The proposed construction of an AT&T cell tower above the Centennial Ice Rink might be delayed, according to Village officials. Instead of being presented before the Wilmette board in February, the project may not be reviewed until March, following requests from the park district Tuesday.
After receiving a negative recommendation from the Zoning Board of Appeals on Jan. 18, when residents-in-attendance also expressed "community character" concerns, the plan was assessed by the park district's financial planning committee Monday night.
"We are requesting that the petitioner, on behalf of AT&T, retract their initial plan," said Steve Wilson, Wilmette Park District's executive director, "That will take it off of the Feb. 8 village board agenda and make some plan adjustments that are still in discussion." The main "sticking point" for the proposed tower has been aesthetics, Wilson said, citing emails, calls, as well as in-person visits from villagers.
As a result, this weeks meeting was a discussion of "ways to address the plan to make it more aesthetically pleasing," Wilson told Patch.
According to sketches of the current plan drafted by Callahan Communications Services Inc., which has been contracted by AT&T for the development, the antenna would be surrounded by a six-foot fence and trees. Additionally, a prefabricated housing structure would be created to quell noise pollution.
But the physical appearance of the tower hasn't been the only issue raised, he added. "One of the things outside of aestheticts people have mentioned are health concerns," he said.
He assured, however, that Federal Communications Commission regulations are in place to protect against radiation risks.
Meanwhile, if changes are made to the cell tower plan, the zoning board would be asked to again examine the initiative, according to the village's director of community development John Adler.
Despite concerns and possible delays, Wilson remains positive.
"Our board feels good about moving forward with this project," he said.
If approved, the tower would generate roughly $3,000 in monthly revenue for the park district.
Check back with Patch for more developments on the AT&T cell tower plans. For information on FCC regulations check here.