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

Posted: Updated:
TEATOWN -

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.

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