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Planning commission denies proposed cell tower in East Brainerd community

(Image: WTVC)

The planning commission has voted to deny a controversial cell phone tower from being constructed in a Chattanooga neighborhood.

During their Monday meeting, representatives for the company spoke before the planning commission.

Contractors say companies, like Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint, would be able to lease the tower.

The representative discussed how the tower could help communication with first responders.

The location of the proposed 150-foot cell tower has drawn criticism from residents these past few weeks. The commission heard from opposition on Monday as well.

Some residents are worried that if the tower was to be built, their property values would plummet.

After hearing from both sides, the planning commission held a vote, deciding to deny the proposal.

NewsChannel 9's Hannah Lawrence spoke with residents, and they say they aren't very concerned about cell phone service in the area.

A stake in Jeana Lee's backyard showing her property line is 147 feet from where the tower would be built in the woods.

Her and her husband are about to finish building their dream home here in the Hurricane Creek area, but she told the planning commission Monday that the plans submitted for the tower didn't show that.

They showed the lot as vacant.

In front of the commission, the developer said that residents need the tower to go here for better service, especially to communicate with emergency responders.

The commission instead decided the distance was just too close to a home. Some even worried what kind of message this would send to future developers if the commission signed off.

This is the first time many of the residents have taken up this kind of project, and they remain ready to fight.

"I am so proud of the decision they made and the supportive individuals in our community," said Lee. "It's not about it not being in our backyard. It's about making the right decision for homeowners and families in our community."

"We think with a little effort on their part, they will find another suitable location," says homeowner Mark Brooks.

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