"While most county residents would probably agree on the need to improve cell phone service in the area, the installation of new cell towers is often controversial.
The recent submission of an application from AT&T to the Calaveras County Planning Department for an administrative-use permit to erect a 140-foot cell tower in a residential area of Vallecito has sparked strong opposition from a group of local residents.
“We kind of got blindsided,” said Julie Hollars, who lives across Main Street from the proposed site. “We felt like we didn’t have a say in the matter.”
Last month, residents whose properties are within 300 feet of the roughly 20-acre parcel containing the proposed project were sent notification letters from the planning department. After those closest to the proposed site were notified, members of the close-knit community got together, drafted a petition and sent off their own letters of protest to the planning department.
The concerns outlined in the petition include aesthetics, sound annoyance, health effects, declining property values, potential fire hazards, effects on pollinators, and fears that one tower in the neighborhood will lead to more."
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