Local

Bull Valley residents fear cell tower will drop property values

More than 100 village homeowners express concerns at hearing

A company wants to build a 120-foot cell tower and lease it to Verizon on a slice of Bull Valley land – but residents are worried the tower will lower their property values in an area already stocked with dozens of towers.

About 100 Bull Valley residents packed the Loyola University Chicago Retreat and Ecology Campus on Monday to share their concerns with Bull Valley officials and Jeremy Boone, a representative of Schaumburg-based SAC Wireless, the company that wants to construct the tower at 1015 Ridge Road.

“Every single person in that room was against the cell tower,” said Janet Ring, a Bull Valley resident against the building of the tower.

The property is owned by a trust comprised of lawyers Herbert Franks and David Franks – the father and brother, respectively, of McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks.

“They are the landowners,” said Crystal Lake attorney and McHenry County Board Member Joe Gottemoller, who represents a Bull Valley resident opposing the project across the road from her home.

Boone argued Monday that Verizon needs the tower to increase coverage, but his argument was faulty, Gottemoller said.

“There are 30 towers within 5 miles of that site,” Gottemoller said. “To say there isn’t enough coverage doesn’t work.”

Crystal Lake real estate agent Rick O’Connor attended Monday’s meeting and “read a study that said home values would also drop 10 [percent] to
30 percent,” said Bull Valley resident Anna Morgesse, who wrote the Northwest Herald an email outlining some of her concerns.

“We are understandably concerned about this due to studies showing that there are health effects from the cell towers for people in close proximity to them,” Morgesse said.

Marengo lawyer Herbert Franks said the opposition to the proposed cell tower is a product of “NIMBYism” – a cheeky reference to McHenry County residents who complain about projects proposed nears their homes.

“The cell tower is necessary for the people in Bull Valley. I thought we were doing them a favor,” Herbert Franks said. “It’s the NIMBY effect.”

He said SAC Wireless approached him about the tower.

“They came to me and said, ‘Your land is perfect for a cell tower,’ ” Herbert Franks said. “I said, ‘Fine.’ ”

Bull Valley officials had scheduled a hearing for Friday night, but they canceled it Thursday and have not yet rescheduled.

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