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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A new, nearly 200-foot cell phone tower is on the horizon if New Hanover County approves a special-use permit. But it won’t reach the sky if some residents have anything to say about it.

Paul Passante wants to keep the proposed cell phone tower out of his neighborhood.

“A tower of that height, almost 200 feet, is really going to be a deterrent to anybody thinking of the Ogden area as a nice place to move in once they see something so tall sticking up that high above the tree line,” Passante said.

He’s put out his own signs letting his neighbors know that a company wants to build a cell tower in the woods off Wendover Lane near the Big Lots on Market Street. Passante wants residents to show up and voice their concerns at an upcoming public hearing.

“People don’t really know what it will do,” he said. “I’ve looked at the Cancer Society website, and they think it might be negligible. Then you find other websites that talk there could be problems down the road.”

The New Hanover County Planning Board is reviewing the application for a special use permit to make sure the tower would be appropriate in this location.

“They need to show the proposed use follows all the info in the ordinance, that it isn’t going to harm anybody’s property value, that it’s not going to be a hazard, and that it’s in harmony with the neighborhood,” Planning & Zoning Director Chris O’Keefe said.

But when it comes to harmony, some of residents who live nearby might not get the message.

Residents have started a petition, urging the Planning Board to reject the special use permit.

The public hearing is at the County Commission Chambers, October 4 at 5:30 p.m.

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