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by Karen Goff September 26, 2016 at 11:30 am 8 Comments

Proposed cell tower (tree) at Crossfield ES/Courtesy Verizon

A Fairfax County Planning Commission staff report recommends approval of a proposed cell phone tower to be built on the grounds of Crossfield Elementary School off Fox Mill Road.

Milestone Communications (on behalf of Verizon Wireless) is seeking to build a 138-foot tall monopole on the grounds of the school. The pole, which would be built to look like an evergreen tree, would be able to carry signals from five mobile carriers in order to fill in gaps in coverage. The pole would be on a 2,500-square-foot area surrounded by an 8-foot fence.

Crossfield Map/Credit: Milestone CommunicationsThere will be a planning commission hearing on the application on Wednesday at 8:15 p.m. at the Fairfax County Government Center.

This is the second time in the last three years Reston-based Milestone has proposed a monopole at Crossfield. The company had a similar application in 2013, but withdrew it based on objections from residents.

Residents are perhaps even more upset at the latest proposal. They have organized a petition, put up a “Stop The Crossfield Tower” website and plan to testify at Wednesday’s hearing. (more…)

by Karen Goff August 17, 2016 at 11:30 am 36 Comments

Proposed cell tower (tree) at Crossfield ES/Courtesy Verizon

Updated: The public hearing has been moved to Sept. 28 (it was originally reported to be Sept. 15

The plan to build a cell phone tower disguised as a tree at Crossfield Elementary School in Oak Hill will go before the Fairfax County Planning Commission in September.

Verizon Wireless is seeking to build the tower at the Fairfax County Public Schools’ elementary school at 2791 Fox Mill Rd. on the Reston/Oak Hill line in order to improve cell phone coverage in the area.

Verizon is working with local firm Milestone Communications to get approval to build the 138-foot tower and improve cell phone reception in the area.

The request to build the pole comes about three years after a similar proposal fell apart in the application process. T-Mobile and Milestone filed an application in November of 2013 seeking to build at Crossfield. The request was postponed indefinitely. (more…)

by Karen Goff May 10, 2016 at 3:30 pm 26 Comments

Crossfield Map/Credit: Milestone Communications

A cell phone monopole is back in play for Crossfield Elementary School.

Verizon Wireless is seeking to build a cell phone tower at the Fairfax County Public Schools elementary school at 2791 Fox Mill Rd.

Verizon is working with local firm Milestone Communications to get approval to build the pole and improve cell phone reception in the area. The proposal is for a 138-foot tower disguised to look like a tree.

The request to build the pole comes about 2 1/2 years after a similar proposal fell apart in the application process. T-Mobile and Milestone filed an application in November of 2013 seeking to build at Crossfield. The request was postponed indefinitely.

Meanwhile, there was organized resident opposition to the 2013 proposal, including a petition signed by fewer than 200 people. Residents said there was already a cell phone tower nearby, that the tower would affect home values, and that cell phones should not be allowed on elementary school property because studies showing longterm health effects are inconclusive.

There was also a proposal by AT&T and Milestone for a pole at Hunters Woods Park, a Reston Association property, in June of 2014. The RA Design Review Board nixed the idea of a 115-foot pole in the woods behind a soccer field.

But many poles have been built on to public lands in recent years. South Lakes High School, Herndon Middle School, Madison High School and Carson Middle School are among the many FCPS properties that have cell phone towers on their grounds.

The cell phone companies pay the landowners to lease the pole space. FCPS, for instance, has made more than $4 million from the arrangement over the last several years, FCPS officials said.

Milestone collects rent from the wireless carriers on its towers, 40 percent of which goes to FCPS. Schools receive $25,000 each time a tower is built, and then $5,000 from each wireless carrier that leases space on the tower.

Milestone says schools and parks are ideal locations for these towers because they often have existing structures, such as field light poles, in place.

FCPS says it has has done studies on cell phones being located on school grounds and has determined the practice is safe.

Have some thoughts on a pole for Crossfield? A community meeting has been scheduled for May 19, 7 p.m., at the North County Government Center, Hunter Mill District Office, 1801 Cameron Glen Dr.

Map of proposed cell phone tower location/Credit Milestone Communications

by Karen Goff June 19, 2014 at 9:30 am 12 Comments

Proposed location of cell phone pole at Hunters Woods Park/Credit: MilestoneReston Association’s Design Review Board on Tuesday unanimously denied the proposal for a 115-foot cell phone tower in Hunters Woods Park.

The tower would have been the first such structure on RA land, though there have been requests to do so before. One of those requests was dropped by the carrier; the other was also denied by the DRB.

Reston-based Milestone Communications and AT&T sought to install a monopole in the wooded area behind the soccer field at the park off of Reston Parkway. The equipment would be located in a fenced-in area of the park and would include cables and other support structures.

The DRB concurred with several community members that spoke of their concerns with the environment, property values and damage to trees, among others, at Tuesday’s meeting.

Milestone has teamed with local entities many times over the last several years. There are several hundred existing cell phone poles on Fairfax County Public Schools land, including at South Lakes High School, Herndon Middle School, Madison High School and Carson Middle School, to name a few.

The cell phone tower would have been a moneymaker for Reston Association. The cell phone companies pay the landowners to lease the pole space. FCPS, for instance, has made more than $4 million from the arrangement over the last six years, FCPS officials said.

Milestone collects rent from the wireless carriers on its towers, 40 percent of which goes to FCPS. Schools receive $25,000 each time a tower is built, and then $5,000 from each wireless carrier that leases space on the tower.

Milestone says schools and parks are ideal locations for these towers because they often have existing structures, such as field light poles, in place. Many Milestone towers are disguised as trees, so lots of times they go unnoticed.

FCPS has done studies on cell phones being located on school grounds and has determined the practice is safe.

File photo of proposed cell phone pole/Credit: Milestone

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