For the better part of this year, there has been a legal battle going on between Verizon and some residents of Templeton, California. There is a hill on the west side of Templeton where the Templeton Community Services District has a water storage tank. The water storage tank is clearly visible from any location on the west side where you can see the hill. Verizon wants to improve its wireless communications coverage in this area, so they have proposed installing a wireless communications tower at the same location where the water tank is located. The proposal has not gone well for Verizon because there are some residents, who live around the area of the water tank, that have gone to great lengths to block Verizon from getting approval for this tower.
Now, I could understand residents getting upset if Verizon was proposing to install a billboard on the hill. I know I wouldn’t want to look up at the hill and see an unsightly billboard. I imagine the proposed communications tower would look very much like one that is located along the east side of Highway 101 in Atascadero. It looks like a big pine tree and you really have to look closely to see that the structure is not a tree. So what are they complaining about? They don’t want to see another tree on the hill? I am quite sure it would look much better than the unsightly water tank that has been on the hilltop for many years. Or maybe they are customers of AT&T or Sprint and they’re afraid Verizon customers will have better service if the tower goes up.
Since I am a Verizon customer and I live on the west side, I would welcome Verizon installing a tower near where I live. That way I could carry on a conversation in the house without having to walk over to a window to keep the call from being dropped.
The newspaper New Times posted an article about this story a couple of days ago. In the article, they said Templeton residents believed Verizon was using “corporate thuggery” to get approval for the tower. Verizon is threatening to sue San Luis Obispo County if they do not receive approval for the tower. I don’t particularly like Verizon, but in this circumstance, I’m on their side. If this proposed tower was going to go on a hilltop that was completely bare and nearby residents could clearly see it from their houses, I could understand their resistance. These people are complaining that they don’t want a tower that looks like a tree on the same hilltop as a large water tank? These folks must have way too much time on their hands. Some of our taxpayer dollars are going to be wasted fighting this issue, all because some people like looking at a water tank just the way it is.