Plan to Install T-Mobile Equipment on Roof of Residential Building Rejected

by Fatimah Waseem April 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm 7 Comments

A plan to install T-Mobile antennas on the roof of the Waterford Square Condominiums was flatly rejected by the Reston Association’s Design Review Board Tuesday night.

More than 20 residents criticized the plan, which would have added eight panel antennas, four remote radio units, a microwave dish behind a screened panel, and other equipment, on the roof of the building.

Residents and DRB members said the project would destroy the residential building’s clean, modern aesthetic. Others expressed concerns about possible health effects, including radiation, the effect on birds who fly near the roof, and a possible decline in property values.

“I don’t see any way I could vote to approve this,” said Richard Newlon, chairman of the DRB.

“Cell phones might get better reception, but that’s too big a price to pay for that,” he added.

Alexa Choi, a resident of Waterford Square, compared the equipment to “battlements” better suited for the Middle Ages. Choi said the equipment, even with screening, would completely change the skyline of the residential neighborhood.

The application was submitted by T-Mobile and the Waterford Square Condominium Unit Owners Association.

T-Mobile sought to relocate equipment from Lake Anne Fellowship House, pending future demolition, to the residential building. A representative for the company said an offer to include the equipment in the plan as redevelopment moves forward was rejected.

Photos via handout

  • Greg

    But this eyesore antenna farm is OK? As is the hideous VY mess next door? #doomed

  • Drive By Critic

    Now where am I going to put my Gamma-Beta Surface-To-Air Phaser Turret?
    The architectural decisions made my Restonians truly leave me befuddled sometimes.
    (And all I ever wanted to do was to paint my house something other than Navaho White with Russet Brpwn trim.) That DRB is a tough crowd, even on a good night.

    • 30yearsinreston

      Dont mention picket fences, or horror of horrors, adequate street lights
      Did you know that street lights make the houses look like a different shade than permitted byy the architecture police

      • Greg

        The DRB dinosaurs are still pushing 125-year old incandescent lighting technology. Heaven help us if we try to save a few watts here and there as we attempt navigation through our potholed streets and weed-infested “parkways.”

        “The DRB believes that incandescent lights generally produce softer,
        less glaring light that is more suitable to residential environments.”

  • Jared

    Draft quote from T-Mobile: “We’re puzzled. We thought nondescript brown boxes was Reston’s ‘thing.’”

  • FLEABttn

    “Cell phones might get better reception, but that’s too big a price to pay for that,”

    Nondescript cell phone transmitters are not too big a price to pay for better cell phone reception. Bad decision to block these.

  • Generic User

    Moving to the next item on the meeting agenda, the Reston Association’s Design Review Board overwhelmingly approved the proposal by Megacorp Development to destroy three neighborhoods, two parks, and an ancient Indian burial ground to build a massive mixed-use residential, office, retail, and cemetery complex.



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