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Company Drops Plans for Cell Tower at Piney Orchard Elementary

Milestone Communications said that ultimately, the school property had too many constraints to allow for a tower to be built.

Milestone Communications will not build a cell tower like this one at Piney Orchard Elementary (Credit: Tim Lemke)
Milestone Communications will not build a cell tower like this one at Piney Orchard Elementary (Credit: Tim Lemke)
Milestone Communications has withdrawn its plans for a cell tower at Piney Orchard Elementary School, citing its inability to work within zoning restrictions. 

The company had proposed constructing a tower for Verizon Wireless customers on school property, citing its high elevation and central location. But company president Len Forkas said setback requirements and other rules made the site unworkable. 

In a letter to school board president Teresa Birge, Forkas said an original location near the center of the Piney Orchard Elementary property was considered too close to school operations. An alternate spot at the south end of the site, meanwhile, would have been too close to homes and would require a variance from setback requirements. 

Anne Arundel County Public Schools struck a master lease agreement with Milestone last year, outlining how revenue from cell towers would be split. But plans for the tower at Piney Orchard Elementary met stiff opposition from parents, who cited concerns over health effects, property values and aesthetics. 

The county council sought to amend the law to ban or severely restrict the construction of cell towers at schools, but the measure was defeated. 

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