Denver homeowner upset about new cell tower in garden

DENVER (KDVR) — Faster and improved cell service comes with a price. More towers are going up around the Denver metro area, and where they end up can affect homeowners.

Mary Ann Martin tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers a large cell tower is the last thing she wanted to see growing out of her beautiful street-side garden.

“Oh, I’m super angry about it,” she said.

The Problem Solvers contacted the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure. They explained that Verizon is attaching cell equipment onto an existing street light.

It was moved to ensure the public’s right-of-way is not blocked.

A city spokesperson says while there isn’t a notification requirement, residents were notified as soon as possible with door notices.

The Problem Solvers contacted Verizon Wireless headquarters as well.

A spokesperson issued a statement saying:

“Verizon’s network provides the broadest coverage, best speeds, and unsurpassed reliability. We consistently invest in our network so that we can offer our customers the quality experience and the reliability they expect and deserve – today and in the future. The (site) is a collocation site that includes the replacement of an existing light-pole with a new light pole/small cell combination pole in the public right-of-way. Verizon has adhered to all applicable requirements, including local permit requirements. In addition, we provided the specific information about this site on Denver’s Small Cell Map to support greater transparency about deployment efforts throughout the city”.

Martin tells FOX31 she understands the process but wanted earlier notice so she could have a voice in where the tower was located. She says she would have requested for the pole to have been placed at the other end of her garden instead.

“I’ve been told it is their right-of-way, they can do whatever they want. If they would have given me a week, I could have sold the house,” she said.

The Problem Solvers asked real estate expert Grant Muller of Spaces Real Estate about how cell towers affect property values.    

“Certain buyers are going to be very concerned about being near high tension power lines, fracking or cellphone towers, other buyers aren’t going to care at all,” he said.

When asked about any positives, Muller points out that homeowners should ask about their rights to certain benefits.

“Sometimes the property owner or the neighborhood gains some revenue from the cellphone tower,” he said.

Martin says heading to court over the tower isn’t an option she’ll take.

“I will live with it,” she said.

Homeowners have rights when a tower is not obstructing the public right-of-way.

For more information on policies, visit the City and County of Denver’s website.

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