Cell Tower to be Relocated: Community Feedback Makes a Difference

In early 2017, the community first learned of plans to remove the water tower on W.R. Grace property and install a 199’ monopole cell tower in the adjacent area. As previously reported, many residents in the abutting section of the Pointers Run neighborhood objected to the project based on a variety of factors including health and safety concerns and the negative visual impact. Many residents also felt the structure would have an even greater negative affect on the future residents of the Simpson Oaks development, being planned between the River Hill neighborhood and the W.R. Grace property. River Hill residents organized, drew up a petition, sought the assistance of the River Hill Community Association, and lobbied the developer, W.R. Grace, and the County to stop the project or modify the plans.

As a result of these efforts, Calvert Crossland, LLC, the site developer, and W.R. Grace have relocated the tower to the East side of the Grace property as shown on page 8. The County has approved the Site Development Plan for the new location and all necessary agreements have been signed. Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T will move their antenna from the water tower to the monopole and Verizon Wireless will have improved coverage along MD 32 and in the River Hill community. The first phase of construction will start in October and is expected to take 30 days. The second phase will take an additional 30 days. Of course, all is weather dependent. There will be no disruption to traffic along Grace Drive except when they move the equipment and tower to the property from MD 32. This work will be performed mid-day and is expected to take 15 minutes. Fortunately, there will be no loss of service for cell phone users. It will be a “seamless cut over” – the new upgraded equipment will be installed and operational and then the old equipment will be turned off and removed.
The Association appreciates the efforts of River Hill residents Lily Weiss-Lora, Matthew Brenner, and Lisa and Saed Rahwanji who were instrumental in coordinating with their neighbors and successfully advocated for change. On behalf of the entire community, we express our sincere appreciation for W.R. Grace and cell tower developer Calvert Crossland, LLC who have been good neighbors, willing to listen to the community’s concerns, and modify the plans to lessen the impact. As stated by Ms. Weiss-Lora, “not every day do we find people or companies who actually care and make changes for the common good.”
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