OKC Neighbors Fight Construction Of New Cell Phone Tower

Monday, March 26th 2012, 12:37 pm

They explain their plight as David Versus Goliath. A group of Northwest Oklahoma City neighbors is fighting to keep a cell phone tower from going up right in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

The 80 foot cell phone tower would go up right near the Mayfair neighborhood near 50th and May. The people who live around here say if a tower is allowed to go up it will set a dangerous precedent.

The proposed cell phone tower would go up right outside Skylar Greiner-Hays's backyard.

"When I come outside, I have a garden, I love to garden. When I do yardwork I'll be in the shadow of a cell phone tower," she says.

It's enough that she would likely move if she could sell her house. But that is less of an option for the Garlitz family. They just spent approximately $200,000 making the house accessible for their father, who has M.S.

"It took six months to rebuild this house to be able to suit his needs so to do that all over again is just impossible for our family," said Christine Garlitz.

So when the Garlitz family found out in August about AT&T's plans, they started the fight to keep the tower out.

"There are appropriate industrial places that this tower can go, should go, and it doesn't not belong in the center, smack in the middle of a neighborhood," said Karen Garlitz.

AT&T says the towers are necessary for improved service.

"We've reviewed multiple sites and met with the homeowners several times to attempt to allay their concerns. Our goal is to improve service for all customers, including our customers in this area," said the company in a statement.

But neighbors argue it would be the first time such a tower would be allowed in an Oklahoma City residential area.

"If the vote is by the city council to put it in here, it is going to open the gate to anybody who lives in a neighborhood to having a cell tower in their neighborhood," said John Ford.

The Oklahoma City city council is scheduled to vote Tuesday morning on approving the tower.

Neighbors say the planning commission has already voted against it.