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Channahon board, residents unhappy by possible AT&T tower

Height main issue of proposal to board

CHANNAHON – The Channahon Village Board this week reviewed a concept plan for a new cellular tower, and some trustees were not pleased with the location.

AT&T has been trying to find an appropriate site to fill a reception gap for a couple of years, and it says it has found an ideal site at 24694 W. Knapp St. The five acres is owned by the village and is open space adjacent to the I&M Canal.

The problem some trustees, and residents who attended the meeting, have is the proposed height. The tower would rise up to 150 feet, with another nine feet of antennas and a lightning rod. The monopole would be free-standing with the ability to accommodate up to two additional cell service providers, according to village Director of Community Development Mike McMahon.

The tower would be about 125 feet from Knapp Street; 330 feet from the nearest residence to the east; and more than 400 feet from the nearest residence to the west.

An equipment shelter will be built directly under the tower, built of a solid masonry material and enclosed by a wrought iron fence and landscaping.

Everything but the height meets Channahon’s telecommunications code, which sets a maximum height of 80 feet, and a variance would have to be granted by the board for the project to be approved.

Thirty-three percent of homes today have only wireless phone service, the board was told by an AT&T representative, who also added that schools also are turning to the Internet rather than books. Channahon resident and area school administrator Judie Nash challenged the fact about school books at the end of the meeting, saying schools still use textbooks as their primary means of teaching, and not the Internet.

Trustees were shown photos of the area with the tower superimposed in the background. Trustee Missey Schumacher said that although she felt for those with gaps in their cell service, the proposed tower would be very tall and she couldn’t see putting it “in someone’s backyard.” She also noted the pictures were shown in a warmer season of full tree growth.

“What would it look like now?” she asked.

Trustee Scott Slocum said he knew property values usually decline when a tower is next to houses. Eight residents spoke out against the concept plan at the Dec. 9 planning and zoning commission meeting. A public hearing could be held by the Village Board, possibly in February, if the plan proceeds. Neighbors will be notified of the hearing, Village President Joe Cook said, and the time and date also will be posted on the village’s website.

The Village Board Monday did approve a site plan for the construction of an additional parking lot at the Channahon Assessor/Township Hall. The 100 by 500 foot area for the lot will be on the east side of the building and will be paved and have concrete bumper stops. Lighting will be provided from wall mounts and directed downward.

The board also was notified of changes to village employee insurance. The village will keep its current plan, and premiums were raised by 3.25 percent. Employee contributions were raised from 10 percent to 13 percent.

Decorating contest winners

Announced at Monday’s Channahon village board meeting were the winners of this year’s Channahon Holiday Home Decorating Contest.

• First place – David and Tina Weber, 27457 Fawn Lake Court in Hunters West subdivision

• Second place – Christopher and Kristen Koppers, 25314 Plainview Drive in Hunters West

• Third place – Hope Murphy, 24063 Countryside Drive in Heritage Lakes

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