A major cellular firm is once again looking to place a tower on the Corvallis Foursquare Church property adjacent to Porter Park.
Verizon submitted an application in 2016, but pulled it around the first of the year in 2017 to rework the proposal. Another application has been submitted, although to date city planning officials have deemed the application incomplete.
Because the application involves a conditional use permit, a public process would be required before the project can go forward.
Neighbors who organized opposition to the first plan already are out in force. Two residents spoke at the Jan. 3 Corvallis Planning Commission meeting, and the Gazette-Times also has published letters to the editor on the topic.
Chief concerns of opponents are the height of the 66-foot tower and whether Verizon has proven that such a tower is necessary for its local cell coverage. Opponents also note that work is underway to establish a land use zone for parks which might it more difficult to erect such towers.
“We urge the city to follow their own policy regarding new cellular infrastructure and work with Verizon and other cellular service providers to find suitable location for new infrastructure,” wrote Jeff Kline, president of the Porter Park Neighborhood Association. “We don’t believe such locations include parks and neighborhoods.”
“There are industrial areas that could fulfill the engineering requirements for cellular services and would clearly be a better fit for the noisy generators the tower requires,” wrote Keith Olsen.
Olsen also said that new development close to parks “should be delayed until (the new zoning) rules are in place.”
Jason Yaich, the city’s Planning Division manager, confirmed that the park zone work is in progress, but he said it would not impact the tower application because it came in before the code changes were completed.
The park is near the intersection of Northwest Hayes Avenue and 20th Street.
Neither Verizon officials nor their local development partner, Acom Consulting, responded to Gazette-Times' requests for comment.