Local man stands his ground against new cell tower

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- A local man is standing his ground, trying to discourage a church from going through with plans to construct a cell tower next door to his house, but county officials said it may be too late.

Hank Drake said he and his wife would never have built their house on 23 Road next to Monument Baptist Church if they had known a 50 foot tower would go up.

"There was no notification; they felt there was no need to talk to anyone about this thing going on," said Drake.

The type of cell tower is called a "stealth tower" because the cell antennas will be concealed inside of the church bell tower.

But Drake said that doesn't make it any better and said he has attempted to contact the church several times.

"I suspect that Verizon has counseled the church people to minimize resistance to it," said Drake.

Mesa County Planning Director Linda Dannenberger said it may be too late to make any changes, since the church already has all of their permits.

"It would take a policy decision by our Board of Commissioners to determine whether there are adequate documentation for harmful effects from these facilities to change our regulations," said Dannenberger.

Drake said at this point, he is considering his options but may seek legal action.

The church applied for the permit in early 2012, and the project was approved in April.

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