On Aug. 16, residents presented a petition with over 90 signatures to stop the construction of a cell tower by Verizon on the Apple Annie’s property.

I submitted documents citing evidence of health impacts as well as property devaluation. I referenced established court precedent for a zoning board denying an application that was upheld by the courts in opposition to the Federal Communications Commission “shot clock” legislation of 1996.

Greece town ordinances state that the zoning board needs to protect “...the suburban character of the town of Greece, aesthetic considerations, the property values of the community, the health, safety and general welfare of the public...” when considering cell tower construction.

I suggested Basil Marella Park as an alternate site for the tower outside 1,000 feet of residents to limit impacts. We were subsequently informed by the Verizon attorney that they were preparing an application for a tower in the park already, in addition to the Apple Annie’s land.

This is a case of Verizon leveraging the town for an opportunity to capitalize on future demands under the guise of addressing small gaps in coverage right now. The question is whether the Greece zoning board will be fooled by this bait and switch.

— Rob McRonald, Greece