CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County Planning Commission approved a controversial cellphone tower near Five Mile Road Wednesday night.
Four people spoke against constructing the tower and three spoke in favor of it. The tower will be located off Rosewood Way and will carry AT&T service, said Sammy Black, a subcontractor who handles site acquisition for Beacon Towers VA, LLC.
Last month, the commission tabled Beacon Towers' application after a neighbor opposed to the structure pointed out numerous errors and inconsistencies in the application.
"We've made all changes necessary to the application," Black said.
The revised application calls for a 250-foot-tall tower, with a five-foot lighting rod attached to its top.
Those opposed said the area already has AT&T reception and that the tower would hurt property values and aesthetics. They said locals already know the area has spotty coverage in some places.
John Coulter, who pointed out the errors with the application at the previous commission meeting, said he and his wife had enough cellphone and data coverage that they were able to get rid of their landline last year.
"The thought of looking out our windows at a cell tower for the rest of our lives is pretty depressing," he said.
Black said there was no other place to put the tower. He said he initially contacted the Coulters, but they refused to sign a lease agreement.
Eddie Striker, who lives on the other side of the hill from the tower, said Beacon Towers never contacted him about the proposed structure. He said he moved to the area specifically because the area was very rural and he knew when he moved that there would be no service.
"I don't want this in my backyard," he said.
Sharon Casto, who owns 89 acres of land adjacent to the proposed tower, said she disagreed with the tower's construction. Clint Casto, who also lives in the area, spoke against the tower, too.
"This is going to be a massive structure," he said.
Other residents expressed support for the tower, saying that they had little to no cellphone coverage at their homes.
"I have absolutely no cell service," said Ashley Meadows, who lives along Coopers Creek Road. "We have no options."
Rosewood Way resident Andrea Acton also spoke in favor of the tower, saying she had weak service and that Black promised upgrades to Rosewood Way.
While the planning commission approved the tower, commissioner SK Miller said she liked Coulter's idea to create a telecommunications plan for the county that would help guide future development.
"We're only going to get more and more towers," she said.
Contact writer Matt Murphy at Matt.Mur...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4817.