Turn To Tara: Battle over cellphone tower pits residents against Verizon

Posted: Updated:

A legal battle is brewing over an approved cellphone tower in the heart of one of Westchester's last rural communities.

Verizon says it is hoping to improve coverage gaps, but a group of residents say their way of life is under threat.

Heido Franco says her peaceful lifestyle in Teatown is under attack. She says the sleepless nights began this summer after the Cortlandt Zoning Board greenlighted a plan for Verizon to build a 140-foot high cellphone tower right outside her backyard.

She says it would force the removal of at least 50 trees as well as her family’s departure from the area.

Franco and her neighbors, who also share concerns over unknown long-term health effects, hired a lawyer and filed an appeal.  They claim that during the approval process, Verizon illegally overlooked a nearby tower 3,000 feet away where it could have rented space.

In an email to News 12, Verizon says it complied with all local state and federal laws. It claims that there is no science to back up the neighborhood's health concerns.

The Supreme Court decision is expected to be made in December.          

The town says it has stripped the zoning board of the power to approve any more cellphone tower applications.

For an extended interview with a resident opposed to the proposed tower, click here.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."