' presents under it."
Worries were voiced, too, about opening the door to a cell tower farm going up.
Carl Wong argued, "One might ask, 'Hey, why do you guys complain so much? There's already a T-Mobile tower there. Why are you complaining so much?' The answer is that the one is there and we don't like it. Don't know how to move it."
AT&T representative John Osborne tried to calm fears about any danger from radio frequency.
"These cell sites are very low power," he said. "They're 40 watts coming from the cell site … the equivalent of a light bulb in your refrigerator."
The phone company agreed to plant several trees and landscape the area to shield it from neighbors. The San Marcos City Council then rejected the appeal to stop construction.
Eric Clifton is not happy.
"My buyer will not buy next to multiple cellphone towers so they basically destroyed my ability to sell my home," he said.
Connie Signorino was one of those who led the appeal to reject the tower.
"We are going to fight this," she said. "We will fight to the bitter end."
The council vowed to keep close tabs on maintenance but did not put a limit on whether more towers might be allowed later.